House and Home - EC355

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: House and Home
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 53
Length: 0:56:13
TapeCode: ec355
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 355, February the fifth, 1996.

This evening Paul Biddle, Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will be discussing, first of all, the idea of house and home.

Some years ago a very interesting woman who had been a realtor for some years and then worked in the loan department of a bank told me that rather contradictory ideas went into people’s notions of housing. She said that if a person got 65 to 75 percent of what they wanted in a house they were doing remarkably well, that no one got 100 percent. Indeed, not even came close to it. The reason she said was that people had contradictory ideas about what they wanted. For example, women wanted a kitchen that had lots of space and very few steps necessary.

I recall knowing some years ago a woman who was determined to have the idea kitchen. What she designed in a very large and expensive house in a very wealthy area, was a kitchen that was, perhaps, half the size of most people’s homes. It had everything in it. And it took endless steps to get around it which she did not like. Of course, she didn’t take too many steps in it because her cooking was very, very limited and you were lucky if you were eating there to get spaghetti at the most, the simplest things. But the point I am making—and I digress—was that she got what she wanted in size and was very unhappy because she had to run back and forth across a very sizable kitchen to get this and that. Our ideas about what we want are contradictory.

Then, too, our ideas are contradictory because with most people housing involves also a personal statement about what they are an dhow important they see themselves. So they want a house that reflects their ideas about their social status and gives them a bit of extra dignity. In fact, this has gone so far that many houses are more designed to make an impression than to be lived in. [00:03:33]

Years ago I knew this family, two girls, both very...[edit]

Years ago I knew this family, two girls, both very intelligent, very active, a very fine man, the husband. And the wife was a woman who got her ideas for housing out various women’s magazines that showed an ideal house. And nothing could be mussed up. When the husband came home and picked up the paper to read it, she was hovering around him to pick up any part of the paper that he would drop on the floor or put on a coffee table, because she didn't want any muss in the room.

Finally, because this was going to the girls and the husband, since the house was U shaped, he took and enclosed the center area and made a kind of rumpus and game room of it so that the children, the two girls and he could have some peace there. But lo and behold, she moved out there and had everything proper and they didn’t dare get anything out of line.

Well, homes have become statements of how we view ourselves. They are often more influenced by magazines and showrooms and windows of furniture stores than anything else.

Part of the idea of a home comes from the fact that for generations you had a great gap. You had on the one hand a vast number of people who were peasants, who lived in very, very simple cottages. Then you had the wealthy who lived in palatial circumstances sometimes or in castles, rather hard living, but very, very impressive, or ornate manor houses. [00:06:01]

Well, the idea in that era...[edit]

Well, the idea in that era—and the Enlightenment heightened it to the nth degree—was to make the furnishings and the interior palatial. That is about the only word you can use to describe it. If you look at the kind of chairs that, say, Louis XIV had you can understand why the custom arose of a man helping a woman with her chair at the dinner table. It is an obsolete custom, because the chair is no longer as heavy as those old chairs were. It took a hefty ma to lift those and move them. And the whole idea of those chairs was to be impressive, magnificent. They were not comfortable. They were not intended to provide comfort. They were intended to be impressive.

Well, a very interesting book has been written in the past few years in 1986, Home: A Short History of an Idea. And the author is Witold, W I T O L D, Rybczynski, R Y B, as in boy, C Z Y N S K I. And Rybczynski is a professor of architecture at McGill University in Canada. He has here analyzed the history of the idea of the house and how décor, technology and everything except comfort has marked the home.

Well, first of all, the word comfort he makes note of that has changed its meaning. The word comfort once meant not what it means for us, but to strengthen the Holy Spirit, the Comforter in the New Testament. And that can be translated into more modern English as the strengthener. But using comfort in a modern sense—which is less than two centuries old—the modern house is not designed for comfort. [00:09:01]

It has, first of all, the architect who wants to sell...[edit]

It has, first of all, the architect who wants to sell himself and his ability as an artist. So he is given to designing houses that are secondarily for people to live in and primarily to show his abilities as an architect. As a matter of fact, the greater the architect, the less livable the house. Things by the Bauhaus school or by Frank Lloyd Wright are ostensible masterpieces of architecture, but hardly livable. And this is the reason why of late there is quite a reaction against the houses that are very, very avant-garde and modern in design. They have a very low resale value.

