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华族,这么优秀的民族居然不让生孩子,太没道理了。等将来孩子们能识汉字了,就将此博客相送。

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罗斯福1演讲:不要像中国那样腐败堕落  

2016-09-24 11:00:07|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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罗斯福1演讲:不要像中国那样腐败堕落
2013-12-11 15:40:40栏目:时评
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【“中国梦”与“美国梦”的区别,是集体梦与个人梦的区别吗?在12月9日复旦大学“中国模式与中国未来”研讨会上,中国发展模式研究中心研究员李世默指出,习近平总书记“中国梦”让人联想起一百多年前“美国梦”。“美国梦”是个人梦还是集体梦?时任美国总统罗斯福的演讲《奋斗不息》(The Strenuous Life)是对“美国梦”的极佳诠释。因为这次演讲,“The Strenuous Life”也成为罗斯福总统历史形象的一部分。吃透美国梦,才能更好地讲出真正的中国梦。观察者网全文翻译,供读者参考。】

诸位,你们是西方最伟大城市之子,是诞生了林肯和格兰特的国家之子,是美国性格中最具美国特色的杰出象征,我想谈的不是苟且偷安的人生哲学,而是艰苦生活的道理——艰苦奋斗,力争上游,不甘居人下;我想谈那种最崇高的成就,即贪图安逸之辈与之无缘,而不畏艰险、不避劳苦、夺取辉煌胜利之士才能取得的那种成就。

苟且偷安的人生,源于缺乏追寻崇高的欲望或能力;大到国家,小到个人,苟且偷安都是不名一文的作为。每一位自尊自爱的美国人对自己、对儿子都会有所期许,我向诸位提出的要求,就是把这种期许提升到整个美利坚民族。在座的诸位,有谁会教导儿子把苟且偷安当作人生目标?你们芝加哥人铸就了这座伟大城市,你们伊利诺伊州人竭尽所能,付出百分之两百的努力,为美国做出巨大贡献,因为你们的言传身教都不是那种苟且偷安。你们不仅自己努力,还养育下一代再接再厉。如果你是富人,挣得血汗钱,你会教育自己的儿子们,虽然他们有了安逸的生活条件,但不应该蹉跎青春;因为真正睿智的“安逸”,仅仅只那些有闲暇的人,摆脱了谋生的羁绊,全身心投入某种不计回报的事业,科学、文学、艺术、探险、历史等我们国家急需的工作,这些事业反映了祖国的荣耀。

我们丝毫不羡慕谨小慎微的人。我们崇敬那些能够攻克一个个难关的人:从不责备队友,随时拉朋友一把。但是,他也会有缺点,在真刀真枪的现实生活中夺取胜利所必需的缺点。这样的人生,不挥洒汗水,你将一无所得。现在你可以不努力,仅仅是因为过去有人帮你努力过了。一个人如果拥有不工作的自由,之所以还能好好活着,完全仰赖他的父辈、祖父辈为了崇高事业而付出的心血。如果这种自由使用得当,无论是去当作家还是将军,无论从政或探险,他都可以证明自己的人生价值。但如果他把衣食无忧的生活条件当作纯粹的享乐,而非奋斗基础,那么,他就是地球的累赘,在社会上没有立足之地。纯然安逸的生活,终究不等于悠然自得的人生,一旦习惯了这样的生活,以后很难再去脚踏实地工作。

个人如此,一个国家亦是如此。说什么“一个没有历史的国家是快乐的”,这是歹毒的谎言。一个拥有辉煌历史的国家会倍加幸福。一个敢于攀登高峰、夺取胜利、不畏艰险的国家,远远胜过那些不痛不痒的灵魂,后者被困在灰暗的幕帷之下,浑然不知何谓胜败。假设1861年北部的联邦军队以苟且偷安为荣、骁勇善战为耻,那我们本可以拯救数十万生命,节约数亿美元。免于挥洒热血、抛弃个人财富,不会弄得妻离子散,我们本可以回避那亲眼目睹军队屡败屡战的心酸岁月。要是我们在冲突面前畏缩不前,我们可以避免这些痛苦;要是我们回避了这些痛苦,我们就成了不配屹立于世界伟大民族之林的懦夫。感谢主给了我们先辈钢铁般的意志,他们支持了林肯总统的英明抉择,拿起刀枪加入格兰特将军的队伍。我们是不愧于伟大时代的英雄们的儿女,是把伟大内战进行到底直至取得最后胜利的英雄们的后代,让我们赞美主,我们的先辈拒绝了可耻的媾和意见,让我们的先辈毫不畏缩地去面对痛苦、失败、悲伤、失望的磨炼,历经数年内战;让我们赞美主,最后奴隶们获得了解放,联邦得到了保存,强大的美利坚合众国再一次像巨人般地屹立于世界民族之林。

