Fulfilling the Four Freedoms Eighty Years Later

By Laurent Ladouce

With the pandemic rampant and lockdowns imposed worldwide, an economic crisis destroying jobs, political turmoil in much of the West, and religious fanaticism elsewhere, we ought to proclaim, like President Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1941: “Freedom of worship, freedom of expression, freedom from fear, freedom from want — everywhere in the world.”

Eighty years later, though global circumstances have changed, his call remains valid.

The domestic circumstances of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech were highly exceptional. Ordinarily, Roosevelt would not have sought a third term in office; yet he even ran and won reelection to a fourth term in 1944. In normal times, there would have been no need for that special section of his speech to be given. 

It was exceptional, because the Great Depression had lasted a decade already. It was exceptional, because Nazism was then controlling almost all of Europe. Roosevelt faced two totalitarian threats, from Hitler and from Stalin. It was exceptional because of Roosevelt’s confidence that the call for more freedom everywhere would guarantee greater safety everywhere. We need such confidence today.   

The Four Freedoms guided democracy for eight decades. They should continue to do so, adapting to the challenges of the 21st century. They should again guide us in times of uncertainty, of great insecurity and major restrictions to our freedoms everywhere.

More than a major political manifesto, the Four Freedoms speech amounts to a prophecy. Its eschatology inspired many artists.

Here, I evaluate the spiritual and cultural importance of the Four Freedoms from a Unificationist viewpoint. I suggest Norman Rockwell’s four paintings offer the deepest interpretation of the Four Freedoms, by insisting on the primacy of family values. Finally, I discuss how the speech should inspire us today. 

Balancing freedom and security

The Four Freedoms are the centerpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of Union Address on January 6, 1941:

“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.


The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium.

It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation…”

Here, freedom is the major theme, safety the minor theme. A safe and peaceful world is coming soon. Shall we gain greater freedom by seeking safety at all costs? No. Rather, the pursuit of freedom everywhere will procure lasting peace. This directly challenges today’s “wokism,” “safetyism” and so-called “intellectual safety.”

Freedom has two complementary aspects. Positive liberty (freedom of) is the possession of the capacity to act upon one’s free will, whereas negative liberty (freedom from) is the freedom from external restraint on one’s actions. For political theorist Isaiah Berlin, “I am slave to no man” is the slogan of negative liberty. By contrast, “I am my own master” is the credo of positive liberty, the freedom to choose one’s own pursuits in life.

Our dual nature accounts for these two freedoms. Unification ontology sees human beings as composed of a spirit self and a physical self. Our physical self has needs and drives, requires physical protection and care, and seeks material values. Our spirit self has desires and aspirations, grows through education, and seeks spiritual values. Human freedom is a synthesis of these two freedoms, the former being in the subject position, the latter in the object position. Freedom is complete when one can do what one may do.


A video on Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” produced by the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Freedom of worship and freedom of speech characterize the spiritual self, the person with autonomy. All creatures resemble God symbolically and indirectly. Additionally, human beings, resembling God’s direct image, should inherit the Divine Character, namely Heart, Logos and Creativity. Human beings may freely communicate with God through the spoken word of revelation (from God to man) and through prayer (from man to God). This personal relationship between God and myself generates all positive freedoms. 

Our human dignity is spiritual, yet it is incarnated. Our body is the second self of our mind, and the temple of God. 

Human beings, unlike animals, stand on two feet and have a visage, hence an expression. The standing position frees the hands to work creatively, under the guidance of our desires and reason. We create objects of value, embodying truth, goodness and beauty. We create works, but much more, we create our destiny, we co-create ourselves, together with God. Philosopher Pico della Mirandola (1463-94) praised human dignity, as seen by God, as follows: 

“The nature of all other creatures is defined and restricted within laws which We have laid down; you, by contrast, impeded by no such restrictions, may, by your own free will, to whose custody We have assigned you, trace for yourself the lineaments of your own nature. I have placed you at the very center of the world, so that from that vantage point you may with greater ease glance round about you on all that the world contains. We have made you (…) in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer.” (Oration on the Dignity of Man)

The Four Freedoms and the Common Man: Rockwell and Copland

Before being a resistance to external oppression, freedom should be a positive affirmation, an internal aspiration to fulfilment and joy. This serene vision inspired artist Norman Rockwell to paint the Four Freedoms in 1943 for The Saturday Evening Post.