And so banks are ready, much more ready to loan money on semi Victorian housing, because they know that it can be resold quickly. And if they have to foreclose on a house, they want a house that can be resold.

And, as a result, the whole idea of housing is a battle field now between architects who are out to please people and are despised for producing houses that are suburban houses or tract houses and that sort of thing. But they are, by and large, in spite of various weaknesses, more comfortable than the truly avant-garde housing by very prominent architects.

Now, various forms of technology, Rybczynski points out, have had a dramatic effect on housing. For example, electricity. When electricity came into the house, it immediately made houses a lot cleaner for the obvious fact that now you could see dirt everywhere in a way you couldn’t with a gasoline lamp or a kerosene lamp so that however much the housewife may have worked before—and she worked harder than she does now—she now could see dirt and furnish the house with less items that would be dirt captures. Also she had a vacuum cleaner. [00:12:07]

One result has been both because of the lower birth...[edit]

One result has been both because of the lower birth rate and the higher visibility of everything in a room because of electricity, houses are dramatically cleaner than they have ever been before although with less work.

It was true of a little more that a century or so ago, as Rybczynski points out, that about 70 percent, I believe of all working women, were working in houses as servants and they were needed, because there was so much work to cleaning house, to cooking before electricity, to washing clothes and so on. It was very difficult for a woman to handle it alone.

The improvements in housing, as Rybczynski points out, came from the middle class. The middle class was interested in what we now call comfort, in convenience, in practicality. And the upper class, with lots of servants, despised this. Rybczynski states somewhere, I believe, how many hundreds of chamber pots there were in Versailles. And they were in continual use, because there were hundreds upon hundreds of people at all times in Versailles. So think of the enormous staff they had just handling the chamber pots in Versailles.

Well, the wealthy, that is, the nobility and the royalty have the money to have servants do these things. So for quite some time there was a resistance to all these middle class improvements that came in and I think it is very, very interesting that they despised the innovations as they started to come in as bourgeois.

He says, and I quote, “Gas was an urban technology. And since most people who used gas were middle class, it could be described as the first specifically bourgeois technology. This caused a curious situation, at least in England. Modern conveniences such as gas light or bathrooms came to be seen by upper class house owners as vulgar. And the comfort associated with these mechanical devises as nouveau riche. In this context one comes across derogatory references to luxury. In America there was no such opposition. And photographs of interiors show gasoliers in the palatial drawing rooms of the wealthy as well in the modest parlors and kitchens of the middle class,” unquote. [00:15:44]

So the history of housing is a very, very interesting...[edit]

So the history of housing is a very, very interesting one. And the battle that he calls attention to there with regard to the hostility of the rich in England to bathrooms and modern plumbing as middle class, bourgeois, in a sense, continues with our avant-garde architects. They are trained in Europe. They reflect a European architectural tradition. And, as a result, they tend to look down on comfort in the home.

Well, that is what Rybczynski has to say about housing and home and I would like to give you a chance now. I have talked a bit longer than usual. Would you like to lead off, Paul?

[Biddle] Well, I am trying to draw some sort of insight to the way people’s homes have evolved here in the United States and I ... I think of things that came early on such as the carter grove and governor’s mansion in Williamsburg which were really beautifully architected. And you think that at that time many people who were working class people had dirt floors and did not have any type of central heat of plumbing, definitely not electricity. And what has happened to the two different ways of life and the way of life in the carter grove and the governor’s mansion at ... at Williamsburg have... have come and gone, but the life of the working people in the United States has improved through the centuries and their homes reflect that improvement also. And I guess it is just their tenacity and their desire to have self improvement and better life.

[Rushdoony] Andrew? [00:18:00]

[Murray] Well, I have often wondered who the first...[edit]

[Murray] Well, I have often wondered who the first fellow was that described the indoor toilet as a water closet. They had to find some sort of euphemism for it nothing existed prior to that time. It sounds like something that was translated, perhaps, from a description, a literal description in some other language, but it would be interesting to trace the...

[Rushdoony] I think some of the primary innovations there came in England. There were some very inventive men there.

[Murray] Well, they call a... they call it or have called it the... indoor toilet in ships and sailing ships a water closet and it is still referred that to it that way in... in sailing vessels, even private... private yachts it is referred to as the water closet just for old time’s sake.

