Wednesday, January 6, 2021

An Anniversary

This morning, on WAMC's Roundtable, panelist Paul Sparrow, who is the director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, pointed out that today is the 80th anniversary of Roosevelt's 1941 annual message to Congress, now known as the Four Freedoms speech. The following is quoted from that speech:
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A transcript of the entire speech can be found here.

FDR's speech inspired Norman Rockwell's famous 1943 "Four Freedoms" paintings, which can be viewed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

1 comment:

  1. “To that new order we oppose the greater conception--the moral order.”

    FDR’s meaning is unmistakable, that there is one moral order. (I’d hasten to add, it’s singular even when it’s recognized only situationally.)

    When we relativize “THE moral order,” we undermine the whole experiment. Don't do it.