Rockwell’s four illustrations refrain from ideology or politics. In 1943, Americans were fighting on multiple fronts (Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia); the whole nation was focused on defending freedom. We could therefore have imagined patriotic scenes with armed soldiers attacking “the enemies of freedom” or masses clenching their fists and shouting “liberty.” Rockwell did not paint this. Some even blamed his idealistic and non-militaristic view of the defense of freedom, as if he ignored the mortal enemy.

Rockwell’s patriotism was unquestioned. He knew many American families were mourning the loss of a son, a brother, a husband, or a father, dying in a foreign land for the sake of other people. But deep reasons prompted him to portray freedom in its civil form, associating it with well-being, ordinary life, not exceptional circumstances. He did not paint anonymous battalions in uniform dying for freedom, but ordinary civilians living for it. Today, Rockwell’s choice makes eminent sense.

He painted the daily heroism of simple yet dignified citizens. He showed them as families, as people with emotional attachments, not as isolated individuals. “Freeing oneself from fear” shows neither fear nor danger: a mother tucks her two young children in the same bed. Dad looks at them with love, a newspaper in his hand. The freedom to express love in a household is the major source of safety. The first place to feel safe is a loving and united home. 

“Freeing oneself from want” shows neither factories spewing smoke for mass production, nor bountiful harvests. Such frescoes were common in totalitarian art. For Rockwell, true prosperity is more than material wealth. He portrays grandparents serving Thanksgiving turkey to their children and grandchildren. Three generations sharing food on a special holiday (not a working day) — that’s how we free ourselves from the scourge of scarcity. It’s a family scene, “where we share what we have with those whom we love.”  The true wealth of a nation is a tight-knit, united home. 

“Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Worship,” “Freedom From Want,” and “Freedom From Fear,” as painted by Norman Rockwell (source: Norman Rockwell Museum).

Freedom of worship is not represented by a religious edifice, a holy book, or clergy, but by strangers of all creeds who pray silently, with joined hands, “each according to the dictates of his own conscience.” The picture is serious and fervent, but reflects serenity and confidence. Prayer is not a frantic scream, but a freely given report to Heavenly Parent. Spirituality is not compulsory; it comes from the heart. 

Finally, “freedom of expression” shows a standing blue collar worker, resembling Abraham Lincoln, speaking forcefully in a town meeting. His torso takes up the entire upper half of the painting. In the lower half, several figures frame the speaking man. Two townspeople wearing ties listen to him with admiration. The painting suggests that educated people take pride in listening to the common man, who speaks from the heart, the town’s annual report being in his pocket. 

As the Norman Rockwell Museum points out, “it was not until Rockwell painted his Four Freedoms that Americans could really understand what they were fighting for and why the Four Freedoms were so important to the country and the world.”

The common man is actually the subject of composer Aaron Copland’s famous “Fanfare for the Common Man,” originally entitled the “Four Freedoms Fanfare.” Vice President Henry Wallace’s 1942 speech on the “Century of the Common Man” prompted Copland to change the title. Like Rockwell, Copland believed that freedom was not necessarily embodied by heroes with guns, but rather by the common men. When we combine President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms and Wallace’s prophecy of the common man, Rockwell’s four paintings and Copland’s composition, we grasp the global vision that inspired freedom-seekers 80 years ago. 

Common men and women united for freedom now

The Four Freedoms legacy is impressive. The speech influenced the founding of the United Nations, thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt. Later, the European Union adopted its own four freedoms, namely, free movement of goods, free movement of capital, freedom to establish and provide services, and free movement of persons.

The Four Freedoms speech also had a direct impact on the rise of the new discipline of human development, originated by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub al Haq, with its two pillars of research and recommendations: freedom from fear and freedom from want.

For the past 80 years, the torch of the Four Freedoms has guided us to a safer world. Today, that light is vacillating, democracy is challenged. Some seek security rather than freedom.

