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美国20世纪最伟大的100篇演讲FDR - Four Freedoms

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AmericanRhetoric.com


Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
The Four Freedoms

 

Delivered
6 January,
1941

AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:
Text
version below
transcribed
directly
from
audio

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the 77 th Congress:

I address you, the members of this new Congress, at a moment
unprecedented in the history
of the union. I use the word “unprecedented” because at no previous time has American
security been as seriously threatened from without as it
is today.

Since the permanent formation of our government under the Constitution
in 1789, most of the
periods of crisis in our history have related to our domestic affairs. And, fortunately, only one
of these the
fouryear
war between the States ever
threatened our national
unity.
Today, thank God, 130,000,000
Americans in 48 States have forgotten points of the compass
in our national unity.

It
is true that prior to 1914 the United States often
has been disturbed by events in other
continents. We have even engaged in two wars
with
European
nations and in a number of
undeclared wars in
the West
Indies, in
the Mediterranean and in
the Pacific, for the
maintenance of American rights and for the principles of peaceful
commerce. But in no case
had a serious threat been raised against our national safety or our continued independence.

What
I seek to convey is the historic truth
that the United States as a nation
has at all times
maintained opposition clear,
definite opposition to
any attempt
to lock us in behind an
ancient Chinese wall while the procession of civilization went past. Today, thinking of our
children and of their children, we oppose enforced isolation for ourselves or for any other part
of the Americas.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
1



AmericanRhetoric.com


That determination of ours, extending over all
these years, was proved,
for example, in the
early days during the quarter century of wars following the French Revolution. While the
Napoleonic struggles did threaten
interests of the United States because of the French
foothold in the West
Indies and in Louisiana, and while we engaged in the
War of 1812 to
vindicate our right to peaceful
trade,
it is nevertheless clear that
neither France nor Great
Britain
nor any other nation was aiming at domination of the whole world.


And in like fashion, from 1815 to 1914 ninetynine
years no
single war in Europe or in
Asia constituted a real threat against our future
or against the future of any other American
nation.

Except in
the Maximilian interlude in Mexico, no
foreign power sought to
establish itself in this
hemisphere. And the strength of the British
fleet in the Atlantic has been a friendly strength. it
is still a friendly strength.

Even when the World War broke out in 1914, it seemed to
contain only small
threat of danger
to our own
American
future. But as time went on, as we remember, the American people
began to visualize what
the downfall of democratic nations might
mean to our own
democracy.

We need not overemphasize imperfections in the peace of Versailles. We need not harp on
failure of the democracies to deal with
problems of world reconstruction. We should remember
that
the peace of 1919 was far less unjust than
the kind of pacification which
began even
before Munich, and which
is being carried on
under the new order of tyranny that seeks to
spread over every continent today. The American people have unalterably set
their faces
against
that tyranny.

I suppose that every realist knows that
the democratic way of life is at
this moment being
directly assailed in every part of the world assailed
either by arms or by secret spreading of
poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord
in nations that
are still at peace. During 16 long months this assault has blotted out
the whole pattern of
democratic life in an appalling number of independent
nations, great and small. And the
assailants are still on the march, threatening other nations, great and small.

Therefore, as your President, performing my constitutional duty to
"give to
the Congress
information of the state of the union,"
I
find it unhappily necessary to report
that
the future
and the safety of our country and of our democracy are overwhelmingly involved in events far
beyond our borders.

Armed defense of democratic existence is now being gallantly waged in
four continents. If
that defense fails, all the population and all the
resources of Europe and Asia, and Africa and
AustralAsia
will be dominated by conquerors. And let us remember that the total of those
populations in those four continents, the total of those populations and their resources greatly
exceed the sum total of the population and the resources of the whole of the Western
Hemisphere yes,
many times over.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
2



AmericanRhetoric.com


In
times like these it is immature and,
incidentally, untrue for
anybody to brag that an
unprepared America, singlehanded
and with one hand tied behind its back, can
hold off the
whole world.


No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of
true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion or
even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety.

As a nation we may take pride in
the fact
that we are softhearted.
but we cannot afford to be
softheaded.
We must always be wary of those who with sounding brass and a tinkling
cymbal preach the "ism" of appeasement. We must
especially beware of that small group of
selfish
men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to
feather their own
nests.

I have recently pointed out
how quickly the tempo of modern warfare could bring into our
very
midst the physical attack which we must eventually expect
if the dictator nations win this
war.


