Alexander Meiklejohn

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    Alexander Meiklejohn quote. There are members of our body politic who tell us that the public interest is best served when government action is reduced to a minimum and especially when it is kept negative in character. But just now, the nation as a whole seems to be moving rather swiftly and decisively—as is the world as a whole—in the opposite direction. More and more, we Americans are initiating new forms of positive government action for the common good. Between these two tendencies the struggle becomes every day more open and more intense. And as we wage that conflict it is well to remember that the logic of the Constitution gives no backing to either of the two combatants, as against the other. We are left free, as any self-governing people must leave itself free, to determine by specific decisions what our economy shall be. It would be ludicrous to say that we are committed by the Constitution to the economic cooperations of socialism. But equally ludicrous are those appeals by which, in current debate, we are called upon to defend the practices of capitalism, of

    There are members of our body politic who tell us that the public interest is best served when government action is reduced to a minimum and especially when it is kept negative in character. But just now, the nation as a whole seems to be moving rather swiftly and decisively—as is the world as a whole—in the opposite direction. More and more, we Americans are initiating new forms of positive government action for the common good. Between these two tendencies the struggle becomes every day more open and more intense. And as we wage that conflict it is well to remember that the logic of the Constitution gives no backing to either of the two combatants, as against the other. We are left free, as any self-governing people must leave itself free, to determine by specific decisions what our economy shall be. It would be ludicrous to say that we are committed by the Constitution to the economic cooperations of socialism. But equally ludicrous are those appeals by which, in current debate, we are called upon to defend the practices of capitalism, of "free enterprise," so-called, as essential to the freedom of the American Way of Life. The American Way of Life is free because it is what we Americans freely choose—from time to time—that it shall be

    Alexander Meiklejohn
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