Powerful voices from a lost America

Two speeches given by the President and Vice President of the United States in the months prior to US entrance into World War II state who we were and why we were going to fight fascism. These ideals and the works that had already sprung from them during the New Deal were hated by the ancestors of the far right kleptocrats now seeking to destroy America for the rest of us.

We thought you might like to spend a few moments in the age when political leaders led, an age so different from our time, when the president and leading members of the Senate and the House hold their offices in order to better fleece the nation. -- blj

 

 

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 1941 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS “THE FOUR FREEDOMS” (6 JANUARY 1941)

[1] Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Seventy-seventh Congress:

[2] I address you, the Members of the members of this new Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word “unprecedented,” because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today.

[3] Since the permanent formation of our Government under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our domestic affairs. And fortunately, only one of these–the four-year War Between the States–ever threatened our national unity. Today, thank God, one hundred and thirty million Americans, in forty-eight States, have forgotten points of the compass in our national unity.

[4] It is true that prior to 1914 the United States often had been disturbed by events in other Continents. We had even engaged in two wars with European nations and in a number of undeclared wars in the West Indies, in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific for the maintenance of American rights and for the principles of peaceful commerce. But in no case had a serious threat been raised against our national safety or our continued independence.

[5] What I seek to convey is the historic truth that the United States as a nation has at all times maintained opposition, clear, definite opposition, to any attempt to lock us in behind an ancient Chinese wall while the procession of civilization went past. Today, thinking of our children and of their children, we oppose enforced isolation for ourselves or for any other part of the Americas.

[6] That determination of ours, extending over all these years, was proved, for example, in the early days during the quarter century of wars following the French Revolution.

[7] While the Napoleonic struggles did threaten interests of the United States because of the French foothold in the West Indies and in Louisiana, and while we engaged in the War of 1812 to vindicate our right to peaceful trade, it is nevertheless clear that neither France nor Great Britain, nor any other nation, was aiming at domination of the whole world.

[8] And in like fashion from 1815 to 1914–ninety-nine years–no single war in Europe or in Asia constituted a real threat against our future or against the future of any other American nation.

[9] Except in the Maximilian interlude in Mexico, no foreign power sought to establish itself in this Hemisphere; and the strength of the British fleet in the Atlantic has been a friendly strength. It is still a friendly strength.

[10] Even when the World War broke out in 1914, it seemed to contain only small threat of danger to our own American future. But, as time went on, as we remember, the American people began to visualize what the downfall of democratic nations might mean to our own democracy.

[11] We need not overemphasize imperfections in the Peace of Versailles. We need not harp on failure of the democracies to deal with problems of world reconstruction. We should remember that the Peace of 1919 was far less unjust than the kind of “pacification” which began even before Munich, and which is being carried on under the new order of tyranny that seeks to spread over every continent today. The American people have unalterably set their faces against that tyranny.

[12] I suppose that every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world–assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace.

[13] During sixteen long months this assault has blotted out the whole pattern of democratic life in an appalling number of independent nations, great and small. And the assailants are still on the march, threatening other nations, great and small.

[14]Therefore, as your President, performing my constitutional duty to “give to the Congress information of the state of the Union,” I find it, unhappily, necessary to report that the future and the safety of our country and of our democracy are overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders.

[15] Armed defense of democratic existence is now being gallantly waged in four continents. If that defense fails, all the population and all the resources of Europe, and Asia, and Africa and Australasia will be dominated by conquerors. And let us remember that the total of those populations in those four continents, the total of those populations and their resources greatly exceeds the sum total of the population and the resources of the whole of the Western Hemisphere–yes, many times over.

[16] In times like these it is immature–and incidentally, untrue–for anybody to brag that an unprepared America, single-handed, and with one hand tied behind its back, can hold off the whole world.

[17] No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion–or even good business.

[18] Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. “Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

[19] As a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are softhearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed.

[20] We must always be wary of those who with sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal preach the “ism” of appeasement.

[21] We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests.

[22] I have recently pointed out how quickly the tempo of modern warfare could bring into our very midst the physical attack which we must eventually expect if the dictator nations win this war.

