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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

To Theodore Roosevelt — President of the United States of America

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To Theodore Roosevelt

President of the United States of America

Dear Mr. President,

I asked your leave to dedicate this book to you, not because of private friendship nor out of personal regard, though these would have been reasons amply sufficient. Again, I did not ask your leave because you represent the nation which, next to my own, I love and admire—the nation which divides with Britain the allegiance of the English-speaking race. Though I am proud that this page should bear the name of one who sits in the seat of Washington and of Lincoln, it was not any touch of pride that moved me. I asked to lay this book in your hand because I felt that such a dedication would be in the strictest and truest sense appropriate. You are not only one of the most convinced and most powerful opponents of Socialism living, but, what is more, you oppose Socialism for the right reasons—or, at any rate, for what I deem to be the right reasons. You oppose it because you believe that it will imperil the safety of the State, by breaking down the character of page vi the citizens, and by drying up the sources of national wealth. In a word, you oppose Socialism because it is the enemy of the people. But while opposing Socialism in the name of Liberty, of Justice, of Manliness, and of Common sense, you have never failed to insist that a lawless Capitalism is as great a foe to the nation as a lawless Communism. You will indeed be remembered in History as the man who withstood the corruptions of monopoly and who insisted that the arbitrary powers of wealth must be restrained. But this you did without ever falling into the destructive error of regarding accumulation as an evil, or of looking upon property as a crime. You have kept that just mean which Tennyson ascribes to the spirit of English Freedom when he addresses her as "loather of the lawless crown as of the lawless crowd." You have been determined to check and denounce tyranny whether in capital or in labour. That is the anti-Socialism which I desire to support. Whether these Letters will do anything to accomplish their design remains to be seen, but at any rate they show their true colours by being connected with your name. Let me thank you once more for the honour you have done me, and let me assure you that

I am, Mr. President, with all respect,

Your sincere Friend,

J. St. Loe Strachey.