Hymning the virtues of freedom and humanity Professor Charles E. Merriam last night voiced his conviction that "Whatever happened now, democracy is an ideal form of political association which can never die."
In the final Godkin lecture, the Chicago professor cried that "the ideals of freedom steal into the dreams of conquerors, and they wing their way above the battlefields, deadening the victors' shout." He avowed that "I am not terrified by the shoutings of Hitler or the boasts of Mussolini. They speak for a mood, but not for the heart of their peoples."
However, though democracy cannot perish ultimately, "long periods of suffering and frustration would be saved if the free states of the World could now drive forward to secure a free world."
The first step must be the defeat of the aggressors; for "It takes many to make peace, but one alone may make war; and he may be stopped only by counter-war or force in some equivalent form." Nor should the United States hold aloof, for "isolation is not a national policy; it is a declaration of bankruptcy, leading to national suicide. Other nations have hoped that they would escape the doom of war by their good behavior, but the cemeteries are full of their crumbling relies."
In the post-war world, "the ultimate goal of democratic planning must be world-union," permitting each country and every people to share in a life "more full than even the prophets have ever dared to dream."