Monday, January 19, 2015
Reclaiming MLK's Radical Call for Social and Economic Justice
"I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic... [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive... but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has out-lived its usefulness."(Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952)
One day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" ... When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy.
(Final speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1967)
In his later political life, Dr. Martin Luther King began to turn his attention to the underlying cause of social injustice and economic inequality in American society: Capitalism. In a series of speeches MLK addressed the evil consequences of unfettered "free market capitalism." And it quickly became evident that the victims of these market forces were not just black. He uncovered the underlying source of American's social problems, and it called for a more inclusive and broader movement for social justice, a Poor People's Campaign.
King's plans for a broader poor people's movement was cut short in Memphis TN when he was killed, and unfortunately that people's movement was temporarily shot down, but it is time to reclaim the legacy of MLK and continue his dream by rebuilding a movement for economic justice, and political and economic democracy, for DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM.
The Uncompromising Anti-Capitalism of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
MLK's Prophetic Call for Economic Justice
4 Ways Martin Luther King Was More Radical than You Thought
Cornel West on THE RADICAL KING
(Here's an article King wrote in in 1965 on Socialist Thomas Thomas, "The Bravest Man I Ever Met" (Pageant magazine, June 1965)