There is much loose talk of our immunity from immediate and direct
invasion
from across the
seas.
Obviously, as long as the British Navy retains its power, no such danger exists. Even
if
there were no British Navy, it is not probable that any enemy would be stupid enough
to
attack us by landing troops in
the United States
from across thousands of miles of ocean, until
it had acquired strategic bases from which to operate.

But we learn
much from the lessons of the past
years in
Europe particularly
the lesson of
Norway, whose essential seaports were captured by treachery and surprise built up over a
series of years. The first phase of the invasion of this hemisphere would not be the landing of
regular troops.
The necessary strategic points would be occupied by secret agents and by
their dupes and
great
numbers of them are already here and in Latin
America. As long as
the aggressor nations maintain the offensive they, not we, will choose the time and the place
and the method of their attack.

And that is why the future of all the American Republics is today in serious danger.
That is
why this annual message
to
the Congress is unique in our history. That is why every member
of the executive branch of the government and
every member of the Congress face great
responsibility, great accountability. The need of
the moment
is that our actions and our policy
should be devoted primarily almost
exclusively to
meeting this foreign peril. For all our
domestic problems are now a part of the great emergency.

Just as our national policy in
internal affairs has been based upon a decent
respect
for the
rights and the dignity of all our fellow
men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign
affairs has been based on a decent respect
for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large
and small. And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
3



AmericanRhetoric.com


Our national policy is this:

First, by an impressive expression of the public
will and without regard to partisanship, we are
committed to allinclusive
national defense.

Secondly, by an
impressive expression of the public will and without regard to
partisanship,
we are committed to full support of all
those resolute people everywhere who are resisting
aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our hemisphere. By
this support we
express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail, and we strengthen the
defense and the security of our own
nation.

Third, by an impressive expression of the public
will and without regard to partisanship, we
are committed to the proposition that principles
of morality and considerations for our own
security will
never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by
appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at
the cost of other people's
freedom.

In
the recent national election there was no substantial difference between
the two great
parties in respect
to that national policy. No
issue was fought out on this line before the
American electorate.
And today it
is abundantly evident
that
American citizens everywhere
are demanding and supporting speedy and complete action
in recognition of obvious danger.


Therefore, the immediate need is a swift and driving increase in our armament production.
Leaders of industry and labor have responded
to our summons. Goals of speed have been
set. In some cases these goals are being reached ahead of time. In
some cases we are on
schedule. in
other cases there are slight but
not serious delays. And in some cases and,
I
am sorry to say,
very important cases we
are all concerned by the slowness of the
accomplishment of our plans.

The Army and Navy, however, have made substantial progress during the past year.
Actual
experience is improving and speeding up our methods of production with every passing
day. And today's best is not good enough
for tomorrow.

I am not satisfied with
the progress thus far made. The men in charge of the program
represent the best
in training,
in ability, and in patriotism. They are not satisfied with
the
progress thus far made.
None of us will be satisfied until the job is done.


No matter whether the original goal was set
too high or too low, our objective is quicker and
better results.

To give you
two illustrations:

We are behind schedule in turning out
finished airplanes.
We are working day and night
to
solve the innumerable problems and to
catch
up.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
4



AmericanRhetoric.com


We are ahead of schedule in building warships,
but we are working to get
even further ahead
of that schedule.


To change a whole nation from a basis of peacetime production of implements of peace to a
basis of wartime production of implements of war is no
small task. And the greatest difficulty
comes at
the beginning of the program, when new tools, new plant facilities, new assembly
lines, new shipways must
first be constructed before the actual material begins to flow
steadily and speedily from them.

The Congress of course, must
rightly keep itself
informed at all
times of the progress of the
program. However, there is certain information, as the Congress itself will readily recognize,
which, in the interests of our own
security and those of the nations that we are supporting,
must of needs be kept in confidence.

New circumstances are constantly begetting new needs for our safety. I
shall ask this
Congress for greatly increased new appropriations and authorizations to carry on what we
have begun.

I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to
manufacture additional
munitions and war supplies of many kinds,
to be turned over to
those nations which are now
in actual war with aggressor nations. Our most
useful and immediate role is to act as an
arsenal
for them as well as for ourselves. They do not
need manpower, but they do
need
billions of dollars’ worth of the weapons of defense.

The time is near when
they will
not be able to pay for them all
in ready cash. We cannot, and
we will
not, tell them that
they must
surrender
merely because of present
inability to pay for
the weapons which we know they must
have.