我们这一代人不必完成先辈所面临的那种任务,但是,我们也有自己的任务,要是我们没能完成我们的任务,我们就要遭到不幸。我们决不能扮演中国的角色,要是我们重蹈中国的覆辙,自满自足,贪图自己疆域内的安宁享乐,渐渐地腐败堕落,对国外的事情毫无兴趣,沉溺于纸醉金迷之中,忘掉了奋发向上、苦干冒险的高尚生活,整天忙于满足我们肉体暂时的欲望,那么,毫无疑问,总有一天我们会突然发现中国今天已经发生的这一事实:畏惧战争、闭关锁国、贪图安宁享乐的民族在其它好战、爱冒险的民族的进攻面前是肯定要衰败的。如果我们要成为真正伟大的民族,我们必须竭尽全力在国际事务中起巨大的作用。我们无法回避大问题,我们能决定的仅是处理问题的效果良寙。去年我们被卷入与西班牙的战争,那也是不可避免的。我们所能考虑的仅是我们该像懦夫那样退缩呢?还是该勇敢、斗志昂扬地开赴战场,以及一旦进入了战场,我们是否能打胜。现在的情况也是如此,我们无法回避在夏威夷、古巴、波多黎各和菲律宾所面临的责任。我们所能考虑的仅是,我们能否妥善处理这些问题,增强我国的威望,以及我们对这些新问题的处理不当,会不会成为我们历史上黑暗耻辱的一页。拒绝处理这些问题与处理得一败涂地没什么两样。问题就在眼前,无法回避;要是我们着手去解决,必然存在着处理不当的危险,但是拒不处理就等于承认我们根本无法处理。

懦夫,懒汉,对政府持怀疑态度的人,丧失了斗争精神和支配能力的、文质彬彬的人,愚昧无知的人,还有那些无法感受到坚定不移的人们所受到的巨大鼓舞的麻木不仁的人──所有这些人当然害怕看到他们的国家承担了新的职责,害怕看到我们建立能满足我国需要的海军和陆军,害怕看到我们承担国际义务,害怕看到我们勇敢的士兵和水手们把西班牙的军队赶出去,让伟大美丽的热带岛屿从大乱中达到大治。这些人害怕艰苦奋斗,害怕过这种唯一值得过的民族生活。他们相信隐居,吮吸民族的吃苦耐力精神,就像他们吮吸个人一样;或者,他们接受了贪婪索取的灵魂,以为商业主义就是民族生活的宗旨;但实际上,商业主义只是民族伟业的必要组成部分之一。国家的长久繁荣,必然是要靠灵巧的头脑、经商头脑、辛勤奋斗;但没有哪个国家是纯粹靠物质繁荣而真正强大的。荣誉属于物质繁荣发展背后的建筑师,兴办工厂、建造铁路的产业领袖,用头脑和双手不断耕耘的铁人们;所谓一个国家的伟大,就是这个国家对这些人欠下的债。但我们亏欠更多的是以林肯总统为代表的国父们,以及格兰特将军等战士们。他们用生命证明了何谓工作、何谓奋斗;他们为了自己、为了信赖他们的人而力争胜利;但他们知道,自己还有另一个、更加高贵的使命——为了国家、为了民族的使命。

我们不能自我满足、鼠目寸光。这会自食其果,因为国家利益会逐渐扩大,各国交往将愈加紧密,如果我们要保持目前的海军和商业优势,必须建造无疆界的力量。我们必须建造巴拿马海峡,必须在决定东西方大洋命运的时候,拥有自己的话语权。

商业方面暂且不谈。从国际形象的角度来看,上述立场更为有力。响彻马尼拉和圣地亚哥的炮火赋予了我们极大荣誉,但同时赋予了我们责任。如果我们赶走中世纪暴君,却换来野蛮的无政府状态,那一切都徒劳无功。如果说我们没有什么责任,可以随时从岛上撤退,那就更荒唐了。这是为人所不齿的行为。很快,岛上就会发出自己的混乱声音。某些马尼拉势力会进行干预,然后我们就出丑了,让世人看到我们无法履行伟大国家的职责。