[23] There is much loose talk of our immunity from immediate and direct invasion from across the seas. Obviously, as long as the British Navy retains its power, no such danger exists. Even if there were no British Navy, it is not probable that any enemy would be stupid enough to attack us by landing troops in the United States from across thousands of miles of ocean, until it had acquired strategic bases from which to operate.

[24] But we learn much from the lessons of the past years in Europe-particularly the lesson of Norway, whose essential seaports were captured by treachery and surprise built up over a series of years.

[25] The first phase of the invasion of this Hemisphere would not be the landing of regular troops. The necessary strategic points would be occupied by secret agents and by their dupes- and great numbers of them are already here, and in Latin America.

[26] As long as the aggressor nations maintain the offensive, they-not we–will choose the time and the place and the method of their attack.

[27] And that is why the future of all the American Republics is today in serious danger.

[28] That is why this Annual Message to the Congress is unique in our history.

[29] That is why every member of the Executive Branch of the Government and every member of the Congress face great responsibility and great accountability.

[30] The need of the moment is that our actions and our policy should be devoted primarily–almost exclusively–to meeting this foreign peril. For all our domestic problems are now a part of the great emergency.

[31] Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all of our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small. And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.

[32] Our national policy is this:

[33] First, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to all-inclusive national defense.

[34] Second, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to full support of all those resolute people everywhere who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our Hemisphere. By this support, we express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail; and we strengthen the defense and the security of our own nation.

[35] Third, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people’s freedom.

[36] In the recent national election there was no substantial difference between the two great parties in respect to that national policy. No issue was fought out on this line before the American electorate. And today it is abundantly evident that American citizens everywhere are demanding and supporting speedy and complete action in recognition of obvious danger.

[37] Therefore, the immediate need is a swift and driving increase in our armament production.

[38] Leaders of industry and labor have responded to our summons. Goals of speed have been set. In some cases these goals are being reached ahead of time; in some cases we are on schedule; in other cases there are slight but not serious delays; and in some cases–and I am sorry to say very important cases–we are all concerned by the slowness of the accomplishment of our plans.

[39] The Army and Navy, however, have made substantial progress during the past year. Actual experience is improving and speeding up our methods of production with every passing day. And today’s best is not good enough for tomorrow.

[40] I am not satisfied with the progress thus far made. The men in charge of the program represent the best in training, in ability, and in patriotism. They are not satisfied with the progress thus far made. None of us will be satisfied until the job is done.

[41] No matter whether the original goal was set too high or too low, our objective is quicker and better results.

[43] We are behind schedule in turning out finished airplanes; we are working day and night to solve the innumerable problems and to catch up.

[44] We are ahead of schedule in building warships but we are working to get even further ahead of that schedule.

[45] To change a whole nation from a basis of peacetime production of implements of peace to a basis of wartime production of implements of war is no small task. And the greatest difficulty comes at the beginning of the program, when new tools, new plant facilities, new assembly lines, and new ship ways must first be constructed before the actual materiel begins to flow steadily and speedily from them.

[46] The Congress, of course, must rightly keep itself informed at all times of the progress of the program. However, there is certain information, as the Congress itself will readily recognize, which, in the interests of our own security and those of the nations that we are supporting, must of needs be kept in confidence.

[47] New circumstances are constantly begetting new needs for our safety. I shall ask this Congress for greatly increased new appropriations and authorizations to carry on what we have begun.

[48] I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations.

[49] Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves. They do not need man power, but they do need billions of dollars worth of the weapons of defense.

[50] The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them all in ready cash. We cannot, and we will not, tell them that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have.

[51] I do not recommend that we make them a loan of dollars with which to pay for these weapons–a loan to be repaid in dollars.

[52] I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to continue to obtain war materials in the United States, fitting their orders into our own program. And nearly all of their materiel would, if the time ever came, be useful in our own defense.

[53] Taking counsel of expert military and naval authorities, considering what is best for our own security, we are free to decide how much should be kept here and how much should be sent abroad to our friends who by their determined and heroic resistance are giving us time in which to make ready our own defense.

[54] For what we send abroad, we shall be repaid, repaid within a reasonable time following the close of hostilities, repaid in similar materials, or, at our option, in other goods of many kinds, which they can produce and which we need.

[55] Let us say to the democracies: “We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you, in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and our pledge.”

[56] In fulfillment of this purpose we will not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that they will regard as a breach of international law or as an act of war our aid to the democracies which dare to resist their aggression. Such aid . . . such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should unilaterally proclaim it so to be.

