Free press

I have yet to see a piece of writing, political or non-political, that doesn’t have a slant. All writing slants the way a writer leans, and no man is born upright. The beauty of the American free press is that the slants and the twists and the distortions come from so many directions, and the special interests are so numerous, the reader must sift and sort and check and countercheck in order to find out what the score is.

Religious liberty is the primary source of our civil liberties, and of all our freedom—free speech, free press and radio, freedom of assembly, and the right of petition. When we explore the history of our institutions we come very soon to the matter of religious belief.

It is a fact that the employing class . . . endeavor to get the greatest amount of labor for the smallest wages for which they can get employes. On the other hand, the workers have always endeavored to get the greatest amount of money for the smallest amount of work. Under these conditions it is impossible for capitalists and laborers to have common interests. To preach otherwise [is] an unpalatable truth, or to cry peace when there is none, is like the ostrich, who hides his head in the sand.

A large part of the mischief and folly of the world comes from rushing in, taking a position, and then not knowing how to retreat. There is something about making a speech or writing an article which perverts the human mind. When the utterance is published, the Rubicon has been crossed and the bridges have been burned. It seems to end in the inquiry, after that we almost cease to be interested in the truth, being so preoccupied to prove that we already possess it.

The time has come to stop beating our heads against stone walls under the illusion that we have been appointed policeman to the human race.

What a strange development of patriotism that turns a thinking being into a loyal machine!