Test your knowledge of history by answering the following questions before reading this part. After you have read it, review your answers and mark your score.
1- What percentage of the land area of the world does the United States have?
a. Under 10%. b. 10% to 20%. c. Over 20%.
2- How many people in history have died earlier than otherwise, due to lack of food - that is from famine and starvation?
a. 1 of every 10. b. 1 of every 7. c. 1 of every 4. d. 1 of every 2.
3- The material abundance of our nation over all countries, past and present, is chiefly the results of?
A. Our excess proportion d. Our highly skilled labor force.
of natural resources.
b. Our degree of individual e. Our greater intelligence.
c. Our supremacy in f. Some other reason.
in machine tools.
4- Is there any relationship between the material abundance of a nation and its people, and their moral-ethical-spiritual way of life.
a. yes b. No.
5- The material wealth of a people is measured by:
a. How much money (dollars) c. The tangible goods and services
they have. they have or can acquire.
b. The natural resources d. The gold backing percentage of their
per capita. currency.
Hello Americans, I have some things I'd like to share with you because I think they are of interest and concern to you. I don't pretend to know all the answers but what and how much thought we give these matters will affect not only our lives, but the lives of our children and grandchildren - and, many others.
Did you know that you are a very strange phenomenon on the face of the globe and in the pages of history? So am I and do you know why? Because you and I probably have not missed a meal all this week! Let's see if we can find out why we are so blessed. Let's look at the record.
Living in the United States today is like going to the theater in the middle of the play (movie) - much of the action has already taken place. It's the story of people - around 360 million of us, plus all those who have gone before us.
For, strangely enough, we are not only the audience, we are also the actors in this world wide drama. we need to see how we fit into the story - what our part is - and what we can do to make the drama proceed better. Let's find ourselves in this drama.
Among the leading nations of the world today, our United States is playing a starring role. While it may not have been formally planned that way, it did not just happen by chance. We must understand the difficult and demanding part our country plays. We must know the kind of drama being played on this world wide stage. We must understand the purpose, the theme, the subjects and plot - and how we can play our parts better.
The world has shrunk in the last hundred years especially in our generation. The marvels of high speed communication and travel have virtually eliminated distance and natural barriers. No longer can nations live in semi-isolation. Nowadays what happens in one nation vitally affects the rest of the world.
The drama of revolution, famine, depression, prosperity, and struggle affects all the nations of the world, directly or indirectly.
New ideas and desires push toward the light - and in so doing arouse antagonism and violence. There is the repeated pattern of situation, conflict and climax - establishing the relationship between cause and effect.
CAUSE & EFFECT! That is what we must see if we are to learn from history. Cause is like the seed - effect is like the fruit. It's easy to see the fruit, it's not so easy to see the seed.
In a little more then 100 years, the United States rose from a weak struggling Republic of 13 colonies to become the leading nation of the world. Why - and how - did this happen? Let's check possible answers to the question.
We have only 7% if the land area of the world and but 7 or 8% of the population. Do we have richer soil; more intelligent people; work longer hours; plant more crops per years? I believe that you would say no!
Did Jamestown and Plymouth colonists find this abundance here when they arrived? Did they bring it with them? NO! Of course not. Are we so different from other people?
For 60 plus centuries the earth has been inhabited by human beings not much different than ourselves. These people have about as much physical strength as we do, and among them have been men and women of great intelligence.
But, down through the ages, most human beings have gone hungry - millions and millions have starved to death. At lease one of every four - and some historians put the figure as high as three of every four - have lived a shorter life due to the lack of sufficient food. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a famine in the United States. Why?
The ancient Assyrians, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks were intelligent people. But in spite of their brains and fertile lands, they were never able to get enough food to eat - for all their people. Mothers frequently killed their babies at birth - to keep them from starving to death later!
Rome collapsed in famine.
The French were dying of hunger when Thomas Jefferson was President (1801 to 1809) - and as late as 1846, the Irish were starving to death - AND NO ONE WAS PARTICULARLY SURPRISED - for you see famines were the rule rather than the exception.
Even in these modern times, famines kill multitudes in China, India, Africa and even in Russia. In the 1930s when we were having our economic problems here, what happened else where? Millions and Millions of people starved to death on the richest farmlands of the former Soviet Ukraine. Why? Down through the ages countless millions, struggling unsuccessfully to keep bare life in wretched bodies, have died young, in misery and squalor.
Then suddenly, in one spot on earth, the course of history was reversed. Somehow, in this one spot, food is so abundant that the pangs of hunger are almost unknown.
Yes, that was right here - in these United States. Where else has so vast a majority of nation's people enjoyed such a bountiful availability of food? Why did men starve for over 6,000 years? Why is it that in these United States, we have never had a famine? Why?
