By Any Means Necessary

Malcolm X said “by any means necessary”. I take it as the answer to Sean Connery’s question to Kevin Cosner in the Untouchables. He asks “What are you prepared to do?”.

Both are referring to the willingness to use violence to accomplish your goal. That is one way to look at it. The key here is to look at the short term answer and the long term answer. In the short term, violence may be justified in many different ways to achieve many different goals.

In the long term, there are few goals that violence will help you achieve. The farther into the future you look, the harder it becomes to justify violence. Violence is persuasive over the short term. It is less persuasive over the long term.

The philosophical outlook that comes out of this? Do you really want to achieve a massively important goal that impacts a large number of people over a long period of time? Then, there are a lot of things you’re not prepared to do to achieve the goal.

The Ballot or the Bullet speech by Malcolm X is one of the most extraordinary speeches ever. I’ve only listened to the first fifteen minutes of the hour long speech because so much is packed into it. I’m taking lessons from it and will come back to it later to watch the rest of it.

I recommend that you listen to it and relate it as much as possible to the personal goals you have and the personal philosophy you use in your everyday life.


Published by Tom Blaney

I help people articulate what makes their service exciting, meaningful, and valuable to their stakeholders by identifying why they want to serve, what they are most proud of, what challenges they want to take on, and how they plan on showing results. I do that by researching issues, identifying clear positions, helping them align their positions with what their customers want, and managing work flow to deliver efficiently and effectively. In the future, I'd love to help companies improve on how they communicate with their customers.

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