Monday, January 15, 2007

Guess who

Who said,

"I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered" ?

"You are messing with captains of industry... Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong...with capitalism... There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism" ?

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring" ?

"It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism" ?

Just another annoying leftist, I guess.


Blogger Austin 5-000 said...

I guess you can add "unrepentant appeal to authority" to your list of offenses.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Scantron said...

Nah, not really. The point isn't whether or not King believed in ideas which I also believe in, but simply to point out some of his lesser known beliefs. This I feel is especially important on a day when King becomes all things to all people, no matter how historically inaccurate (e.g. conservatives will claim that King would have opposed the "reverse racism" of affirmative action, a statement which is blatantly false). Actually, I'm not making an "unrepetent appeal" to anything except historical context, which is notoriously complex and ill-suited for sweeping statements. To take another example, King believed in a risen Christ. Now, if I were a Christian I could quote about 100 times as many religious references in King as socialistic references, but it wouldn't make my argument any the better (although it might make Christians *appear* a lot better). But it doesn't change the fact that King was a Christian and that he had socialistic tendencies. I feel that the former point is obvious (the man was a Reverend) but the latter point regretably not so. In other words, on MLK Day we tend to celebrate a shadow of a man or rather one rather commonplace idea of a man ("racism is bad"). But King had thoughts on society, civil disobedience, the government, and foreign policy which are severely understudied. He was also a serial philanderer, a fault which we shouldn't ignore either. Refreshingly, I did see a few honest arguments on MLK day from conservatives who were trying to figure out where they differ from King and what in him they can call their own. This is important, as is just about any other pesky historical fact that muddies up our received percetions of famous figures (Jefferson's racism, itself complex, George Orwell's lifelong socialism, for Andrew Sullivan's sake). I'm not saying that these facts make their ideas "off limits" to those who are ideologically different from them. Just that we don't learn enough about them. Ta-da!

9:27 PM  

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