Saturday, May 17, 2008

Roosevelt's Four Freedoms

Not to be confused with the five freedoms outlined in the first amendment. These were proposed by FDR.

Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of religion
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear

The last one always struck a chord with me as I think many people allow themselves to be limited by fear that is unnecessary or manufactured.

The whole speech:


“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 universal 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 world-wide 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 so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the Annual Message to the Congress, January 6, 1941

Of course the manner in which he outlined the fourth freedom took place prior to our entrance into WW2, and I think there may have been a different take on it a year later.

Below are the four Norman Rockwell paintings inspired by the four freedoms speech.
I have always been partial to the first one, which is ostensibly meant to be a man standing up to speak out, but to me signifies the potential in each citizen soldier to stand up for those around him who can not, or will not stand up for themselves.

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