The constituency in which I vote in Australia is named after Robert Menzies, Australia's longest serving Prime Minister (26 April 1939 – 26 August 1941 and 19 December 1949 – 26 January 1966.
Menzies was the founder of Australia's modern Liberal Party (1945). There is a liberal institution named after him: Menzies House. My son, Sukrit seems to have written a couple of articles for the Menzies House (here and here).
Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Meeting, London, 1955. (Menzies with Nehru on the right, seated.)
I'm totally ignorant about Robert Menzies, but an article in The Australian today caught my attention: The article is entitled, "We need to be lifters, not leaners, if nation is to thrive". Interested, I read it and discovered Menzies.
What I found from about him is impressive. A few selected quotes from the article:
ROBERT Menzies delivered his revered speech The Forgotten People on May 22, 1942. He was thinking ahead to the time after the war when Australia would emerge victorious but deeply diminished in human capital and shaken to the foundations of its social structures.
"Thinking ahead," Menzies said, "what really happens to us will depend on how many people we have who are of the great and sober and dynamic middle class – the strivers, the planners, the ambitious ones."
"The great vice of democracy" he told listeners, "is that for a generation we have been busy getting ourselves on to the list of beneficiaries and removing ourselves from the list of contributors, as if somewhere there was somebody else's wealth and somebody else's effort on which we could thrive."
Menzies had set out to solve this problem, forming the Liberal Party to promote ideas that would give our future population the strong arms of "lifters" instead of the flabby bellies of "leaners".
[Unfortunately] It is the middle class itself that has insisted on its own enfeeblement with continual demands for the regulation of daily life and for insisting on the elevation of concerns such as animal rights and the environment as if nobody would have to pay or as if there were a source of unlimited wealth to draw on.
In his speech, he also rightly said:
"The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety; it is the indispensable condition of continuity; its health determines the health of society as a whole"