January 17, 2003
Martin Luther King and Existential PoliticsAn existential political act, the drive by the Southern Negroes led by Martin Luther King to end segregation in restaurants in Birmingham, an act which is existential precisely because its end is unknown, has succeeded en route in discovering more of the American reality to us.
If a public speaker in a midwestern town were to say, "J. Edgar Hoover has done more harm to the freedoms of America than Joseph Stalin," the act would be existential. Depending on the occasion and the town, he would be manhandled physically or secretly applauded, but he would create a new reality which would displace the old psychological reality that such a remark could not be made, even as for example the old Southern psychological reality that you couldn't get two Negroes to do anything together, let alone 2,000 has now been destroyed by a new and more accurate psychological reality: you can get 2,000 negroes to work in cooperation. The new psychological realities are closer to history and so closer to sanity and they exist because, and only because, the event has taken place...
"The Existential Hero"
When Martin Luther King stood up for a woman who refused to move to the back of the bus because she was Black in the deep south, who would have thought it would have led to a broad social change in America?
King's act was existential because the outcome could not be known ahead of time, and yet in throwing himself into the existential void he created a new situation that did not exist before his leap of faith. This is existential politics. This is how each of us must act to help to prevent the cataclysmic events being brought closer to us day by day by the cabal of lunatics currently in charge of the US government.
This is why we must all honor Martin Luther King's birthday with an act that will help bring the world closer to peace and to sanity.
We are not powerless. History has shown us that. The future is in our hands if we take action. If we sit in front of our televisions and absorb the phony reality we are injected with, then that will be the reality we create. It is our choice.
Tomorrow in honor of King's birthday and what he stood for thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions will make their statements against the insane war machine headed by George W. Bush, and against the suicidal march toward global armageddon that group is intent on leading.
Marching for peace is not an act of futility. Don't be fooled. There are many who sit back in frustration, who turn away from the depressing reports of world events and draw back into themselves. But there is nowhere to hide anymore. There is nowhere to take refuge. Even if you seek the mental oblivion of media entertainment and brainwashing, you will still be in the real world and you will still be subject to danger.
If you participate tomorrow in action for peace, you will be in good company. You will meet many others who feel as you do that something must be done, that the nation has been hijacked by a gang of war-crazed lunatics and they must be stopped. You will experience the immediate gratification of seeing in the flesh thousands of your peers who are hidden from you when you stay within the reality created by the corporate media propaganda machines.
Wake up! Take action! Take to the streets for peace, for a sane future, for a peaceful and healthy planet for our children!
Celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday with an act of peace.