1. THE ORIGIN OF THE DEMOCRATIC IDEAL
World democracy was the secret dream of the great classical philosophers. ... Thousands of years before Columbus they were aware of the existence of our Western Hemisphere and selected it to be the site of the philosophic empire. ... The brilliant plan of the Ancients has survived to our time, and it will continue to function until the great work is accomplished. ... The American nation desperately needs a vision of its own purpose.
can not refuse the challenge of leadership in the postwar world. Mere physical reconstruction of ravaged countries and the reorganization of political, economic, and social systems is the lesser task we will face. The larger problem and the great challenge is in how to set up a new order of world ethics firmly established on a foundation of democratic idealism. Experts in various fields have already submitted programs designed to meet the needs of those nations whose way of life has been disrupted by war. But with the failing common to specially trained minds, these planners incline to think mostly in the terms of their own particular interests. As yet, no one has touched the fundamentals of international ethics. No one has advanced a working plan securely based upon a broad, deep, and sympathetic understanding of the human being and his problems. The thinking has been in the dual fields of power politics and material economics, with remedies expressed in terms of charts, blueprints, patterns, and industrial programs. But, there is one new and encouraging element present in most of the recommendations of today's experts. They are recognizing the necessity of conceiving the world as one inter-dependent structure. Yet, even as they recognize the need for a unity of human interests, their recommendations are for the perpetuation of highly competitive economic policies, which, if they are consistently applied, must lead in the end to war and discord. It is not an easy task to unite the efforts of the human race toward the accomplishment of any common good. Mankind in the majority is selfish, provincial in attitude, and concerned primarily with personal success and acquiring creature comforts. It will not be possible to build an enduring peace until the average man has been convinced that personal selfishness is detrimental to personal happiness and personal success. It must be
shown that self-seeking has gone out of fashion, and that the world is moving on to a larger conception of living. The postwar planners have more of idealism in their programs than has ever before been expressed in the problem of the relationships of nations. But it still is not enough. A clear and complete statement of a world purpose is required--a world dream great enough to inspire unity of world effort. These are the days of America's opportunity to lead a still troubled mankind toward a better way of life. If we meet this challenge, we will insure not only survival of our nation for centuries to come, but we shall gain the enduring gratitude of our fellowmen and Americans will be remembered to the end of time as a great enlightened people. It is not enough that we solve particular problems. We must solve the very cause of problem itself. Wars, depressions, crime, dictators and their oppressions, are the symptoms giving clear indication of a greater ailment. To examine each problem solely in terms of the problem itself, without recognition of its true relationship to a larger and more universal necessity, is to fail in the broader implications of an enduring peace and prosperity. Experience should have taught us long ago that policies which have originated from material considerations and attitudes have proved inadequate. The whole story of civilization and the records of history tell us that all such adjustments hold no hope of lasting peace or security. But, here we are again preparing ourselves to be satisfied with temporary solutions for permanent problems....
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