Letter 068, pg. 3
what, if any? One doesn’t found ideologies upon a great big vague assumption like that. If one were to present such a sentence as an argument to the young intellectuals who are leaning to the left nowadays because they are desperately seeking an honest faith—they’d laugh.
5. The author has got his history all mixed up. Where on earth did he get the idea that religious freedom preceded political freedom in history? That’s simply rubbish. There’s never been a society that had religious freedom before it had political freedom. There’s no such case in history. When the pilgrim fathers came here, they had political freedom, but no religious freedom; the Puritans had plenty of religious restrictions and persecutions. England had the Magna Charta [sic] in 1215—and the Inquisition under Bloody Mary in the XVI century. No country, nowhere, at no time, had any “freedoms” until political freedom was given reality by the economic freedom of capitalism. Again, this made me wonder about the author: was it sheer ignorance—or a subtle little job of boring from within—with the object of assuring people that it might be all right to lose our political freedom since it would not interfere with the freedom of our souls? (Note Mr. Roosevelt’s latest on “religious freedom” in Soviet Russia.)
6. The author’s conclusion—a demand for “economic democracy”—is more than dubious. Just what does he mean by the “right to labor”? If he means the right of a worker to work in spite of a strike—it’s one thing. But if he means that the government must guarantee a job to every man—that’s quite another. No good propagandist could allow himself to be vague and muddled on a big point like that—unless the muddle is intentional. And the only sentences that seem to stand out clearly (all through page 6) point to the second meaning—jobs guaranteed by the government. See the vague something on top of page 6 about “abuse of economic power through technological advancement or the reduction of enterprise.” What is being defended and what is being attacked here, for heaven’s sake? See the mention of Soviet Russia as seeking “economic freedom.” But, above all, see the very last paragraph of the article: “When democracies fail to evolve the economic democracy that is required of them, they endanger the political freedoms that they have long established.” Boy, oh boy! If this isn’t collectivist Party Line, I’ll eat “Das Kapital” unabridged. The loudest hue and cry of all pinks, reds and liberals is now “Economic Democracy.” That’s the standard polite term for Communism. Thomas Mann has been yelping for the last four years about “economic democracy.” Another word for it is “Extended Democracy.” What in hell are we asked to evolve? Capitalism does not need to “evolve” economic freedom—it has it, or did have. It’s the whole heart of the capitalist system. But you notice the author does not speak of