05 January 2009


MARTIN, EVERETT DEAN, American writer, (1880-1941)*

    • “In the Twentieth Century, every person who achieves self-criticism or discrimination in matters of thought, intellectual honesty, and skepticism of popular slogans, is really a friend of liberty.” (Liberty, 1930)
    • “Christian liberty is a contradiction in terms. It means nothing more than the liberty to be a Christian ... And even this could scarcely be called liberty, for it has never been left to choice when the church has had power enough to coerce men into conformity.”
    • “Christianity... has brought about stagnation wherever it has been supreme.” (Liberty, 1930)
    • “Has not official Christianity been almost uniformly on the reactionary side in the struggle for freedom and progress? Has it not time and again instigated bloodshed and persecution? Has it not sought to give the authority of God to precisely the most oppressive governments in Europe, and divine blessing to armies marching out to kill and oppress? Why, there is not a single freedom modern man enjoys that he has not won in defiance of the churches!” (Liberty, 1930)
    • “Morality cannot exist one minute without freedom... Only a free man can possibly be moral. Unless a good deed is voluntary, it has no moral significance.” (Liberty, 1930)
    • "Our people have little of the philosophy of freedom. . . . The things which we take for granted are the things for which we no longer fight. But when a populace becomes indifferent to its freedom, it begins to lose it." (as quoted in Time, “On Keeping Free”, 06/09/1930)
    • “Since October, 1917, revolutionary movements, whether Communist, Fascist or Nazi, are arrayed against precisely those objectives which have inspired revolutions since 1642. Present-day revolution is therefore a crowd movement against liberal democracy. It openly avows itself as such and in this respect both the Communist and the Fascist are the same. (Farewell to Revolution, 1935)
    • "Tolerance is a better guarantee of freedom than brotherly love; for a man may love his brother so much that he feels himself thereby appointed his brother’s keeper." (Liberty, 1930)

Archived Time article about Everett Dean Martin, 06/09/1930

The article describes Martin in 1930:
Everett Dean Martin, 50, tall, loose-jointed, has poppy, kindly eyes, a mouth like Irvin Cobb's. He became associated with the People's Institute in 1916, was made Director in 1922. Other books: The Behavior of Crowds, Psychology, The Meaning of a Liberal Education, The Mystery of Religion.

In 1930, Martin’s book Liberty was selling new for $3. It is still available at amazon.com for about the same price (used) plus shipping. This is a great book. A friend of mine loaned it to me about 30 years ago. I had never heard of Martin before that. I am surprised he is not better known because what he wrote in 1930 is still relevant today.


Lee said...

Like the morality quote.

Have some difficulty with tolerance. It has mean undertones. If I say that I tolerate you, how do you feel?

becket said...

I have a signed copy of Liberty by Everett Dean Martin if anyone is interested.

March 22 1931
a most delightful event
Everett Dean Martin

Alex said...

I side with tolerance. I would not not feel any better about a stranger loving me than tolerating me. The earning of respect rates higher, in my mind, than obligatory, self-serving claims of sentimentality.

Everett Dean Martin was sadly on target regarding his perspectives of mass education and the institutional phenomenon of emptiness and profit measures. Free thought is not "ours" to put in another head.

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