Roosevelt’s speech may have sounded like a political agenda. But as Rockwell painted it, the Four Freedoms have no political color, but are a universal ethical imperative. As Copland composed it, the Four Freedoms are not the battle hymn of one camp against the other; they are everybody’s tune. True Mother often speaks of the 7.8 billion people of the world, the common men and women of our time. 

What is the specific responsibility of Unificationists in reviving the values of the Four Freedoms speech? We should regard it as a discourse about ideals which human efforts alone cannot achieve. We may empower humans to have more freedom, but without God’s grace, the agenda of the Four Freedoms will be forever incomplete.

According to Divine Principle, human beings lost their original freedom through the fall. The Four Freedoms speech may be interpreted as a prophecy that human freedom will be restored soon, and with it, the Three Blessings. Freedom of worship and freedom of expression definitely belong to the First Blessing: we love God, and we recover our original dignity and autonomy as children of God. In order to do that, a new view of God is necessary. The God we worship is not an impersonal judge, but the Heavenly Parent, whose masculine and feminine nature is revealed to all humankind, provided we become the holy community of Heavenly Parent, now. 

If we remain in our churches, loving others from a distance, but not really living together with them, freedom of worship and freedom of expression will remain restricted by our own barriers. Moreover, we should add “conscience” (more precisely, the original mind in Unificationist terms). We should say freedom of worship, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression. When we remain unable to follow the voice of our conscience in daily life, we enjoy limited freedom of worship and expression. 

Today, we should encourage advocates of unconstrained confrontation to do better research. Yes, we all should “awaken”… to the voice of the conscience. This will help us manifest our unique identity (including our specific ethnicity, gender, social class), without cutting ourselves from the holy community. Advocates of safetyism and intellectual safety say that we have to create a safe environment where people feel free to express themselves without feeling judged. One never finds this freedom from fear by staying in a bubble. Our true self cannot be free under excessive protection or safety from without. We are to discover the world with confidence and curiosity and learn to welcome notions that once were unfamiliar to us. Take risks and you will be safe.

 We enjoy “freedom from fear” when we love our neighbors as ourselves. Abel will be free from Cain’s violence, Cain will be free from Abel’s aloofness. Women will be free from men’s lust, men will be free from women’s seduction. This all belongs to the Second Blessing. All programs to end fratricidal or sexual violence will remain limited, however, without the grace of the Blessing. True Parents have conducted mass weddings so that all human beings are free to enter the city by the gates and enjoy the Tree of Life. Without the Blessing, the gates to the city remain closed.

“Freedom from want” will reign in a society where we love the creation and use goods from nature for the common good. This Third Blessing transcends the limitations of capitalism and socialism, and characterizes the society of kong-saeng, kong-yang and kong-ui (translated from Korean as “interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values,” found in Divine Principle).

In 2021, we remain in the midst of a global pandemic. It is the first time since World War II that we face so many restrictions to the four major freedoms worldwide. Even the Cold War did not bring these limitations. To overcome the current crisis, we should revive the spirit of the Four Freedoms. Unificationists can launch discussions on the Four Freedoms, in the context of contemporary problems, and show how Unificationism can be applied theoretically and practically to find solutions. In every nation or community, we may find practical projects to rediscover the practice of these Four Freedoms.♦

Laurent Ladouce is a French Unificationist who was awarded an honorary doctorate by Unification Theological Seminary in 2017. A prolific author of Unificationist publications, he also published the book, Le Projet Pakxe: une contribution du Laos à l’unité de l’Asie du Sud‐Est et à la Paix Mondiale, describing the rising role of city diplomacy and proposing a plan to make Pakxe, Laos, an international city of peace. He also regularly conducts tribal messiah activity in West Africa.

 Photo at top: President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 1941 with World War II looming.

14 thoughts on “Fulfilling the Four Freedoms Eighty Years Later

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  1. Thank you, Laurent. Such was the fruit of Judeo-Christianity in America. How sad that I, an American, grew up in the ’50s and ’60s having no idea about this subject matter. How amazingly God prepared the world for the True Parents. How tragic the history that transpired! All glory to True Parents for never giving up. Thank you for your ongoing research and investment.

