Martin Luther King Speaks Out

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:34 AM GMT
    I posted this video of one of Martin Luther King's speeches in another thread, and felt it was good enough on its own to be the basis for a thread.

    In the later years of his life, King began a campaign against poverty and war, and with that, empire. I truly believe that this was the reason for his assassination.

    In fact, the KIng family won a case in court, which should have been the "trial of the century", but which was overshadowed by the public distractions of the OJ Simpson trial. The trial revealed that "the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination" of MLK.
    https://www.thekingcenter.org/KingCenter/Transcript_press_conference.aspx

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2008/04/who-killed-martin-luther-king/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine02112003.html

    The reason for the assassination was that Martin Luther King, "took on those forces, powerful economic forces that dominated politics in this land, they killed him. He was killed because he could not be stopped. He was killed because they feared that half a million people would rise in revolution in the capitol of this country, and do what Mr. Jefferson said needed to be done every 20 years, to cleanse this land. This land has not been cleansed. This nation has not faced the problems that Martin Luther King, Jr. died trying to face and confront. They still exist today, the forces of evil, the powerful economic forces that dominate the government of this land and make money on war and deprive the poor of what is their right, their birthright. They still abound and they rule."
    https://www.thekingcenter.org/KingCenter/Transcript_press_conference.aspx

    King's speech, "Beyond Vietnam", laid out his views of war and empire, and what he referred to as the triplets of evil - racism, militarism, and economic exploitation.



    What do you think Dr. King would say about the state of the world today? About the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan? About the economic crisis? About empire? About America? About poverty?

    He called for a "revolution of values"... has this happened? Could it still happen? Is it still the right way forward?

    I think, perhaps, that the best way to honour the memory of those who fought for freedom, rights and liberty for others, is to take up their cause for ourselves. Yet, it seems to me that the aims and agenda of Martin Luther King in his last years - that of a campaign against poverty and war - was never realized. If we truly seek to learn from a person such as Martin Luther King, should we not be picking up where he left off?

    Yes, there is a black president, but everything King talks about in his speech is just as relevant, if not more so, today, than when it was originally spoken. So how far, really, have we come?

    Where should we go from here?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:42 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:55 AM GMT
    Replace the word 'Vietnam' - and the assorted cast of characters - for those of 'Afghanistan' and 'Iraq' and their respective actors. The message is the same.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 10:25 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 1:15 PM GMT
    EXECELLENT!~
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 04, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    OMG! I was just thinking some more this morning about illegal immigration and how the lack of reform action by both sides is pure exploitation and undermines the tenets of democracy. It all revolves around cheap labor and it is a disgrace. For this reason, illegal immigration is truly a Civil RIghts issue.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 5:23 PM GMT
    It is a shame that a thread like this has 3 responses but "would you fuck the gay above you" threads are at 23 pages.

    That being said, where to go from here? Well, we need a public figure.
  • JayDT

    Posts: 390

    May 04, 2010 5:36 PM GMT
    His words are as relevant today as they were then. A true inspiration for the fight for Equality and Justice.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    May 04, 2010 6:10 PM GMT
    Pinny saidIt is a shame that a thread like this has 3 responses but "would you fuck the gay above you" threads are at 23 pages.

    That being said, where to go from here? Well, we need a public figure.

    so, betch, make 23 pages of comments and related media. see a problem? do something about it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    jrs1 saidsee a problem? do something about it.


    I think the person who is the subject of this thread would happen to agree with that statement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:26 PM GMT
    When King gave his 'Beyond Vietnam' speech a year and a day before he was assassinated, the national media attacked him for it.

    Life magazine called it "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post patronized that "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2269

    In his speech, King said that: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

    At the height of the Vietnam, the American defense budget was at just over $70 billion.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909470,00.html

    Today, it is ten times that number, at $708 billion. And that's not including the Pentagon's "black budget" for covert operations, or the intelligence communities budget for spying and covert-ops, or the Homeland Security Department's budget for surveillance and creating a police state.

    And for the record, every budget proposal ALWAYS ends up being much higher, as the President ALWAYS asks for more money throughout the year.

    $708 BILLION.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0120383520100201

    The initial bank bailout was at the same figure, except this is a yearly figure, which goes up to a new record level EVERY year.