必须完成任务,我们责无旁贷;如果我们还有点儿志气,那就应该为此感到欣喜,感谢有这么一个证明现代文明大国的机会。但千万不要低估此次任务的重要性。不要自吹自擂,误以为能够轻而易举地解决问题。我们要对自己有清醒认识,用严肃、冷静、坚定的态度理解责任。我们必须派出最正直、最能干的人才。我们必须问责那些践踏国家利益、无法履行职责、浪费精力财力的人。


当然,我们必须记住,不要以一时一事的成败来评判我们的公务员,尤其应该注意不要把抨击的矛头对准我们的同志,他们即便未取得善果,也不是灾祸的始作俑者。让我用陆海双军的例子来阐明这一点。如果二十年前我们加入了战争,我们的海军将和陆军一样毫无准备。如果当年我们的军舰遭遇西班牙舰队,我军既缺乏训练又仍在使用黑火药武器的战士们即使再勇敢,也不可能敌得过训练有素的、以现代化连发步枪武装起来的西班牙人。但在1880年代早期,我国开始转而关注海上利益。国会无比明智地拨出一系列款项,建立新海军。历任海军部长既有才能又富有爱国热情,在他们的领导下,在两党共同的推动下,海军逐步建立起来,硬件水平终于配得上我们杰出的人才,多年的努力所取得的结果是,去年夏天我们的海军赢得了它应有的地位——全世界最辉煌、最强大的海上战斗力量。我们理应向海军的负责人们致敬,他们获得了伟大的胜利;荣誉属于海军部长约翰?戴维斯?隆和海军特级上将乔治?杜威;属于操纵战舰的舰长;属于在小船中冒死执行任务的上尉们;也属于华盛顿各部的负责人们,从指挥作战,到战舰装备,到工程作业,是他们在后方有力的监督执行确保了前线取得最好的战果。我们不应忘记,所有那些在过去十五年里为我国海军事业奉献心力的人,没有他们,便不会有今天的胜利。让我们铭记过去历任海军部长;铭记那些投票支持向海军事业拨款的两院议员们,有了他们的投票我们才能兴建船只、武装战舰、铸造大炮、训练海军;让我们铭记那些为兴建船只、武装战舰、铸造大炮付出辛勤劳动的工人们;让我们铭记那些曾驾驭战列舰、巡洋舰、鱼雷艇,在远海执行任务的海军官兵,多亏他们长年累月磨练航海、射击技术,积累战术配合经验,他们的继承者们才能在马尼拉和圣地亚哥城外大显神通。

此外,先生们,你们也要记住国内那股逆流。记住正义是双面的。为了祖国的未来,不光我们海军缔造者们需要得到公正的对待,那些反对建立海军的人,你们也须牢牢记住。看看国会的记录,看究竟是哪些议员反对给战舰拨款;是哪些人明知缺少军备的战舰只是摆设,还反对我们添置军备;是哪些人反对我们拨款维持海军部运作;是哪些人千方百计地裁减海军队伍。这些人的所作所为,无一例外是在给这个国家带来灾难。我们在马尼拉和圣地亚哥取得的荣光,他们无权染指!我们海军官兵的英勇、我们旗帜的荣威,他们无权感到骄傲!他们的动机或善或恶,已难以明辨,但他们的行为可以说罪孽深重。虽有这帮给国家荣誉抹黑的反对派阻挠,我们还是克服困难取得了胜利。

上面的道理适用于全体公务人员。我军的规模,从来都赶不上这个国家的需要。我国十万军人,四分之三要被抽调到远洋海岛、沿海要塞,和印第安保留区。所谓“军队将使这个由七千万自由人组成的国家失去自由”的幼稚言论,我今天就不在诸位面前细说。一个心智健全、胆气雄壮的人绝不会把这种呓语当真。如果我们真如其所言,是那样的弱者,那么我们便不配在任何情况下享有自由。我们海陆两军指战员们为国家立下的汗马功劳,不是美利坚合众国中任何人可比的。军队是这个国家最忠诚的屏障,最令人骄傲的后盾,也是最亟待扩充的力量。