[57] And when the dictators, if the dictators, are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an act of war on our part. They did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit an act of war.

[58] Their only interest is in a new one-way international law, which lacks mutuality in its observance, and, therefore, becomes an instrument of oppression.

[59] The happiness of future generations of Americans may well depend upon how effective and how immediate we can make our aid felt. No one can tell the exact character of the emergency situations that we may be called upon to meet. The Nation’s hands must not be tied when the Nation’s life is in danger.

[60] Yes, and we must all prepare–all of us prepare–to make the sacrifices that the emergency– almost as serious as war itself–demands. Whatever stands in the way of speed and efficiency in defense–in defense preparations of any kind–must give way to the national need.

[61] A free nation has the right to expect full cooperation from all groups. A free nation has the right to look to the leaders of business, of labor, and of agriculture to take the lead in stimulating effort, not among other groups but within their own groups.

[62] The best way of dealing with the few slackers or trouble makers in our midst is, first, to shame them by patriotic example, and, if that fails, to use the sovereignty of government to save government.

[63] As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone. Those who man our defenses, and those behind them who build our defenses, must have the stamina and the courage which come from unshakable belief in the manner of life which they are defending. The mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard of all things the worth fighting for.

[64] The Nation takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things which have been done to make its people conscious of their individual stake in the preservation of democratic life in America. Those things have toughened the fibre of our people, have renewed their faith and strengthened their devotion to the institutions we make ready to protect.

[65] Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world.

[66] For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

[67] Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

[68] Jobs for those who can work.

[69] Security for those who need it.

[70] The ending of special privilege for the few.

[71] The preservation of civil liberties for all.

[72] The enjoyment . . . the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

[73] These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

[74] Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement.

[75] As examples:

[76] We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

[77] We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

[78] We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

[79] I have called for personal sacrifice. And I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call.

[80] A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my Budget Message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed, to get rich out of the program; and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.

[81] If the Congress maintains these principles, the voters, putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks, will give you their applause.

[82] In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

[83] The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

[84] The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

[85] The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

86] The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

[87] That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

[88] To that new order we oppose the greater conception–the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

[89] Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change–in a perpetual peaceful revolution–a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions–without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

[90] This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

[91] To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

 

 

Henry A. Wallace

The Century of the Common Man

delivered 8 May 1942, Grand Ballroom, Commodore Hotel, New York, NY

Madam Chairman, and you who have spoken so eloquently tonight, and you who represent 33 different nations on this particular occasion; and I wish especially to recognize those who are representing the 14 nations from Latin America:

I want to say to all -- all who in a formal or an informal way represent most if not all of the free people -- free peoples of the world who are met here tonight, that we are meeting in the interests of the millions of all the nations who have freedom in their souls. To my mind, this meeting has just one purpose: to let those millions in the other countries know that here in the United States are 130 million men, women, and children who are in this war to the finish. Our American people are utterly resolved to go on until they can strike the relentless blows that will assure a complete victory, and with it a new day for the lovers of freedom everywhere on this earth.

This is a fight between a slave world and a free world. Just as in the United States in 1862, we could not remain "half slave" and "half free,"1 so in 1942 the world must make its decision for a complete victory, one way or the other.

As we begin the final stages of this fight to the death between the free world and the slave world, it is worthwhile to refresh our minds about the march of freedom for the common man. The idea of freedom -- the freedom that we in the United States know and love so well -- is derived from the Bible, with its extraordinary emphasis on the dignity of the individual. Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity.

The prophets of the Old Testament were the first to preach social justice. But that which was sensed by the prophets many centuries before Christ was not given complete and powerful political expression until our nation, here in the United States, was formed as a Federal Union a century and a half ago. Even then, the march of the common people had just begun. Most of them did not yet know how to read and write. There were no public schools. Men and women can not be really free until they have plenty to eat, and time and ability to read and think and talk things over. Down the years, the people of the United States have moved steadily forward in the practice of democracy. Through universal education, they can now read and write and form opinions of their own. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of production -- how to make a living. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of self-government.

