Norman Thomas Quote

“After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the cost to others, to win advancement.”

~ Norman Thomas

Ratings and Comments

Bent, Los Angeles

Consciously or unconsciously, there is also the individual who will use his/her unimpeded right to remain poor, to use his/her ability, no matter what the cost to others, to maintain his/her failure.

HPR, Carmel

I think this is definitely true. The "cost to others" can be handled via of a society such as the USA, where the laws are available for redress.

Jackie, Dayton

I think that is such a narrow definition of a sliver of what freedom really means that it borders on blasphemy; the sacred birthright of freedom is so much greater than "opportunity to win advancement". It is also the right to live free of the tyranny of others' unfair and burdensome rules; the right to choose how we live, how we worship, how are lives are to look.

Jay, Beavercreek

What kind of a quote is this? Norman Thomas could have been talking to another socialist, or perhaps a fascist, which is another category of the left. The person quoted could well have sought to use the power of the government to acquire great wealth and power. A true lover of freedom desires a condition that provides freedom for everyone, freedom that does no harm to others. Most of the people I know who exist to control others are in the government. People in the private sector mostly seek wealth by providing useful services or goods for which others are willing to pay. Thomas' comment is quite narrowly focused and essentially dumb.

Wayne Smith, Paris, TN

No matter you he is talking to the USA seems to have this as the goal of America, to win advancement at any cost, especially in the area of finance and health care.

Bob, red hook NY

The business of America is Business. But when making money and the pursuit of only material wealth is the all-consuming passion of the people and corporations of this nation, our country has lost its soul. When people are so misinformed as to equate fascism with socialism they are misinformed. The Nazis were called National Socialists, but it was part of Hitler's big lie. Freedom doesn't mean the freedom to enslave others or force them to believe in one way of being -- or else. Freedom means learning to think for yourself and make up your own mind about everything, without being told how to think by family, government or Fox News. But it also means you have to do your own research into what things actually mean. Not in what someone tells you it means. Just so you know, many of Norman Thomas' Socialist ideals are part of the fabric of our society. Too bad the right wing is working so virulently to tear them down. Check it out, if you dare.

jj, california

This quote is from Thomas's book "The Choices" and the next sentence in the book reads: "If that definition were accurate, no decent society should or could tolerate it."


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