    So, are we approaching or have we already reached 'spiritual death'? It's been over 43 years since King said those words... I find it hard to imagine we heeded his warning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidI was just thinking some more this morning about illegal immigration and how the lack of reform action by both sides is pure exploitation and undermines the tenets of democracy. It all revolves around cheap labor and it is a disgrace. For this reason, illegal immigration is truly a Civil RIghts issue.


    I agree, completely. Meanwhile, you have the people divided against each other on the issue, with many Americans blaming the Mexicans for taking their jobs, and the Mexicans seeking a better life and living wages. Both become divided against each other instead and united against the policies that create these conditions, such as NAFTA.

    These are also not simply 'American' issues, just look at the EU. It has a similar effect there are creating tensions between races, classes and dividing the people against each other instead of uniting them against the structural and institutional causes of this situation.

    But indeed, it is a civil rights and a human rights issue.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 9:51 PM GMT
    I read your original post in its entirety, and am working on a response. I've been swamped with work, so it will be coming ... I don't know when, but I will post.

    BTW, your post was amazing. So amazing that I wanted to remind you of RJ's grant of license. All of the content that you post essentially becomes the property of this Web site. I've read many posts from you that you may want to use in the future. I know it sounds paranoid, but it's always better to protect your IP than to disregard it, especially if you ever publish a book and use any of the content you've posted in forums.

    Might I recommend using a site of your own design and linking to it (for deep analytical pieces) so that you maintain complete control of your work? icon_wink.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    JayDT saidHis words are as relevant today as they were then. A true inspiration for the fight for Equality and Justice.


    If he was for equality and justice then he'd be against allowing illegals to stay in this country as citizens because

    1) not equal to those who became citizens legally and went through the correct system
    2) justice should be blind, and allowing certain sections of the population to break the laws and then get rewarded is against justice

    There is a big difference between black civil rights in the 50s/60s and illegal immigration today. One being US citizens and the other are not.

    Even something like affirmative action he would probably be against because its the content of the individual that matters, not the color of the skin. Yet affirmative action places priority into the color of the skin/ethnicity rather than skills.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 10:14 PM GMT
    ... running to grab my popcorn ... be right back.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    MeOhMy said
    coolarmydude saidI was just thinking some more this morning about illegal immigration and how the lack of reform action by both sides is pure exploitation and undermines the tenets of democracy. It all revolves around cheap labor and it is a disgrace. For this reason, illegal immigration is truly a Civil RIghts issue.


    I agree, completely. Meanwhile, you have the people divided against each other on the issue, with many Americans blaming the Mexicans for taking their jobs, and the Mexicans seeking a better life and living wages. Both become divided against each other instead and united against the policies that create these conditions, such as NAFTA.

    These are also not simply 'American' issues, just look at the EU. It has a similar effect there are creating tensions between races, classes and dividing the people against each other instead of uniting them against the structural and institutional causes of this situation.

    But indeed, it is a civil rights and a human rights issue.

    Not sure how NAFTA fits in with the corruption, and bad economic policies as instituted by the Mexican government. The issues of extreme poverty in other countries is the direct result of poor policy - not because of free trade which at least because of the very basic principles of comparative advantage creates value for both parties. If anything, Mexico has been a net beneficiary of NAFTA.

    As for it being a civil rights issue, I personally think that first the drug trade should be regulated and legalized (which means pretty much all drugs). Overnight this would reduce the street prices for drugs and marginalize the finances of cartels. Second, the US should reform its immigration system allowing for more easy access entry. Free movement of labor would be ideal but first, the borders have to be controlled and secured. There's no point talking about reforms to immigration before this happens.

