Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the well known American presidents in American history. He uniquely had the longest time in the presidential office as president, and was president during the Great Depression and the majority of World War 2 until his death in 1945. Most remember him today for putting in place something known as the New Deal and for his principle of Four Freedoms. On the note of his principle of Four Freedoms, did these “freedoms,” promote liberty?
Before diving deep into the main arguments, what were these Four Freedoms? The Four Freedoms include:
1: Freedom of speech and expression– everywhere in the world.
2: Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world.
3: Freedom from want– which means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–anywhere in the world.
4: Freedom from fear–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.
These Four Freedoms use the words strongly: anywhere in the world, world-wide, and everywhere in the world. For example the first two of the freedoms sound, sound in of themselves but with the usage of the words, “everywhere in the world,” it does seem that those two freedoms involve involvement by the state to enforce them to other places in the world. But overall the first two freedoms do somewhat align with the definition of “freedoms,” and go with the “American view.”
The last two of these “freedoms,” on the other hand state that you will receive state security. The third freedom, or the freedom from want states that one does not need to worry about poverty since the state will take care of you; that as Americans you have the right to “free money.” Again this state’s state security. No, don’t get me wrong the idea of no poverty sounds very nice but it is pretty much impossible to get rid of all poverty. Also “free money,” is not free and it would involve taking from one group and giving to another which is the politics of plunder. The fourth and final freedom, freedom from fear, states that you do not need to fear the government and your neighbors, that the state will keep you safe from harm, which in turn means you will be free from fear. Again this goes with security from the state, and state control.
But most importantly do these four freedoms promote liberty? Well the first two actually promote liberty. Freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of religion are fundamental freedoms that do actually in many ways define and set apart America. But the last two of these four freedoms do not promote liberty, instead they promote state security, or state control. This is not very obvious, when I first read the four freedoms I believed they sounded sound and reasonable and seemingly promoting liberty, but in actuality at least with the last two they do not in many ways.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was loved by many, and is one of the well known presidents of America, because he was president during one of the lowest points in America history. One of the things that he is known for are his Four Freedoms, which are seen by many to promote freedoms. In actuality the last two of those Four Freedoms do not promote freedom but instead promote state control.