Intellectual Barbarians - EC328

From Pocket College
Jump to: navigation, search

The media player is loading...


Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Intellectual Barbarians
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 26
Length: 0:58:18
TapeCode: ec328
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 328, November 12, 1994.

In this session John Upton, Mark Rushdoony, Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin and I will be discussing a subject which Douglas Murray has aptly titled, “Intellectual Barbarians.”

More than once in history barbarians have erupted from beyond the borders to invade and destroy an empire or a civilization as in the case of the Romans. But today the barbarians are from within and they are intellectual barbarians.

One man who has written very ably on this is John Carey, The Intellectuals and the Masses a book published, oh, this year in which I and Douglas and I discussed about two months ago.

John, would you like to comment generally on intellectual barbarians.

[Upton] Well, one of the first things I ever heard you say, Rush, was you quoted the Scripture, “All those who hate me love death.” And what we find among the intellectuals is that they are really dead. But in their death throes they have been able to influence a generation, certainly my generation. And Orwell wrote it best about himself and other intellectuals of his period when he said, “My palms are dead because I am dead. You are dead. We are all dead, dead people in a dead world. Life under a decaying Capitalism is deathly and meaningless. Look at all those bloody houses and the meaningless people inside them. Sometimes I think they are all corpses just rotting upright.”

That is their starting point. Because they are in rebellion against the living God, because they find no meaning, because their sin has totally precluded any meaning in their life, they are out to convince the world and anybody within shouting distance that everything is dead and meaningless. And later on we can get into if that... the implications of that in modern culture, in art, in the theater and in films.

[Rushdoony] One of the things about this barbarism I think was well pinpointed, oh, more than 60 years ago by Ortega y Gasset, Jose Ortega y Gasset in his book The Revolt of the Masses in which he says the mark of the barbarians—and he was talking then about the scientists and the intellectuals—was that they took graphic things that were a product of a religious culture and he said they assumed that the culture around us and its moral standards are there just like the air and the water are there as a part of nature. And he said that is the mark of the barbarian. He doesn’t see what is a human product, a product of a religion, a faith. [00:03:50]

I think the experience you had yesterday morning while...[edit]

I think the experience you had yesterday morning while you were waiting for us for breakfast at the restaurant was devastatingly clear how this barbarism has seeped down to the ordinary person.

[Upton] Well, the... at the restaurant while we were waiting to have our meeting four people walked in the room. Two of them were young people, I would say, in their 20s and then the two parents. The parents were of the young man and it was the young man’s wedding day. And he was a working man. You could tell. He had ... it could have been a mechanic. His... he had grease under his fingernails and he had a rather plain, inexpensive suit on. And the thing that revolted me was that in the period of 45 minutes, the young man managed to tell his future wife, actually in a few hours that she was fat, that she couldn’t drive, that she wasn’t very smart, that she couldn’t cook, that she spent too much money and he couldn’t even look at her basically.

Now a lot of it I ... I... I... wrote for... for maybe pregame jitters, but it was... it... it... it was interesting and one of them... the funniest things was is that the... the... the... the wife who was very plain looking and... and didn’t say much was nervous because she was afraid that this young man was going to go off with the best man and get drunk before the ... the wedding ceremony.

And... and in that we ... we kind of see this... this... the ...the... the hopelessness. These people... this is supposed to be the happiest day of their life. This is the day that they are going to be joined by God for service. And here they are grating on each other... but... but what happened was is that after these...the... the... the... the... the two men went to pay the bill, the future mother-in-law turned to the daughter-in-law and says, “Don’t listen to those two. This is the 90s. We are going to be wearing the pants. Don’t worry about it.” [00:06:18]

This is the 90s...[edit]

This is the 90s. Have you ever heard this is the 90s?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Upton] Before?

[Rushdoony] The barbarians.

[Upton] That poor bastard doesn’t know what he is in for.

[Rushdoony] Well, he has got it coming.

[Upton] Yeah, he does.

[Rushdoony] They both do.

