The Kingian Nonviolence Framework is really a matrix

May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have been reading 5 books written by Martin Luther King, Jr. In chronological order, they are:

  • Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1958. Dr. King’s first book.
  • Strength to Love. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963.
  • Why We Can’t Wait. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963. The essential writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., James M. Washington, ed.
  • Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1967. 
  • The Trumpet of Conscience. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1968. (Foreword by Coretta Scott King.) This book is taken from the 1967 Massey Lectures which King gave through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Two things stand out for me.

  1. These books illustrate in detail what it means to apply the Kingian Nonviolence framework (the principles and practices of nonviolence, as derived from the methods and philosophy espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).
  2. The principles of Kingian Nonviolence really did underlie everything that King did and wrote.  My hypothesis is that this is a “missing ingredient” that undermines social movements today.

Therefore, I propose to analyse King’s books for the specific actions that were taken during the Civil Rights Movement as a first step to creating an objective framework with which to assess the potential and actual effectiveness of social movements.

To start, I propose that it is important to treat the principles and steps as a matrix, to reflect that every action taken (the steps) should reflect the principles.  Here is an attempt to illustrate this:

Kingian framework matrix

So an important part of the hypothesis is that actions that do not reflect the principles will neutralize or negate the effect of those actions, and have the potential to undermine the success of the campaign or movement.

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