Seeking Freedom in a Mechanized \(An address, “The Spirit of Roosevelt,” by State Sen. Henry Gonzalez, San Antonio, to the Roosevelt Day Dinner in Dallas Feb. 22, excerpted from the text My first’ desire tonight is to thank the committee that in Dallas has the chosen task of cornmemorating a great national leader whom we all revere and honor. When I consider that such eminent and illustrious persons as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt have been chosen to speak before this group not too long ago, I find it hard to divorce myself from a heavy feeling of responsibility. In fact, so much have I felt this responsibility, I have for the first time since I sought public office in San Antonio in 1953 written and formally prepared a speech. I always feel better and more natural when speaking my heart and mind freely and with no prepared text to distract my attention, but on this auspicious occasion I found myself constantly thinking of the event and fearing the possibility of disappointing. If I stray, please forgive me, but I beseech you to try to understand that like an old reformed drunk, an occasional relapse or temptation is to be expected. I am grateful to have the chance to say a few things concerning Franklin Delano Roosevelt and what he symbolizes. In these days of aimless floundering, oh how we need his inspired leadership. What a constant and never ceasing struggle this is: to preserve liberty, economic as well as political. Great humanitarians like FDR did not content themselves with talking a fight: they fought a fight. He and such men as George Norris and other stalwarts were no lip-service liberals but men of deep convictions rooted in the basic traditions of the homespun American. These bed-rock principles, so revolutionary in concept, escaped America for intervals of time; when they returned in the principles and actions of such men as Norris and Roosevelt they were suspect, were they preached today they would bring down the concerted wrath of the Eastlands and McCarthys. We can analyze and study some of the present day nettlesome problems and attempt to conceive how a Franklin Roosevelt might approach their solution. `Plan for Freedom’ Regardless of the carping critics and one hundred percent AmeHcaners, we must plan for freedom. Why? Destiny and fate have conspired to catapult America into world leadership, following the suicide of Europe. We must admit three major developments in the last half century that have procompletion of the conquest of the growth of industrial capitalism, which has caused widespread economic insecurity and a corresponding increase in the power and responsibility of government, resulting in a shrinking of personal liberty and equality of opgression of growth of the danger of international conflict, putting an end to the doctrine of isolation. I believe FDR would have said that these new problems could be met only by studied and deliberate effort, guided by the over-all purposes and ends to be achieved as well as by the compelling consideration of the available means. In no event would he believe that the problems could be solved by allowing events to take their course, willy nilly, such as our present Republican leadership thinks. He would have said that the immediate problems are practical, though the implications of these problems are spiritual and philosophical, and that to deal simply with obvious dilemmas, a la Ike, without serious thought and study of the ultimate objectives, means being carried by the current; and in the mid-20th century, that means being carried into the vortex of the totalitarian state. Now in the ability of the American people to deal successfully with this dilemma depends not only the fate of Ainerica but the entire world: for the modern world is divided ‘between two rival systems of philosophy and social living. One is based on the ideal of personal freedom and the other on the ideal of totalitarian collectivism. And while the Western World SEN. HENRY GONZALEZ may prefer and value personal freedom, it is conceivable that it may choose collectivism if it should ever come to the conclusion that the choice is between genuine freedom only for a few and economic insecurity and exploitation for the majority. Look what has ‘ already happened in Germany, Italy, and other socalled Western countries. `Manifest Destiny’ Men everywhere are waiting for a convincing demonstration of the maintenance of a free way of life in a mechanized economy. To do this is the manifest destiny of the American; it is his inescapable fate. For if we in America fail in our attempt to maintain freedom, resulting in chaos and regression, or if we should surrender to some form of totalitarianism, then it is improbable that liberal ideals can be preserved by smaller and much weaker nations anywhere else. What is needed, it has been said, is not only a grogram of economic reform, but also a reasoned philosophy of freedom and faith. As the poet Whitman said, the preservation of the American ideal depends on the growth of the “appropriate religious and moral character beneath the political and productive and intellectual bases of the states.” The motivating ideal and principle of American nationality has been the belief that the average man can be trusted with freedom and responsibility, that the people cannot be protected against themselves. It holds in error the idea that “some men are sent to the world booted, spurred, and ready to ride on the saddled backs of less fortunate mankind.” This belief, derived from the ChristianJudaic faith in the infinite value of the individual soul, constitutes the greatest moral and spiritual resource of the American people. It is the spirit that characterized FDR. Although this faith has been the hallmark of the American, it has never been accepted by all Amer icans. Much of American history has been the conflict between the American ideal and the European attitudes of class privilege and government by elite. And when America has failed it has failed in direct proportion as it strays from its ideal and adopts or has been too much influenced by the doctrines and precedents derived from Europe. For instance, one example of European influence in the twentieth century has been provided by the radical movements ideologically rooted in European collectivism. For while the collectivism of the Left pretends to believe in Democracy, in reality it is led by men who distrust the capacity of the ordinary citizen and who hold that the average man is always swayed by propaganda and indoctrination, and its real tendency is toward the formation of a new elite of radicals who will assume responsibility for the guidance of the masses. When Americans have been too receptive to undemocratic doctrines, it has been because they have not considered and thought sufficiently in American terms. And for the very same reason, they have too often been corrupted by racial prejudice and doctrines of racial inequality at variance with their national ideals. As T. B. Macauley foresaw, as American society became less mobile and more static, if there was to be no growth of a genuine social idealism, then it could be predicted that America would finally become totalitarian. For, as we know, totalitarianism is a method of enforcing order upon a people who have ‘lost a genuine sense of unity. Therefore, the primary purpose of our economic and social institutions should be to maintain the dignity of the individual, to extend his freedom, and to provide means for the fullest and most harmonious development of the human pergonality. This is what I believe FDR thought and stated. THE TEXAN-SANTA FE PIO-NEERS, By Noel M. Loomis. