Dr. King and Socrates: A Nonviolent Campaign
In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation, self-purification and direct action. Socrates, a man hailed as one of the greatest philosophers of all time, and Doctor Martin Luther King, known to the world as one of the greatest public speakers and advocate of civil rights, both utilized nonviolent campaigns by voicing their opinions in intelligent ways and surrounding themselves with people who shared similar views. Doctor Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech will forever be known as one of the greatest speeches in history. Its flawless wording persuades listeners to join him in his fight for what he believes is right; the fight is, however, not physical but moral. He fought for what he believed in, and helped African Americans gain rights in a society that often denied them access to education, opportunity and wealth. In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, Doctor King states that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This ideology was put into action when he refused to sit while other African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama were being targeted for bombings and racial attacks by the whites in the town. Socrates spread his intelligence by conversing with individuals in a one-on-one situation where the individual was questioned about the truth in what he believed in. He proclaimed by precept and example a standard of moral conduct above that which prevailed among the recognized leaders of the society in which he lived. In “Crito”, Socrates states “what we ought to consider is not so much what people in general will say about us but how we stand with the expert in right and wrong, the one authority, who represents the actual truth." In saying this, it demonstrates his belief that through nonviolent action one can prove himself to be right or wrong, regardless of what society thinks. Both written in settings of...
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