  2. Thank you so much, Dr. Hendricks.

    You are right to say, “All glory to True Parents for never giving up”. In the 1980s, True Father passionately defended the freedom of worship while in Danbury and gained the support of influential pastors. Father was not afraid of proclaiming the end of communism and, from prison, he gave the direction for the Geneva summit of 1985 on this theme, really challenging our PWPA scholars. He also defended the freedom of expression by creating the Washington Times, which quickly gained a high reputation. We should also mention that much of the Ocean Providence in America was for the purpose of fighting hunger, and promote freedom from want.

    Father can be seen as a real icon of the four freedoms for us, showing that we should all attend God, speak out, serve others and seek reconciliation with enemies.

  3. In addition to the essay and in order to answer to some reactions which were conveyed to me, I would like to quote an interesting excerpt of Henry Wallace’s speech called the “Century of the Common Man.”

    “As we begin the final stages of this fight to the death between the free world and the slave world, it is worthwhile to refresh our minds about the march of freedom for the common man. The idea of freedom — the freedom that we in the United States know and love so well — is derived from the Bible, with its extraordinary emphasis on the dignity of the individual. Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity.

    The prophets of the Old Testament were the first to preach social justice. But that which was sensed by the prophets many centuries before Christ was not given complete and powerful political expression until our nation, here in the United States, was formed as a Federal Union a century and a half ago. Even then, the march of the common people had just begun.”

    Wallace was definitely what we would call today a left-leaning Christian, and one should remember that this group of people were among the most upset by Father’s imprisonment in Danbuy. (Wallace died in Danbury in 1965, by the way). I have very strong reservations about many of Wallace’s positions otherwise, but I feel that the excerpt above is really insightful, especially the connection that he makes between Freedom, Christianity, Common Man, and Democracy.

    In two paragraphs, he sketches ideas that seem to be in line with the Divine Principle providential viewpoint regarding the restoration of freedom and the advent of democracy as the foundation for the Second Coming.

  4. I would like to raise here some important questions regarding the understanding of human freedom and the restoration process. Many religious people, including Unificationists, think that human beings lost their freedom through the fall and therefore humans need to regain their freedom. I find that there is something missing here. Freedom itself wasn’t lost. Because Adam and Eve failed to fulfill their responsibility, the response-ability was diminished, and the free communication was blocked.

    Furthermore, I find, it’s not quite correct to say, that we “may empower humans to have more freedom, but without God’s grace, the agenda of the Four Freedoms will be forever incomplete”. God’s grace is and was always there. Only we human beings have to respond to it! So, we have to learn to respond and our freedom to communicate with our heavenly parent will develop and increase. As Unificationists we need, in my opinion, to address both, freedom and human responsibility, whereby responsibility comes first.

    1. Thank you, Joseph, for reminding us about the balance between freedom and responsibility.

      The project called the Statue of Responsibility precisely addresses this issue. Based on the philosophy of the Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl (1905-97), there is a beautiful project to build a statue of responsibility in California. The statue represents God’s arm from above grasping the human arm from below, in a vertical covenant. There is the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast, and would be the Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.

      The project is not yet completed. There is much more than a statue and a monument involved here, but a whole area of research and action for the future. Frankl lamented that human beings repress their aspirations to values, such as truth, beauty, goodness. He said that Freud’s emphasis on repressing the libido (mostly sexual desire) was exagerated. We often repress our quest of free will and freedom of action and we abandon the pursuit of ideals and ends for the sake of means. Frankl’s logotherapy was about people rediscovering the meaning of their existence, their projection into the future, toward their “should be”. Frankl was certainly one of the great sages of our age.

      I suggest that we may think about four responsibilities for the 21st century. Some people have already suggested that the year 2021 is good for that, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Four Freedoms. Unificationism could be one of the voices calling for a “Four Responsibility Manifesto”, or something like that.