    Europe incidentally has been far worse at integrating its immigrant populations - again the banlieue's being the primary example. That said, the people in a given country who should have rights are citizens of a country first - and people should attempt to immigrate through proper channels instead of effectively jumping the line.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 10:45 PM GMT
    Keep speaking truth to power, like your hero.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:17 PM GMT
    While I agree with ending the drug war and legalizing drugs, your contention that NAFTA has benefitted Mexico is dubious at best. Sure, it benefitted their corrupt elite, but that's it. NAFTA dismantled the industrial/manufacturing base in the United States and moved factories overseas to exploit cheap labour for the benefit of better profits for multinational corporations. Then, Mexican labour, seeking better jobs, would rapidly expand their presence in the United States, with illegal immigration rising exponentially. NAFTA dismantles borders, naturally, migration is affected. They look for better jobs, and take low-paying work. Americans, unable to take such work and maintain a decent standard of living, blame Mexicans for taking their jobs. Mexicans and Americans and yes, even Canadians, are plunged deeper into debt and poverty as a result of a vaporized industrial base and increasing tendency to consume on debt.

    This... is not prosperity.

    You say "free trade" benefits all. That is, assuming that it is, in fact, free trade. NAFTA is an agreement - an economic constitution for North America - which is over 10,000 pages long. It is MANAGED trade at its most managed. It just so happens that it is managed by and for major multinational corporations that thrive on exploitation.

    However, I digress from the topic. In regards to Martin Luther King, given his stances on poverty, race and economic exploitation, I have no doubt that, as he declared poverty to be a great injustice, free trade agreements that exacerbate and institutionalize poverty are enemies of justice.

    For the poster who commented on the legality of the immigration issue. Yes, there are reasons for immigration laws. If a country opens its borders to any and all it will become bombarded and it will result in de-industrialization and exacerbation of racial and ethnic tensions. Sound familiar? But pointing the finger at the illegal immigrants, who are, in actuality, greater victims of this crisis than the other actors involved, does not solve the issue at hand. You must seek to change the conditions that create illegal immigration, not apply a bandaid to a broken arm and focus on "immigration enforcement". Don't punish the people, change the policy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:23 PM GMT
    reppaT said
    Might I recommend using a site of your own design and linking to it (for deep analytical pieces) so that you maintain complete control of your work? icon_wink.gif



    While the vast majority of my extensive posts come from research and writing I have already done, I do have most of the information presented in a copywright form under my name.

    I, as you can imagine from my posts, heavily cite and source my articles and essays, but in posts I find it useful to post directly to the sources so people can see the info for themselves.

    But it is a notable concern, and thanks for suggesting as much. I am just hesitant to post links directly to my articles, as it would be much easier to cast it aside as a 'questionable' source, since it isn't a mainstream publication. But perhaps I will do this in the future, it could save me some time, too. haha
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    Back to the focus of the topic: War, Empire, Poverty, Race.

    In 1961, President Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to the nation, in which he coined the term "military-industrial complex" and warned of how the "immense military establishment and large arms industry" will have an economic, political, and "even spiritual" influence in every corner of the country, and that the "structure of society" is at risk: "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex".

    He warned that the MIC, which he had actually wanted to call the "military-industrial-congressional complex", could threaten democracy itself.



    This was said by a man who was a darling of the National Security State for his entire presidency, in which the foreign policy of the United States was virtually run by two brothers, John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State, and Allen Dulles, the CIA Director.

    Two years later, John F. Kennedy, having spent his entire presidency battling the apparatus of the National Security State and the military-industrial complex, was killed by the very same apparatus he challenged, and for that very reason.

    As soon as King turned against the apparatus of the National Security State, he too, was killed by the apparatus of the military-industrial complex. Then followed Robert F. Kennedy, whose story mirrors that of his brother's and King's.

    In effect, these political assassinations were essentially public lynchings. No other powerful officials, presidential or otherwise, would come to truly ever challenge the apparatus of the National Security State, whose authority grew and expanded with time. This is the true power structure of the United States today, everything that Eisenhower, Kennedy, and King had warned us against.

    Here is a speech JFK gave to the American Newspaper Association within weeks following the failed Bay of Pigs operation, in which he called for greater public information, lambasted the notions of secrecy, and warned that "an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."

