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The American Oligarchy and the Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King’s Fight Against Social Injustice

The National Security departments saw the Civil Rights Movement as a threat to social security and treated it as an enemy of the state. At the same time, the primary philanthropic foundations moved in to fund the Civil Rights Movement. The wealthy corporations aim to control the movement course and keep it aligned with the capitalist interest. 

Martin Luther King was the most influential leader of the Civil Rights Movement and the most hated by the ruling oligarchy. The oligarchy tolerated King as long as his focus was on race issues, which helped the divide and conquer agendas. Identity politics is good agendas for the ruling few because it allows them to control society easily. 

King then began to talk about issues other than race. When he began criticizing the social structure and the financial exploitation of everybody in the US and worldwide, King became a threat to national security. The government official decided to assassinate him, and the wealthy expanded their financial control of the Movement to ensure control over its path. 

In the 1970s, Congress found out about an FBI program called COINTELPRO, secret and illegal surveillance and sabotage program against many groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers. A key target for the COINTELPRO was the Civil Rights Movement. 

The 1960’s saw the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and King was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in the same year. The Voting Rights Act was a law in 1965. King gave “Beyond Vietnam” speech in April of 1967, where he actively criticized the government and called the biggest purveyor of violence in the world. 

A gunman assassinated King on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray was arrested and convicted of the murder of King. In 1999, King’s family filed a civil case suit for conspiracy, and the jury found government officials and agencies were guilty of conspiring in the assassination of King. 

William Pepper was the King’s family lawyer who took the civil suit to trial, said the government killed King because he was unstoppable. Pepper said the government agencies were afraid that King would gather half a million citizens to march and lead a revolution to cleanse the country. The government grew fearful of social uprising, and the Pentagon created Operation Garden Plot, which was a plan to involve the military in controlling the civic disturbance. 

The major philanthropist foundations in the US-supported social movements to steer their progress and lead to social engineering. King was supported by elites when he was fighting for racial inequality. Nevertheless, when King began campaigning for poverty and imperialism, he was no longer tolerated by the controlling elites. After King’s death, it was easier for the oligarchy to steer the Movement in safer directions. 

With the financial support of the oligarchy, the civil rights groups started to divide. There were moderate civil rights organizations that were made up mostly of middle-class African Americans. The other groups were radical, and young African Americans made up the majority of their members. Funding decreased for the radical groups and increased for the older moderate groups. King believed the moderate groups were distant from the real issues in the poor black communities. 

In July of 1972, seventeen influential persons created the Commission. The goal of the Commission was to preserve the industrialized societies and manage the needs of poorer nations. Samuel Huntington, a political scientist, authored a report for the Commission titled The Crisis of Democracy. Huntington concluded in many reports that the United States’ issue is the excess of democracy, and he believes the solution is to have less democracy and more authority. The writer ended his article by saying that nobody knows the correct system, but it is evident that the current system is wrong. 

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered… The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam,” 1967

Marshall, Andrew Gavin. “The American Oligarchy, Civil Rights and the Murder of Martin Luther King.” Global Research, 30 Nov. 2010,

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