Martin Luther King, socialist: "capitalism has outlived its usefulness"


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☭ Sup Marxists? ☭

Blimey, its a wonder nobody shot him!


As a parent, yea the story is sanitized. In our schools it’s almost to the point of “chopped down a cherry tree, had a dream, got shot.”


The best simple definition of Socialism I’ve found is from the NY Call November 1, 1918 and Art Young’s Political Primer: “What is Socialism? It is business operated for public benefit instead of private profit.” That’s very like a B corporation, now chartered in a few states, a benefit corporation whose purpose is not only profit but also public benefit.

Over the years, I’ve taken the opportunity to ask various civil rights leaders from those days if they ever studied Gandhian economics, which I believe is the ultimate end of Mohandas K’s work. John Lewis, Bob Moses, and others have always answered, “No.”

This failure to look at Gandhi’s approach to a non-violent economic system hampers us still. You can see the outlines of the possibilities in the work of the Grameen Bank and other enterprises like Grameen Shakti in Bangladesh. You can even see it in such incidents as the Market Basket Supermarket job, supplier, and consumer action in the summer of 2014 in New England.

All my notes on my readings in Gandhian economics and my notes on a book about the Market Basket action are at


Early late stage capitalism.

Also, @gmoke worth bearing in mind that there’s lots of socialisms (the B corp, as you note, but also horizontalizmo, anarcho-socialist projects like Mondragon, state socialist projects likes USSR or Cuba), just as there are lots of capitalisms (if you reside in a capitalist country, such as the US, notice that the form of US capitalism today is not quite the same as the US capitalism practiced 50 years ago, a la changes in banking, trading, liability, labor, etc. laws, alongside changes in the wealth gap and in the income gap.) .


It’s always fun to quote MLK’s actual words to that odd group of crazies who sincerely believe that MLK would be a Republican today. So too with Rosa Parks.


That qualifies as the QOTD: “Capitalism has outlived its usefulness”


They don’t sincerely believe much of anything other than some kind of entitlement to tell others what to do. I am pretty sure all but the most brain dead Republican consider such remarks bullshit.

Then again, these are the same people who make claims of “liberal racism” and then proceed with racist rants about how blacks are too ignorant and easily fooled to vote for Conservatives. (Ignoring how conservatives court racists as a matter of course, demonize blacks in semi-coded language, attack their civil liberties, and destroy their economic interests).

So self-awareness and bullshit detection may not really be their thing. So I can definitely be wrong on my initial statement. :slight_smile:


Has anyone here read “Don’t Think of an Elephant” by George Lakoff? I’m in the middle of it, and it seems relevant.


If you can’t beat 'em, co-opt 'em.


Yes, but it’s also frustrating, galling and ultimately infuriating. Just about everything he fought for is fought against by Republicans.

And speaking of actual words from him to hurl back at them:


I always thought someone else wrote his speaches… thanks for the article, even more reasons to like MLK! I have his police mugshot in my bathroom with an awesome Thoreau quote: “Civil disobedience is the foundation of freedom. Those that obey, by definition, must be slaves.”

Idiots don’t understand today… that all the creature comforts we enjoy… were invented by radicals, heretics, revolutionaries, those that fought the ignorant status quo and created things that changed all of our lives for the better. Without radicals we’d still think the world was flat, the universe revolves around the earth, and be driving horses and buggies and taking a crap in a wooden outhouse in the back yard…


Horses and Buggies were pretty radical in their day :wink:


Just make sure you let everyone know that the quote is from 1952. Capitalism didn’t outlive its usefulness this week.


Two quick things because I’m a pedant and the coffee at work this morning is just godamn horrible. 1) minor quote edit above, and 2) is it blase’ to note that his name is/was “Martin Luther King, Jr.”? According to Our Pal Wikipedia:

King's legal name at birth was Michael King, and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son's names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during this time he [King, Sr.] chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther.

None of which I knew about King, Jr., or his father. And when that racist, bigoted, nimrod Donald “Junior Fucktard” Trump calls for excluding muslims from the US, or one of those other conservative imbeciles says we shouldn’t allow [X] refugees into the country, I feel that they are doing nothing more than trampling on the grave of an American icon.


Chariots, always chariots!


Unless you live in Flint Michigan. :slight_smile:


For that matter, despite having grown up singing “This Land Is Your Land,” I didn’t really know anything about Woody Guthrie until I was 15.


Orwell too.


OMG, OMG, OMG, don’t get me started on the right-wing’s Orwellian appropriation of Orwell.