139 East 35th Street
New York City
November 7, 1943
We have just heard your broadcast—with great pleasure. You were excellent. Congratulations from both of us.
Thank you for your nice letter about my big event. We will leave for Hollywood by the end of this month, and we intend to stop in Chicago for a few days. If you will be back there by the 20th, I hope we’ll see each other then. I shall write or wire to you before we start.
Thanks for showing me Mr. Queeny’s letter, which I am enclosing.[*] It was very interesting. Would you ask him for me to sit down and think a little about the connection between philosophy and reality? He might discover that true philosophy is derived from reality, and that our actions must be governed by abstract philosophical principles whenever we act as human beings and expect to achieve any rational goal. Or where does he think philosophy comes from—and how does he propose to act in practical reality without conception of whether he is acting on the right or wrong principle? By guess-work? By hit-and-miss? Does he conduct chemical research by ignoring or directly opposing the laws of nature? If a philosophy is inapplicable to reality, it is simply not a philosophy. If, however, he accepts a philosophy as correct and true, then acts against it—he can only bring disaster upon himself and achieve the exact opposite of what he is after. (As he has done in his book.)
This is in reference to the incredible sentence of his letter that: “we should make the best compromise we can with the opposing philosophy, who right or wrong have the votes.” The “opposing philosophy” does not admit of compromise. The “opposing philosophy” is collectivism—which is death and destruction. One cannot choose a compromise between life and death. There ain’t no such in-between. And does he still think that the opposition “have the votes”? God save capitalism from capitalism’s defenders! Nobody can defeat us now—except the Republicans. If Mr. Roosevelt gets a fourth term, it will be the conservatives, such as Mr. Queeny, who will have given it to him. By “compromising.”
I hope you don’t mind being the innocent by-stander in
this lecture. I just couldn’t return a letter like Mr. Queeny’s unanswered.
Our best regards to Ray. Frank sends you his love—without asking your or my permission.
My love as always,
*Industrialist Edgar M. Queeny was the long-time chairman of Monsanto Company and the author of The Spirit of Enterprise (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943).