Even though King recognized how greatly Black Americans were outnumbered and that it was, in effect, hopeless to attempt violence as a solution, he was skeptical of pacifism at this point.
In King's own words: "Niebuhr helped me to recognize the complexity of man's social involvement and the glowing reality of collective evil."In what is perhaps Niebuhr's most relevant statement on the subject of non-violent direct action, he professes, "Even in a just and free society, there must be forms of pressure short of violence, but more potent than the vote, to establish justice in collective relations." This is obviously a thought that King both liked and followed.
It is interesting to note that Niebuhr was critical of using anything except force to combat imperialism, territorial aggression, and class exploitation. Roots of Resistance: The Nonviolence Ethic of Martin Luther King, Jr., Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.
"If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. Were those influences restricted to Gandhi, or were there other, equally important individuals whom Dr. It appears that there were a myriad of thinkers, philosophers, and people whom King knew personally, who were responsible for shaping his approach.
He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peaceand harmony. Martin Luther King's main political teaching is that "Non-violent civil disobedience is the primary and necessary means of effecting social and political change." How did Dr. Personal Influences"In an age when whites viewed black neighborhoods as hellholes of vice and social disorganization, Daddy King's church stood like an anchor in a stable and respectable community.
For example, he used the concept "agape" (Christian brotherly love) in ways that showed the unmistakable influence of Paul Ramsey.
Ramsey has coined the phrase "enemy-neighbor" (the neighbor includes the enemy) and referred to regarding him with love as the ultimate in agape, for in such cases nothing can be expected in return.It was this work which made King realize that a person's day-to-day socioeconomic environment was important to Christianity.In King's later career, he came to be associated to certain thinkers by the content of his speeches and writings.Niebuhr played a vital part in stimulating the renaissance of theology in the United States.King was intrigued by the key ideas in Niebuhr's theological book, The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941).Next came Hegel and his contention that "truth is the whole." This fascinated King and convinced him that growth comes through struggle, an idea that would later prove very important in his life.While King deplored the substituting of materialism for religious values, he applauded Marx for exposing the injustices of capitalism, promoting class consciousness among the workers, and challenging the complacency of the Christian churches.The lectures from both King's parents on the subject of racial harmony stuck with Martin Luther and armed him against all forms of prejudice.King soon left to begin his formal education at Morehouse College, where he became acquainted with the remarkable president of the school, Dr. Mays, who influenced generations of black students.Academic Influences It was with a strong Christian faith in hand that Martin Luther King embarked upon his formal education.He said that Henry David Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience," was his "first intellectual contact with the theory of nonviolence and resistance." It was primarily Thoreau's concept of refusing to cooperate with an evil system which so intrigued Dr. As Martin moved on to the seminary, he began to pass countless hours studying social philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Hobbes, Bentham, Mill, and Locke.