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Information bulletin
(September 1950)

Siebens, Allen C.
Europa union plebiscites,   pp. [15]-18 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 18

of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
1. WE CONSIDER IT a self-evident truth that intellectual liberty is one of
the inalienable
rights of man.
2. Intellectual liberty implies in the first place liberty of thought and
word, especially when
they are in opposition to the controlling regime. Man becomes a slave when
deprived of the right
to say no.
3. Liberty and peace are inseparable. In all countries, regardless of the
political regime, the
overwhelming majority of the population fears and is opposed to war. The
danger of war becomes
acute when governments, by the suppression of democratic, parliamentary institutions,
withhold from
the majority the means of opposing war.
Peace can be safeguarded only if each government submits its acts to the
control of the people
it governs and pledges itself to submit all measures which could endanger
peace to a democratic,
international discussion and to abide by the decisions reached.
4. We consider that the primary cause of the present world insecurity arises
from the policy of
governments who while paying lip-service to peace, refuse to accept its essential
premises. History
shows that wars can be prepared and waged under any kind of slogan, including
that of peace.
Peace campaigns which are not based on acts guaranteed to maintain the peace
are comparable to
counterfeit money placed in circulation for fraudulent purposes. There can
be no renaissance of
intellectual equilibrium and security in the world until "the black
market" of peace is abolished.
5. Liberty is based on the tolerance of and the respect for divergent opinions.
One cannot
logically invoke the ideal of tolerance to cloak intolerance.
6. No doctrine can claim exclusive interpretation of the principle of liberty.
On the contrary,
we consider that the criterion of such doctrines ought to be the degree 'of
real liberty accorded
the individual.
Furthermore, we consider that no race, nation, class or religion can claim
to, represent ex-
clusively the idea of liberty, or arrogate to itself the right to deny liberty
to other human beings,
no matter how high the ultimate ideal may be.
=           7. In critical epochs, restrictions are imposed on individual
liberty in the name of the real or
claimed interest of the community. We consider that such restrictions must
be limited to a minimum
=       of clearly defined areas as temporary expedients, and clearly imposed
as a sacrifice. Furthermore,
-       measures restricting liberty must be submitted to criticism and to
democratic control. Only under
such conditions can we hope that extraordinary measures restricting individual
liberty will not
=       degenerate into a permanent tyranny.
E           8. IN THE TOTALITARIAN states the shackles placed on liberty
are no longer considered
sacrifices imposed on the population, but are regarded as the triumph of
progress and the attainment
of a superior civilization. We likewise consider that the concrete measures
taken by these regimes
are contrary to the fundamental rights of the individual and to the essential
aspirations of humanity.
9. We consider the danger incorporated in these regimes to be so much the
greater in view of
the fact that the theory and practice of their tyrannies surpass all of the
despotisms known to
history. The citizen of the totalitarian state is not only forced to abstain
from crime but is required
to formulate all of his actions and thoughts on a prescribed model. The classic
form of the "negative
tyranny" has been supplanted by the "positive tyranny." Citizens
are persecuted and condemned
on the basis of indefinite and non-specific accusations such as being "enemies
of the people" or
"socially dangerous elements."
10. We are convinced that there can be no stability in the world as long
as humanity remains
divided into the haves and the have-nots. The defense of existing liberties
and the re-conquest o_
liberties lost constitute one and the same, indivisible struggle.
11. We consider that the theory and the action of the totalitarian states
are the greatest menace
which humanity has had to face in the history of civilisation. We consider
that indifference and
neutrality with respect to this menace constitute a betrayal of the essential
values of humanity and
the abdication of the free spirit. Our response to the menace will determine
for decades-perhaps
even for generations-whether the human species is going to follow the path
of the social insects
E-      or that of free men.
12. The defense of liberty and culture imposes upon us the duty of contributing
to a culture
which gives a positive answer to the revolutionary changes occurring in the
13. We address this manifesto to all men who are determined to defend the
liberties they enjoy,
to regain those they have lost, and to create new ones.                 
INFORMATION BULLETIN                                18                  
                    SEPTEMBER 1950

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