On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re sharing encore episodes on the radical politics of Martin Luther King Jr., the limits of the liberal state and an article by Bob Buzzanco on the commodification of King by virtually everyone.
Worth checking out!
1.) Here’s the first one from April 4th, 2020, the 52nd anniversary of his assassination.: MLK’s Radicalism and the Limits of the Liberal State.
In this episode, Bob and Scott get into the politics of Martin Luther King and how he’s WAY more radical than most people realize.
Today, everyone from the Libertarian Party to the anti-abortion movement to tech companies in Silicon Valley trying to sell you their ideology or latest gadgets by claiming his legacy. In truth, MLK fought and opposed “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism (i.e. capitalism), and militarism” until the end of his life. While many look at the surface levels of MLK’s politics and legacy, Green and Red goes deep into the real substance of who he was.
2.) Here’s the second one from January 18th, 2021: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Radical, Democratic Socialist, and Opponent of State Violence.
In it, we talk about the radical politics of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We discuss King’s democratic socialist beliefs, his stance against the war in Vietnam, the campaigns he worked on, –including the 1968 Olympic Boycott and the Poor People’s Campaign–, and his thoughts on property destruction.
3.) The sanitization of King continues as liberals continue to shred his legacy to make him “safe.” Buzzanco takes this on in his 2017 piece in Afflict the Comfortable. Titled “MLK for Sale? How to Package a Radical,” Buzzanco discuss how conservatives and liberals ignore so much of King’s ideology and political action. He held radical views on American politics and economics, and believed in “militant” activism, but Martin Luther King Day has become an opportunity for virtually anyone to co-opt and commodify his legacy, including corporations using it to sell their latest products.
Remember and honor Dr. King, just remember his real politic around the opposition to “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism (i.e. capitalism), and militarism.”