我们的军队需要彻底改建,而不仅是扩大建制规模——只有通过立法才能完成改建。我们应当组建正规的参谋部、军械所、军需社,详细的供给需求应该从前线一直军需官。更重要的是,军队必须有机会进行大型演习。在西班牙战争中,我们的少将师长们居然从未有过指挥三个连的实战经验。这一幕决不能再现。然而,难以置信的是,国会最近似乎好了疮疤忘了痛。在两党中各有一大批人反对宣战;反对批准和平条约;反对扩充军力;甚至反对以合理的价格为战列舰和巡洋舰采购装甲,从而让海军建造新战舰的进程彻底停滞。如果在未来的岁月里,我们的军队在海上或陆地上折戟沉沙,让美国蒙受耻辱,请记住那些在国会表决大会上专门唱反调的罪人。届时我们的战士和水手们所遭受的所有减损,我们国旗所蒙受的一切玷污,都将由这些人全责承担。如果你们以及全体国民与这帮反动派不划清界限,不坚决反对他们的作为,那么你们也将成为历史的罪人。承担历史罪名的,不会是缺乏锻炼的指挥官和经验不足的部队;不会是人手、资源都捉襟见肘的公务部门职员;也不会是麾下寥寥几艘战舰可供调遣海军将领;而将是那些缺乏先见之明,姑息奸恶,未能及早纠错的官员,以及一个支持这样官员的国家。

所以,此时此刻,那些长期推延和平条约的人,那些愚不可及地故意将一个野蛮民族诱入战争圈套的人,必须对发生在菲律宾的流血牺牲——既有美军弟兄们的血,也包括野蛮无知的敌人的血——负相当大的责任。这场战争对敌人来说必定是一场灾难,而那些跟随我们旗帜的勇士们,也不得不为空谈家们的愚蠢及其虚伪的人道主义付出了鲜血的代价。

如果我们的国家要在世界民族之林中尽职尽责,如果我们不甘愿沦为西半球的中国,就必须把陆军和海军像剑与盾一样攥在手中。从西班牙手中正当地夺取热带岛屿,只是我们职责当下的一种形式。当然,我们一定会妥善处理国内事务。我们必须看到,我们全国各州各市的政府机关及公务员队伍,是诚信、廉洁、清醒的。我们必须努力做到精诚为公;诚信待人,尤其是对待国家和个人的债权人;努力保证个人最大限度的自由;也须在个人自由伤害多数人利益时,努力进行最具智慧的管控。但是,做好国内事务不是我们不参与全球大事的借口。一个男人的首要责任是撑起自己的家,但他的家事并不能免除他应为国家履行的职责;因为如果他无法为国家尽义务,便将受到失去自由人身份的惩罚。同样,一个国家的首要责任所在固然在其内部,但它在世界各处的责任却不会因此而免除;如果它拒绝承担这些职责,这个国家将退出竞争,丧失塑造人类命运的权利。

在西印度群岛和菲律宾,我们都遭遇到最棘手的问题。不敢迎难而上、解决问题,是懦夫的行为。这些难题必须得到解决,如果我们解决不了,便有更强大、更刚毅的民族来代替我们解决。如果我们太软弱、太自私、或太愚蠢,解决不了这些问题,更有胆识、有能力的人便必须承担起解决难题的责任。就个人而言,我对美国的伟大和同胞们的实力坚信不疑,在任何时候我都绝不愿承认我们理应甘于卑微的一角。

不同的岛屿带来了不同的问题。波多黎各太小,不足以独立自治。为了波多黎各人民的利益,我们必须明智、妥善地统治它。根据我的判断,古巴最终将享有自治权,它可能作为一个独立的国家,也可能成为这个强大共和国的一个组成部分。但是,在实现秩序和稳定的自由之前,我们必须留守在古巴。我们的军事和民间代表,必须在维护稳定、打击抢劫、保护大众、论功行赏等方面展现出无限的机智、判断、节制和勇气。菲律宾向我们提出的问题更为棘手。他们的人口构成复杂,包括混血儿、土生土长的基督徒、好战的穆斯林和野蛮的异教徒,许多当地人目前完全不适合自治,未来也不大可能自治;另一部分人虽可能随着时间的推移变得适于自治,但目前只能在明智、坚定、仁慈的监督之下参与自治政府的工作。我们好不容易才把西班牙暴君赶出菲律宾,如果我们现在任由它走向野蛮的无政府状态,那么对菲律宾来说,我们所付出的一切便都是祸不是福。对于那些害怕挑起统治菲律宾重担的庸人;那些公开声称不敢接下挑战的懦夫;那些一遇代价和麻烦便退缩的逃兵,我的耐心是及其有限的。至于那些扯起人道主义大旗掩藏自身胆怯的伪君子,以及伪善地用“自由”、“被统治者的许可”装门面,骨子里没有半点男子汉精神的人,我的耐心几乎为零。他们教条的理论,如果要付诸实践,我们便得将阿帕奇部落留在亚利桑那州,让他们自己救赎自己;也得拒绝对任何一个印第安保护区进行干涉。他们的教条理论是在谴责你我共同的祖先,谴责他们定居在美国的土地上。

