Ron Paul voted against the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Libertarians frequently claim that this was an embarrassing moment of Paul’s career. But Ron Paul is right, and libertarians who condemn him for this vote demonstrate their dedication to egalitarianism over liberty.
On this day, universities, businesses, and other industries have closed their doors to celebrate the life of MLK. Martin Luther King, Jr., however, was no freedom fighter. He did not believe in equal rights. He did not support the free market. The reverend didn’t even believe in true peace, nevertheless, no matter what his rhetoric implied. Despite the calls to celebrate the false god that is MLK, libertarians must remember the real Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Was An Anti-Capitalist
Not only did King surround himself with communist advisors, he also seemed to hold anti-capitalist sentiments regardless of the narrative of the free market advocates who admire MLK. In a 1966 speech, King explicitly said “Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong…with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism.” Perhaps an even more ridiculous reason King condemned capitalism was that “two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with water, but we still must pay for it.” Martin Luther King, Jr. was a socialist, and ought to be rejected on these grounds alone.
Of course, King had a vehement opposition to the Vietnam War, which is proper. His opposition, however, was due to all the wrong reasons. King claimed that Ho Chi Minh ought to be the ruler of all of Vietnam, thereby rejecting the right of market-oriented South Vietnam to secede from the oppressive North. Ho Chi Minh, whom King admired so much, killed 2 million of his own people.
One can try to discredit this and claim MLK was taking a non-interventionist stand, but he wasn’t. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a dedicated globalist. MLK specifically endorsed fighting injustice throughout the globe. He believed that the perspective of the Civil Rights movement must be a global one. He was no libertarian, neither economically nor politically.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Did Not Support Equal Rights
In fact, MLK believed in giving black people special privileges. He said that “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis” in his book Where We Go From Here. King also explicitly endorsed hiring quotas in a 1968 interview with Playboy (I must wonder why a Christian Reverend is choosing to do an interview with a porn magazine). King even went beyond the modern calls for reparations.
No matter how often people claim King is a good libertarian, he supported the idea that white people owed black people for “unpaid wages.” King was fully willing to force people to pay for crimes which they did not commit. So not only was MLK not a libertarian in terms of politics or economics, he was no civil libertarian, whereas he believed groups can bear the guilt of the crimes committed by individuals.
MLK Was A Fake Academic and A Plagiarist
To plagiarise, or to represent someone else’s ideas as your own, is a form of fraud. Martin Luther King, Jr. committed fraud in his doctoral dissertation. In fact, nearly half of King’s (I refuse to call him “Dr. King”) doctoral dissertation was plagiarized. But it goes even beyond that. MLK plagiarized for some of his most famous works, even his “I Have A Dream” speech. For a full list of controversies pertaining to MLK’s blatant academic dishonesty, see here.
Malcolm X: A Better Freedom Fighter
Malcolm X was everything King was not, intuitive, independent, and genuine. Although he certainly had his issues (he, too, spoke out against capitalism), Malcolm X realized that black people shouldn’t rely on white people to give them freedom or prosperity. Rather, Malcolm X knew that black people have to rise up and free themselves. Malcolm X was instrumental in establishing “Black is Beautiful,” a group dedicated to promoting black independence. He also promoted businesses and entrepreneurship (which inclines me to believe he misunderstood what capitalism actually is). In fact, Malcolm X praised the market for its empowering abilities in By Any Means Necessary. Malcolm X was great, and he didn’t need a white man to help him be great. Malcolm X is the civil rights hero who was inclined to liberty.Martin Luther King, Jr. is no hero, and libertarians ought to value Malcolm X instead of the globalist socialist fraud that is MLK.