I think that, you know, there has been a lot of... there is people who have driven innovations in homes and there are market driven innovations in homes. I think we touched lightly on one prior Easy Chair about the big open space in the 1950s, big open space...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... where there were no divisions or anything in the home. And this was supposed to result in more family closeness and so forth. And it made people feel very uncomfortable because there was no... there was no refuge. You know, humans have this need to have a refuge where they can go inside a room and close the door and be by themselves for a while. You know, whether it is to ... to sulk or to read or whatever. There are times when humans have to have a situation where they can go and be alone. And this attempt in the 1950s just disregarded that ... that basic need and ... but it was strange to see people who just embraced it because it was the new way.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] The new thing. And after they got their money invested in the house, they couldn’t wait to get out of it. They sold them and went back to more traditional homes and I remember being evaluated by a very candid real estate type when I was shopping for a home in Marin County. He wanted to know, you know, what we wanted. And he says, “Oh, yes, you are the hard wood floor types.” And we realized that we fell into the conventional home buyer, because he apparently got lots of people who wanted something, you know, something different. And would go for any kind of avant-garde type of housing. But there... that was, I think, a classic instance of a market driven thing because the builder, developer is the one who came up with that idea and it... and it didn't fly. [00:21:06]

A lot of those houses, I noticed after I moved up there...[edit]

A lot of those houses, I noticed after I moved up there, had been converted. The people had done, quotes, remodeling. They got rid of some of that open architecture on the inside.

But nothing has changed. You can drive down here in the valley and you will see people who are ... have built present day replicas of antebellum homes, you know, great big, high columns, you know, how Jefferson’s mansion...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] {?} and I saw one guy out there putting... I had to go rent scaffolding because he finally realized that the only way he was going to get up there and paint this thing is he had to go rent this expensive scaffolding so he could get up there safely to paint this building. And it probably encouraged him that he made a mistake. But it is too late. He has already got his money invested in it. But it is... it is fun to watch...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...because you can see, you know, people who get misled, for want of a better term, into these avant-garde or market driven attempts to influence people as to what kind of a home they should live in. And once they get in there they find they are very uncomfortable and they want something else. But I guess that is what ... that is what makes the real estate market.

[Rushdoony] Andrew?

[Sandlin] I was just thinking. I was in an octagonal avant-garde home in Ohio a few years ago in which the toilet was sitting right out in the middle of the room, the upstairs. I am telling you the truth. There were no walls around it. It wasn’t a bathroom. It was just right out in the middle of the room. And I thought, who would ever use that?

[Murray] Somebody who is very European.

[Voice] Amazing. You know, I have noticed that the architecture even in subdivisions, housing tracts is becoming a little bit more traditional. I think they are beginning to realize that housing is so easily dated. You can just tell whether something was built in the 50s or the 60s. And a lot of government buildings are that way. They are hopelessly dated and there is no possible way they could give them a face lift to make them other than an ugly box. And people... people don’t like something that is dated and they are... and they are turning this... the country look. I don’t know what this is even called anymore, but is... is extremely popular now. And I think people are looking for something that is of a little more enduring and I think the houses that are being built in the last 10 years have much more of a grace and an elegance and a simple beauty to them. And I think that is a little heartening. [00:24:07]

But you were talking about how the things that were...[edit]

But you were talking about how the things that were disliked by the ... the rich because common man could have them like indoor plumbing and such, why I remember reading how a lot of intellectuals were contemptuous of anything enjoyed by the masses. They were contemptuous of the fact that the masses could read so they intentionally made themselves hard to understand and not make sense to the common man because they didn’t want the common man to be able to enjoy what they wrote. And they had contempt for things that were now available to the common man, such as canned food.

[Voice] We talked about that book, didn’t we, Intellectualism and the Masses?

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Carey’s book? I believe.

[Voice] And it was... it was a real attempt to... to separate themselves from anything that the masses were now enjoying because they found that contemptuous that the masses could enjoy things and, therefore, they had ... they intentionally tried to separate themselves from it.

So that was interesting that you made that comment about the rich in Europe.

[Voice] I think we need to remember. There is no architectural neutrality, just like there is no neutrality anywhere else and that certain architectural designs are the result of specific presuppositions and specific faiths.