Well, Mark, would you like to comment on the matter of the intellectual barbarians in our midst?

[M. Rushdoony] Well, the first thing was he is God in Genesis three. Satan denied what God had said and he questioned Eve’s understanding of what God had said, but, you know, the only actual incentive he gave her, the only thing that you might call positive saying,. “Eve, go ahead and do it,” was he said, “Ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil.” And I... and I have to remember that a lot to understand people and to understand sin, because sin isn’t a bunch of isolated acts. Sin is rebellion against God. It is a desire to be your own god. And men make lousy gods and they make vicious and ugly gods when they have power over other people. And that is what the intellectuals, at least in the last 100 years, have tended to think of themselves, especially the anti Christian intellectuals in the last 100 years. Because they are anti Christian they are very much against established ethics and established standards and they are not only snobbish, but they think they are much... they are much better than other people and they want to change the world to their own liking. And they make awful gods and that is exactly what... how they view themselves.

And if you take a look at any evil movement, for instance, the homosexuals, when you break it down even without resorting to the... the question of it is it right or wrong, you are taking a group that thinks they are ... their sexual proclivity should be the standard by which all other men must judge them and they must accept them on that basis, that you must recognize what I do as good. You must acknowledge me. It is ... they are barbarians and there is many different groups of barbarians around us. And they are all barbarians because they destroy the basis of civilization which is God’s law and if we run away from God we are going to be fighting amongst ourselves in many different areas and we are going to be self destructive. And that is what barbarians... these intellectuals are. They are destructive of the fabric that makes up culture and civilization. Christianity built western civilization. [00:09:19]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And as we move away from Christianity in many avenues and in many avenues of rebellion against Christianity in God’s Word and they are all self destructive.

[Voice] Well, one of the sub groups of the intellectual barbarians are the historical revisionists which I would call culture vandals. They have... are systematically destroying the American culture.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] They want to rewrite the history of this country to show this country in a negative light. And I think it is going to backfire on them, because you cannot tell people that they are no good and that their country is no good because eventually you will drive people nuts and they are going to turn on them and they are not going to come out too well.

But this historical revision with this goals 2000 thing in the public school system where there are no heroes. There are no role models to look up to. That can only result in a downward spiral in future generations. And these people have to be confronted. They have to be exposed and they have to be discredited.

[Voice] Rush, I think Terry is justified in devoting a great deal of time to the massive influence of Frederic Nietzsche on these intellectuals. Nietzsche as lionized by most of them between all about 1870 and the beginning of the First World War. And even today the deconstructionists like {?} derive a lot of their views from Nietzsche. Nietzsche was convinced that God is dead and therefore any idea of morality is nonsense. And, of course, on his presuppositions he is absolutely correct. If there is no God then morality is a farce.

He especially chided the people of the British isles who had jettisoned, had gotten rid of biblical orthodoxy and yet in Victorian England wanted to retain a sort of vague morality. He despised that, because he saw its utter inconsistency. And because he was consistent he, of course, went mad on the streets, because as I think Mark may have mentioned earlier It was John Allday that hate me, love death. Well Nietzsche felt hat since there are no, quote, values and he is really the one that invented that word in that context, man must invent his own. There must become the super man. And since he felt most people were incapable or were unwilling of doing that, then there are only a few gifted individuals, the intellectuals who could make up their own values. [00:12:18]

Now I submit that what we see today in the cultural...[edit]

Now I submit that what we see today in the cultural and the media elite is largely this effect of what Nietzsche has said. That is why they can involve themselves in such utter nonsense and utter perversion as far as their specific views are concern, the wildest views and do it with a straight face, because I think as he indicates, as Perry indicates in the book, this is largely the result of intellectuals deciding that they are the true revelation, the new revelation and they can impose their views on everyone else. And it is for that reason that they hate increased population and therefore are anti covenantal. And they introduced what I call, Rush, a new Medievalism. They had a deep resistance to popular literacy. They wanted to keep people in the dark.