统治印度和埃及对英国大有裨益,这训练了数代英国人,让他们放眼关注更为高尚的公共生活。印度和埃及则收获更大好处。最后,同时也是最重要的一点,此番事业促进了文明进程。因此,如果我们能在菲律宾履行正当职责,这将增添民族荣耀,而一个民族的荣耀乃是国民生活最高等、最卓越的部分;同时,这也将惠及菲律宾人民;最重要的是,我们将为提升人性的伟大事业做出自己的一份贡献。但我们要始终牢记,展现高度自信、诚挚意愿和明智决策。叛乱必须平定。首要任务是树立美国旗帜至高无上的地位。我们必须首先平定武装叛乱,面对敌人时不妥协、不退缩。至于国内那些长敌人士气的人,我们大可唾弃他们;但记住,对他们的鄙视不可代替通敌罪的惩罚。

一旦平定武装叛乱,一旦我们的统治得到承认,更繁重的任务还摆在前头,我们必须牢记,要用绝对的忠诚和良好的决策来管理这些岛屿。如果我们让菲律宾事务落在腐败的政客手中,我们会重蹈西班牙人的覆辙。我们必须派遣贤能之士,摒弃党派门户之见,这些人不但要公正地治理当地人,全心全意履行公职,还要秉持坚定信念,认清治理对象;要知道,最大的罪恶是软弱,其次是管理不周和歧视。

我想告诉诸位,我的同胞,我们国家呼唤的是不是苟且偷安,而是艰苦奋斗。20世纪即将来临,列强命运风雨飘摇。如果我们袖手旁观,如果好吃懒做、苟且偷安,如果在命运的关键时刻临阵退缩、放弃自己所珍视的事物,那么,其他更勇猛、更强大的民族就会超越我们,赢得世界的统治权。因此,让我们直面人生苦难,坚定而有尊严地履行职责;言行举止不偏不倚;诚恳而勇敢,为了实现更高理想而埋头苦干。最重要的一点,不论精神上或肉体上的挫折,让我们不畏艰辛,纵横四海,通过艰苦卓绝的奋斗,最终真正实现民族伟业。

(本文由观察者网朱新伟、杨晗轶翻译,部分译文参考已有节译版本。)

翻页请看英文原文

The Strenuous Life

Theodore Roosevelt

April 10th, 1899

In speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the State which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who pre-eminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

A life of ignoble ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting American demands from himself and from his sons shall be demanded of the American nation as a whole. Who among you would teach your boys that ease, that peace, is to be the first consideration in their eyes-to be the ultimate goal after which they strive? You men of Chicago have made this city great, you men of Illinois have done your share, and more than your share, in making America great, because you neither preach nor practice such a doctrine. You work yourselves, and you bring up your sons to work. If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your sons that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of non-remunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research-work of the type we most need in this country, the successful carrying out of which reflects most honor upon the nation.

We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past. A man can be freed from the necessity of work only by the fact that he or his fathers before him have worked to good purpose. If the freedom thus purchased is used aright, and the man still does actual work, though of a different kind, whether as a writer or a General, whether in the field of politics or in the field of exploration and adventure, he shows he deserves his good fortune. But if he treats this period of freedom from the need of actual labor as a period not of preparation, but of mere enjoyment, he shows that he is simply a cumberer of the earth’s surface, and he surely unfits himself to hold his own with his fellows if the need to do so should again arise. A mere life of ease is not in the end a very satisfactory life, and, above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world.

