The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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We are the academic descendants of John Harvard, who preceded his fellow-Cantabridgians to this country.... We are glad that we have reached the age when we can talk things over with our parents.
These political quacks monkey with our rights--but they will not let us write of monkeys.
Carrie A. Nation--a typical reformer--took her name too literally.
D. W. Chapman '27, the first speaker for the University, declared that it was not his purpose to point out and define the inalienable rights of individuals, but to show that there were matters in which the Government might go too far in its legislation.
"Shall the lawmakers tell us what to think?" he asked. In some states there is a law prohibiting schoolbooks that defame the American conduct in the War of 1812. This invades the individual right to know the truth, and gives rise to false patriotism, and an unfair bias on history. Not only is our thought so regulated, but even such intimate matters as our food and living conditions are controlled by laws on milk and heating of homes. In performing its duties as a government, our government should not become a nursemaid."
Barnes Is Second Speaker
Chapman was followed by J. F. Barnes '27, who pointed out the danger of the individual becoming a stereotyped human being cast in a mould of governmental regulation. He attacked the American worship of majority rule, and declared that it led to the creation of a nation of beings in whom the spark of individuality was stifled.
"If a man neglects his muscles, they become flabby," he said, "and similarly, if a man neglects the exercise of his mental and moral faculties, these become atrophied and useless. When all our acts are preordained and regulated by law, there is left no field for the exercise of our judgment, determination, or any of our faculties. These become stagnant, and the individual, deprived of that which made him an individual, becomes a mere puppet in the hands of law."
Lorenzen deals with Religion
E. W. Lerenzen the third Harvard speaker, declared that religion and education are the two guiding forces of human life, and that government is usurping the functions of these forces, and is killing these two most fundamental symbols of progress.
"When the government, dictates the morals of the people, there is no need for religion," he declared. "The purpose of all this restraining legislation on education and religion is to curb the idealism and individualism of the people so that they may fit into the place in the governmental plan that has been cast for them. The whole process makes for a petrifaction, a stultification, and a dead chine which can only end in the machine of mankind turning to find one man with a spark of religion and individuality to act is the savior of the race."
Speaking in rebuttal, Chapman spoke in brilliant fashion, summing up in a very few words all the argument of the affirmative.
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