Well, that is exactly why Protestants and the early reformers opposed medieval Romanism. They wanted to keep the Scriptures in the Latin which is inaccessible to the masses. Well, in the same way, modern intellectuals want to retain their control by imposing literacy and that sort of thing.

But, as I said, I think it is largely the effect of Nietzsche and his... his influence in modern culture has not been sufficiently appreciated.

[Rushdoony] I completely agree with you. I would add that Nietzsche’s mentor has not been sufficiently appreciated. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson talked about that over soul and so on, but he was talking about super man. He couched his very, very anti Christian philosophy in words that indicated good American democracy when it was the antithesis of everything in this country. Nietzsche used to go around with a pocket... in his pocket or in his hand one or another books by Emerson dipping into it constantly and then simply stating what Emerson said in sweet, acceptable language, bluntly and brutally.

That difference marked Europe and America. Here the intellectuals have been afraid to be as open until more recent years about their hostility to the people at large and to Christianity. So Nietzsche was emphatically an intellectual barbarian because he wanted to destroy Christendom and he believed that the result would be the freedom of man to become super man. [00:15:18]

Of course, as Van Reisen pointed out, oh, ...[edit]

Of course, as Van Reisen pointed out, oh, 35, 40 years ago in his little book on Nietzsche, Nietzsche finally came to realize that what he wanted was impossible, that man could not become the super man he talked about, but he was going to continue being the—to put it in Christian terms—the sinner and rebel that he was. And it was knowledge that Nietzsche could not take.

[Voice] Well, the thing that Mark pointed out about the man’s fall, one could be God is really at the core of the elite. They want to retain the power of redefinition.

[Rushdoony] That is right.

[Voice] And when they were separating themselves from the culture, when they were making life and writing an art unattainable or un... or indecipherable, they used that as their own proof. And they liked to occur... they liked to refer people like us, common people as herds, as animals.

What is interesting is is that the... is that he elite are more like a flock of pelicans. I don’t know if you have ever seen, but do you know what a flock of pelicans look like? The... there its he lead pelican out front and he flaps his wing and then the one next to him flaps his wing and when... and they all follow suit.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Voice] Common people don’t tend to act like that. Common people tend to... to... to... to basically do their own thing. But all these intellectuals are in lock stop and that is what is fascinating.

[Voice] And it is amazing because it demonstrates their utter hypocrisy, because they are constantly trumpeting individualism, yet there is no group that is more uniform and is more fascistic than this modern intellectual elite.

[Voice] You are talking about keeping art, high art inaccessible to the masses. I think a good example of that is James Joyce’s celebrated, unjustly celebrated book Ulysses. This is just a prime example, a book that is... even intelligent people find difficult to read. But the whole goal behind all of this was to keep a sort of Gnostic element involved. In fact, Carey points out the rise of the occult about this time and how there was an obsession of the occult during this period, late last century, early this century among the intellectuals. And that is not a coincidence. It is not a coincidence that they wanted a secret knowledge. [00:18:13]

Well, a secret knowledge often involves competent revelatory...[edit]

Well, a secret knowledge often involves competent revelatory knowledge and in the case of, quote, spirituality, the supernatural, that is, of course, the occult.

[Voice] Well, it was... it was interesting is modern art compels the masses to recognize themselves for what they are, the inert matter of historical process. And that is basically what they think we are.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Inert matter.

[Voice] You pointed out Ian Forester’s fascination with India. There is a revival here of the noble savage idea. These intellectuals looked around their society, industrialized society and despised what they saw, but they felt if they could go back to primitive man they could find the truth. And the oddity about this is that as Carey points out, there was no basis in fact for this. These people were true savages. But the intellectuals would invest these savages with their own meaning about how that they were very pure and all sorts of... having all sorts of high qualities that they actually did not have at all.

[Rushdoony] Mark, why don’t you tell them about what you encountered in your work as a volunteer firemen fighting forest fires and all about the new philosophy of forest fires with regard to Indians, for example.

