Gandhi vs FDR

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote
freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how
human beings, be they ever so experienced and
able, can delight in depriving other human beings
of that precious right.

– Mahatma Gandhi

I like this quote. I suppose that one could also say that you can’t have the freedom to succeed unless you also have the freedom to fail.

Now contrast that quote with this quote.

Four freedoms: The first is freedom of speech and
expression – everywhere in the world. The second
is freedom of everyone to worship God in his own
way, everywhere in the world. The third is freedom
from want . . . everywhere in the world. The
fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

This quote implies that you cannot have the fredom to fail… which would conversly mean that you cannot have the freedom to succeed. If you fail in life then your actions will result in wanting. What about freedom from fear? What things are people fearful of? Should I not be fearful of being fired if I don’t do my job? Should I be fearless of taking risk? How can the government free people from emotion?

I believe that FDR is bastardizing the word ‘freedom.’ Freedom, as in liberty, simply means free from obstruction. Look at how he uses the word ‘of’ and the word ‘from.’

Lets see what our founding fathers had to say about the matter.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

So, I’d very much like not to be free from fear, nor wanting.


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