[Rushdoony] Douglas, you mentioned the open space houses. Not long after the war I visited someone who had a great deal of money and was close to some of the avant-garde thinking and he had a house built which incorporated all of most recent ideas in housing. It was a house with only one set of interior walls, that for the bathrooms. The bedrooms, the living room, the dining room, the kitchen all had walls that with the tip of your finger you could put into a wall and close off and you had a vast area where you could party and the whole thing was amazing. It was a remarkable bit of engineering. But I left there feeling a little bit strange. I would not like to be a guest in that house and have somebody punch a bathroom or, I mean the bedroom button by mistake and suddenly leave one exposed. I do know that that evening the children were exposed in one of the bedrooms. Somebody hit the wrong thing. [00:27:03]

So this type of housing has come and gone repeatedly...[edit]

So this type of housing has come and gone repeatedly. There have been schools of architecture promoting this sort of thing and the sad fact is that although the United States has been more resistant to this type of idea, of late our women’s magazines have been more ready to play games with their readers in terms of avant-garde housing ideas. And that is a sad fact, because these magazines have a powerful influence on their readers and they are promoting ideas that are anti family basically and their whole purpose is to make an impression so that we have a growing problem in that these women are influenced by these publications.

One of the things that we need to realize—and Rybczynski does call attention to it—is the important role women have placed in the whole of the middle class revolution in housing. When the middle class began to come to the fore, the women rebelled against the idea of housing that was designed to make a statement, to impress people, to pretend to nobility and aristocracy. So their very practical bent was revolutionary and they insisted and got more practical emphases in housing.

However, we have a problem now in that women, through women’s magazines, house and home magazines, that sort of thing, are beginning to reflect the emphasis of the aristocratic, using the term in a... with quotes, architects who see themselves as avant-garde artists and who do not want to be governed by the very practical requirements of living in a house.

As a result now, as far as women are concerned, they have shifted from the great middle class tradition of comfort to décor. They want a décor that will make a statement. They want to be impressive so that just as their hair has to look right in public—and there is nothing wrong with that—and as their clothing has to look exactly right—and, again, there is nothing wrong with that—the house to look exactly right at all times. [00:30:36]

And I do believe this has contributed to the problem...[edit]

And I do believe this has contributed to the problem that families are having with children. Children are in the way.

[Voice] Right.

[Rushdoony] They muss up things. And their play can mean that a lot of things are dragged out and left out, which is not right, but they don't’ want them dragging their things out and playing so that you have women saying, after they shake their heads at the mess junior has created, “One child is enough.” And they are not tolerant...

[Voice] Absolutely. That is right.

[Rushdoony] ... of what the child needs. And that has been a major revolution, a way for in the middle class revolution that women once effected.

[Voice] Children are... Go ahead, Douglas.

[Murray] The... there... you know, there are some interesting things that are... that happening in our culture in the past 30, 40 years that obviously have had a big effect, something like at least half if not more than that of women who have a home situation are working outside the home. And the men getting a lot of role reversals going on. You have a lot of women going outside the home to work and the men are now doing the cooking. So they are having more to say about how the kitchen is laid out and how the house is laid out. And then you have got technology driven factors.

Before, architects were always the ones who had the capability of visualizing in their mind’s eye what the finished product of the home would be after it was built. Nowadays, in order to sell a spec built home, a builder has to use computer aided design so that he can flash a visual representation of what each room will look like, what the traffic patterns will be inside the home, many times people can’t visualize, for instance, how big a 10 by 12 room or how big a 28 by 18 by 20 room is. And when they designate the particular size of a room, they really don’t know from the given dimension whether it is going to be large enough to suit the activity that that room is... is going to take place in that room. [00:33:07]

So using computer aided design and with computer technology...[edit]

So using computer aided design and with computer technology they are able to furnish the prospective home buyer with a... a better shot at coming up with a livable house that is going to be within their means.

There are some other things like Andrew mentioned the octagonal house. I almost built a hexagonal house years ago and I had the architectural plans drawn up and so forth and I decided against it because wherever you look up in the house you wouldn’t know which side you were on. You would... disorienting.

