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body of men, and that the only way to determine them and advance them is to have a representative assembly chosen by themselves get together and take common counsel regarding them. And do you not notice that in every great occupation in the United States there is beginning to be more and more of this common counsel? And have you not noticed that the more common counsel you have the higher the standards are that are insisted upon?
I attended the other day the Congress of the Advertising Men, and their motto is “Truth and fair dealing in what you represent your business to be and your goods to be.” I have no doubt that in every association like this the prevailing sentiment is that only by the highest standards—I mean the highest moral standards—can you achieve the most permanent and satisfactory business results. Was that the prevalent conception before these associations were drawn together? Have you not found the moral judgment of the average man steady the whole process and clarify it? Do you not know more after every conference with your fellows than you did before? I never went into a committee of any kind upon any important public matter, or private matter so far as that concerned, that I did not come out with an altered judgment and knowing much more about the matter than when I went in; and not only knowing much more, but knowing that the common judgment arrived at was better than I could have suggested when I went in. That is the universal experience of candid men. If it were not so, there would be no object in congresses like this. Yet whenever we attempt legislation, we find ourselves in this case: We are not in the presence of the many who can counsel wisely, but we are in the presence of the few who counsel too narrowly, and the means by which we have been trying to break away from that is not by excluding these gentlemen who constituted the narrow circles of advice, but by associating them with hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens,
I have had some say that I was not accessible to them, and when I inquired into it I found they meant that I did not personally invite them. They did not know how to come without being invited, and they did not care to come
if they came upon the same terms with everybody else, knowing that everybody else was welcome whom I had time to confer with.
Am I telling you things unobserved by you? Do you not know that these things are true? And do you not believe with me that the affairs of the Nation can be better conducted upon the basis of general counsel than upon the basis of special counsel? Men are colored and governed by their occupations and their surroundings and their habits. If I wanted to change the law radically, I would not consult a lawyer. If I wanted to change business methods radically, I would not consult a man who had made a conspicuous success by using the present methods that I wanted to change. Not because I would distrust these men, but because I would know that they would not change their thinking over night, that they would have to go through a long process of reacquaintance with the circumstances of the time, the new circumstances of the time, before they could be converted to my point of view. You get a good deal more light on the street than you do in the closet. You get a good deal more light by keeping your ears open among the rank and file of your fellow citizens than you do in any private conference whatever. I would rather hear what the men are talking about on the trains and in the shops and by the fireside than hear anything else, because I want guidance and I know I could get it there, and what I am constantly asking is that men should bring me that counsel, because I am not privileged to determine things independently of this counsel. I am your servant, not your ruler.
One thing that we are now trying to convert the small circles to that the big circles are already converted to is that this country needs a merchant marine and ought to get one. I have found that I had a great deal more resistance when I tried to help business than when I tried to interfere with it. I have had a great deal more resistance of counsel, of special counsel, when I tried to alter the things that are established than when I tried to do anything else. We call ourselves a liberal nation, whereas, as a matter of fact, we are one of the most conservative nations in the world. If you want to make enemies, try to change something. You know why it is. To do things to-day exactly the way you did them yesterday saves thinking. It does not cost you anything. You have acquired the habit; you know the routine; you do not have to plan anything, and it frightens you with a hint of exertion to learn that you will have to do it a different way to-morrow.
Until I became a college teacher, I used to think that the young men were radical, but college boys are the greatest conservatives I ever tackled in my life, largely because they have associated too much with their fathers. What have you to do with them is to take them up upon some visionary height and show them the map of the world as it is. Do not let them see their father's factory. Do not let them see their father's countinghouse. Let them see the great valleys teeming with laborious people. Let them see the great struggle of men in realms they never dreamed of. Let them see the great emotional power that is in the world, the great ambitions, the great hopes, the great fears. Give them some picture of mankind, and then their father's business and every other man's business will begin to fall into place. They will see that it is an item and not the whole thing; and they will sometimes see that the item is not properly related to the whole, and what they will get interested in will be to relate the item to the whole, so that it will form part of the force, and not part of the impediment.
