are fairly simple, their implications are numerous and complex. They can be learned only by patient and persistent study. Frequently there is an expression of a desire for some brief formula that will explain democracy, for some slogan or catchword that will be a guide to such action as it demands. But there is no short cut to understanding democracy. Everyone who would learn what it is and what it requires must devote himself to continued intellectual effort. Education without understanding of democracy that leads to faith and works is incomplete and ineffective. Democracy is under attack today by those who believe that other forms of human society and government are more efficient. Dictatorships have won impressive physical victories; they have had spectacular successes in overwhelming by military might those who had not the strength or the desire to come to decisions by the use of force. But dictatorships are not content with conquests of lands; they are determined also to impose on others their beliefs and ideals. Their threat to the freedom of the mind and the spirit is greater than their threat to our land, our property, and our bodies. Dictatorships have proved themselves effective in planning and in carrying out military campaigns. They are no less skillful and persistent in propaganda as well. Against this, democracy has a feeble defense unless its people thoroughly understand its fundamental

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principles and are so convinced of its superiority to every other form of social organization that they can refute all arguments to the contrary. It is our challenge to see that the necessary understanding becomes general among all our people. There are some who live in our country who do not have faith in democracy. Dazzled by the temporary successes of the totalitarian countries, they see in despotism opportunities, which probably would never be realized, of personal and selfish advancement at the expense of their fellows. They have lost faith because they have never really understood what democracy means and what possibilities it holds out for the general happiness of all mankind. No one can be truly happy or permanently prosperous unless others around him are prosperous and happy too. Others have lost faith in democracy because it has failed to bring to all mankind the blessings that it promised. It is true that democracy has not been fully achieved in our country, that it has fallen short of being consistently applied in our social, political, and industrial life. Neither has any religion ever achieved all of its possibilities. Like religion, democracy can be successful only if it is really understood and if it develops in its adherents such a convinced faith in its superiority that they are willing to live it, even at the temporary sacrifice of their own selfish comforts and privileges. The external enemies of democracy are numerous and strong, but they are far less dangerous than ignor


ance and selfishness within our own people. The only
sure defense that democracy has, the only basis that
will insure progress, and even preservation, is thor-
ough understanding that leads to conviction of its
superiority and to such devotion as results in a new
spirit of liberty for all.
This book makes a contribution to the clarification
of the fundamental principles and of the implications
of democracy. In Part One it outlines the story of the
development of democracy, indicating the strengths
and weaknesses of the opposition and making clear the
more important meanings that democracy has come to
have. Suggestions for class study follow the text.
Part Two presents in the form of a Creed a set of
detailed statements that in a comprehensive way de-
fine what democracy seems to mean today. These state-
ments can be “read” in a few minutes and doubtless
will be generally approved. But they cannot be under-
stood in a few minutes nor can a superficial reading
bring about the loyalty of a convinced intellect that
will lead to appreciation of the actions that democracy
requires. To aid understanding a series of questions
on each item has been prepared. To answer these ques-
tions and other similar ones that may be raised will
require serious and sincere thought and much time.
Understanding and conviction that lead to devoted
service cannot come without effort. Education for de-
mocracy is impossible without continued thought and
effort. No one who believes in democracy can conceive

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of its being appreciated without the continued exercise by an individual of both.

Part Three contains readings in democracy, chiefly as suggested in Part One.

During the threats of war there is unusual recognition of the need of democracy and of being devoted to it. But, as a matter of fact, the need is no less important in times of peace. At some time and on some conditions peace will inevitably return to the world; and when it does there will be new problems of the gravest import to be solved. When the industries that are now devoted to preparation of war materials are shut down and when the men in arms are demobilized, millions will be out of work and uncertain of their future. It was in such men, helpless and hopeless, eager to believe promises of relief, however impossible of fulfillment, and ready to surrender their personal liberty into the hands of the strong, that the dictators found the material for their revolutions. The only sure safeguard for democracy when the dislocations of our life. bring uncertainty and fear is a general understanding of the fundamental principles of democracy and a firm faith that only by building on them can we achieve a preservation of the civilization that we desire. In times of war we must prepare for peace, and the only substantial preparation is an understanding faith in democracy.


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