A. J. Muste Biography
Birthday: January 8, 1885 (Capricorn)
Born In: Zierikzee, Netherlands
Rev. A. J. Muste, regarded by many as America’s Gandhi, was an antiwar, labor movement leader. The Dutch-born American was brought up in Calvinist traditions of the Dutch Reformed Church. He graduated from the Union Theological Seminary and was attracted to social gospel, which stressed the use of Christian doctrines to tackle the social and economic conflicts. Growing in stature as a labor leader, he led the textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in a successful nonviolent strike. He co-founded the American Workers Party at the height of the Great Depression. He eventually discarded his Christian pacifism to become a Marxist. However, he did not support everything thing associated with Marxism and its revolutionary activities. Firstly, he rejected violence as a means to an end. He could not reconcile with the idea of class war and temporary dictatorship of the working class. In the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism, he was still regarded with suspicion for his Communist antecedents. His tactic of peaceful civil disobedience became very popular. In the fifties, he protested against the arms race, and war in Vietnam. His message, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way", remains as relevant as it was during his lifetime.