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Okla., 1958. $5. What and why was itthis tortured trek of some 300 or 400 men and boys from Austin, Texas, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the year 1841? Was it the ill-conceived, foredoomed-to-failure military filibuster that Sam Houston, then possessed of an overweening desire to be President of the Republic of Texas, held that it was? Or was it an intelligent attempt to try to jack Texas out of its gathering financial crisis as Mirabeau B. Lamar, who was then President of the Republic, said that it was? Loomis, all of whose previouslypublished work has been in the hoss-opera genre, says that, no matter what may have been the original intent, it was a successful expedition, leading almost directly into the Mexican War and the subsequent acquisition by the United States of a land area bigger than the Louisiana Purchase, equal to one-third of the continental United States, almost one million square miles. The book divides roughly into three parts, the first third ‘being given almost entirely to the expedition itself: its conception, gestation and birth, the setting out from Austin north and west into uncharted wilderness, the first white man’s crossing from east to west of the bone-dry, gyp-water Llano Estacado, entries from the log book: `Radical ‘Changes’ 1 believe FDR would, if living today, have restated vigorously that the main objective of a free economy is the widest possible diffusion of ownership; and that while this means sustaining of independent private ownership where it still exists, in farming business enterprises \(despite radical changes in the organization of large-scale production. The position of the wage earner in the larger corporation, having no security of employment, no control over the’ conditions under which he works, and no share of responsibility in determining the policies upon which his livelihood depends, is a denial of American ideals of individual freedom and initiative. He is not a free man but a hireling. Even, as it has been said, when the wage earner has no specific economic grievances, he still suffers from a sense of alienation from the full rights and responsibilities of manhood; and for this reason economic readjustments alone are unlikely to prevent conflict. Whether by legal redefinition of the meaning of property rights, by industrial statesmanship, or by trade union leadership, wage earners should be able to acquire job security, a participation in management, and a fairer share both in profits and risks of the corporation for which they work. Such changes are naturally to be expected to be resisted by some, exclaiming \(as in the time of vasion of property and against levelism.” Yet their purpose would be to maintain those principles in which American capitalism professes to believe: individual freedom, private enterprise and initiative, and the American way of life. Certainly, the present aimless “It was now discovered that two of our men \(30 in all were were missing, unable to keep up with the main body … We could only hope that they might be able to follow our trail … it was impossible to go back in search of them \(and they were At the foot of the Caprock, the Pioneers split into two main parties. The first of these, generally known from its leaders’ names as the Sutton-Cooke party, numbered 100 men. The second group, about 180 men, came to be known from its leader as the McLeod party. The Sutton-Cooke group went up the Caprock and across the Llano to San Miguel, N. M., not far from Santa Fe, where it was met by a military force of New Mexicans sent to intercept them by the Spanish Governor of New Mexico, Manuel Armijo. Ditto the McLeod party. Both groups laid down their arms without firing a shotproof, says Loomis, that they were not filibustero s. Armijo made them prisoners and sent them on a 2,000-mile jornada del muerte to Mexico City via El Paso and Chihuahua City, although by slightly different routes. On the way to Mexico’s capital, about 40 died, from hunger, disease, exposure, thirst, or New Mexican lead. The ears of the dead were cut off and strung on thongsfor the record. In Mexico City those who had Other areas of present-day social .development, now unnoticed and unchallenged, would have been attacked. Is universal military service really up to date or should it be re-examined? I believe that some of the wasted time that we force our youngsters to suffer could be eliminated. Franklin Roosevelt was always loyal to the spiritual core of Americanism, the beliefs in human freedom and equality. He would ask us to have, at this crucial junction, stronger faith in ourselves, a fuller understanding of our own Americanism, and, above all, a sense of direction. survived the jornada were imprisoned, set to cleaning streets of human excrement, chained tandem to Mexican felons, housed in pest houses for lepers and small pox victims. Most survived both journada and prison and returned to Texas, able to fight again for the Lone Star Republic. At least 20 fought in the series of actions ending in the Mier Expedition. Many went on to fight for the U. S. in the Mexican War and for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The second third of the hook some 60 pagescontains Loomis’s commentary and opinionS. The final third is given to appendices: rosters, biographical sketches, a chronology of the expedition up to San Miguel and the capture by Armijo, a list of Mexican prisons in which the Pioneers were kept, a list of the ships on which they came home to Texasand the like, things especially useful to the scholar, but of interest as well to even the casual reader. The book has many fine maps, including tipped-in map of Texas showing its western boundary extending to the Rio Grande where that river bisects New Mexico from north to south, and several maps of the expedition. So far as this reviewer is concerned this is the definitive work on the Texas-Santa Fe expedition. LYMAN JONES THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 March 14, 1958 Economy drift of events leaves much to be 4 desired. I think FDR, if living, and confronted with our present day headaches, would already have recognized the necessity for action, and would not wait until the deluge is upon us. He would be free from the superstition that any new, or even any formulated economic responsibility of the government necessarily means a step along the road to serfdom. He would be aware of some advances made in economic theory since the 1930’s, such as the development of the input-output analysis and linear programming. These techniques, almost indispensable in our economic milieu, would serve the purpose of clari
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