    [It really gains substance at the 5 minute mark]



    In Part 2, Kennedy proclaims:

    "For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

    Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
    "


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:45 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidWhile I agree with ending the drug war and legalizing drugs, your contention that NAFTA has benefitted Mexico is dubious at best. Sure, it benefitted their corrupt elite, but that's it. NAFTA dismantled the industrial/manufacturing base in the United States and moved factories overseas to exploit cheap labour for the benefit of better profits for multinational corporations. Then, Mexican labour, seeking better jobs, would rapidly expand their presence in the United States, with illegal immigration rising exponentially. NAFTA dismantles borders, naturally, migration is affected. They look for better jobs, and take low-paying work. Americans, unable to take such work and maintain a decent standard of living, blame Mexicans for taking their jobs. Mexicans and Americans and yes, even Canadians, are plunged deeper into debt and poverty as a result of a vaporized industrial base and increasing tendency to consume on debt.

    This... is not prosperity.

    You say "free trade" benefits all. That is, assuming that it is, in fact, free trade. NAFTA is an agreement - an economic constitution for North America - which is over 10,000 pages long. It is MANAGED trade at its most managed. It just so happens that it is managed by and for major multinational corporations that thrive on exploitation.

    However, I digress from the topic. In regards to Martin Luther King, given his stances on poverty, race and economic exploitation, I have no doubt that, as he declared poverty to be a great injustice, free trade agreements that exacerbate and institutionalize poverty are enemies of justice.

    For the poster who commented on the legality of the immigration issue. Yes, there are reasons for immigration laws. If a country opens its borders to any and all it will become bombarded and it will result in de-industrialization and exacerbation of racial and ethnic tensions. Sound familiar? But pointing the finger at the illegal immigrants, who are, in actuality, greater victims of this crisis than the other actors involved, does not solve the issue at hand. You must seek to change the conditions that create illegal immigration, not apply a bandaid to a broken arm and focus on "immigration enforcement". Don't punish the people, change the policy.

    The control of how corrupt Mexico's government is and its dependence on illegal migration to the US (given how significant remittances are alone to Mexico - 20 B directly to the largely the poor), and otherwise poor economic policies are not really things that can be fixed from within the US. As for enforcement, the first step really is to secure the borders - not immigration reform - and to do so is not racist.

    I don't think it's such a bad idea to further secure the northern borders - though I think Canadians are the net beneficiaries there. Nix the "free" part of the trade - any unforced trade results in both parties being better off.

    If Mexicans can produce products for cheaper then moving production to Mexico benefits them by improving access to better paying work over time. In the meantime, consumers are made better off by reductions in cost of living. Trade doesn't kill jobs as the data pre and post NAFTA repeatedly show. The people promoting divisions are politicians and unions who lose bargaining power/influence - much in the same way as race relations today and the sad demagoguery of supposed race leaders. Instead of pushing for change/retooling of skills, they promote anger and entitlements.

    The problem isn't trade as companies like Apple show. The profits are the result of design and innovation (which if you're working for them pays far better than line work) with margins on products well in excess of 50% while their contract manufacturers make low single digit returns. In many ways, trade is simply like any type of innovation/disruptive technology. Capital is simply reallocated to being more efficient. As I'm sure you're aware, the very term Luddite came from those who were opposed to mechanized looms in the 1800s because of the massive productivity improvements.

    This is how markets work - there's a continuous drive to improve. Corporations who fail to do so, fail. It is also not frictionless, but we end up better off as practically every human metric over the past 100 years shows. I've always thought it stunning how recently in the context of history the US was a third world country.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    I've always thought it stunning how recently in the context of history the US was a third world country.


    And within the next ten years, it will be again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:53 PM GMT
    re: War, Empire, Poverty, Race.

    The military industrial complex has far less relevance post cold war and specifically today than ever before. Not that I ever believed one existed, but even if one did and acted as one self interested party, they squandered their advantage.

    While they may have had significant valuations in the 80s, those like defense contractors have become largely insignificant relative to those who service markets through consumer products. Even more than products, it's specifically the innovators - the Googles and Microsofts of the world.

    It's been a tried and true strategy of governments since the dawn of time to cultivate and direct the anger of the poor towards the rich and supposedly powerful. It's also been a recipe for economic disaster when they've succeeded. Value isn't in things, it's in ideas.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 04, 2010 11:54 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidriddler78 said
    I've always thought it stunning how recently in the context of history the US was a third world country.


    And within the next ten years, it will be again.

