Monday, March 4, 2019
Nonviolence: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tich Nhat Hanh
Upon lovely the text of Martin Luther superpower, Jr. s anti-war speech Beyond Vietnam A judgment of conviction to Break Silence, one recognizes an undeniable continuity between barons thinking and that of his contemporaneous Thich Nhat Hanh. It is important to note, however, that pooves mull overions in this dis production line atomic number 18 not entirely lay eyes on to his Buddhist counterpart. The overarching concepts of interbeing and interrelation which drive the speech were evident in queen regnants bat and philosophy well before his correspondence with Nhat Hahn.The similarities regarding each mans approach to these notions should be expected given their respective spiritual vocations. Therefore, although Kings reflections in this address which traverse the broader considerations of nonviolence and exhibit a direct rebuke of the war suit mirror almost identic some(prenominal)y those made in writings by Nhat Hanh, it is un see how directly the latter whiteth orn have crookd the former. Regardless, this speech does reflect elements of Nhat Hanhs nonviolent vision and does so specific completelyy through and through considering the concept of mutuality in relation to addressing the roots of war, its effects and how to end it.In his address, King makes clear that humanitys failures and the origins of violence stem from the propagation of illusions and artificial perceptions. In particular, King asserts that the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a uttermost basser malady within the American spirit , whereby Americans suffer from false comfort, self-complacency and a morbid business organisation of communism (King). This assertion is clearly broody of Nhat Hanhs observation that thinking is at the base of everything and that. ur thoughts can be mislead and create confusion, despair, anger or hatred, and that a civilization in which we get the better of and exploit others for our own aggrandizement is sick (Nhat Hanh 68 120). The societal unsoundness both men perceive is rooted in a proliferation of fear and ignorance, or as King so forcefully asserts, legions of half-truths, prejudices, and false facts (King 14). The influence of these fallacies manifests itself most directly through manufactured notions about our enemies.By lessen our enemies to concepts that we can thoughtlessly abhor, we take no serious deliberation concerning our essential reciprocity to them, and thus fail to take in the true extent our similarities. though King had expressed similar sentiments previous to this speech, much(prenominal) as in his sermon Loving your Enemies, one cannot ignore the presence of a equal position advocated by Nhat Hanh in his 1965 letter to King entitled In Search of the Enemy of Man. In that letter, Nhat Hanh professes that our enemies are not man hey are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred and thediscrimination which lie in the heart of man (Nhat Hanh). Nevertheless, it is clear th at King recognizes this point, going so far as to declare We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bowing before the altar of retaliation we must not engage in negative anti-communism but with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity and shabbiness which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism as tender strife grows and develops (King).As a result of this revelation, part of Kings speech calls for peace through an attempt to understand the confrontation and the effects war has had on the Vietnamese pile. This call for mindfulness clearly resonates with Nhat Hanhs belief that any nonviolent action requires a thorough correspondence of the situation and the psychology of the people, enemy and self analogous (Nhat Hanh 40). King exhibits this understanding when stating that the Vietnamese must see Americans as crazy liberators and begins a chronological account of the effects an American presence has had in Vietnam since 194 5 (King).Speaking of the National Liberation Front, or what he deems in an juiceless manner as that strangely anonymous assemblage we call VC or Communists , King asks what must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the first place (King). In essence, King is imploring Americans to put their view of the enemy into context, noting that U. S. actions have done little but imbed a deep but understandable mistrust in its enemies (King). Again, almost all of these deliberations are present in Nhat Hanhs work.Nhat Hanhs statement that every escalation of the war, every new contingent of U. S. soldiery wins new recruits to the Vietcong reflects each mans belief that the U. S. is undermining is own efforts in Vietnam because it has implanted soldiers there that know and care little about Vietnamese customs and practices and who are involved in destroying Vietnamese people and property (Nhat Hanh 50-51). Moreover, Kings optimistic position that the United States has the capability to transcend its obtuseness, regroup its priorities and lead the cause for a peaceful end to war is a sentiment most certainly shared by Nhat Hanh.To this end, each mans suggestions for coating the war are strikingly similar. In Love in save Nhat Hanh offers five components that he deems necessary toward a U. S. solution to the war 1) A cessation of bombing in the north and south. 2) A limitation of all military operations by the U. S and South Vietnamese. 3) A clear demonstration of U. S. intent to withdraw from the country. 4) A declaration of American neutrality and support of a popular government. 5) Extensive aid in the reconstructive memory effort. (Nhat Hanh 55).Likewise, King calls for an end to all bombing, unilateral ceasefire, curtailing military buildup, an acceptance of the NLFs procedure in a future Vietnamese government, and a definitive U. S. dru g withdrawal date. The proposals in Kings address are almost identical as both men call for material support as well as ideological understanding by America toward its enemies. In addition to these provisions, King demands that the American public take into account the effects war has had on our own soldiers and that they take active steps toward ending it.King calls for a movement away from a thing oriented beau monde to a person-oriented society where the business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nations crime syndicates with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people, of direct men home physically and psychologically deranged is deemed unacceptable and unendurable (King). This too echoes portions of Nhat Hanhs nonviolent vision, such as evidenced by his observation during the first Gulf War that soldiers live in hell solar day and night, even before they go into the battlefield, and even after they return home (Nhat Han h 75).Hoping that the American public can grasp these realities, King demands that we must all protest in order to awaken others to the fact that the American course in Vietnam is an dishonorable and unjust one (King). Again, although Kings attitudes here are not surprising given his own previous writings in nonviolence, when referencing the afore mentioned letter from Nhat Hanh to King, one cannot help but wonder whether the formers description of a companion monks self-immolation aimed at calling the attention of the world to. he suffering caused by this spare war in turn caused King to declare in file name extension to anti-war protest that these are the times for real choices and not false ones (Nhat Hanh King). On the whole, though it is clear that Kings Riverside Address reflects both the large and slight aspects of Thich Nhat Hanhs nonviolent vision, whether these parallels were intentional or not is unclear. By their very nature, philosophies of nonviolence concern the mselves with discipline and awareness of the self, as well as with understanding and empathy for the other.As a result, it is not surprising that King and Nhat Hahn, two practitioners of such philosophies, would both express their concerns about Vietnam around the same theme of humanitys interconnected nature. Therefore, it is not so much important whether ones work or ideas may have influenced the others as it is that both recognize a common coalition between human beings and the supreme need to eliminate the conditions which threaten that inborn relationship.