Martin Luther King Jr.:

Along with the scientific and technological revolution, we have also witnessed a world-wide freedom revolution over the last few decades….In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a significant part of world development.

We live in a day, said the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, “when civilization is shifting its basic outlook; a major turning point in history where the presuppositions on which society is structured are being analyzed, sharply challenged, and profoundly changed.” What we are seeing now is a freedom explosion, the realization of “an idea whose time has come,” to use Victor Hugo’s phrase. The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses….All over the world like a fever, freedom is spreading in the widest liberation movement in history. The great masses of people are determined to end the exploitation of their races and lands. They are awake and moving toward their goal like a tidal wave….For several centuries the direction of history flowed from the nations and societies of Western Europe out into the rest of the world in “conquests” of various sorts. That period, the era of colonialism, is at an end. East is moving West. The earth is being redistributed. Yes, we are “shifting our basic outlooks.”


–Martin Luther King Jr.

 

"Chapter V: Where Are We Going," pp.169-70, from Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community, (1967)