It is MLK day, so let us remember King and his fight for freedom and peace. King fought against racism and segregation — which was mandated by government (they were Jim Crow laws, after all.) MLK used the direct action of civil disobedience in the fight against unjust laws. Through he had some unfortunate economic views, he was against U.S. empire and wars of aggression, even saying (one year to the day before being assassinated), “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” is “my own government.”
Just this past week, someone at the Pentagon had the audacity to say that he thinks King would support the U.S. war and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan — but it is hard to think of someone who would be more against it!
I believe libertarianism is the logical conclusion of the non-violence supported by King. In the words of Walter Block, “The non-aggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another.” It sounds like Professor Cornel West may be sympathetic to this argument; he at least knows that Obama and his policies are not in line with King.
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.