Friday, August 5, 2011

The Wisdom of Frankiln D. Roosevelt

I was doing some research for the book I am currently writing and I was fascinated by many of the quotes by FDR. So many of them could apply as easily to oppressive government.

It turns out that one quote that has been attributed to him may have been falsely attributed. Although, he may not have said it, I believe it to be true. “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” Author Unknown

The following timely quotes were his. Words in italics are my thoughts.

·  They, (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers . . . call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.

·        We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.

·        Are you laboring under the impression that I read these memoranda of yours? I can't even lift them. (I just threw this in because I found in funny in light of the size of our bills today.)

·        The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers. The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.

·        The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor — these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small-businessmen, the investments set aside for old age — other people's money — these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in. Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities. Throughout the nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise. (He was referring to the greed and corruption of monopolies. Today, this could also apply to the effects of a government grown too big and too controlling. Both situations are detrimental to individual initiative and freedom.)

·        For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor — other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness. (Once again, he was referring to what he called industrial dictatorships. And once again, we can substitute governmental dictatorships which are just as oppressive.) 

·        We do not see faith, hope, and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.
Faith — in the soundness of democracy in the midst of dictatorships.
Hope — renewed because we know so well the progress we have made.
Charity — in the true spirit of that grand old word. For charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves.

A hand up is not the same thing as a hand out. Almost all of us find ourselves in need of a hand up from time to time. Perpetual reliance on hand outs, however, crushes individual initiative, destroys our freedoms, and will, eventually bring our country down.


  1. Love your quotes--they give a lot of insight into the man!

  2. I was just telling another friend that I had only thought of him as being instrumental in putting a lot of socialistic programs in place but now I believe that he did have a good heart. He recognized that almost everybody, often through no fault of their own, needs help. He also knew that these programs should only be used temporarily as a way to help people help themselves or the human spirit would be crushed.

  3. Sounds like you've been busy with all that research. Interesting quotes.