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A Few Words of Advice About Technology from Martin Luther King Jr.

Illustration for article titled A Few Words of Advice About Technology from Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. And I confess, I was caught up, selfishly wondering if I got the day off. I seemed to forget the holiday's message and what that great man stood for. Here's a reminder:

In his 1964 Nobel Lecture at Oslo, Norway, Martin Luther King Jr reminded us to not let our "moral progress" fall behind our progress in science and technology. He said:

Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.

...

This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem confronting modern man. If we are to survive today, our moral and spiritual "lag" must be eliminated. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the "without" of man's nature subjugates the "within", dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.

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If he was still alive today, he'd be 82. A great man with words that hit near home. [Nobel Prize via Wired]

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DISCUSSION

BigManMalone
BigManMalone

Time to come off as an iconoclast.

This may be shocking to some people, and in fact I know it will be shocking to some people, but Martin Luther King Jr. was evil, and that is not hyperbole.

Just to get this out of the way, his fight against government segregation was a totally legitimate and morally praiseworthy fight. However, almost everything else he stood for, both concretely and philosophically, was totally corrupt.

First of all, let us be clear on what kind of "morality" MLK is talking about here. Do not delude yourself into making him a blank page on which to draw your own personal values. King was a socialist, avowedly, and certainly an anti-capitalist. He was pro-slavery at the most basic level, as evidenced by his attacking property rights as immoral.

"We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

That quote is disgusting, but consider what he is actually saying, and what he actually marched for. King is not simply proselytizing leftist and religious anti-capitalist falderal in an attempt to convert you; he wants the government to threaten you with a gun and throw you in jail, something he endured, if you do not agree with him. If you are morally repugnant enough to want to discriminate based on race, King does not just want to change your mind; he wants to steal your property and dictate how you use it. He places needs above rights, which is the primary moral principle underlying Christianity, Socialism, and Communism. What exactly does he mean when he says "people" should take priority over "property rights"? He means slavery. He means that if some people are unhappy, your right to your property must go; you must toil while others reap the benefit of your work, the very definition of slavery.

After all, consider that the event in which King delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech was the also-famous "March on Washington for Freedom." Oh, wait a minute, no it was not. It was actually called the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

Notice the corruption of the word freedom. Freedom means you have individual rights, which consist of freedom from force. What King wanted was self-contradictory. He wanted the government to force the provision of jobs through either outright threats or the expropriation of wealth, and "freedom." Of course, what King really wanted was Orwellian freedom. Freedom is Slavery in the most literal sense for King. You are not free unless you have enslaved another man to provide your needs.

There is of course far more to his horrid beliefs, such as his sickening view of the Vietnam War and his absurd conviction and out-of-context negative appraisal of the idea that the U.S. was the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world" in 1967.

School children have been inculcated for generations with the Trojan Horse idea that he was a great man, and so when they get older they must concede a little bit more and a little bit more to the left and the nihilist egalitarians whenever they bring up MLK. Martin Luther King Jr. was revoltingly anti-American, and it is shameful that a federal holiday was made of him, and even more shameful that he is used, as is Mahatma Gandhi, as a tool by which people get the government to force universal adoration of a freedom-hating icon in order to weaken the position of the freedom-defenders and make them break down in contradiction when they find themselves caught between what they implicitly recognize as the truth and the positive psychological associations for a monster forced on them from childhood.

The only "gap" between our technological progress and morality is the one he served in large part to widen, though, to be fair, he also shortened that gap by legitimizing socialist policies and thereby greatly slowing the technological growth of the United States and the world. Congratulations Dr. King, in the race to catch up to technology, your morality is running the course backwards, but at least it can never get too far behind, because it is dragging the goal post right along with it.