This week in April we will be marching from the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Statue to the Riverside Church in Harlem to hear talks on all of the injustices that Dr. King managed to touch on during his short 39 years. I've dedicated my life to trying to solve the distribution problems of wealth, that he touched on in his Poor People's Campaign.
Just a year before his assassination, at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights…[W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution…In short, we have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.
I'm convinced that he was assassinated for this work.
Regarding human rights whether they be women's rights, LGBT rights, interfaith rights, children's rights, indigenous people's rights, digital rights, or the right to a certain agency over ourselves, my work has been focused on ensuring that individuals can be indemnified for the intrinsic value that they impress upon the communities of their place. There is an economic component to human rights, and there always has been.
On July 18, 1952 Dr. King wrote to Coretta Scott that "I am not so opposed to capitalism... to see its relative merits... capitalism has outlived it's usefullness."
When I wrote the series of Integrationalism: Essays on the Rationale Of Abundance I was specifically thinking of how to close the ethical and equitable distribution gaps that pre-dated our economic realities since the middle-ages.
In the 21st century we have new tools and technologies that King and his peers did not. The proliferation of data as a natural resource that occurs from human's is at the center of all of our knowledge in this post-information era. Everything can be known and measured, even injustice.
In a world of growing inequality, racial barriers alone are not all that divides us, and the ideal that all men are created or even equal is further away from us than it was 50 years ago.
In order to establish real inclusion, for any socio-political minority, it is first necessary to ensure that we all have a place at the table of society... a man made table.
Without going into the mechanics of how to distribute inclusion, on MLK50 we need to expand the philosophies that guide an equitable and ethical economic future. While he was an advocate for universal basic income as a derivative of welfare, I think that in this age we can assign a Universal Basic Ownership to ensure that people actually have a seat the table of prosperity.
Lastly, we must expand on King's notion that "all men are created equal" and go beyond equality towards equity. We must acknowledge the notion that all people have intrinsic value, and that we derive it from each other. In my next book Inclusionism I will explore a code of equity based on our 21st Century abilities to distribute access to the productivity that we all contribute to society.
Join us for a silent march and speeches on the next 50 years of activism for justice and inclusion.