Sunday, March 18, 2012

FDR: On Monopoly threatening Liberty

Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people.

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

Both lessons hit home.

Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.

This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.

~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt [FDR], Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies, April 29, 1938

With thanks to a photo-lead from @The_Anti_Fox on Twitter. Read more at the American Presidency Project: Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.