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The Four Freedoms
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The Four Freedoms (January 6, 1941) [64 years ago]

"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. [for monotheists only? what about agnostics and atheists?]

· 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."

The fourth point is essentially world disarmament. I never realized that before, probably because I’ve never read the whole text before. So as World War II was in full swing in Europe, Roosevelt was proposing a goal of world disarmament. And another goal of world economic (trade?) agreements to end poverty. Pretty radical and far-reaching.

High concepts. Who determines what are the best terms for treaties and agreements? Who monitors for fairness and equal treatment? And who would enforce the economic agreements and disarmament treaties? I doubt that people and nations are honest and loving and civilized enough to do it on the honor system. Any country or leader self-righteous, arrogant or power-hungry enough to assume the role of monitor and supervisor should be immediately suspect (vide Plato).

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