Signs of the Times

Topic: Freedom Defined

[Dr. Robert M. Hutchins, President of the University of Chicago, as quoted in the Muncie (Indiana) Morning Star]

Freedom, democracy, and human rights become mere propaganda pharases, and are properly distrusted as such, unless they are employed with that conviction that comes from understanding. Freedom of speech is empty unless we have something to say. Freedom of worship is empty if we know no God. And what are freedom from want and freedom from fear if we have no idea of what to do with our money or our security? If freedom is doing what you please, it is not merely empty, it is dangerous. The will to self-realization becomes the will to power, and freedom ends in slavery.

And, unless we believe, and canshow we believe, that human rights for which we are fighting are the rights of all beings, we must confess that justice is the interest of the stronger, and that might makes right. When we have made this confession, we have lost the war.

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September 26, 1942

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