Martin Luther King was a Democratic Socialist
Let’s remember that sometimes those who are considered dangerous today, are the heroes tomorrow.
On this sacred day, let us not forget that Martin Luther King wasn’t just “a civil rights leader.” He was everyone’s champion, especially the working class.
MLK was assassinated while he was visiting Memphis in support of the city’s striking sanitation workers who had been underpaid and mistreated for decades (two workers died earlier that year from unsafe working conditions).
MLK was also a democratic socialist. This is why American conservatives and the establishment considered him so “dangerous.”
Indeed, on his day, within his own country, Rev. MLK was widely considered to be a troublemaker. He was harassed by the FBI and vilified in the media. The establishment’s campaign to denigrate him proved effective. While was increasingly active in northern cities to address poverty, slums, housing segregation, and bank lending discrimination – a national poll conducted in they year of his murder (1968) found that 63 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of King.
Let’s remember that sometimes those who are considered dangerous today, are the heroes tomorrow:
“We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor.” SOURCE
“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all.” SOURCE
“If we are going to achieve a real equality, the U.S. will have to adopt a modified form of socialism.” SOURCE
“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” SOURCE
“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.” SOURCE
“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.” SOURCE
“[W]e are saying that something is wrong … with capitalism…. There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” SOURCE
“And one day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth.’ When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society…” SOURCE
“In a sense, you could say we’re involved in the class struggle.” SOURCE
“Only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.” SOURCE
― Martin Luther King, Jr.
He was an amazing man … he was an amazing preacher … he was a hero. He was also a solid Christian. He was not an economist, but neither am I. We honor him today for his work.