    2. Josef, you gave me an inspiration for an exercise that we may promote throughout this year. We could organize activities around the four freedoms and then ask people to work on drafting four responsibilities which they think are very important. Today, I tried to apply it to myself, and wrote a draft of exactly 111 words, just like the 1-1-1 that used to be the motto of witnessing. Here we go:

      “In the future days, where we seek to live in concord, we look forward to a world where all human beings will fulfill four responsibilities.

      The first is the responsibility to love and respect transcendent spiritual and moral principles — all over the world.

      The second is the responsibility to love and respect our brothers and sisters, from the home to the greater human family — all over the world.

      The third is the responsibility to love and respect the entire natural and cultural environment — all over the world.

      The fourth is the responsibility we all have to perfect our character so that we fulfill the three other responsibilities — all over the world.”

  5. Laurent,

    Thought I agree with the necessity to be advocates of the “four freedoms” that you cite in your essay, there is evidence that suggests that Aaron’s Copland’s view of “the common man” wasn’t necessarily rooted in an American libertarian perspective. I’ve conducted a number of Copland’s works, including “The Fanfare of the Common Man” (at a UTS event), but I have come to understand the historical context in which some of his compositions were created.

    After the Great Depression, Copland (who was decidedly non-religious), like Charlie Chaplin, were among a number of artists in the West who viewed communism as a viable alternative to capitalism. Though Copland never joined a political party, he nevertheless supported Communist Party presidential candidate Earl Browder in 1936 (as did Chaplin) and even composed what he called “my communist song” titled “Into the Streets May First,” based on a poem by pro-communist playwright Alfred Hayes.

    As Hayes put it, “The necessity for this kind of music as a weapon in the class struggle daily becomes more apparent. As in Russia, the idea: ‘We must develop our musical resources for the building of socialism’ has made music both a unique power and an integral part of the lives of the people, so we are witnessing in America the gathering together of groups of workers for the making of music which is expressive of their lives and aspirations.”

    Here is a portion of Hayes’ text:

    Out of the shops and factories,
    Up with the sickle and hammer,
    Comrades, these are our tools,
    A song and a banner!
    Roll song, from the sea of our hearts,
    Banner, leap and be free;
    Song and banner together,
    Down with the bourgeoisie!

    Copland won first prize in this song-writing contest. Here’s a link to the song.

    In 1943 Copland composed the film score for the pro-Communist propaganda film “The North Star” based on a script by Lillian Hellman who also was sympathetic to the Soviet Union. (To be fair, many Americans viewed Russia as an ally in the WWII era.)

    With this historical context I’ve come to understand the “meaning” behind the music, or perhaps more accurately, the motivation and intention of some of Copland’s work at that time. Could his “common man” narrative really mean “dictatorship of the proletariat?” Whereas painters Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth had certain patriotic intentions in their creative endeavors, Copland, as New Yorker magazine music critic Alex Ross put it, “showed lamentably little awareness of what life inside the Soviet Union was really like,” and may have been seduced by the promise of a utopian reality that was at odds with FDR’s “four freedom” narrative, not to mention headwing thought.

    1. Thank you, David. The motivation behind Copland’s fanfare is the kind of Unificationist debate we need to have, and I thank you for raising the question with much evidence. Not being an expert, I suggest the following:

      1) If we surmise that the four freedoms are part of the Second Advent Eschatology, some kind of “foundation for the four freedoms” is necessary. I hope that this will not appear as too far-fetched. Abel and Cain have to be involved.

      Rockwell is definitely the Abel-type artist, his inspiration seems to be heavenly. Copland is in the role of Cain, definitely, it could be that God could use his “offering” at a special moment. As a matter of fact, the fanfare is often seen as the masterpiece of Copland. If not for the grace of this time of exception, he may never have composed it. I know that some will comment, “come on, that’s pure nonsense”. Maybe someone may find a better explanation.

      2) Copland the communist supporting the Free World crusade against Nazism is something that the Divine Principle deals with (Preparation 4.3.4, pp. 373-374, starting with the sentence, “The Soviet Union, a nation on Satan’s side, participated in the Second World War on God’s side. How was it possible? …”).