As it is with the individual, so it is with the nation. It is a base untruth to say that happy is the nation that has no history. Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. If in 1861 the men who loved the Union had believed that peace was the end of all things, and war and strife the worst of all things, and had acted up to their belief, we would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, we would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars. Moreover, besides saving all the blood and treasure we then lavished, we would have prevented the heartbreak of many women, the dissolution of many homes, and we would have spared the country those months of gloom and shame when it seemed as if our armies marched only to defeat. We could have avoided all this suffering simply by shrinking from strife. And if we had thus avoided it, we would have shown that we were weaklings, and that we were unfit to stand among the great nations of the earth. Thank God for the iron in the blood of our fathers, the men who upheld the wisdom of Lincoln, and bore sword or rifle in the armies of Grant! Let us, the children of the men who proved themselves equal to the mighty days-let us, the children of the men who carried the great Civil War to a triumphant conclusion, praise the God of our fathers that the ignoble counsels of peace were rejected; that the suffering and loss, the blackness of sorrow and despair, were unflinchingly faced, and the years of strife endured; for in the end the slave was freed, the Union restored, and the mighty American republic placed once more as a helmeted queen among nations.

We of this generation do not have to face a task such as that our fathers faced, but we have our tasks, and woe to us if we fail to perform them! We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of unwarlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill. Last year we could not help being brought face to face with the problem of war with Spain. All we could decide was whether we should shrink like cowards from the contest, or enter into it as beseemed a brave and high-spirited people; and; once in, whether failure or success should crown our banners. So it is now. We cannot avoid the responsibilities that confront us in Hawaii, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines. All we can decide is whether we shall meet them in a way that will redound to the national credit, or whether we shall make of our dealings with these new problems a dark and shameful page in our history. To refuse to deal with them at all merely amounts to dealing with them badly. We have a given problem to solve. If we undertake the solution, there is, of course, always danger that we may not solve it aright; but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it aright.

The timid man, the lazy man, the man who distrusts his country, the over-civilized man, who has lost the great fighting, masterful virtues, the ignorant man, and the man of dull mind, whose soul is incapable of feeling the mighty lift that thrills “stern men with empires in their brains”-all these, of course, shrink from seeing the nation undertake its new duties; shrink from seeing us build a navy and an army adequate to our needs; shrink from seeing us do our share of the world’s work, by bringing order out of chaos in the great, fair tropic islands from which the valor of our soldiers and sailors has driven the Spanish flag. These are the men who fear the strenuous life, who fear the only national life which is really worth leading. They believe in that cloistered life which saps the hardy virtues in a nation, as it saps them in the individual; or else they are wedded to that base spirit of gain and greed which recognizes in commercialism the be-all and end-all of national life, instead of realizing that, though an indispensable element, it is, after all, but one of the many elements that go to make up true national greatness. No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the architects of our material prosperity, to the great captains of industry who have built our factories and our railroads, to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand; for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties – duties to the nation and duties to the race.

We cannot sit huddled within our own borders and avow ourselves merely an assemblage of well-to-do hucksters who care nothing for what happens beyond. Such a policy would defeat even its own end; for as the nations grow to have ever wider and wider interests, and are brought into closer and closer contact, if we are to hold our own in the struggle for naval and commercial supremacy, we must build up our power without our own borders. We must build the isthmian canal, and we must grasp the points of vantage which will enable us to have our say in deciding the destiny of the oceans of the East and the West.

So much for the commercial side. From the standpoint of international honor the argument is even stronger. The guns that thundered off Manila and Santiago, left us echoes of glory, but they also left us a legacy of duty. If we drove out a medieval tyranny only to make room for savage anarchy, we had better not have begun the task at all. It is worse than idle to say that we have no duty to perform, and can leave to their fates the islands we have conquered. Such a course would be the course of infamy. It would be followed at once by utter chaos in the wretched islands themselves. Some stronger, manlier power would have to step in and do the work, and we would have shown ourselves weaklings, unable to carry to successful completion the labors that great and high-spirited nations are eager to undertake.

The work must be done; we cannot escape our responsibility; and if we are worth our salt, we shall be glad of the chance to do the work – glad of the chance to show ourselves equal to one of the great tasks set modern civilization. But let us not deceive ourselves as to the importance of the task. Let us not be misled by vainglory into underestimating the strain it will put on our powers. Above all, let us, as we value our own self-respect, face the responsibilities with proper seriousness, courage, and high resolve. We must demand the highest order of integrity and ability in our public men who are to grapple with these new problems. We must hold to a rigid accountability those public servants who show unfaithfulness to the interests of the nation or inability to rise to the high level of the new demands upon our strength and our resources.