Why did men, women and children eke out their meager existence for 6,000 years, toiling desperately from dawn 'til dark - often barefoot, half naked, unshaven with lousy hair, mangy skin, rotting teeth - and with never enough to eat? Why?
Never before in human history has a nation enjoyed such wealth, comfort, and leisure as we Americans now enjoy. Every day in thousands of places, men and women are thinking and tinkering - to make available to you and me - MORE - BETTER - NEWER - to further enrich the years that we have on this earth.
Thus, we the laboring class - both blue collar and white collar workers - have been able to enjoy what only most wealthy and privileged classes have in other lands - a home of our own, an automobile or two, electricity, telephones, T.V., washing machines, vacuum cleaners, micro-ovens. Why is it that we in the United States have all this - and people of other lands have so little in comparison? Why?
Economists tell us that wealth - material wealth - is not measured by printed pieces of paper called money - but by the real goods and services we can obtain. Real goods and services can be created in only one way - and that is by the expenditure of human energy, applied to natural resources - usually with the aid of tools.
It follows then, that how much we are motivated to use our human energy, will determine the amount of real good and services created and available to us. The key - or cause - of our abundance must somehow be related to the utilization of our human energy, - physical, and mental.
Economists and efficiency experts say that here in the United States, we have achieved the greatest utilization of human energies in the history of mankind. HOW - and WHY - did we do it?
A few minutes ago, we observed that we do not have a disproportionate share of the earth's natural resource. We further agreed that, as individuals, we are not physically stronger or more intelligent that others. In other words, our potential energy is probably about the same as other people, past and present.
Well then, what has permitted us, as a nation, to achieve the greatest utilization of our available human energy, mental and physical? How and why have we discovered and/or adapted so many tools to multiply our efforts? This is the question. When we have found this answer to this question, we shall have found the key to our abundance - the cause and seed of our wonderful fruit. It's important that we know this answer, lest we lose this important ingredient. The answer is really very simple - so simple that many of us overlook it. Earlier, we eliminated all the possible reasons for our abundance but one.
I submit the answer is INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, and that FREEDOM IS THE MAINSPRING OF HUMAN PROGRESS.
As nice as our abundance and material wealth may be, they are not half as important as the way of life that abounds within freedom. It is this climate of freedom that permits the expression of man's great spirituality. This expression of spirituality is perhaps the greatest benefit of freedom.
We might even designate the material wealth and abundance as fringe benefits to the spiritual way of life with freedom. No, of course we are not angels - but I'll stack us up against anyone else as measured by our adherence to a code of morals ethics and concepts found in the Bible.
But, what is this freedom we are talking about? Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev said that the Russian people are free. Castro claimed he brought freedom to the Cuban people. How would you define FREEDOM?
Let's try this definition on for size: Freedom is the absence of external human control or restraint over individual thought and action.
I think you can see what kind of self-control and self-discipline' is required for a great degree of individual freedom. Can an individual or group have great freedom of thought and action - without a corresponding degree of responsibility for their thoughts and actions? FOR EVERY OUNCE OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, MAN MUST ASSUME AN OUNCE OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY!
Since the origin of our country, we in these United States have enjoyed more freedom than any other people, anywhere, anytime in history. we enjoy freedom of Religion...
...Freedom of speech...We are free to go into business for ourselves, free to own property, free to work, free to compete - yes, and just as important, free to fail - and try again.We are a free people to the greatest degree ever known to man. But are we slowly but steadily giving up some of those freedoms - with our consent pangs - in exchange for what we consider security?
...Freedom of the press...
...Freedom to peaceable assembly...
...Freedom of privacy in our homes...
There is no guarantee that our abundance will continue. Neither you, nor your children, nor your grandchildren are assured this continued abundance - are assured even enough to eat - unless you and I do whatever is necessary to maintain and increase this Mainspring of Human Progress: INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM!
In my own way, I have presented my reasons for believing that FREEDOM is the magic ingredient for providing a highly spiritual way of life which has included great material wealth and abundance. Do we want this to continue for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren?
If we want FREEDOM, we have to earn it; then guard it, generation after generation. It must be understood, then taught from parent to child, from pulpit to board room, over and over again.
I guess if I were asked to sum all this up in just one short sentence, I would merely say, FREEDOM IS THE MAINSPRING OF HUMAN PROGRESS.
Now go back and answer the question again. Discuss the idea of freedom with your friends and associates. Find what they believe to be the meaning of freedom. How do you define freedom?
References: The Mainspring of Human Progress by H.G. WeaverWouldn't this make an interesting program for your business luncheon or club meeting? As you read this keep in mind the use for such meetings.
Essays on Freedom and Power by Lord Acton