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The legacy of MLK is tied to the free market

Martin Luther King, Jr.

At this time of year, we observe the strides that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made to ensure that civil rights in this country is equally applied to all citizens, regardless of skin color, nationality, ethnicity, and more.

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,” Dr. King declared in his famous “I have a dream” speech. “Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”

Dr. King’s message has been dictated and skewed to drive a plethora of ideas to effect the country, socially and politically, years after his death. Nevertheless, his message is a mantra for the modern civil rights movement and civil libertarians; but, sadly it is distorted in attempts to justify radical racist behavior driving a stake, ever so deeper, into our country’s fabric. Aside from this, though, many people do not recognize the fringed sentiment that Dr. King’s message can be considered one that is of free markets and general freedom.

Though some believe he was Marxist and was ardently opposed to capitalism, his message can be applied, in the philosophical sense, to how his message had the same end goal as many conservatives and libertarians (even some liberals) seek: freedom to live respected lives in the eyes of God, without opposition, in a free market society.

Despite his views economic views, Dr. King was a devout social conservative and was not afraid to show it either. In fact, many of his acts served to urge for whites and blacks to love and forgive and move forward. Many of his stances also favored an exemplification of natural and eternal law as a foregoing variation to how the human law has ruled the world for centuries prior.

Intellectual Takeout points out that Dr. King maintained a common thread with western philosophy, not recounting his views on command and control social and economic structures. According to the site, he “evokes the more recent philosophical tradition of personalism: the belief that ultimate reality is personal,” and that “segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.” A perspective on the world such as this was viewed as counter thought to those who carried on his message and sent it into their view of the intended action.

Regardless, though, the free market connections are found in how natural and eternal laws over a free market prompt the growth of an economic environment that was built on the capability to concentrate reason and sound judgment making on the minutia of the production and distribution of goods. This stems to the conclusion that the free market economy is non-discriminatory and views every person in the economy via competition and personal individualism.

Dr. King alluded to this in his Letter From Birmingham Jail:

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.

And that continuous struggle is to fight for economic independence from the government, regardless of race. True freedom can only be found in one’s own self.

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