If we were to measure freedom by standards of nutrition, education, and self-government, we might rank the United States and certain nations of Western Europe very high. But this would not be fair to other nations where education has become widespread only in the last 20 years. In many nations, a generation ago, 9 out of 10 of the people could not read or write. Russia, for example, was changed from an illiterate to a literate nation within one generation and, in the process, Russia's appreciation of freedom was tremendously increased. In China, the growth in education in reading -- and the ability of the people to read and write during the past 30 years has been matched by an increased interest in real liberty.

Everywhere, reading and writing are accompanied by industrial progress, and industrial progress, sooner or later, inevitably brings a strong labor -- labor movement. From a long-time and fundamental point of view, there are no backward peoples which are lacking in mechanical sense. Russians, Chinese, and the Indians both of India and the Americas, all learn to read and write and operate machines just as well as your children or my children. Everywhere the common people are on the march. By the millions they are learning to read and write, learning to think together, learning to use tools. They're learning to think and work together in labor movements, some of which may be extreme or a little impractical at first, but which eventually will settle down to serve effectively the interests of the common man.

When the freedom-loving people march; when the farmers have an opportunity to buy land at reasonable prices and sell the produce of their land through their own organizations; when workers have the opportunity to form unions and bargain through them collectively; and when the children of all the people have an opportunity to attend schools which teach them that truth of the real world -- when these opportunities are open to everyone, then the world moves straight ahead.

But in countries where the ability to read and write has been recently acquired -- mind you, 62% of the world today do not yet know how to read and write. But in those countries where the ability has been recently acquired or where the people have had no long experience in governing themselves on the basis of their own thinking, it is easy for demagogues to arise and prostitute the mind of the common man to their own base ends. Such a demagogue may get financial help from some person of wealth who is unaware of what the end result will be. With this backing, the demagogue may dominate the minds of the people, and, from whatever degree of freedom they have, lead them back into a most degraded slavery. Herr Thyssen, the wealthy German steel man, little realized what he was doing when he gave Hitler enough money to enable him to play on the minds of the German people.

The demagogue is the curse of the modern world, and of all the demagogues, the worst are those financed by well-meaning wealthy men who sincerely believe that their wealth is likely to be safer if they can hire men with political "it" to change the -- the sign posts and lure the people back into slavery. Unfortunately for the wealthy men who finance movements of this sort, as well as for the people themselves, the successful demagogue is a powerful genie who, when once let out of his bottle, refuses to obey anyone's command. As long as his spell holds, he defies God Himself, and Satan is turned loose on the world.

Through the -- Through the leaders of the Nazi revolution, Satan is now trying to lead the common man of the whole world back into slavery and darkness. For the stark truth is that the violence preached by the Nazis is the devil's own religion of darkness. So also is the doctrine that one race or one class is by heredity superior and that all other races or classes are supposed to be slaves. The belief in one Satan-inspired Fuhrer, with his Quislings, his Lavals, his Mussolinis -- his "gauleiters" in every nation in the world -- is the last and ultimate darkness. Is there any hell hotter than that of being a Quisling, unless it is that of being a Laval or a Mussolini?

In a twisted sense, there is something almost great in the figure of the Supreme Devil operating through a human form, in a Hitler who has the daring to spit straight into the eye of God and man. But the Nazi system has a heroic position for only one leader. By definition only one person is allowed to retain full sovereignty over his own soul. All the rest are stooges. They are stooges who have been mentally and politically degraded, and who feel that they can get square with the world only by mentally and politically degrading other people. These stooges are really psychopathic cases. Satan has turned loose upon us the insane.

The search of the freedom -- The march of freedom of the past 150 years has been a long-drawn-out people's revolution. In this Great Revolution of the people, there were the American Revolution of 1775, the French Revolution of 1792, the Latin-American revolutions of the Bolivarian era, the German Revolution of 1848, and the Russian Revolution of 191[7]. Each spoke for the common man in terms of blood on the battlefield. Some went to excess. But the significant thing is that the people groped their way to the light. More of them learned to think and work together.

