The US celebrates Martin Luther King Day the 3rd Monday of January each year, so our Question today is:
What is your most meaningful Martin Luther King, Jr. quote?
Did it change your internal world?
As OM noted, while King fought for racial equality, he was sexist.
So in so far as he was prepared to stand against tyranny and violence, I admire much of what he did.
And his belief system was based in a righteousness that effectively condemned over two thirds of humanity – a belief in and promulgation of a christian god, and in ideas like hell and eternal damnation.
I prefer to accept all individuals as valuable, and worthy of the resources necessary to survive and self actualise as they choose, irrespective of belief structure.
And I acknowledge the reality that some cultural and belief forms are more dangerous in some circumstances than others, and that sometimes the needs of the many require constraints on the freedoms of the few – and only in cases where there is high confidence of direct threat to life and or liberty.
So in so far as King was captured by a meme set that actively discouraged individuals from questioning everything, and encouraged acceptance of certain revealed “Truth”, and he promoted such a way of thinking, he occurs to me as a danger to liberty (where if liberty has any real meaning, it must involve the freedom to question anything).
It is difficult being a champion for life and liberty, when most people come from cultures that actively devalue both life and liberty, preferring instead to value some mythical “life after death” over life here and now.
It seems that I can see clearly the systemic incentive structures that allow and encourage the continuance of such systems, and at the same time it is also clear that they are antithetical to the notion of freedom.
It poses an extremely difficult and complex set of problems, when one attempts to optimise systems for both life and liberty.
How many levels?
How much risk is one willing to tolerate?
Where does one place boundaries, and how flexible or permeable does one make such boundaries?
Have spent most of the last few days in deep exploration of systems of economic thought, stochastic systems that do not deliver Nash equilibria, and biologically inspired cooperative game strategies with multidimensional recursive immune systems defending against cheating strategies. All of that in a context of a universe that is a stochastic rather than deterministic, and only approximates determinism in large collections.
Applaud King’s pursuit of freedom and justice at the level of the individual within the context of race, but his acceptance of control and injustice at other levels, and his foundation in ideas so antithetical to true questioning, leaves him somewhat lower down in my overall rankings than many others.