Martin Luther King Jr and Democratic Socialism by jgd21090


									DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING                     Socialist
“I am now con-
                                           Party USA
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vinced that the                            New York, NY 10012
simplest approach                          Phone/Fax: (212) 982-4586
will prove the most                        Web:
effective — the
solution to poverty                                 I want to know more about the
is to abolish it                                    Socialist Party USA; please add me to
directly by a now                                   your mailing list
widely discussed
measure: the                                        Enclosed is $6 for a year’s subscription
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guaranteed income.”
                                                    I want to join the Socialist Party
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“The dispossessed of this country —                 USA; please send me a membership           TO JOBS,
the poor, the white and Negro — live                application
in a cruelly unjust society. they must                                                         PEACE AND
                                           Name: __________________________
organize a revolution against that                                                             FREEDOM...
injustice, not against the lives of the    Address: _________________________
persons who are their fellow citizens,
but against the structures through
which society is refusing to take
                                           _________________________________                     DEMOCRATIC
                                           City: ____________________________
means which have been called for,
and which are at hand, to lift the load    State/Zip: ________________________
of poverty.”
                                           Phone: __________________________
                                                                                               “We must rapidly begin the shift from
“[He] is deprived of normal education
                                           E-Mail: __________________________                     a ‘thing’-oriented society to a “per-
and normal social and economic
                                                                                               son”-oriented society. When machines
opportunities. When he seeks oppor-
                                                                                                   and computers, profit motives and
tunities, he is told, in effect, to lift
                                                       Local Contact:                            property rights, are considered more
himself up by his own bootstraps,
                                                                                                     important than people, the giant
advice which does not take into
                                                                                                  triplets of racism, materialism and
account the fact that he is barefoot.”
                                                                                                    militarism are incapable of being

        A Socialist Party USA Pamphlet
RECOGNIZING THE CONNECTIONS                     pouring of fellowship and brotherly co-        capitalism. We now realize the important
    Martin Luther King Jr. recognized           operation for a world of freedom and           need for black leadership within the
that war, racism, and poverty all have          equality, a little Negro boy listened at the   black community while also working to
roots in the economic system of capital-        Washington Monument to an eloquent             build a multi-racial movement for peace
ism. This system — where the few who            orator. Turning to his father, he asked:       and social justice.
have the most wealth make the eco-              ‘Who is that man?’ Came the inevitable
nomic decisions — would have to be re-          answer: ‘That’s Norman Thomas; he was          THE ROAD TO DEMOCRACY
placed by a more democratic political           with us before any other white folks                Dr. King recognized the need for elec-
framework. He was also aware of the in-         were.’”                                        toral activity independent from the Re-
tertwined history of Socialism and the                                                         publican and Democratic parties. The
civil rights movement.                          SOCIALIST CONTRIBUTIONS                        possibility of an anti-war Peace and Free-
    In 1965, Dr. King wrote an article for          King realized the contribution the         dom presidential ticket, with King for
Pageant magazine entitled, “The Bravest         Socialist Party has made to black              president and peace activist Benjamin
Man I Ever Knew,” a tribute to Socialist        struggles over the years.                      Spock for vice-president, was aborted in
Party (SP) leader, Norman Thomas. King                                                         1968 when King was tragically felled by
lauded Thomas’s contributions in the            I In 1910, SP members were prime               an assassin’s bullet.
field of peace, civil rights, and social jus-     movers in the NAACP.                              What would a King presidency have
tice.                                           I During the Depression, Socialists            been like? We know he would have
    “During our historic March on Wash-           were active in founding the multi-           worked hard to create “a world where
ington in the summer of 1963,” King               racial Tenant-Farmers Union, at a            black and white, Jews and Gentiles, Prot-
wrote, “when 250,000 Negro and white              time when multi-racial organizations         estants and Catholics, will be able to join
Americans joined together in an out-              were unheard of in the South.                hands” to create a society based on free-
                                                I SP member A. Phillip Randolph                dom and justice.
                                                  scheduled the first Civil Rights                  Beyond that, Dr. King would have
                                                  March on Washington 20 years ear-            fought to revolutionize our economic sys-
                                                  lier. The march was called off only          tem. “If we are to achieve a real equal-
                                                  after the federal government made            ity,” King wrote from the Selma, Ala-
                                                  concessions in its segregation poli-         bama jail in 1965, “the U.S. will have to
                                                  cies.                                        adopt a modified form of socialism.” King
                                                I Activists like SP member Walter              knew that political democracy is hollow
                                                  Bermann risked their lives on the            without economic democracy.
                                                  early Freedom Rides.
                                                                                                   THE SOCIALIST PARTY USA       IS POISED
                                                This is not to say that the SP has, or had,    TO DEMOCRATICALLY TRANSFORM OUR SOCI-
                                                all the answers to racism. Early on, we        ETY INTO THE KIND OF WORLD    DR. KING EN-
                                                often failed to address racism as a sepa-      VISIONED.   WE   ASK YOU TO JOIN WITH US TO
                                                rate issue connected to, but distinct from,    INSURE THAT THE DREAM DOES NOT DIE.

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