Anthology of Conservative Writing in the United States, 1932-1960

Anthology of Conservative Writing in the United States, 1932-1960

Anthology of Conservative Writing in the United States, 1932-1960

Anthology of Conservative Writing in the United States, 1932-1960

Excerpt

When our grandchildren of today are old enough to read these pages, the results of the steady chipping away of our precious human freedom by political promises of material betterment through the welfare state should be thoroughly known.

Suppose the welfare state works out as promised and succeeds in advancing the spiritual, moral, and material development of American citizens? Then the welfare state will be rated as "good," and this book will simply be ignored, as old-fashioned, behind-the-times.

Suppose, on the other hand, as I both firmly believe and fear, the welfare state does not work out as promised? That instead it results in destroying the spiritual, moral, and material well-being of American citizens and reducing them to a state of servitude? Perhaps even then it will not be impossible for our grandchildren to correct our mistakes, and this book may help them. As Grover Cleveland said in his Inaugural Address of May 4, 1893:

"The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their Government, its functions do not include the support of the people. . . . The unwholesome progeny of paternalism . . . is the bane of republican institutions and the constant peril of our government by the people. It degrades to the purposes of wily craft the plan of rule our fathers established and bequeathed to us as an object of our love and veneration. It perverts the patriotic sentiments of our countrymen and tempts them to pitiful calculation of the sordid gain to be derived from their Government's maintenance. It undermines the self-reliance of our people and substitutes in its place dependence upon governmental favoritism. It stifles the spirit of true Americanism and stupefies every ennobling trait of American citizenship."

At about the same time, Yale's Professor of Political Economy, William Graham Sumner, said the same thing more succinctly:

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