The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I had not realized that any businessman had gone from our country to the International Business Conference which assembled in Moscow from April 3 to 10. Over a month ago, however I received a letter asking me to read a speech made by Oliver Vickery of San Francisco, who attended this conference.

It was a most interesting speech in which he frankly told the Russians that he preferred the private enterprise system. But he asserted that Adam Smith, who enunciated the economic philosophy of free enterprise in his book, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," as well as Karl Marx, who expressed his philosophy of economics in "Das Capital," would hardly recognize their own philosophies in the economic theories their followers are working out today.

Both philosophies have undergone many changes, but, as an American businessman, Mr. Vickery felt that they could exist and work together to meet the problems of economics that face us all in the world today. He made a good case in his speech against using war as a method of settling our difficulties. He remarked that in war no nation wins a victory and that it seemed incredible that any of us should want to exterminate people without whom our economic system could not possibly work.

I am sure that was a good idea to plant in the minds of the Soviets, though I am afraid they would hope to be able to profit by having more people killed on the other side. Having the Oriental feeling that time does not really matter, they would be willing to start at a point reached by some nations hundreds of years ago and slowly build up again as long as they could be the surviving race.

Mr. Vickery well understands what the Russians are aiming to spread throughout the underdeveloped nations, knowing that they have little chance to get their theories accepted by the advanced nations where at least people are obtaining better living standards every year.

I understand the proceedings of this conference were sent to the United Nations and I assume that they will be under consideration by some committee of the General Assembly. It will be interesting to note the reaction of the group that studies this report and I hope it will be interested enough to call Mr. Vickery before it to get a personal reaction from him.

On Armistice Day this year the Advertising Council will begin its fund-raising drive and Crusade for Freedom drive.

Henry Ford II recently was elected head of the Crusade For Freedom, succeeding General Lucius Clay.

One of the objectives of this group is to "step up the war of ideas against the Communists, especially behind the Iron Curtain, beat them in it."

If the Freedom Crusade people can do this they hope to reduce the chances of ruinous shooting war. They feel they must carry this fight into the Communist-dominated countries themselves.

Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia are increasingly proving effective weapons in this struggle, and the support of the American people in this crusade will mean that each one of us will have a chance to fight personally against Soviet aggression. Four million dollars is needed to help support this radio effort, so join the Crusade for Freedom when the drive opens on Armistice Day.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 3, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.