[M. Rushdoony] Oh, well, if you go to Yosemite National Park in Yosemite Valley which is one of the most photographed places in the world, I saw a plaque there a couple of years ago and they say if you see burned areas because we are doing natural burning to replicate the forces of nature which we have been suppressing for too long. And to a certain extent that is true. The smoky the bear mentality and their idea of lets put all the fires out immediately they found did create underbrush which then burned so hot that it destroyed the trees rather than burning out the under brushes as fires tended to.

But their... their attitude was quite interesting. Their... when they described the forces of nature they include the American Indians as part of the forces of nature. Civilized man in his activities are not part of the forces of nature. And they specifically said in this slide he... he... lightning and the American Indians caused natural ... caused fires. And we are replacing these natural processes that man has interrupted in the last 100 or 200 years. But... but Indians and their activities of burning... and... and the fact was many... much of the Indian burning was merely an easy way of capturing game.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] They would start a fire to drive the game towards them. So it was really a quite abusive ... of the natural resources. They didn’t do it for any beneficial purposes it might have. It was an easier way for them to catch game. [00:21:10]

But... and I found that this is this philosophy is continuing. If you go fight fire and if I go to Yosemite which is a national park the park rangers are in charge of the fire fighting operations and anybody, whether it is the forest service of the California Department of Forestry who fights fires, whoever is having to fight a fire in a national park because the park rangers do not know about how to fight fire. And they will not allow... they will threaten fire fighters with arrest if they drive that fire truck off of a road to get closer to the fire so they can fight it.

In Yosemite a few years ago there were some backpackers and hikers who were trapped by a fire and sometimes they are arguing with the helicopter pilots because they were demanding that the helicopter pilots sent up there to rescue these hikers would hover just above the ground in order to pick up these hikers, because they did not want those skids landing where it might interfere with the ... the meadow or anything. They didn’t want any weight put on the meadow. And this is the mentality that... that people are the problem. This is the whole philosophy behind Environmentalism.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[M. Rushdoony] That people are the problem.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[M. Rushdoony] They have evolved too high. His brain is too advanced.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] He is interfering with the processes of evolution. Therefore man must be controlled by force.

[Voice] It sounds like their hats are too tight and cutting off the blood circulation to their brain.

[Voice] And this introduces, too, a curious and cruel irony. For while the Word of God says that man under God as a vice regent should take dominion, they have completely reversed that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And now the creatures, the creation itself apart from man is to take dominion over man.

[Voice] Well, what find interesting is the... the ... this... this redefinition of people has even affected the ... the ... the... the evangelical elite.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And the {?} observes that people were not a collection of men and women, but they are instruments to dehumanized as an army. And what we have done and what the evangelicals have done is they have dehumanized people, put everybody in the category of a sinner. So then they create these programs and schemes to save these sinners. They are not individuals that need to be worked with individually.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Voice] And mentored and brought up in the right way. It is this group, this... this... this herd of swine, these herd of sinners that... that the experts need to... to manage and coerce into getting saved by Jesus.

[Rushdoony] Yes, with a set routine and altar call going forward, being counseled. And God can’t do it without them. [00:24:15]

[Voice] Exactly...[edit]

[Voice] Exactly.

[Voice] Something important, I think in the... in the book that you touched on is their contempt of the masses and you said it began when... when people began to become educated, when people would... when... when the masses as a by and large could begin to read they began the intellectuals began reacting in horror because they thought they should be the leaders of society. Now that the masses of people could read and then shortly thereafter photography was available to the masses, that meant art, that meant poetry, that meant literature. The marketplace was now thrown open to the masses and they thought this was ... this was going to destroy everything. We should be dictating what is culture. We should be dictating what is good thinking and what is good literature.

