Statement Before Peruvian Students

November, 1965


  • Justice is land for those who live by farming—and all the world has seen that free farmers on their own land are the surest means to an abundant agriculture. Justice is a decent education for every child— and only with education for all is it possible to create a modern economy, to build and run the complex technology of the twentieth century. Justice is the absence of unearned privileges, and an equitable burden of taxes on rich and poor—and no nation can progress where the wealthy are taxed too lightly or the poor too heavily. Freedom is participation in the decisions of government—and only when the decisions are truly democratic, only when those who are affected take some part in their making, will they understand their meaning and join in their fulfillment. Freedom is opportunity to exercise one’s talents to the full—unhampered by social origin, lack of wealth or the unreasonable dictates of others—and the society which limits that opportunity cheats itself of its most precious resources, the ability and energy of its people.

    And in the end—in the simplest words, the greatest truth—must be recognition that in every man, in every child, is the potential for greatness—that all are the creatures of God and equal in his sight. Freedom and justice—for me these are the meaning of America.