I do
not recommend that we make them a loan
of dollars with which to pay for these weapons
a
loan
to be repaid in dollars. I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to
continue to obtain war materials in the United States, fitting their orders into our own
program. And nearly all of their material would,
if the time ever came, be useful
in our own
defense.

Taking counsel of expert
military and naval authorities, considering what
is best for our own
security, we are free to
decide how much should be kept here and how much should be sent
abroad to our friends who, by their determined
and heroic resistance, are giving us time in
which
to
make ready our own defense.

For what we send abroad we shall be repaid, repaid within a reasonable time following the
close of hostilities, repaid in similar materials, or at our option in other goods of many kinds
which
they can produce and which we need.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
5



AmericanRhetoric.com


Let
us say to the democracies: "We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of
freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources, and our organizing powers to give
you
the strength
to regain and maintain a free world. We shall
send you
in everincreasing
numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. That
is our purpose and our pledge."

In
fulfillment of this purpose we will
not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that
they
will regard as a breach of international
law or as an act of war our aid to
the democracies
which dare to resist
their aggression. Such aid Such
aid is not an act of war, even
if a
dictator should unilaterally proclaim it so to be.

And when
the dictators if
the dictators are
ready to make war upon
us, they will
not wait
for an act of war on our part.

They did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit an act of war. Their
only interest
is in a new oneway
international law, which
lacks mutuality in its observance
and therefore becomes an
instrument of oppression. The happiness of future generations of
Americans may well depend on how effective and how
immediate we can
make our aid
felt. No one can
tell
the exact character of the emergency situations that we may be called
upon
to
meet. The nation's hands must
not be tied when
the nation's life is in danger.

Yes, and we must prepare, all of us prepare, to
make the sacrifices that the emergency almost
as serious as war itself demands.
Whatever stands in the way of speed and
efficiency in defense, in defense preparations of
any
kind,
must
give way to
the national
need.


A free nation has the right
to expect full cooperation from all groups.
A free nation
has the
right
to
look to
the leaders of business, of labor, and of agriculture to take the lead
in
stimulating effort, not among other groups but
within
their own group.


The best way of dealing with
the few slackers or troublemakers
in our midst
is, first, to
shame them by patriotic example, and if that
fails, to use the sovereignty of government
to
save government.

As
men do
not
live by bread alone,
they do
not fight by armaments alone.
Those who man our
defenses and those behind them who build our
defenses must
have the stamina and the
courage which come from unshakable belief in
the manner of life which they are
defending. The mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard of all the
things worth fighting for.


The nation
takes great satisfaction and much strength
from the things which have been done
to make its people conscious of their individual stake in
the preservation of democratic life in
America.
Those things have toughened the fiber of our people, have renewed their faith and
strengthened their devotion
to
the institutions we make ready to protect.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
6



AmericanRhetoric.com


Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems
which are the root
cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the
world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong
democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are
simple.
They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.


The preservation of civil
liberties for all.

The enjoyment The
enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly
rising standard of living.


These are the simple, the basic things that
must never be lost
sight of in the turmoil and
unbelievable complexity of our modern world.
The inner and abiding strength of our economic
and political
systems is dependent
upon the degree to which
they fulfill
these expectations.

Many
subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement. As
examples:

We should bring more citizens under the coverage of oldage
pensions and unemployment
insurance.

We should widen
the opportunities for adequate
medical
care.


We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment
may obtain
it.

I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all
Americans to respond to
that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money
in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense
program be paid for from taxation
than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be
allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with
ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to
guide our legislation.

If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks,
will give you their applause.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
7



AmericanRhetoric.com


In
the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded
upon
four essential
human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere
in the world.


The
second is freedom of every person
to
worship God in
his own
way
everywhere
in
the
world.


The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic
understandings which will secure to
every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere
in the world.


The fourth
is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide
reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion
that no
nation will be
in a position
to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor anywhere
in the
world.


That is no vision of a distant
millennium. It
is a
definite basis for a kind of world attainable in
our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the socalled
“new
order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with
the crash of a bomb.


To that new order we oppose the greater conception the
moral order. A good society is able
to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history we
have been engaged
in change, in a perpetual,
peaceful revolution, a
revolution which goes on
steadily, quietly, adjusting itself to
changing
conditions without
the concentration camp or the quicklime in the ditch. The world order which
we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed
its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men
and women, and its faith
in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the
supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to
those who struggle to gain those
rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.


To that high concept there can be no end save victory.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
8


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