      The Principle says that God and Satan had the same goal to defeat fascism. It is a complex issue, one that needs to be addressed by real experts, and I am not.

      3) Let me test another hypothesis, and I am sure that I may irritate some people here, by being, again, into far-fetched speculation. Roosevelt, by birth and by his whole life as a young man, was a real American patrician. American patricians have played an extremely important role in the birth of the USA. They represent lineage, tradition, Old Money, good manners, and in the best case the Cincinnatus tradition (George Washington). Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor were the pure products of this patrician class, which was certainly prepared by God to receive the Messiah. I started to discover the patricians when I visited Bard College next door to UTS. If you take the freedom of worship and the freedom of expression, they are very much patrician values. Roosevelt was (and is still), heavily criticized for adding the freedom from want and freedom from fear, inspired by his New Deal, crypto-socialist policies. You can really see these two freedoms from as typically Plebeian.

      But, and again I hope that I am not talking nonsense, but there was a need for Patricians and Plebeians in America to join forces. Roosevelt was rather a distant patrician, but someow, and against his own class, he tried to embrace the working class, the famous Crowd (1927).

      Churchill did exactly the same, and so did De Gaulle, who were also Patricians in their respective nations. They embraced the Plebeians, and in the case of De Gaulle, he had no other choice but to work with the Communists. I shall stop here, because these three points I’ve made are certainly to be discussed and critiqued before I further elaborate.

      1. Laurent,

        Obviously, there have been no artists who’ve been immune to fallen nature.

        Several years ago I wrote an essay for the Journal of Unification Studies called “The Wagner Conundrum” in which I made the point that an object of art (a song, a symphony, a painting, a novel—or specifically a Wagner opera) can be enjoyed aesthetically without knowing the intention or moral character of the artist. Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” has become an iconic piece of music because of its ability to inspire and move audiences. The noble and majestic character of the music has stood the test of time and continues to inspire because of its aesthetic qualities.

        Kant proffered that beauty had a transcendent aspect to it. He couldn’t easily define how beauty affects our consciousness, but he understood that the transcendent aspect of beauty was real and universal. Roger Scruton reminds us that in his exegesis on judgment vis-à-vis aesthetics, Kant “situates the aesthetic experience and religious experience side by side” and goes as far as to suggest that it is the aesthetic experience that is “the archetype of revelation.”

        Dr. Young Oon Kim referred to this as a “transmoral dimension” of art. As Dr. Kim put it:

        “It is in the transmoral dimension of aesthetic experience that beauty approaches God. All the laws from and within God—give and take, polarity, harmony—connect beauty from all cultures. And to the extent that they clearly amplify and substantiate God’s nature they evoke a response of love and appreciation from man. Since God represents absolute love and freedom, beauty is never confined.”

        I believe Dr. Kim identifies an important point in our assessment of art.

        1. Thank you, David, for assessing the beauties of the “Fanfare for the Common Man”, after warnins about the motivation of its composer. I appreciate this double movement, which is Unificationist. As an elder Unificationist, you first tell us to remain spiritually vigilant while listening to that piece. The music may entice and please our ears. But our reason should remain vigilant, and our moral sense in alert. The ambiguity of the fanfare cannot be dismissed. In a second movement, and speaking as a conductor who played this piece in Unificationist events, as well as a Unificationist aesthetician, you give us sufficient reason to appreciate this music. Moreover you provide fundamental reasons why art sometimes transcends usual categories of judgment.

          I am glad that you offer us this lesson applied to a precise case study. That is how I see the role of Applied Unificationism. We all are to progress in knowledge, to gain new understanding that sometimes challenges our concepts and opinions. I rejoice that my humble essay on the Four Freedom offers an opportunity for this case study.

          My understanding would even increase if I managed to grasp more deeply where the pleasantness of the fanfare comes from. As I listen to it several times, I pay attention to some details, progressing from a spontaneous and natural “I like it” to something more elaborate, such as, “The tempo, the crescendo, the instruments used are fascinating.”

          However, my appreciation of Copland’s fanfare remains limited and naive, and an expert in music could help me more, and hopefully others on the blog. I hope that you can offer an additional brief analysis of the music.

