Martin Luther King Jr.'s message to Occupy Wall Street

If Martin Luther King Jr. was here today, what would he say to all who support the Occupy Wall Street movement? What specific goal would he want us to focus on the most? Among the many ideas for economic justice and equality, there is one specific solution that MLK strongly supported. Referred to in different ways, this idea has often been called the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), an income unconditionally given to all on an individual basis, ensuring that every citizen has access to life's basic needs. Today's extreme form of capitalism requires that most people have to work so that they can merely survive. Such a system means that more and more jobs have to be created, even if those jobs have a negative impact on humanity and our planet as a whole. Furthermore, with the advancement of technology, more and more jobs are becoming automated, thus decreasing the amount of work available for people. Considering the urgency of this moment, with so many people living in poverty, I am convinced that MLK would encourage us all to speedily pursue the creation of the Basic Income Guarantee. Here are some of his quotes supporting this idea:

"The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. "

"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both."

"We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished."

"A host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement."

"There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum – and livable – income for every American family. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty."

"We have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society. We are still called upon to give aid to the beggar who finds himself in misery and agony on life's highway. But one day, we must ask the question of whether an edifice which produces beggars must not be restructured and refurbished."

"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?"

Indeed, if MLK was here today, he would inspire us to seek an inner evolution of our awareness, so that we are more able to compassionately create an outer evolution; a world free of poverty and other destructive cycles. He would say again:

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

I am deeply thankful for the wisdom he shared, and his determination to help our human family reach it's greatest potential. If you resonate with the message here, please share it far and wide.

In Unity and Oneness,

Views: 1738

Comment by Edward Biagiotti on December 4, 2011 at 7:36pm

I love it.  Thanks for bringing this forward at this time...  Blessings to you and to MLK!

Comment by Robert Simms, Jr. on December 4, 2011 at 9:48pm
It is inspiring and heartwarming to read Martin Luther King, Junior's ideas about a healthy and just society. We have the tools, now, and certainly the resources; we also have the means to dispense and allocate those resources. Our voices are crying out, to President Obama and to our elected officials, through the Occupy movement, to create a healthy, sustainable, and fair society. Unfortunately, some of our elected officials were elected by the corporations that cannot fathom change, but our President has the vision and the ability to set us on a path for a better American future. It's a future that we can share with others, tailored to the cultural, linguistic, and economic needs of people, and founded on the core beliefs of education, health for people and the planet, and compassion. President Obama, we need you now, more than ever.
Comment by David Ramey-LaRieve on December 4, 2011 at 9:59pm

I just saw the post. . . Thanks Yaron, you have picked out some important sayings to both OWS and the Freedom Movement of MLK's day. I was Jr HI when Dr. King started the Freedom Rights Movement, though the importance of what he said than still as pertinent today. The world lost a great man at his passing. Blessings to you and to Martin Luther King.

Peace, Love and Light - David

Comment by jahsun on December 4, 2011 at 10:16pm
“America has had no greater patriot, prophet and friend than it had in Martin Luther King Jr. Would that every nation could give birth to the same.....

Comment by JimE on December 5, 2011 at 12:30am

If MLK saw the Occupy Wall Street movement today he would be very happy and elated . His message would be the same, as OWS supports , equality, justice and a livable wage for one's labor . Education, health care for all like all other countries, are necessary government duties to build and maintain a sustainable country that works for the people . With today's economic / jobs crises, and millions losing their homes to banks that created the crises and were saved by our taxes , No jobs now and none in the forseable future . From 2002 - 2007 job creation was at its lowest since the first depression .Washington wants to cut our safety net programs, Social Security, Medicare when people need it most , and give more tax breaks to the super wealthy and not tax corporate entities that are sitting on trillions of dollars . They keep wars going only to insure profits for the military Industrial Complex .Tax subsidies to the oil and nuclear energy industry . Still no safe solar, wind energy projects ? Big pharma companies have made drug price negotiations illegal, and students are in debt from college cost, than cannot find a job . The middle class jobs are out sourced and these multi global corporations have had record years in profits and they refuse to pay workers a liveable wage . No incentive to do a good job, which every one works at doing . Incenticize the workers if the company makes a profit, reward the workers ,for its the workers labor that made the capital , not the capital that made the labor . That is just and fair , and does not create a lower class person on a fictional , morally wrong belief . 

I have one question for the 99 %, What took you so long ? No answer needed lets fix the country .

! - Abolish corporate personhood, a corporation is not a person, and money is not free speech under the first amendment.

Move to amend the constitution to only give rights to real persons .

This will get "We The People" our rights that was the intent of the constitution , and it will legalize democracy .

Support OWS  & Move To Amend .org




Comment by Linda Slasberg on December 5, 2011 at 9:00am

These words of Martin Luther King Jr are, as usual prophetic and true.

Thank you

Comment by Kristen Hartnagel on December 5, 2011 at 2:56pm

Thank you for bringing these comments back into our awareness! Very helpful for the Occupy Movement too!

Comment by Kristen Hartnagel on December 5, 2011 at 3:18pm

If you haven't seen this yet - it's worth passing on Dennis Kucinich -The Kucinich report:

The Fed Grants $7.77 Trillion in Secret Bank Loan - Now Do You Understand Occupy Wall Street?

Comment by garreau martine on January 16, 2012 at 5:47pm

hello je vous embrasse one love

Comment by JimE on January 16, 2012 at 8:44pm

Thanks for the present quote of the moment, I'm catching up to MLK's incredible speeches, writings . Really good stuff !


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‎"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?"
~Martin Luther King, Jr.



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