First of all freedom is a state of mind and only subsequently may become translated (or not) into social reality.
Whenever an oppressor/oppressed relationship exists neither of them is really free, not even the oppressor: he is permanently bound to take care, of sorts, for the oppressed. Otherwise the oppressed would wither away, either literally or by gaining their liberty.
This doesn’t mean Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t right, it still is the duty of whoever feels oppressed to start fighting for liberty, it just puts the onus on both sides of the relationship.
In fact time and time again human history has produced ample proof that as entire societies became freer their individual members fared better and better.
Wealth and technology can only help but cannot replace (perceived) individual liberty.
A rather heated debate is currently going on between ‘specialists’ about how ‘economic fairness’ is influencing growth:
The problem is that most of these ‘specialists’, usually economists or politicians, while sometimes finding interesting facts, rarely stick their heads out of their narrow fields of expertise high enough to notice that too much economic inequality is counterproductive precisely because it creates a relationship of dependency between the haves and the have nots.
Taking care of your dependents uses precious resources that could be better spent concentrating on further development.
This is exactly what Henry Ford had understood and motivated him to double the wages of his employees. This is the sole explanation for why the American economy took off after WWII. More and more individuals were able to stand on their own two feet because the economic climate was good, business thrived AND the wages were decent – without the government or the unions having much to say about this.
Today business people care almost exclusively about the bottom line and the next quarterly report – thus favoring short term results versus sustainable growth, the governments regulate more and more, arrogantly believing that they know better than the (no longer) free market and the union leaders concentrate on gathering more and more clout instead of taking care of the long term interests of their union members.
This byzantine maze does nothing but creates a highly oppressive medium in which everybody is oppressed by everybody else.
And human society, if it is to work properly, needs free cooperation, not generalized oppression.