to speak of right and wrong
from a poster by CrimethInc.
Only Criminals Have the Right To Speak of Right and Wrong
It's convenient for those whose obedience is rewarded with financial stability and social status to moralize about submission to the law. When they insist that the established channels are always the most appropriate and effective, we have to ask: are they capable of honestly considering the alternative?
There have always been people who consider the law of the land more important than the dictates of conscience. They hanged John Brown for treason; they looked the other way as Jews were carted off to Dachau; for them, statutes and property rights are more precious than rainforests, polar icecaps, or native peoples. In abdicating the responsibility to determine right and wrong for themselves, they elevate the Nuremberg defense to a moral principle--a principle they don't shrink from forcing on others.
Only those who are willing to break the law can be trusted to do what they truly believe is right. In stepping out of line, they prove that they are not acting solely out of cowardice, obedience, or conformity. They may make mistakes, they may have questionable motives of their own, but they never make the excuse of duty.