Sandwell, Professor Bernard K.
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Some personal background of the speaker. A very profound spirit of unrest and apprehension, and an absolute, flat pessimism that is abroad today both in Economics and Literature and in most quarters. Today's age as an age which is decidedly sorry for itself. A discussion of that fact, deploring it, and suggesting some means by which we may possibly remedy it. Reference to some utterances of Prof. Malcolm Wallace. Evidence of the pessimism of the age. Some pertinent reminiscences of the speaker from happier, confident, spacious days. Causes of the pessimism prevalent amongst us. Effects of excessive expectations. The optimism of the 19th century which ran over into the opening years of the 20th. By what right do we demand all these good things, the absence of which is so greatly disappointing us? Conditions under which men and nations will become unselfish and perfectly honest, willing to deal with one another as brothers and sisters instead of as outsiders. The lack of right to complain that peace is not established universally and permanently, and that war still raises its head as a possibility. The speakers asks a number of similar questions as to our right to demand something, and responds to them. Ceasing to undertake to do anything for ourselves. Having recourse to the government for things that ought to be done and can only be efficiently done by the individual citizen. Some of the demands that we are presenting to governments at the present time. Seeming to have adopted the attitude in our dealing with governments that the authority of government is something unlimited, something which can be invoked. The exercise of governmental authority as one of the most expensive privileges that any community can enjoy. Comparing this attitude to that of people in the 1890s. The reason why we are sorry for ourselves: because we are not doing anything personally, individually, to better our own position and to better the world against which we level accusations. The importance of adopting the proper manner of looking at things. The need for individual work if there is going to be any improvement in the world.