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MLK, from our side of the border

16 January 2023

David Brooks, in today’s Jornada:

This Monday is a holiday in the United States honoring the prophet, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr,, who warned that “we have to carry out a radical revolution of values. We have to quickly start the shift from a thing-oriented society to a people-oriented society. When machines and computers, the motive of profit and property rights, are considered more important than people, the gigantic triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism cannot be conquered…”

In his great speech, “Beyond Vietnam” (April 1967), he stated that it was impossible for him to repeat his message of non-violence in his country “without first having spoken clearly about the greatest purveyor of violence in the world… my own government.” He rebuked the American arrogance in which “we feel we have everything to teach other nations and nothing to learn from them… We often feel arrogantly that we have a divine, messianic mission to police the whole world… We are arrogant in pretending to be concerned about freedom in other nations without first putting our own house in order.” He warned that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on social betterment programs is approaching spiritual death.”

In this and other speeches in the last two years of his life, King repeated that “the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all linked. They are the interrelated triple evil.” Today, the United States has just passed a military budget of $858 billion, and by far the largest military spending of any country in the world (approximately 40 percent of global military spending), more than the next nine countries in the world. higher military spending combined.

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