          In his observations, Leo Quirk, a photographer and bassoonist, concludes:

          “Copland does the ‘common man’ justice because most people live relatively simple lives (this does not exclude them from being hectic) that don’t have bells and whistles and that are not all that much different from anyone else’s. This piece is able to be simple and majestic at the same time, showing that even if we are leading a regular life, this doesn’t exclude us from being great or heroic.”

      2. Laurent,

        Perhaps you are familiar with the Latin axiom De gustibus non est disputandum. (In matters of taste there can be no dispute.) Our aesthetic preferences are matters of personal taste. One need not know much about the craft or techniques employed by an artist—or to know the artist’s motives—to enjoy the artwork at hand on a purely aesthetic level.

        One of the interesting “incongruities” in this composition (or perhaps more accurately, in the composer’s world view) is that Copland was commissioned to compose the fanfare as a way to honor those Americans who were serving in the military during WWII. There is a certain patriotic aspect in his motive, yet Copland was also composing music that had ties to his infatuation with communism during the same time period.

        Unification Thought is very specific about creative motivation in the Theory of Art. How that gets infused into a work of art is perhaps another discussion for another time, but we can enjoy music that is pleasing apart from the issues of craft or motive. I have conducted the music of Wagner on a number of occasions and still thrill to his best music. Performing his music doesn’t necessarily mean I’m promoting his anti-Semitism or adulterous behavior. That said, it’s perfectly reasonable to understand why the Israel Philharmonic still has an unofficial ban on performing his music.

  6. As Laurent noted, Eleanor Roosevelt was a behind-the-scenes force in many of her husband’s efforts: “In April 1945 the Four Freedoms were included in the Charter of the United Nations. Following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor, continued to fight for them as chairperson of the United Nations Committee for Human Rights. Largely thanks to her determination, the Four Freedoms were included in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was officially accepted by the UN on December 10, 1948.” Full link.

  7. Thank you, Dr. Barry, for this information on Eleanor Roosevelt and her major role in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In the UDHR, two paragraphs deserve a particular attention, as far as the four freedoms are concerned.

    1) One of them is the connection we have already made in the essay between the four freedoms and the common man. We read, in the document released in 1945:

    “Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people …” –> This is very important, the flag-bearer of the four freedoms is Mr. and Mrs. Everybody, the citizen. It means that the four freedoms are not a political agenda, but the aspiration of all human beings.

    2) In 1966, a new paragraph was added, connecting the four freedoms and the two covenants. To be more precise, the United Nations adopted the two covenants — one on civil and political rights and the other on economic, social and cultural rights. This is probably less known, but is still widely discussed and debated. Here again, we have the same discussion that we have about positive and negative freedom. As economic, social and cultural rights were considered, some people asked for more and more rights. And here, I cannot but agree with Josef Gundacker. It is good to emphasize freedoms and rights, but what about responsibilities and duties?

    Hence my question to all: if we were to stress four great responsibilities for the days to come, what would they be?

  8. One “freedom from” that I would have liked to discuss more is the freedom from want. During the Great Depression, Americans started to experience that an affluent society can suddenly return to scarcity. Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is really the novel about want.

    Today, want is still there, daily, in many third world countries. Father himself briefly summarized, “food is love”. Father would have liked to eradicate poverty and hunger.

    At the same time, freedom from want has another meaning today. We are living in the age of mass addiction. Our nations are engulfed in a culture of craving, need, want, obsession. It is not at all the magnificent obsession of giving with true love, but the morbid obsession of wanting to take more and more, out of selfish love.

    Addictions were first of all physical (tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt, food, substances) and are more and more mental (pornography, games, the internet). Human beings are losing their freedoms and are severely manipulated by their own desires. That’s why, in 2021, the Grapes of Wrath are sometimes our rage to want more and more, in a world of mere virtuality. Social networks are fueling more and more artificial aggressivity, porn revenge, tweeting around the clock, an endless cycle of greed, which transforms us into robots for algorithms.

    I wonder how Norman Rockwell would have illustrated our desire to be free, free from those chains, free at last. Any illustrator around?

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