But I found out from a builder that they are very... an inefficient use of building material, because these homes, just like geodesic domes, for instance, use slightly more than a half a sheet of plywood and then the rest of it is scrap. So it is a very inefficient and very costly method of building. So a lot of times when people cost out an unusually shaped house they find out that it is many times more expensive for a given amount of floors space than if they went with a conventional rectangular or even a multi ... multi structured type of a home with breezeways and that sort of thing if they want separation between, for instance, a lot of people... a lot of times people will build homes for the... the children’s quarters are separate from the main house connected by a breezeway so that they are isolating their children so that they figure well, they can make all the mess they want over there as long as we keep the main part of the... the house cleared.

Well, of course, this divides the family up. You don’t have the ... I don’t think that you have the close... closeness that is desirable in a family.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Children are an inconvenience to the avant-garde, of course. I always enjoy going in homes where I see a little coat on the floor here and a little toy on the floor there. You know it is a home where the children are there and playing.

You know, I wanted to point out, too, that some of what we are talking about reflects this obsession with appearance in our modern culture.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...with the resultant and accompanying de-emphasis on substance. For many people the important thing is how something looks, how aesthetically pleasing it is. And, of course, it is not wrong for something to be aesthetically pleasing. But there is such an emphasis on that.

This is even true in ... in literature and books and magazines. There is so much obsession today with an absolutely beautiful, aesthetically pleasing appearance. But as far as the content, it is not important. Appearance itself, appearance rather than substance sells. So I think that is a factor that we... we don't want to forget. It is very important. I have seen a cosmetology emphasis is just such an emphasis today, of course, on cosmetics and beauty and the romantic youth culture looking younger. Getting rid of all the lines, you know. [00:36:26]

[Murray] Let me ask a rhetorical question and kick...[edit]

[Murray] Let me ask a rhetorical question and kick it around. Who is it that we are trying to please?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, one of the things we have seen in recent years and there are two reasons, really behind it, is that people who have lived in or had lived for a few generations in a house decide to move elsewhere and upward. They... new people up and down the block, the grandparents of these people knew each other when I visited you. Andrew, the block parties were going on. And people had lived three or four generations in the same houses.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Knew each other up and down the block would come together every year for parties. And that is disappearing.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Because people want to improve on their situation. And... and that is very, very bad.

Now you mentioned something, Douglas, and we have a good practical example of that right here in this house. Bob built this house, our Bob who is doing the taping. And Bob designed it in terms of standard lengths of lumber so that he didn’t wind up with a huge pile of firewood because two feet or four feet were cut off of this or that piece of wood. The wood came out virtually right. And he saved at the time Bob told me it was a good 2000 dollars. Now that is good money.

[Murray] It is... it is 10 times that now.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] See, it is the spotted owl. You would get... you would get sticker shock if... when you go down to buy a board today.

[Rushdoony] Well, the subject of housing as Rybczynski has pointed out is a history of an idea. How do you see yourself? What is important for you? Being in the right neighborhood in terms of economic status or is it living comfortably, being close to people you know and love? Or to your family. All these are very important considerations and today we have none of this considered in most housing ideas by people. But the fact that Mark and Joanna and Bob and Rebecca and her family are close to us makes a world of difference in living. And that is an aspect of house and home that is now forgotten.

[Murray] Well, there is some, you know, forces in our ... in the American culture that force people, I think, to no longer place a great deal of value on where they live.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Murray] They are not... they are not going to live there very long.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] Because the ... the average job now is three or four years. You have got a highly mobile, more mobile work force than ever before in history, perhaps in the history of the world for so large a number of people that it is impossible for many people to attach any importance to where they live at all. I mean, they will just take any apartment...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... any kind of living accommodations that they can find close to where they work, because the... the practical considerations are overpowering.

[Voice] And that has pernicious results, because you cannot develop, in many cases, strong, long term friendships because of that. I know people if you are moving every two and three years there is a good chance not only you won’t see your family a lot, but you can’t develop friendships as, of course, in the past you tended to live by people for many years.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] There is a flip side to ... to that and that is how people view people who move for what they consider arbitrary reasons. Californians are notoriously despised throughout the West, because they are viewed as people who sell their house for an inflated price in California, move to their neck of the woods in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon and out bid the locals on the nice properties and raise property values and then, inevitably want their California urban lifestyle brought to the country. And they are held in contempt because they are bringing in what they tried to escape from. And a lot of areas... I could... I am not well travelled, but I know the Coeur d’Alene Hayden Lake I used to spend some summers in it and some resented a few years back and it was too... a little town of Hayden Lake and a... and a small town and a... and a small city of Coeur d’Alene on the edge of the lake is now a large metropolitan area. It is solid city. It extends for several miles because people from out of state decided that is a quality lifestyle. And so they moved up there and now they have brought all their fast food and their traffic and their congestion and the city life to northern Idaho. And they are ... they are not well respected for that. And I think that is pretty much true in many places in the west. [00:42:39]

