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Martin Luther King

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AmbivalentEye
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For an english report, I was asked to write a paper on Martin Luther King as the most influential person of the 20th century. I ahve always thought of MLK as a great man. He's amazing to me because of his efforts and his struggles. Until I read Ayn Rand, I had always concidered him a hero, but my views on heros changed. Now I have the conflict of admiring this man who sacrificed his entire life to the sake of mankind, or specifically the black race. Is this supposed to be wrong? I know in many ways it is, but still, I would be graetly disturbed if the Civil Rights Movement had never happened. How does objectivism see that. That was all people working together for a single purpose and succeded, despite the losses. It wasn't violent. It wasn't brought upon by guns or by betrayal of someone's values. It actually created values and moralty. so how is it wrong? I keep struggling with the idea that it can't be. It only resulted in more good. How could that be bad? Are you supposed to pity the racist whites that gave up their form of living, everything they beleived in? No. I don't know...

It's worse because whenever I look up anything on Reverend King, I always find quotes and speeches as those that you would hear Elsworth Toohey, preaching to some vast crowd, and it makes me cringe. Is it wrong for me to idolize him in a way? I've always told myself that if I had lived in those times, I would be fighting with him too. Actually, at least 2 or 3 times a week I feel like sneaking my way into China and raising a riot or some sort of protest to alert the government of their wrong doing. I know this would be foolish of me because I would not be prepared and don't know the methods of carrying out those ideas. Id probably get shot just from daring to say "NO!" but wouldn't it be worth it? I know in a week or maybe less, everyone will forget I was even there, and it will have never made a difference. So is there ever a time when you should sacrifice yourself for a right ideal? If not...then how are things ever supposed to get any better? Things like "moses with the wrath of God behind him" don't happen anymore, if they happened at all. so how is the world supposed to carry on?

I'm constantly unsure of what type of bias to take on in my reasearch paper. I'd appreciate it if someone could express some guidance.

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Insofar as the civil rights movement resulted in a growing cultural awareness of the irrationality and evil of racism, it was a good thing. Insofar as it succeeded in establishing laws against "discrimination," however, it actually was "brought upon by guns or by betrayal of someone's values." The government cannot force people to hold the right ideas, and to the extent it tries it must fail. "Morality ends where a gun begins." A mind cannot be forced. To try to do so is the ultimate evil.

As to your wider question about sacrificing yourself for an ideal: if you contribute positively toward an ideal which you value, then that isn't a sacrifice, is it? If it's a sacrifice, then you must not hold that "ideal" as much of a value. Or if you do, and it's a sacrifice because you are unable to actually achieve any advancement toward it by your efforts, then what's the point?

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You can admire/like the things that people do, or the way people did things-without admiring their reasoning behind it, or the philosophy behind it. For example, I admire many of the martial arts for being a very rational use of the body as a fighting force (in the sense of using ever muscle, judging every position, responding, etc.). However, the philosophy behind most of it goes against my own beliefs. That's why I can take the tools and modify them to my philosophy-or admire the tools without the philosophy.

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  • 5 years later...

*** Mod's note: Merged with an earlier topic. sN ***

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."-MLK

/palmface

Edited by softwareNerd
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"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."-MLK

/palmface

Why stop there in your tribute?

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. "

or

"good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism."

or

"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"

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Why stop there in your tribute?

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. "

or

"good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism."

or

"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"

How awful :|

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Just for the benefit of this thread.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." - What's the point of living, if your long-term goals are to benefit everyone else at the expense of your own life?

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. " - Military defense is necessary to protect this country from people who want to destroy it. Military defense is to protect our rights. Social uplift is not a protection of rights.

"good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism." - How is it that a guy who wanted minorities to have equal rights would seriously preach about democracy?

"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" - Au contraire, the people are considered most important in the situation that MLK is describing. Property rights satisfy the importance of people.

Well, I guess Martin Luther King can't be perfect

Edited by Black Wolf
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If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, "Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."— Martin Luther King, Jr
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I am aware that there are many who wince at a distinction between property and persons--who hold both sacrosanct. My

views are not so rigid. A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and

respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.

<_<

but then...

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to

choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road

of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.

(w00t)

but then...

We must honestly admit that capitalism has often left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged small hearted men to become cold and conscienceless so that, like Dives before Lazarus, they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken humanity. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-centered.

:dough:

Holding conflicting and contradictory views simultaneously - do we just call him an opportunist and move on?

