DECEMBER 3, 1940
ABILENE, Texas, Monday—The first part of our flight yesterday from Washington, D. C. to Abilene, Texas, was over the clouds and it seemed as though we might run into bad weather and snow. A little rain fell before we landed in Nashville, Tenn., and we did not land at all in Knoxville. I am always sorry for the passengers whose stops are left out, because it must be disconcerting to figure how to return to the place you expected to be in much earlier in the day.
Once out of Nashville, the sky cleared gradually until we could feel that we were approaching the South. By the time we reached Abilene, it was no longer cold.
We made up the time we lost earlier in the day through a delay in leaving Washington because of strong head winds, so that we reached the hotel in Abilene before 7:00 p.m. The first and only request was that I see the press. This did not take up much time, however, and we were soon able to have dinner and retire early.
I found myself really sleepy. Even though I was deeply interested in a book which I had been reading on and off all day, I had to turn out my light somewhere around ten-thirty. After all, I reflected, it is 11:30 by Washington time and I have been up since before 7:00 this morning.
I finished the book early today. It is Harold J. Laski's "Where Do We Go From Here?" Anyone reading it, will recognize that it is easier for an Englishman to write it, because it is more important for an Englishman to have the answer immediately. When you fight for existence, you must consider everything which will give strength and unity to those who make the fight. Having conceded that, however, I still think it is an important book for us in America to read.
The complexities of modern civilization make it no longer possible to simplify our beliefs and actions as we could in our Revolutionary days. Much that was never dreamed of then, now faces us at home and abroad. It is easy to say that the fundamentals remain the same. They do, but the answers are vastly different. We know that the questions presented in this book have to be met by us as well as by all the other democracies in the world, and yet we run away even from the discussion of the problems involved.
There is one quotation from a page toward the end of the book which I should like all our people to remember: "Fear is the child of privilege; it is endemic in every society where men possess its benefits by the prescription of ancient evil instead of justice of an equal interest. To abolish fear, therefore, we need to abolish privilege. We can do it by the voluntary perception of its dangers, or we can do it by the compulsion of violence."