Paranoid? Not according to Woodrow Wilson

March 24, 2012

A friend sent me the first part of this quotation from Woodrow Wilson (thanks, Wayne) and Wikipedia ( provided more of it:

Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

They know that America is not a place of which it can be said, as it used to be, that a man may choose his own calling and pursue it just as far as his abilities enable him to pursue it; because to-day, if he enters certain fields, there are organizations which will use means against him that will prevent his building up a business which they do not want to have built up; organizations that will see to it that the ground is cut from under him and the markets shut against him. For if he begins to sell to certain retail dealers, to any retail dealers, the monopoly will refuse to sell to those dealers, and those dealers, afraid, will not buy the new man’s wares.

Section I: “The Old Order Changeth”, p. 13

It has become the fashion to deride Woodrow Wilson, but the more you come to know of him, the more you will admire his intelligence, his breadth of vision, his very practical idealism. Herbert Hoover, in his long retirement after his unhappy presidency, wrote an excellent book titled The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson, in which he admiriingly described the performance in office of the man who first brought Hoover to national – international — prominence.


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