They began reacting to the masses by trying to make what is intellectual obscure and difficult, absurd, really meaningless...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...destroying meaning so that the... the masses couldn’t understand it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] They were separating themselves from the real world. They were going off on a tangent so that the masses would have trouble following them.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And foolishly the masses still idolized intellectuals.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Voice] They foolishly followed them. They followed the modern art which was consciously designed as this is something you can’t understand.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] And the person who sensibly looks at this modern art and says, “This is stupid,” is himself regarded as stupid.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] So people think, but the intellectuals say, the artists say and they are afraid to look at this for what it is and said this is nonsense.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] And this is a revival of an old ideal. Plato believed that the philosopher kings should rule in society, that the elite should rule. And Rush and I were talking earlier about the problem of abstraction largely derived from Plato is this idea that we can sort of spin in our minds the perfect Utopian society and impose it on everybody else apart from what actually happens historically. And that is largely what these intellectuals have done and what they still do.

You know, another point I wanted to bring up and I am hammering on the media elite today, because although they are not specifically classified with the intellectuals, they would fancy themselves in that light. Their hypocrisy is always as claiming to speak in the name of the people, but there is no evidence at all that they have genuine concern for specific people. It is like the adage about a number of the intellectuals that they hate... they love intellectuals in general love society in general, but not ... not otherwise. [00:27:05]

[Voice] Charles Shultz...[edit]

[Voice] Charles Shultz.

[Voice] Exactly.

[Voice] The Snoopy line. It is love mankind. It is people I can’t stand.

[Voice] Exactly. And to me that seems to be what the... the media elite does. They constantly pick up causes and I don’t think they are... and there is no evidence that they are interested in specific individuals. They just wanted to retain control. I think that is... that is a prime result of the idea that is being spoken of here by Carey.

[Voice] Well, virtually 100 percent of the programming on television is contempt, contemptuous of the public. The Married with Children, The Simpsons, the whole spectrum. There isn’t anything you can pick out in prime time that is really entertaining. It all has a message. It all has an agenda and it is all negative and it is all contemptuous.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Right, but God still uses it to his glory. And that is the most interesting thing that I find that God can speak to people through crap like Married with Children. So he is sovereign, although we may not like it. He still is sovereign and he still is using those terrible shows for his glory.

[Voice] Shows like to make people look foolish. That is a common theme now is people looking foolish and doing foolish things as though that is normal. It is a contempt for people.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] Well, it is becoming clichéd in a... and, you know, I have to believe that after a while it becomes boring and people have to ask themselves, you know, when they sit down in front of this, “What am I doing here? Why am I wasting my time on this for?”

I mean, anybody with an IQ of 10 is not going to spend their time watching that stuff and the revenues of the television networks have dropped precipitously and continue to drop and they don't seem to be getting the message.

[Voice] Yeah, but that is what the elites were saying about the newspapers. That is what the elites were saying about these.... the... the magazines that were coming out. So we are no better than they are. Because at worst, it is easy for us to sit around and say, “Oh, this is crap.” What are we doing to change it? Are we redefining things or are we working in the media? No, we are sitting around complaining. So we are just as worthless as the ... as Orwell was as far as I am concerned.

[Voice] Well, that is why the task of Reconstruction, the evangelical church has to recapture all of these areas for Christ and use them for godly purposes.

[Voice] Another thing that the... I was interested that Carey brought out was the... the intellectuals they have affected the people’s perception of charity. Charity is something that only works when it is hands on, when you are... like Rush has repeatedly said when there was a relationship between the giver and the recipient. But what these intellectuals would do is they would vicariously get dirty thinking that that was the answer. It was this romantic notion that everything is in... the nobility is in the struggle.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And not in... in the... in the completion of the work. And Orwell summed it up when he said, “You can have affection for a murderer or a sodomite, but you cannot have an affection for a man whose breath stinks.” And that says a lot because dirt for them had like a ... or... Carey refers to it as an almost sacramental value where they would get themselves dirty thinking that was it. But if you contrast that with General Booth and the work that he did with the Salvation Army, you know, by starting the Salvation Army, he went in there and he cleaned the dirt up. And that is the difference between Christian and a pagan is that the Christian will go in and get their hands dirty and... and do the work and where these... these other people will just get a little bit dirty and call it helping their neighbor. [00:31:19]

