Jim Douglass: King’s Global, Nonviolent Vision (Part 8)

The most important book for any American to read is JFK and the Unspeakable: Who Killed Him and Why it Matters by James D. Douglass.

Douglass’ investigation into the secret papers finally released during the Clinton era begin to uncover a deadly “family pattern” of behavior in the highest levels of political power. Now, Douglass has written an important article for Tikkun magazine that looks at how the pattern is being repeated again between President Obama, Gen. Petraeus, and Afghanistan.

Below is Part 8: King’s Global, Nonviolent Vision

Martin Luther King Jr. said in his last testament, Trumpet of Conscience, a little book published after his death: “Can a nonviolent, direct-action movement find application on the international level, to confront economic and political problems? I believe it can. It is clear to me that the next stage of the movement is to become international.”

King envisioned an international movement of massive, nonviolent civil disobedience, bringing the business of London, Paris, Washington, and Ottawa to a halt until such centers of autocracy addressed the real questions of democracy. He said we needed to shut down our marketplaces by nonviolent action until business as usual was opened up to the needs of us all, beginning with the poorest, most exploited people on earth. The way our greatest prophet addressed the military-industrial complex was to think and act beyond it.

That is why he planned the Poor People’s Campaign for Washington. He was initiating it in Memphis in April 1968, supporting the sanitation workers’ strike there, when he was shot to death. He wanted all those who had nothing to lose to come together in D.C. that spring and summer — however long it would take — to shut down the government by nonviolent resistance until it agreed to shut down poverty and war. Martin Luther King Jr. was saying that Washington and Wall Street did not have the final say. There was — and is — a world out there, from the heartland of the USA to the heartbeat of the Congo, from those suffering in Appalachia to those struggling in the Amazon. If we are willing to struggle, suffer, and die together nonviolently, anything is possible for our world. King’s global, nonviolent vision is waiting to be realized if we’re willing to carry it out, paying the price just as he did.

King, like the prophets before him, knew the towering powers that overwhelm us when we think small, are themselves small-time. He reminded us that our Pentagon generals and Wall Street barons are not in ultimate charge of reality any more than we as individuals are. “The arc of the universe,” he said, “bends toward justice.”

So let’s not give up on our brother, Barack Obama, or on ourselves. And let’s not give up on our brothers and sisters in the Pentagon and on Wall Street. Nonviolence is the most powerful force in existence. We can all become part of its movement.–James Douglass, from JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable

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