The New Freedom eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The New Freedom.
in is having the government of the United States more concerned about human rights than about property rights.  Property is an instrument of humanity; humanity isn’t an instrument of property.  And yet when you see some men riding their great industries as if they were driving a car of juggernaut, not looking to see what multitudes prostrate themselves before the car and lose their lives in the crushing effect of their industry, you wonder how long men are going to be permitted to think more of their machinery than they think of their men.  Did you never think of it,—­men are cheap, and machinery is dear; many a superintendent is dismissed for overdriving a delicate machine, who wouldn’t be dismissed for overdriving an overtaxed man.  You can discard your man and replace him; there are others ready to come into his place; but you can’t without great cost discard your machine and put a new one in its place.  You are less apt, therefore, to look upon your men as the essential vital foundation part of your whole business.  It is time that property, as compared with humanity, should take second place, not first place.  We must see to it that there is no over-crowding, that there is no bad sanitation, that there is no unnecessary spread of avoidable diseases, that the purity of food is safeguarded, that there is every precaution against accident, that women are not driven to impossible tasks, nor children permitted to spend their energy before it is fit to be spent.  The hope and elasticity of the race must be preserved; men must be preserved according to their individual needs, and not according to the programs of industry merely.  What is the use of having industry, if we perish in producing it?  If we die in trying to feed ourselves, why should we eat?  If we die trying to get a foothold in the crowd, why not let the crowd trample us sooner and be done with it?  I tell you that there is beginning to beat in this nation a great pulse of irresistible sympathy which is going to transform the processes of government amongst us.  The strength of America is proportioned only to the health, the energy, the hope, the elasticity, the buoyancy of the American people.

Is not that the greatest thought that you can have of freedom,—­the thought of it as a gift that shall release men and women from all that pulls them back from being their best and from doing their best, that shall liberate their energy to its fullest limit, free their aspirations till no bounds confine them, and fill their spirits with the jubilance of realizable hope?

XII

THE LIBERATION OF A PEOPLE’S VITAL ENERGIES

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The New Freedom from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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