History Worth Noting

Martin Luther King on Marxism:

“This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”

That strikes me as the fundamental dichotomy between individualism and statism.

h/t Instapundit.

3 Responses to “History Worth Noting”

  1. Magus says:

    I was thinking about this subject not 5 minutes before reading this post after reading the D.C. vs Walmart news linked from Say Uncle.

    It’s Locke vs Rousseau.

    Locke: a person is at liberty to do anything according to his will as long as it doesn’t infringe on the equal rights of another.

    Rousseau: a person exists to serve the State and isn’t allowed to do anything without permission from the State.

    Locke: decriminalize marijuana (stop punishing)

    Rousseau: legalize marijuana (give permission)

    Rousseau: when someone says “the Constitution gives me the right to…”

    Locke: the Constitution gives the general Government specific, limited, and enumerated powers and the so-called Bill or Rights is “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” on the limits of Government power.

  2. JK Brown says:

    “First, what is the best the socialists, in their writings, can offer us? What do the most optimistic of them say? That our subsistence will be guaranteed, while we work; that some of us, the best of us, may earn a surplus above what is actually necessary for our subsistence; and that surplus, like a good child, we may “keep to spend.” We may not use it to better our condition, we may not, if a fisherman, buy another boat with it, if a farmer, another field ; we may not invest it, or use it productively ; but we can spend it like the good child, on candy — on something we consume, or waste it, or throw it away.

    “Could not the African slave do as much? In fact, is not this whole position exactly that of the negro slave? He, too, was guaranteed his sustenance; he, too, was allowed to keep and spend the extra money he made by working overtime; but he was not allowed to better his condition, to engage in trade, to invest it, to change his lot in life. Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account. The only difference is that under socialism, I may not be compelled to labor (I don’t even know as to that — socialists differ on the point), actually compelled, by the lash, or any other force than hunger. And the only other difference is that the negro slave was under the orders of one man, while the subject of socialism will be under the orders of a committee of ward heelers. You will say, the slave could not choose his master, but we shall elect the ward politician. So we do now. Will that help much? Suppose the man with a grievance didn’t vote for him?”

    –“Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson