In lee born free—free to grow and prosper according to his Cod-given capabilities exercised within the dictates of
I rt)d's leiws.
Vmerica is the first place in the world
where this happened.
The people who came to the American wilderness from the tired and cynical lands of Europe were not supermen.
Indeed, many of them were not even
considered the best of their breed.
But in the stimulating climate of freedom thev became supermen because
there was released within them a burst
of energy, a multiplication of thought,
effort, and work, the like of which the
world had never seen before.
Within an amazingly short period of
history, they transformed their wilderness into the world's leading nation.
INDIVIDUALISM IS NOT SELFISHNESS
Is it true that our forefathers' ideal
of life was a selfish one?
In a way, it could be so described:
at least every man was working for
himself working to create something
that he could have and hold for himself
and his loved ones.
This so-called selfishness or individualism our forefathers considered a
But human nature works in strange
ways: in creating unequalled prosperity
for themselves individually, the American people created a surplus of the good
things of life that makes us the most
generous and charitable people on the
face of the earth.
America is one of the few places in
the world where there is enough food
for all and where the blight of poverty
is enuiiiig closer and closer to extinction.
If this is the result of selfishness, then
this particular kind of selfishness would
lee- a wonderful thing for the resl of the
world to discover and tn adopt.
But as a matter of fact, American individualism is not selfishness.
It is intelligent, constructive self-interest that benefits all Americans and in
nee way does it endanger either America
or lhe free world.
As suggested earlier, there are only
two ways in which America can be of
real value to the free world; first, to
-teinil as an example for other peoples to
copy; and second, to aid the free nalions to defend themselves from Commu-
The fulfillment of both of these objectives requires a strong and prospermia Vmerica. which in turn calls for a
nation of people who Inelel feist In their
faith in the Freedom from which America draws ii- strength and prosperity.
I do not consider il an exaggeration
to say that the future of the free world
depends upon the American people dis
charging their patriotic duty to their
Constitution and to the practices that
have sprung from it.
There are today in America many
forces working against the intelligent
discharge of patriotic duty.
The most generally recognized of
these forces is lhe never-ending effort
of enemy agents to generate class and
race friction within our population—
efforls to convince minority groups that,
after all, they have little or no stake in
this wonderful system of ours and that
only socialism can be their savior.
These efforts are known to almost
all of us and can be guarded against.
But some of the other attacks upon
our institutions are much more attractive and far less obvious.
To understand these we must bear in
mind the kind of a system that was sel
up by the Founding Fathers.
From a legal standpoint, this is a
complicated system, but from a more
important standpoint—the standpoint of
the relations between the citizen and his
government—it is very simple.
The people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were working toward an ideal—government that
would be strong enough to protect the
people but not strong enough to coerce
The thing that made this type of government practical was the willingness
and determination of every man to stand
on his own feet and resort to government
assistance only in times of personal or
This policy of limited government
gave the American people more rights
and more freedom than any other people on earth.
The system worked, partly because
the great majority of the people gladly
assumed the duties and responsibilities
that went with their rights, and partly
because government was so limited in
ils taxing and borrowing power that it
did nol have the fluids with which to
lake over the people's duties and responsibilities.
This was particularly true of the federal government.
GOVERNMENT MUST BE LIMITED
Today, however, the taxing and bor-
rowing power of the federal government
has been increased lei a point where it
heis the funds lo perform almost any
service for the people that the people
are willing to have it perform.
Herein lies grave danger to our traditional institutions, and it is the patriotic
elutv of every citizen tee resist the subtle
and attractive proposals through which
the so-called liberal politicians offer to
lift from the people's shoulders the burdens of individual responsibility.
This resistance is not easy because
the duties that are imposed on free men
are not easv.
The idea of letting the government do
our thinking and planning—and taking
responsibility for the results—is highly attractive, particularly to the first
man we mentioned before—that part of
our split personality that is looking for
the easy way out.
But this resistance becomes easier
when we realize that every time government relieves us of personal responsibility it also takes away part of our
Resistance to government encroachments on individual freedom also becomes easier when we understand the
basis of government help.
Here is the key: everything that government gives the people must first be
taken from the people.
Government produces nothing.
Everything is produced by the people.
Federal aid, when in the form of
money, is money that was collected from
localities, sent to Washington, and returned to localities minus the part that
is needed for government overhead expense.
This process enables the federal government to purchase the people's support—virtually buy their votes—with
the people's own money.
And through controlling the votes, the
federal government has the power to
persuade the people to vote away their
I am not one of those who view with
great alarm the future of America.
Some damage has already been done
to our institutions, but the process responsible for this damage seems to have
been at least halted, and there is real
hope lhat it can be reversed if the people- eire alert to the discharge of their
I would like to touch on some of the
harmful things that have happened to
America which I believe endanger the
future of the nation.
The first of these is a rather general
idea that has, during the last twenty
years been quite widely accepted, namely, that man on earth can achieve a
perfect world; that if we experiment
long enough we can find a form of
government that can completely eliminate the personal tragedies and injustices that are the results of the imperfect nature of human beings.
This heaven-on-earlh idea comes directly from socialism, and once it is of-
fieially accepted, it becomes verv easy
to concentrate our national policies upon this shining goal and ignore the
tragedies and injustices that must be
perpetrated in order to pursue it.
If we allow ourselves to be hypnotized
hy the mirage of a completely perfect
•TACTS FORUM NEWS, October, 1955