    I'm just wondering how we can establish a creative bet on that ;). Of course, I suppose you could simply buy CDS's on long term maturities of US government debt - which even the most negative pundits and those who were actually right the last time and acted financially to benefit, are not doing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 05, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidre: War, Empire, Poverty, Race.

    The military industrial complex has far less relevance post cold war and specifically today than ever before. Not that I ever believed one existed, even if one did that acted as one self interested party, they squandered their advantage.

    While they may have had significant valuations in the 80s, those like defense contractors have become largely insignificant relative to those who service markets through consumer products. Even more than products, it's specifically the innovators - the Googles and Microsofts of the world.

    It's been a tried and true strategy of governments since the dawn of time to cultivate and direct the anger of the poor towards the rich and supposedly powerful. It's also been a recipe for economic disaster when they've succeeded. Value isn't in things, it's in ideas.


    You seem to base this judgment based upon the idea that the military-industrial complex is today made up of the same actors that comprised its being in 1961. You state that you dont think one ever existed. Wow.

    Today, and especially FOLLOWING the Cold War, the military-industrial complex is THE driving power structure of the United States. The Pentagon outsources almost everything, we even outsource armies, with mercenaries like Blackwater conducting a secret war in Pakistan. The intelligence community outsources (so that there is no oversight required). The military-industrial complex has come to compose not simply the machinations of industry, the military, and government, but of intelligence, think tanks, 'Homeland Security', surveillance, and effectively controls the media, and thus, our information, with major media conglomerates like General Electric doubling as military contractors.

    To think that it never existed, and that today it is less than it ever was, is dangerously naive. The only thing that never existed are you precious 'free markets'. Neoliberal economics is a failed and deeply flawed 'idea'. All that has resulted is exploitation, empire, and poverty for and against the many, with profit and power centralized globally, for very few. That is the legacy of neoliberalism.

    You proclaim so many 'benefits' to the people from such horrendous economic policies, but, there comes a time where you have to stop working in the theoretical and deal with reality: where are these benefits? The middle class is more indebted than ever in history, the nations of the world are more indebted than ever before, poverty has increased the world over to the point that the bottom 50% (over 3 billion people) control 1% of global wealth, while the top 1% control 50% of global wealth. That does not sound like a success story unless you are in the top 1%. For everyone else, neoliberalism has left a legacy of poverty, oppression and social collapse. That legacy will hit home over the next few years and throughout this decade.

    So called "free" markets will not save us, because they were never free. They were managed markets. Managed for the few at the expense of the many.

    Martin Luther King, in his speech posted at the beginning of the thread, himself acknowledged (and this is in 1967, keep in mind), that the powerful economic interests that dominate the country profit enormously off of overseas investment, where they take money, but care not for any social development. The evil triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are more inherent and systemic today than they were when King spoke those words 43 years ago. To deny their relationship, or to deny that they exist, is dangerously naive at best, and purposely misleading and deceptive at worst.

    What you call "free markets", King calls "Economic exploitation." Only today, since the rein of neoliberalism in the 1980s onward, economic exploitation has rapidly expanded, globally, and with that, so too has militarism and racism. You state 'facts' - as in, theoretical positions, that free trade and free trade agreements allow poor people to make living wages, etc, blah blah, neoliberal rhetoric. Yet, why is it that these countries with their exploited labour, have only become worse off? Why is it that poverty has NOT decreased, but has expanded globally?

    Theory is all fine and dandy, but reality is much more important. It's easy to argue and make a case that dismantling trade barriers will benefit everyone and prosperity will ring true and we can "See the mountaintop", and it says "Free Trade"! But, reality tells a very different story. The economic, social, and political realms, as King understood, all interact and are inter-related. You can not understand one without understanding them all.

    Compartmentalizing thought and analysis leads to... well... the economic crisis, the political crisis, and the social crisis that our world is now in.

    Theory is like ideology, everyone can have one, but reality is its own. The reality is: poverty is worse and war and conflict is more expansive and dangerous than ever before. So where is the prosperity and peace promised by ideological and theoretical pundits?

    "Well, here, look at this graph, and you will see that actually, economic progress has been made in the last 30 years... the abysmal poverty of most of the world's people has nothing to do with neoliberalism, so it shouldnt be taken into consideration in the graph."

    theory is a funny thing.