Dissent is as old as human existence and social inequality. The evolution of ethnic, racial, class, and gender domination has been accompanied by individual and societal protest. Social protest has characteristically been concerned with issues of discrimination, poverty, access, hunger, property, fairness, and justice.

The waning days of medievalism and feudalism witnessed particularly sharp objections to hereditary governance and the maldistributions of wealth, power, privilege, land, and opportunity. The 18th-century Enlightenment rekindled discourses on rationality, science, democracy, freedom, and reason that had been introduced earlier in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and other civilizations. Religious dogma, divine rights, mass ignorance, aristocracy, and land peonage gave way to mercantilism, exploration, inquiry, and incipient democracy.

Alongside power and wealth, discovery, technology, and knowledge guide the modern world. Now associated with ...

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