We have established here a democracy on the principle that all men are created equal. It is our endeavor to extend equal blessings to all. It can be done approximately if we establish the correct standards. We are coming to see that we are dependent upon commercial and industrial prosperity, not only for the creation of wealth, but for the solving of the great problem of the distribution of wealth. There is just one condition on which men can secure employment and a living, nourishing, profitable wages for whatever they contribute to the enterprise, be it labor or capital, and that condition is that some one make a profit by it. That is the sound basis for the distribution of wealth and the only one. It cannot be done by law, it cannot be done by public ownership, it cannot be done by socialism. When you deny the right to a profit you deny the right of a reward to thrift and industry.
The scientists tell us that the same force that rounds the teardrop moulds the earth. Physical laws have their analogy in social and industrial life. The law that builds up the people is the law that builds up industry. What price could the millions, who have found the inestimable blessings of American citizenship around our great industrial centres, after coming here from lands of oppression, afford to pay to those who organized those industries? Shall we not recognize the great service they have done the cause of humanity? Have we not seen what happens to industry, to transportation, to all commercial activity which we call business when profit fails? Have we not seen the suffering and misery which it entails upon the people?
Let us recognize the source of these fundamental principles and not hesitate to assert them. Let us frown upon greed and selfishness, but let us also condemn envy and uncharitableness. Let us have done with misunderstandings, let us strive to realize the dream of democracy by a prosperity of industry that shall mean the prosperity of the people, by a strengthening of our material resources that shall mean a strengthening of our character, by a merchandising that has for its end manhood, and womanhood, the ideal of American Citizenship.
ON THE NATURE OF POLITICS
Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been put upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service. The Greek derivation shows the nobler purpose. Politikos means city-rearing, state-craft. And when we remember that city also meant civilization, the spurious presentment, mean and sordid, drops away and the real figure of the politician, dignified and honorable, a minister to civilization, author and finisher of government, is revealed in its true and dignified proportions.