American Controversial Public Official, Director and Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority
The essential ingredient of democracy is not doctrine but intelligence, not authority but reason, not cynicism but faith in men, faith in God. Our strength lies in the fearless pursuit of truth by the minds of men who are free.
Whether happiness or unhappiness, freedom or slavery, in short whether good or evil results from an improved environment depends largely upon how the change has been brought about, upon the methods by which the physical results have been reached, and in what spirit and for what purpose the fruits of that change are used. Because a higher standard of living, a greater productiveness and a command over nature are not good in and of themselves do not mean that we cannot make good of them, that they cannot be a source of inner strength.
The machine that frees a man’s back of drudgery does not thereby make his spirit free. Technology has made us more productive, but it does not necessarily enrich our lives. Engineers can build us great dams, but only great people make a valley great. There is no technology of goodness. Men must make themselves spiritually free.
Out of the best and most productive years of each person's life, they should carve a segment in which they put their private career aside to serve their community and their country, and thereby serve their children, their neighbours, their fellow men, and the cause of freedom.