[Rushdoony] Well, I recall some years ago classes were...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, I recall some years ago classes were given at least in one place on buying a house as an investment. A very fine woman, now dead, a good friend, one of the finest friends I have ever had, nonetheless, had similar ideas. And she told me when I moved up here that I should keep track of all the money and all the receipts and slips for every bit of repair on the house for the new roof, for everything else, because when I sold the house I would have the paper to lower my capital gains.

Now I told her as well as I was able, that I didn’t intend to sell it, but I hoped even as my father and his family before him had lived over 2000 years in one place, that the Rushdoonys would be here for a long, long time to come, that we didn’t move because we wanted to from our previous location in the old country and we didn’t expect to move here unless we were forced to. But that is an {?} attitude.

[Voice] I think that is viewing a house as an investment, well, is largely because some... most people don’t own their houses. They are deeply in debt.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] ...and ... and it is... they basically have some equity and a tax advantage to owning a house and that is how they view it rather than a home. I think this ... this new talk in the presidential election of a flat tax. One of the big factors is what will it do to the housing industry? Are they going to have a mortgage...

[Voice] Deduction.

[Voice] …deduction? And if not, what is going that going to do in... the... the value of your house. And that is a major factor when people consider. It is not my house is a home, but it is my... it is all I have. It is my... it is... it is how many years of... of investment in it and I need to preserve that as an investment. That is my nest egg.

[Rushdoony] Some year ago I was in Washington, DC and someone in Congress had proposed eliminating the IRS deduction for interest which only came about after World War II to stimulate housing. And the building industry took out a full page ad in the local daily against that idea even though it was not likely to have been considered too seriously. [00:45:46]

[Murray] Well, in too many either intended or unintended...[edit]

[Murray] Well, in too many either intended or unintended consequences of taxation as regards the home, a lot of people feel like they are just serfs, you know, because of the property taxes that they have to pay. They don’t feel that they own the house and that is a another reason why people don’t have any particular attachment to the property that they are in.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] You know, the loss of, you know, what you were alluding to earlier, the... the loss of a sense of community of staying in one place for a long period of time and having, you know, two... at least a couple of generations clustered close by, you know, in hard times that is an unbeatable support system.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Murray] And, you know there are ups and downs in everybody’s life and having a family around can get you through the rough spots. And government doesn’t... never looks at the... the consequences of their act.

[Voice] No.

[Murray] The... the property tax, all these taxes that they levy on home owners seem like a good idea at the time. They are always a lot of times they are, quotes, temporary emergency measures which stay on forever, because once they get the money they are... they are like dope addicts. They can’t do without it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Once they get the money and find something to spend it on, it is irreversible. And the consequences. They never look at the long term consequences. Yet they will ask you if you want to build a home. You have to produce an environmental impact report, you know, what is the impact of your building a home in this particular location going to be on the environment. And yet when they pass these laws on taxation and so forth, the government is not required to issue an impact statement on what impact is this going to have on the family?

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] So they are asking things of people that they are... they are not willing to ask of themselves.

[Voice] Our civil government today practices eminent domain in so many ways. Property taxes is a ... are a prime example of eminent domain in this country. If you don’t pay you taxes, you will see what they do to your house. It is just... that is the proof right there.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It is ironic that when the first continental congress met according to Dr. Dietz of Johns Hopkins, it sent a letter to Canada inviting them to join with them against the British and they said, “The British are following a dangerous course of taxation and they will end up taxing property.”

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] We didn’t have to wait for the British to do it. We did it to ourselves. [00:48:33]

[Voice] You know, I was thinking, Rush, and you can...[edit]

[Voice] You know, I was thinking, Rush, and you can help us on this. I have noticed on a lot of older homes in this country that the kitchens were a lot larger on the whole.

[Rushdoony] What?