The people's revolution aims at peace and not at violence, but if the rights of the common man are attacked, it unleashes the ferocity of the she-bear who has lost a cub. When the Nazi psychologists tell their master Hitler that we in the United States may be able to produce hundreds of thousands of planes, but that we have no will to fight, they are only fooling themselves and him. The truth is that when the rights of the American people are transgressed, as these rights have been transgressed, the American people will fight with a relentless fury which will drive the ancient Teutonic gods back cowering into their caves. The Götterdämmerung has come for Odin and his crew.2

The people are on the march toward an even fuller freedom than the most fortunate peoples of the world have hitherto enjoyed. No Nazi counter-revolution will stop it. The common man will smoke the Hitler stooges out into the open in the United States, in Latin America, in India. He will -- He will destroy their influence. No Lavals, no Mussolinis will be tolerated in a Free World.

The people, in their millennial and revolutionary march toward manifesting here on earth the dignity that is in every human soul, hold as their credo the Four Freedoms enunciated by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress on January 6th, 1941. These four freedoms are the very core of the revolution for which the United Nations have taken their stand. We who live in the United States may think there is nothing very revolutionary about freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom from fear -- freedom from the secret police. But when we begin to think about the significance of freedom from want for the average man, then we know that the revolution of the past 150 years has not been completed, either here in the United States or any place else in the world. We know that this revolution can not stop until freedom from want has actually been attained.

And now, as we move forward toward realizing the Four Freedoms of this people's revolution, I would like to speak about four duties.

It is my belief that every freedom, every right, every privilege has its price, its corresponding duty without which it can not be enjoyed. The four duties of the people's revolution, as I see them, as of this day, are these:

1. The duty to produce to the limit.

2. The duty to transport as rapidly as possible to the line of battle.

3. The duty to fight with all that is in us.

And,

4. The duty to build a peace -- just, charitable, and enduring.

The fourth duty is that which inspires the other three.

We failed in our job after World War Number One. We did not know how to -- how to go about it, to build an enduring world-wide peace. We did not have the nerve to follow through and prevent Germany from rearming. We did not -- We did not insist that she "learn war no more." We did not build a peace treaty on the fundamental doctrine of the people's revolution. We did not strive whole-heartedly to create a world where there could be freedom from want for all the peoples. But by our very errors we learned much, and after this war we shall be in position to utilize our knowledge in building a world which is economically, politically, and, I hope, spiritually sound.

Modern science, which is a by-product and essential part of the people's revolution, has made it technologically possible to see that all the people of the world get enough to eat. Half in fun, half seriously, I said the other day to Madame Litvinov: "The object of this war is to make it sure that everyone can have a quart of milk to drink every day." And she said: "Yes, even half a pint." The peace must mean a better standard of living for the common man, not merely in the United States and England, but also in India, Russia, China, and Latin America -- not merely in the United Nations, but also in Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Some have spoken of the "American Century." I say that the century on which we are entering -- the century which will come into being after this war -- can be and must be the century of the common man.

Perhaps it will be America's opportunity to -- to support the Freedom[s] and Duties by which the common man must live. Everywhere, the common man must learn to build his own industries with his own hands in practical fashion. Everywhere, the common man must learn to increase his productivity so that he and his children can eventually pay to the world community all that they have received. No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism.

The methods of the 19th century will not work in the people's century, which is now about to begin. India, China, and Latin America have a tremendous stake in the people's century. As their masses learn to read and write, and as they become productive mechanics, their standard of living will double and treble. Modern science, when devoted whole-heartedly to the general welfare, has in it potentialities of which we do not yet dream.

And modern science must be released from German slavery. International cartels that serve American greed and German will to power must go. Cartels in the peace to come must be subjected to international control for the common man, as well as being under adequate control by the respective home governments. In this way, we can prevent the Germans from again building a war machine while we sleep. With international monopoly pools under control, it will be possible for inventions to serve all the people instead of only the few.

Yes, and when the time of peace comes, the citizen will again have a duty; the consumer will have a duty -- the supreme duty of sacrificing the lesser interest for the greater interest of the general welfare. Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples. We ourselves in the United States are no more a master race than the Nazis. And we can not perpetuate economic warfare without planting the seeds of military warfare. We must use our power at the peace table to build an economic peace that is charitable and enduring.

If we really believe that we are fighting for a people's peace, all the rest becomes easy. Production? Yes. It will be easy to get production without either strikes or sabotage, production with the whole-hearted cooperation between willing arms and keen brains; enthusiasm, zip, energy geared to the tempo of keeping everlastingly at it day after day. Hitler knows as well as those of us who sit in on the War Production Board meetings that we here in the United States are winning the battle of production. He knows that both labor and business in the United States are doing a most remarkable job and that his only hope is to crash through to a complete victory some time during the next six months.