This country, above every country in the world, gentlemen, is meant to lift; it is meant to add to the forces that improve. It is meant to add to everything that betters the world, that gives it better thinking, more honest endeavor, a closer grapple of man with man, so that we will all be pulling together like one irresistible team in a single harness. That is the reason why it seemed wise to substitute for the harsh processes of the law, which merely lays its hand on your shoulder after you have sinned and threatens you with punishment, some of the milder and more helpful processes of counsel. That is the reason the Federal Trade Commission was established, --so that men would have some place where they could take counsel as to what the law was and what the law permitted; and also take counsel as to whether the law itself was right and advice had not better be taken as to its alteration. The processes of counsel are the only processes of accommodation, not the processes of punishment. Punishment retards but it does not lift up. Punishment impedes but it does not improve. And we ought to substitute for the harsh processes of the law, wherever we can, the milder and gentler and more helpful processes of counsel.
* * * There is a task ahead of us of the most colossal difficulty. We have not been accustomed to the large world of international business and we have got to get accustomed to it right away. All provincials have got to take a back seat. All men who are afraid of competition have got to take a back seat. All men who depend upon anything except their intelligence and their efficiency have got to take a back seat. * * *
We are done with provincialism in the statesmanship of the United States, and we have got to have a view now and a horizon as wide as the world itself. And when I look around upon an alert company like this, it seems to me in my imagination they are almost straining at the leash. They are waiting to be let loose upon this great race that is now going to challenge our abilities. For my part, I shall look forward to the result with absolute and serene confidence, because the spirit of the United States is an international spirit, if we conceive it right. This is not the home of any particular race of men. This is not the home of any particular set of political traditions. This is a home the doors of which have been opened from the first to mankind, to everybody who loved liberty, to everybody whose ideal was equality of opportunity, to everybody whose heart was moved by the fundamental instincts and sympathies of humanity. That is America, and now it is as if the nations of the world, sampled and united here, were in their new union and new common understanding turning about to serve the world with all the honest processes of business and of enterprise. I am happy that I should be witnessing the dawn of the day when America is indeed to come into her own.
White House Pamphlet.
42. PREPAREDNESS TO PRÉSERVE PEACE
(July 10, 1916)
ADDRESS AT TOLEDO
This is an entire surprise party to me. I did not know I was going to have the pleasure of stopping long enough to address any number of you, but I am very glad indeed to give you my very cordial greetings and to express my very great interest in this interesting city.
General Sherwood said that there were many things we agreed about, there is one thing we disagree about. General Sherwood has been opposing preparedness, and I have been advocating it, and I am very sorry to have found him on the other side. Because, I think, you will bear me witness, fellow citizens, that in advocating preparedness I have not been advocating hostility. You will bear me witness that I have been a persistent friend of peace and that nothing but unmistakable necessity will drive me from that position. I think it is a matter of sincere congratulation to us that our neighbor Republic to the south shows evidences of at last believing in our friendly intentions; that while we must protect our border and see to it that our sovereignty is not impugned, we are ready to respect their sovereignty also, and to be their friends, and not their enemies.
The real uses of intelligence, my fellow citizens, are the uses of peace. Any body of men can get up a row, but only an intelligent body of men can get together and coöperate. Peace is not only a test of a nation's patience; it is also a test of whether the nation knows how to conduct its relations or not. It takes time to do intelligent things, and it does not take any time to do unintelligent things. I can lose my temper in a minute, but it takes me a long time to keep it, and I think that if you were to subject my Scotch-Irish blood to the proper kind of analysis, you would find that it was fighting blood, and that it is pretty hard for a man born that way to keep quiet and do things in the way in which his intelligence tells him he ought to do them. I know just as well as that I am standing here that I rep