[Voice] The kitchens were a lot larger than they are today.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Voice] I think we need to remember that back then a woman spent most of her day in the kitchen. She made much of her food from scratch and that was in some sense her living quarters for the... for the most of the day. Whereas today with most women working outside of the home, the architectural design is to form, because that is sort of a cultural pattern.

[Rushdoony] Yes. While the tape was being turned over Paul mentioned the kitchen and the house of the Amish and how it was designed. At one time all the farm families had enormous kitchens. It was where the family lived. It was their normal living room, because that is where the heat was and they were economical of the heat. So they lived there. They played there. It was remarkable how big some of those kitchens were.

I remember a couple of them truly enormous. And everybody spent all of their time in the kitchen because the whole family was active there and it was a most congenial situation.

[Voice] And attached was often a pantry and there were all sorts of canned goods there whereas that is not seen very much today just because of the alteration in modern culture.

[Rushdoony] That is an interesting point. The pantry is gone in most homes, except this one does have one, a very fine one. And another thing that marked the early American home the chapel. Now that was a remarkable thing. In Britain the lords would have a private chapel in the Middle Ages and a chapel. But it was the Puritans coming over here who felt that they needed their own private chapel where either as a family or as individuals they could go for prayer. And these were usually near the front door. Some very old homes will still have those rooms, but they have long since, for 100 years or better, been converted to other uses. [00:51:29]

[Voice] Well, as Morgan pointed out, the Puritans considered...[edit]

[Voice] Well, as Morgan pointed out, the Puritans considered the family a little church and they...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And the Father was, as it were, the ministry. That idea, too, has been lost today unfortunately and fathers don’t take the responsibility and obligation to lead their family in worship as they should.

[Rushdoony] I think one of the things, to follow up on something you said earlier, Andrew, mothers should stop apologizing when the pastor comes over or someone else and the children have their things on the floor in the living room. It is one thing to say, “All right, children, play elsewhere now.” But to apologize for that, I think is very, very wrong.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Children should not be confined to their bedroom to play. It is a family.

[Voice] You know, we... the danger... we have this sort of antiseptic society...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And cleanliness is good, but I think it is taken much too far.

[Rushdoony] It is to be antiseptic where people are concerned.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Get rid of them.

[Voice] That is exactly right. All they that hate me love death.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And I think that is the problem in modern culture.

[Murray] Well, one of... you know, people in the 60s and 70s parents couldn’t understand why their kids didn’t want to come home. It wasn’t a nice place to be. They weren’t welcome.

[Rushdoony] It wasn’t.

[Murray] And they were conditioned in that from the time they were babies.

[Voice] Yes.

[Murray] So as soon as they had the mobility, you know, kids that want a car at 16 years old or as soon as they can get a driver’s license. They wanted to get out. They want to go somewhere else.

[Rushdoony] That is a very important point, Douglas. I know back in the 20s and 30s nobody had that feeling. Everybody stayed at home. They enjoyed one another. It was a totally different world.

[Murray] Well, you know, and the ... the ... the fallout from an antiseptic housekeeper, whether it is man or woman where you create a place that you don't feel comfortable. I mean, a house is supposed to be your refuge from the...

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] ... you know, difficulties that you face outside the home earning a living or whatever you have to contend with. And if you can’t feel comfortable in your own home as a refuge at least for a few hours a day...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Then what good is it? It is a reason a lot of people don't come home.

[Voice] That is right. [00:54:08]

[Murray] They... they will go, you know, like you have these movies or these situation comedies on television like Cheers where people find an artificial environment.

[Voice] Right.

[Murray] ... it is a local tavern or a bar and the... the bar patrons are their family members.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...a surrogate family and the... the bar room is a surrogate home and they spend all of their time there.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And people wonder, well, you know, why is that? Well, they don’t either don’t have a home to go to or they don’t have a home where they... they feel comfortable, where they feel wanted or needed or ... or feel at ease.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I recall in the 30s, early 30s, there was a movie that ... can’t name the actor and actress. They were very good, excellent comedians. And the woman was a nag and made the place difficult to live in. And the man would periodically pick up his newspaper and head for the bathroom and she would knock on the door. “Are you having trouble again, dear?”

Or he would pick up his hat and go out the front door. And at the time that was regarded as very funny. I remember how people roared over that film. And they thought it was rather exaggerated, but that there were no doubt people like that. And now everybody is out of the home.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is about up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.