Then there is the task of transportation to the line of battle by truck, and railroad car, and ship. We shall joyously deny ourselves so that our transportation system is improved by at least 30 percent. And there will have to be some denying, and you're going to hear plenty about it.

I need say little about the duty to fight. Some people declare, and Hitler believes, that the American people have grown soft in the last generation. Hitler agents continually preach in South America that we are cowards, unable to use, like the "brave" German soldiers, the weapons of modern war. It is true that American youth hates war with a holy hatred. But because of that fact and because Hitler and the German people stand as the very symbol of war, we shall fight with a tireless enthusiasm until war, and the possibility of war, have been removed from this planet. We shall cleanse the plague spot of Europe, which is Hitler's Germany, not the real Germany, and with it the hellhole of Asia, which is Japan.

  The American people have always had guts and always will have. You know the story of Bomber Pilot Dixon, and Radioman Gene Aldrich, and Ordnanceman Tony Pastula -- the story which Americans will be telling their children for generations to come as an illustration man's ability to master any fate. These men lived for 34 days on the open sea in a rubber life raft, 8 feet by 4 feet, with no food but that which they took from the sea and the air with one pocket knife and a pistol. And yet they lived it through and came at last to the beach of an island they did not know. In spite of their suffering, they stood like men, with no weapon left to protect themselves, no shoes on their feet or clothes on their backs, and walked in military file because, they said, "If there were Japs, we didn't want to be crawling."

The American fighting men, and all the fighting men of the United Nations, will need to summon all their courage during the next few months. I am convinced that the summer and fall of 1942 will be a time of supreme crisis for all of us. Hitler, like the prize fighter who realizes that he is on the verge of being knocked out, is gathering all his remaining forces for one last, desperate blow. There is abject fear in the heart of the madman and a growing discontent among his people as he prepares for his last all-out offensive.

We may be sure that Hitler and Japan will cooperate to do the unexpected -- perhaps an attack by Japan against Alaska and our northwest coast at the time when German transport planes will be shuttled across from Dakar to furnish leadership and stiffening to a German uprising in Latin America. In any event, the psychological and sabotage offensive in the United States and Latin America will be timed to coincide with, or anticipate by a few weeks, the height of the military offensive.

We must be especially prepared to stifle the fifth columnists in the United States who will try to sabotage not merely our war material plants but, even more important -- infinitely more important -- our minds. We must be prepared for the worst kind of fifth-column work in Latin America, much of it operating through the agency of governments with which the United States at present is at peace. When I say this, I recognize that the peoples -- the peoples both of Latin America and of the nations supporting the agencies through which the fifth columnists work, are overwhelmingly on the side of the democracies. We must expect the offensive against us on the military, propaganda and sabotage fronts, both in the United States and Latin America, to reach its apex some time during the next few months. The convulsive efforts of the dying madman will be so great that some of us may be deceived into thinking that the situation is bad at the very time when it is really getting better.

But in the case of most of us, the events of the next few months, disturbing though they may be, will only increase our will to bring about complete victory in this war of liberation. Prepared in spirit, we cannot be surprised. Psychological terrorism will fall flat. As we nerve ourselves for the supreme effort in this hemisphere we must not forget the sublime heroism of the oppressed in Europe and Asia, whether it be in the mountains of Yugoslavia, the factories of Czechoslovakia and France, the farms of Poland, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium, among the seamen of Norway, or in the occupied areas of China and the Dutch East Indies. Everywhere the soul of man is letting the tyrant know that slavery of the body does not end resistance.

There can be no half measures. North, South, East, West, and Middle West -- the will of the American people is for complete victory.

No compromise with Satan is possible. We shall not rest until the victims under the Nazi and Japanese yoke are freed. We shall fight for a complete peace as well as a complete victory.

The people's revolution is on the march, and the devil and all his angels can not prevail against it. They can not prevail, for on the side of the people is the Lord.

He giveth power to the faint; [and] to them that have no might He increaseth strength....they that wait upon the Lord...shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not be faint.3

Strong in the strength of the Lord, we who fight in the people's cause will never stop until that cause is won.

 

 

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