[Rushdoony] It is an ironic fact that one writer about...[edit]

[Rushdoony] It is an ironic fact that one writer about 15 years ago called attention to the fact that the Salvation Army was doing more of that poor in New York City than the federal government, but the federal government got all the money.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] There is something that found interesting, I mean, a lot of things I found interesting in this book, but something that I have a direct experience with in Hollywood. And, you know, you may... I... I guess I am one of those people in the media elite. I have access to people. So not everybody in the media is the dregs of humanity or a cheese mite swimming in the historical cheese of history.

[Voice] In other words, not everybody in the media is elite, right?

[Voice] Right, exactly. But one thing that I was entering... I have a... the... Clive Bell proclaimed in 1914, “The artist need not bother about the fate of humanity because aesthetic rapture was self justifying.” And I wanted to bring this down to something that happened about four or five years ago. There was a... a... a show called Thirty Something. And it was critically acclaimed show and it was technically a very good, well produced show and I know... I have two friends that were on that show. They were both the stars of it. They are both Emmy award winners, golden globe winners, they were the leads in the show. And the show began as an effort by the executive producers to make sense out of midlife crisis. [00:33:05]

So what they did was they got together and they would...[edit]

So what they did was they got together and they would mull over the things that were important to them, what motivated them in their self centered lives, their kids, sex, marriage, adultery, in laws. And so what they did was they had a collection of their friends and they retold stories about their friends. And to show the utter disregard that these executive producers had with their audience is that they created a character and they wanted to show what breast cancer was all about. And the character that got breast cancer, I recall watching the shows. They used to hate the shows because they were so excruciatingly real. So you had this aesthetic rapture. You had this suffering. You saw the woman dying and what the executive producers wanted to do was to show the woman dying. And they wanted to show her dead. And the actress wanted to die as well. But what happened was there was such a backlash by the viewers. The viewers liked this woman. The viewers liked her husband. They liked her family. And the viewers got angry and the executive producers for the first time admitted, they said to themselves, “Hey, I guess we have a duty to our viewers. So let’s make is chemotherapy successful and let her live.

But these people were actually did not care about their viewers. They were self expressing.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And that is the key to our generation, self expression.

[Rushdoony] Yes, well that is stressed from early years on now in schools that the important thing is your self expression. Children in the earliest grades are encouraged to express their ideas about things of which they know nothing.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So they are very cheeky, very, very self assured, self important. And that is a very real part of the barbarism of our time. There is no sense of authority.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] I... a few years back, oh, it is more than 10 years back, heard a kindergarten teacher say that there was a new development in kindergarten. She has... she had been teaching for some years. Instead of the kids being obedient and respectful, they would cuss her out and they were very, very thoroughly vulgar in the language they used. They had so sense of the authority of a teacher. [00:36:19]

[Voice] Yes. You know, another point that Carey makes here, one of his principle points is in the chapter “Rewriting the Masses.” Now this constituted a harbinger of National Socialism, Nazism. The intellectuals wanted to redefine the masses as nothing more than vermin. This idea that Hitler was the first one to develop the concept of the Jews, for example, as nothing more than rats is false. This was a prominent idea with the intellectuals earlier. And Carey is making a very good case that the foundation for much of the atrocities in Hitler’s Germany must be laid at the doorstep of the intellectuals late last century and early this century. They could redefine the masses as being worthless and therefore they could be easily exterminated, which is, again, as Rush has said so many times, as Weaver first said, ideas have consequences. We can’t assume that ideas are harmless and we can just bandy them about. Ideas have influence in society. These ideas of these intellectuals are living proof of it.

