Should governments tolerate the actions of dissident groups?

Essay by NimitzHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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When debating the question, "Should governments tolerate the actions of dissident groups?" there are several points of view to consider. First you have to consider the view of the government. There are two possible points of view that apply here: the view of a democratic government, and the view of a dictatorship. Another point of view to consider is that of the people of the nation. Third, and finally, you have the point of view of the dissident group itself. My position on the issue is that governments should tolerate the actions of dissident groups. Democracies should tolerate their actions as long as their actions are within the confines of the law and they do not infringe upon the rights of other people, as defined by that country's constitution. Dictatorships should tolerate the actions of dissident groups as long as they restrain themselves to non-violent action.

In a democracy, there really is no choice whether or not the government should tolerate the actions of dissident groups.

One of the fundamental principles of democracy is that all people are born with inherent rights that cannot be circumvented except for emergency situations. Democracies guarantee the freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and religion. This leaves a democratic government no choice but to tolerate the actions of dissident groups. However, a democratic government must have a limit to what they are willing to tolerate. A democratic government has an obligation to protect the rights and well-being of its citizens. If a dissident group's actions cross the line into illegal activity, the government must suppress such action in order to safeguard the rights and lives of others. The offenders can be arrested and charged for any crimes they have committed, but they must be given due process. Most democracies have judicial systems that grant the...