Of course we must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the causes of disaster. Let me illustrate what I mean by the army and the navy. If twenty years ago we had gone to war, we should have found the navy as absolutely unprepared as the army. At that time our ships could not have encountered with success the fleets of Spain any more than nowadays we can put untrained soldiers, no matter how brave, who are armed with archaic black-powder weapons, against well-drilled regulars armed with the highest type of modern repeating rifle. But in the early eighties the attention of the nation became directed to our naval needs. Congress most wisely made a series of appropriations to build up a new navy, and under a succession of able and patriotic secretaries, of both political parties, the navy was gradually built up, until its material became equal to its splendid personnel, with the result that last summer it leaped to its proper place as one of the most brilliant and formidable fighting navies in the entire world. We rightly pay all honor to the men controlling the navy at the time it won these great deeds, honor to Secretary Long and Admiral Dewey, to the captains who handled the ships in action, to the daring lieutenants who braved death in the smaller craft, and to the heads of bureaus at Washington who saw that the ships were so commanded, so armed, so equipped, so well engined, as to insure the best results. But let us also keep ever in mind that all of this would not have availed if it had not been for the wisdom of the men who during the preceding fifteen years had built up the navy. Keep in mind the secretaries of the navy during those years; keep in mind the senators and congressmen who by their votes gave the money necessary to build and to armor the ships, to construct the great guns, and to train the crews; remember also those who actually did build the ships, the armor, and the guns; and remember the admirals and captains who handled battle-ship, cruiser, and torpedo-boat on the high seas, alone and in squadrons, developing the seamanship, the gunnery, and the power of acting together, which their successors utilized so gloriously at Manila and off Santiago.

And, gentlemen, remember the converse, too. Remember that justice has two sides. Be just to those who built up the navy, and, for the sake of the future of the country, keep in mind those who opposed its building up. Read the Congressional Record. Find out the senators and congressmen who opposed the grants for building the new ships; who opposed the purchase of armor, without which the ships were worthless; who opposed any adequate maintenance for the Navy Department, and strove to cut down the number of men necessary to man our fleets. The men who did these things were one and all working to bring disaster on the country. They have no share in the glory of Manila, in the honor of Santiago. They have no cause to feel proud of the valor of our sea-captains, of the renown of our flag. Their motives may or may not have been good, but their acts were heavily fraught with evil. They did ill for the national honor, and we won in spite of their sinister opposition.

Now, apply all this to our public men of to-day. Our army has never been built up as it should be built up. I shall not discuss with an audience like this the puerile suggestion that a nation of seventy millions of freemen is in danger of losing its liberties from the existence of an army of 100,000 men, three fourths of whom will be employed in certain foreign islands, in certain coast fortresses, and on Indian reservations. No man of good sense and stout heart can take such a proposition seriously. If we are such weaklings as the proposition implies, then we are unworthy of freedom in any event. To no body of men in the United States is the country so much indebted as to the splendid officers and enlisted men of the regular army and navy. There is no body from which the country has less to fear, and none of which it should be prouder, none which it should be more anxious to upbuild.

Our army needs complete reorganization-not merely enlarging-and the reorganization can only come as the result of legislation. A proper general staff should be established, and the positions of ordnance, commissary, and quartermaster officers should be filled by detail from the line. Above all, the army must be given the chance to exercise in large bodies. Never again should we see, as we saw in the Spanish war, major-generals in command of divisions who had never before commanded three companies together in the field. Yet, incredible to relate, the recent Congress has shown a queer inability to learn some of the lessons of the war. There were large bodies, of men in both branches who opposed the declaration of war, who opposed the ratification of peace, who opposed the upbuilding of the army, and who even opposed the purchase of: armor at a reasonable price for the battle-ships and cruisers, thereby putting an absolute stop to the building of any new fighting-ships for the navy. If, during the years to come, any disaster should befall our arms, afloat or ashore, and thereby any shame come to the United States, remember that the blame will lie upon the men whose names appear upon the roll-calls of Congress on the wrong side of these great questions. On them will lie the burden of any loss of our soldiers and sailors, of any dishonor to the flag; and upon you and the people of this country will lie the blame if you do not repudiate, in no unmistakable way, what these men have done. The blame will not rest upon the untrained commander of untried troops, upon the civil officers of a department the organization of which has been left utterly inadequate, or upon the admiral with an insufficient number of ships; but upon the public men who have so lamentably failed in forethought as to refuse to remedy these evils long in advance, and upon the nation that stands behind those public men.

