Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Wisdom

Yawn....Check out the King Papers, his Autobiography, etc. And there are NUMEROUS King scholars who all confirm from his private writings, letters to Coretta, diaries, address at the SCLC Frogmore conference, etc--his commitment to democratic socialism. Assdurratin is unbelievably dense. He claims to be an Nkrumahist but is unawre of Nkrumah's Marxism. He managed to read (or so he tell us) CLASS STRUGGLE IN AFRICA and even CONSCIENCISM without noticing Nkrumah's Marxism. In one thread Assdurratin demanded show me a quote where Nkrumah says "I am a Marxist". Yet Nkrumah was even more public with his Marxism than was King with his democratic socialism. Notice that King articulate his socialist convictions in private letters to Coretta, in student diaries, in communications with his closest colleagues, in private meetings of SCLC staff. Among King scholars his democratic socialism has virtually ceased to be a debatable issue. Thomas F. Jackson, Lewis Baldwin, Taylor Branch, Rufus Burrows, Ira Zepp, John Ansbro, Clayborne Carson, and innumerable others pretty much confirm King's commitment to socialism and democracy. It is not what Marxists since Engels have called "scientific socialiasm." (Engels would have considered King a "utopian socialist"). Socialism for King is a moral commitment, and ethical ideal philosophically grounded in Personalism (his foundational philosophical position), Social Gospel theology, and his progressive Christian ethical convictions. He is not a socialist theoretician any more than were Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, Archbishop Oscar Romero (Salvdoran revolutionary Christian socialist) and possibly Gandhi.



King was a Kantian, but didn't say so. At least I've not come across any words of his to that effect. How do I know about King's Kantianism? Easy. I'm familiar with Immanuel Kant. And I've seen King used Kantian moral arguments (whose origins in THE FOUDATIONS OF THE METAPHYSICS OF MORALS any undergrad philosophy student would recognize). And I am aware of the heavy influence of Kant in Personalism, King's fundamental philosophical position. I am aware of the presence of existentialism in King as well. I was able to perceive this in his talk about the nature of freedom even before reading comments by King himself which mentioned his study of Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Sartre and others. How? I've read King and am familiar with that philosophical tendency. My UNDERGRAD students often figure this out, and without my having to point it out. I've 19 and 20 year old students who are brighter than Assdurratin! LOL! In the case of King's democratic socialism, his own comments about socialism reveal this. And some of his comments are fairly upfront about it. He certainly wasn't trying to hide it from his then fiancée Coretta Scott--herself also a socialist--as is revealed by some of their letters to each other. Then there is the whole historical context which Thomas F. Jackson, an historian, points out in FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR AND THE STRUGGLE FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE. Folk should at least read the Introduction and Chapter 1 ("Pilgrimage to Christian Socialism") in Jackson's book. I mean, there does come a point where Assdurratin's childish, anti-intellectual rants and ankle biting rhetoric do become tiresome. If he wants to debate he should read the literature.



 Concerning CLASS More attention should be put on King's thinking regarding issues f lass as well as race, especially since he saw them as being intertwined. Intrestngy eough, he always notices that the backbone of the Movement was the Black poor, both the rural proletriat in te South and the urban Black proletariat in the North. When he arrived in Birmingham it was members of the Black bourgeoisie who tried to get him to abandon the campaign before it even began.


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