Edited by brian0918
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Do we remember Aristotle for his approval of Slavery?

Do we remember Thomas Jefferson as a slave holder?

Currently? Yes.

Properly? Maybe not. An accurate memory that takes into consideration his Marxist proclivities as well as his actions to stem civil rights abuses in the US, weighted appropriately, is probably the best approach.

If only they would pay Jefferson that same respect...

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Notice that MLK doesn't go into specifics when he has a "good" quote. This is what the "libertarian socialist" or "democratic socialist" believes: that man should be free to do what he wishes as long as he isn't "greedy" and that "greed" should be regulated by the government. They think that what they deem to be "excess" is the reason for all ills in the world. Much like the "gray" area that somehow happily allows the combination of individualism and collectivism. George Orwell is the same kind of paradox.

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:thumbsup:

No, definitely Sowell.

I like Sowell immensely, but he also represents the dangerous ideology of conservatism. He wrote a book called Conflict of Visions, which I haven't read, though I have read reviews. It seems he puts forward his preferred of two visions: that of a Constrained Man. That man is fundamentally flawed and conservatives and libertarians are the more correct because their governments limit the use of force and limit government power. His other 'vision' is that he attributes to the left: the Unconstrained Man. That is, optimistic humanism leads to collectivist disasters. It seems like he advocates many good practical points (from the reviews), but his base philosophy is bad.

This is why Objectivists can't be 'conservative'. Conservatism is fundamentally skeptical of man and his goodness. The result is what might be considered an economically liberal/socially conservative government. Government is to be limited, but only after it sufficiently limits individuals. Not a good thing.

Conservativism is something I prefer to leftism, the former acknowledge absolutes, the latter none. It's just that conservatism's absolutes use supernatural inconsistent contexts derived from ancient leftism. What can you do?

Please correct me if I'm mistaken, about Sowell, though.

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I like Sowell immensely, but he also represents the dangerous ideology of conservatism. He wrote a book called Conflict of Visions, which I haven't read, though I have read reviews. It seems he puts forward his preferred of two visions: that of a Constrained Man. That man is fundamentally flawed and conservatives and libertarians are the more correct because their governments limit the use of force and limit government power. His other 'vision' is that he attributes to the left: the Unconstrained Man. That is, optimistic humanism leads to collectivist disasters. It seems like he advocates many good practical points (from the reviews), but his base philosophy is bad.

This is why Objectivists can't be 'conservative'. Conservatism is fundamentally skeptical of man and his goodness. The result is what might be considered an economically liberal/socially conservative government. Government is to be limited, but only after it sufficiently limits individuals. Not a good thing.

Conservativism is something I prefer to leftism, the former acknowledge absolutes, the latter none. It's just that conservatism's absolutes use supernatural inconsistent contexts derived from ancient leftism. What can you do?

Please correct me if I'm mistaken, about Sowell, though.

In other words: Liberals believe that the government should enslave everyone. Conservatives believe we can enslave ourselves just fine.

Of course, keep in mind that optimistic secular humanism is different from Objectivism. OSH holds that you don't need religion to help out your fellow man. Objectivism holds that it shouldn't be a priority. I can see how OSH leads to collectivist disasters.

Edited by Black Wolf
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  • 11 months later...

*** Mod's note: Merged with an earlier topic. sN ***

Martin Luther King was anti-Western, anti-American, anti-freedom, pro-socialism, pro-sacrifice, and pro-"god". He was an adulterer, plagiarist, arch-hypocrite, and general lowlife. And, oh yes, he was a stunning RACIST. Why is HELL does irrational, illiberal, self-hating, self-destroying America have a holiday dedicated to him? On, yeah. :(

Edited by softwareNerd
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*** Mod's note: Merged with an earlier topic. sN ***

Martin Luther King was anti-Western, anti-American, anti-freedom, pro-socialism, pro-sacrifice, and pro-"god". He was an adulterer, plagiarist, arch-hypocrite, and general lowlife. And, oh yes, he was a stunning RACIST. Why is HELL does irrational, illiberal, self-hating, self-destroying America have a holiday dedicated to him? On, yeah. :(

Wow

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The earlier (negative) quotes from MLK are not the ones for which he is remembered and celebrated. From the "I Have a Dream" speech:

"In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

"So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

"We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone."

And of course:

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today."

--Dan Edge

Edited by dan_edge
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