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 things worth fighting
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 fibre of
our people, have renewed their faith and strengthened their
devotion to the institutions we make ready to protect.
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 of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider
and constantly rising standard of living. These are the simple,
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 old-age 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. 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 shall recommend that a greater
portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation
than we are paying today. No person should try, or be allowed,
to get rich out of this 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 of pocketbooks, will give you their applause.
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 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. 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 quick-lime 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 or keep them. Our
strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there
can be no end save victory.
Franklin Roosevelt's Annual address to Congress - "The
January 6, 1941