So, at the present hour, no small share of the responsibility for the blood shed in the Philippines, the blood of our brothers, and the blood of their wild and ignorant foes, lies at the thresholds of those who so long delayed the adoption of the treaty of peace, and of those who by their worse than foolish words deliberately invited a savage people to plunge into a war fraught with sure disaster for them – a war, too, in which our own brave men who follow the flag must pay with their blood for the silly, mock humanitarianism of the prattlers who sit at home in peace.

The army and the navy are the sword and the shield which this nation must carry if she is to do her duty among the nations of the earth – if she is not to stand merely as the China of the western hemisphere. Our proper conduct toward the tropic islands we have wrested from Spain is merely the form which our duty has taken at the moment. Of course we are bound to handle the affairs of our own household well. We must see that there is civic honesty, civic cleanliness, civic good sense in our home administration of city, State, and nation. We must strive for honesty in office, for honesty toward the creditors of the nation and of the individual; for the widest freedom of individual initiative where possible, and for the wisest control of individual initiative where it is hostile to the welfare of the many. But because we set our own household in order we are not thereby excused from playing our part in the great affairs of the world. A man’s first duty is to his own home, but he is not thereby excused from doing his duty to the State; for if he fails in this second duty it is under the penalty of ceasing to be a free man. In the same way, while a nation’s first duty is within its own borders, it is not thereby absolved from facing its duties in the world as a whole; and if it refuses to do so, it merely forfeits its right to struggle for a place among the peoples that shape the destiny of mankind.

In the West Indies and the Philippines alike we are confronted by most difficult problems. It is cowardly to shrink from solving them in the proper way; for solved they must be, if not by us, then by some stronger and more manful race. If we are too weak, too selfish, or too foolish to solve them, some bolder and abler people must undertake the solution. Personally, I am far too firm a believer in the greatness of my country and the power of my countrymen to admit for one moment that we shall ever be driven to the ignoble alternative.

The problems are different for the different islands. Porto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent state or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them, and infinite tact, judgment, moderation, and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty. The Philippines offer a yet graver problem. Their population includes half-caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for self-government, and show no signs of becoming fit. Others may in time become fit but at present can only take part in self-government under a wise supervision, at once firm and beneficent. We have driven Spanish tyranny from the islands. If we now let it be replaced by savage anarchy, our work has been for harm and not for good. I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake the task of governing the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it, or that they shrink from it because of the expense and trouble; but I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide and cover their timidity, and who cant about “liberty” and the “consent of the governed,” in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men. Their doctrines, if carried out, would make it incumbent upon us to leave the Apaches of Arizona to work out their own salvation, and to decline to interfere in a single Indian reservation. Their doctrines condemn your forefathers and mine for ever having settled in these United States.

England’s rule in India and Egypt has been of great benefit to England, for it has trained up generations of men accustomed to look at the larger and loftier side of public life. It has been of even greater benefit to India and Egypt. And finally, and most of all, it has advanced the cause of civilization. So, if we do our duty aright in the Philippines, we will add to that national renown which is the highest and finest part of national life, will greatly benefit the people of the Philippine Islands, and, above all, we will play our part well in the great work of uplifting mankind. But to do this work, keep ever in mind that we must show in a high degree the qualities of courage, of honesty, and of good judgment. Resistance must be stamped out. The first and all-important work to be done is to establish the supremacy of our flag. We must put down armed resistance before we can accomplish anything else, and there should be no parleying, no faltering, in dealing with our foe. As for those in our own country who encourage the foe, we can afford contemptuously to disregard them; but it must be remembered that their utterances are not saved from being treasonable merely by the fact that they are despicable.

When once we have put down armed resistance, when once our rule is acknowledged, then an even more difficult task will begin, for then we must see to it that the islands are administered with absolute honesty and with good judgment. If we let the public service of the islands be turned into the prey of the spoils politician, we shall have begun to tread the path which Spain trod to her own destruction. We must send out there only good and able men, chosen for their fitness, and not because of their partisan service, and these men must not only administer impartial justice to the natives and serve their own government with honesty and fidelity, but must show the utmost tact and firmness, remembering that, with such people as those with whom we are to deal, weakness is the greatest of crimes, and that next to weakness comes lack of consideration for their principles and prejudices.

I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.


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