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July 14, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(11):1023-1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.63670110001012

American freedom or socialistic enslavement—which shall it be? A decade or so ago, most citizens would have been shocked that any sane person should dare to ask such a question. Liberty and opportunity were the substance of our social, political, and economic tradition. True, the increasing complexities of urban life with its rising standards of living and the impact of world troubles constantly imposed new problems to be solved and new social injustices to be corrected, but, despite these difficulties, we continued to enjoy our American freedom and assumed that our birthright could never be taken away.

The vast and increasing confusion in which the American people now are groping would have been inconceivable to the average intelligent citizen thirty years ago. We had made mistakes, but our former national common sense saved us from catastrophic accidents. Our departure from sound economics and honesty can be explained only by a

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