Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK, Jr. and Ayn Rand

(c) Copyright 2015, Sushobhan Sen
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US, a day to commemorate the most iconic face of the Civil Rights Movement against discrimination on the basis of color in the United States. In many ways, the ideals that MLK put into practice were those espoused by great thinkers such as Ayn Rand and Henry David Thoreau, who categorically rejected the very concept of looking at people as members of a community with no independent character of their own.

Indeed, Rand has always been opposed to collectivism, which is the hallmark of Marxist thinkers across the world. Human beings are not born collectively, they are born as individuals and must be treated as such. The worth of a human being depends on their thoughts and actions, not those of others with whom they may share a completely random connection such as skin color. The most famous speech of MLK's, I Have a Dream..., made from the Lincoln Memorial, essentially embodies this spirit of individualism.

On this MLK, Jr. Day, we salute that great spirit of individualism, that fire for individual success and freedom that once made America great and which I hope to see in my own country some day. 

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