Edited by Stephen P. Banks
Chapter 2: Varieties of Dissent
Brian Martin INTRODUCTION ● ● ● ● ● A scientist publishes a research paper questioning the dominant view on global warming. A minister gives a sermon suggesting the Holy Ghost is irrelevant to Christian belief. A company accountant meets with the boss to query the boss’s favored tax write-oﬀ scheme. Protesters join rallies against corporate globalization. A doctor in China sends e-mails alleging corruption in the Communist Party. Each of these scenarios might be considered an expression of dissent. What they have in common is questioning or challenging a dominant belief system, dominant either via widespread acceptance or via the power of those in charge. Dissent depends on your perspective: It is both lauded and loathed. It is lauded when it is in the glorious, unthreatening past. Famous dissenters include Socrates, Galileo and Martin Luther. Dissent is especially lauded when dissenters emerge victorious, such as the signers of the Declaration of Independence. It is also more easily lauded when it is geographically distant. Aung San Suu Kyi, the charismatic leader of the opposition to Burma’s repressive regime, is an example. But closer to home dissent is less attractive – at least to those whose power or position is threatened by it. Whistleblowers, for example, are individuals who speak out in the public interest. The classic whistleblower is a loyal, trusting employee who reports either internally or to outside audiences on a problem in the organization, such as corruption or a danger to the public. For their trouble, whistleblowers are routinely ostracized, threatened, harassed, reprimanded, referred to...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.