Letter 061, pg. 1

To Channing Pollock

July 20, 1941

Mr. Channing Pollock
Shoreham, Long Island
New York

Dear Mr. Pollock:

Here is the letter of Mr. Eames[*] which you sent me. I am afraid that Mr. Eames missed the point and did not understand the nature of our proposed organization at all. We would not compete with or duplicate any other organization. What we want to do is not being done by anyone, and the need for it is desperate. 

Here are the main points:

1. Our side has no “ideology”, no clear-cut, consistent system of belief, no philosophy of life. Merely to claim to be defenders of the “American Way” is not enough. It is a generality which is being used by everybody and anybody for all sorts of purposes. What organization of our side has defined a concrete ideology of Americanism? None. The first aim of our organization will be intellectual and philosophicalnot merely political and economic. We will give people a faitha positive, clear and consistent system of belief. Who has done that? Certainly not the N. M. A. They—and all other organizations—are merely fighting for the system of private enterprise and their entire method consists of teaching and clarifying the nature of that system. It is good work, but it is not enough. We want to go deeper than that. We want to teach people, not what the system of private enterprise is, but why we all should believe in it and fight for it. We want to provide a spiritual, ethical, philosophical groundwork for the belief in the system of private enterprise. The Communists do not owe their success merely to booklets on the economics of Communism. They provide, first, an intellectual justification—a faith in collective action, in unlimited majority power, in a general, levelling equality, in “unselfishness,” “service,” etc. What are the intellectual justifications for our side? What are our moral values? Who has defined it? Who is preaching philosophical individualism? No one. And if it is not preached, economic individualism will not survive. Who could possibly acquire a new faith, a sense of spiritual security, of idealism and dedication out of N.M.A. literature? No one—least of all the N.M.A.