What are the primary perils of and salutary remedies for political power?
Political power has been an issue plaguing man since the beginning of politics itself. How to gain it, how to hold it, how to properly use it, how to exploit it. Throughout time power has been exercised by those that hold it over those that do not. As with anything, problems are sure to arise. These problems call for solutions if peace is to be restored. The primary perils of political power are a strong desire to keep it, a devotion to anything other than justice, an unwillingness to stand for the right thing, and ruling in a merciless manner. The remedies of political power can be (but are not limited to) confidence that laws are just, a willingness to …show more content…
Martin Luther King teaches that justice should preside above all else. When a leader is more devoted to something other than justice, there has become a problem with his political power. King uses the example of the white moderate (being white, he already held some political power over African Americans). In his heart, this white moderate may have sympathized, even supported the Civil Rights Movement. However, he was aware that the actions taken by Civil Rights leaders were creating disorder. King claims that “the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice…” (King 73) is a larger part of the problem than the outright segregationist (“Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering that outright rejection.” (King 73)). This devotion to something other than justice is what can corrupt the hands that political power resides in.
The white moderate may not have stood up for what he believed was right for another reason besides his “devotion to order”. Perhaps he simply did not wish to act against the beliefs of others in power. When a political leader does not choose to do the just thing simply because it is unpopular or would separate him from others, there has become a problem with the power he holds. During the Civil Rights Movement, many times the church, who could very well show that morality sided with the desegregationist, chose to remain