[Voice] I just thinking this ... a lot of people are puzzled by this landslide in recent election and I heard one comment by one pundit and I haven’t heard it anywhere else that among all of the various reasons the ... the concern over economic future and all and government is too big, et cetera, et cetera, one pundit said that there was a sense among the American people that the American culture as on a moral decay because the moral majority in and of itself cannot, could not have caused this landslide. So there has to be another group of people in our society that realize that something is wrong, whether they are religious or not. They realize that something wrong because they see the evidence is in their face everywhere they go in every sphere of their life and it is making them very uneasy. So I think it is finally people are beginning to figure it out.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] What concerns me, because we in a certain case are leaders that have an audience. We are in the media. People read what we have to say. They listen and [?] to what we say. Something Ezra Pound wrote struck me. It sounded like a lot of Reconstructionists to me and I think it is something we have to be careful about. Ezra Pound said, “Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like those of rabbits. We who have been so long despised are about to take over control.” There is this us and them mentality. And I think that we are going to be successful only if we don’t take an attitude of us and them, as if we mix it up with them and show them how God works through our own lives, not through our words. [00:39:42]

[Voice] Oh, I think that can be done while still preserving...[edit]

[Voice] Oh, I think that can be done while still preserving a proper us and them mentality. I mean, after all, Genesis chapter three the Bible says God himself placed the hostility between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. So I think there will always be, short of eternity, an us and them mentality. But I think the point you are making that is correct, John, is that we can’t thereby just be standoffish. I mean, our goal is to evangelize and, thus, bring all of society under the authority the law Word of God. And so I think it is in that sense that we can on the one hand recognize that there is a distinction, the great distinction, the great divide, the continental divide in humanity between those who are the children of God and those who are not. But that doesn’t mean that we should be separatists and pull back. We have to get in there like you said and mix it up with the unbelievers and be good, godly apologists. I mean, declare the truth of Christianity.

[Rushdoony] Well we have a problem in our time, because the intellectuals feel free to damn the rest of us, to call us every name under the sun, but if we respond somehow we are a vicious dangerous breed.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] They have set the agenda for a long time. And I think it is an agenda that is not a matte for debate. I think we need to go back to the strategy of the early church. We simply declare the whole counsel of God. We go out to convert people and we go out to heal the sick, the lame and the blind, to do the works of charity that our Lord requires us to do, because the argument that was decisive in the days of the Roman Empire was precisely that. The early Christians were accused of every kind of crime. The Romans who were rather degenerate morally still accused the Christians of being a free love cult, that they would turn out the lights at their meetings and then strip and copulate freely, that they were cannibals. That is what the communion service was about. And so on and on. [00:42:20]

And there was no way the Christians could be believed...[edit]

And there was no way the Christians could be believed when they tried to defend themselves. But what did make an impact was that the work of the deaconate reached out to the needy in the community. The Christians took care of one another. They reached out to those who were not of their community when they saw human need. And too many ordinary people in Rome had to say to themselves, “They are better to our people than we are. They are more ready to take care of my old folks than I am. These things cannot be true that they say about them.”

Well, that is the only way we can vindicate ourselves by doing God’s work. Apart from that we can’t.

I wrote a while back a couple of papers or editorials. One, I believe, was entitled “On Being Evil Spoken Of.” And one of the two I called attention to Joseph. Joseph was sent to prison by the Egyptian government for attempted rape. The pharaoh released him and used him and he became second to pharaoh the most important man in Egypt. But that conviction could not have been wipes because the pharaoh was a man god. He didn’t make mistakes. His [?] didn’t make mistakes. So there was no way Joseph could say, “Please, set my record straight.” He lived and died simply as a convicted rapist who had been pardoned and set free by pharaoh. So he didn’t have a good reputation with anyone who wanted to smear him to his dying day. But he was way out in front. He ruled all of Egypt. He saved Egypt.

Well, I think we Christians have a like role. We are being slandered continually. They are not capable of telling the truth about us because they hate us so. So we go ahead and do the Lord’s work. God is our vindicator and we will know his vindication throughout all eternity.

[Voice] I may be presumptuous to ask you this, Rush, but the other day at lunch you told Andrew and I something that was fascinating that you were going to be developing about in the book of Revelation about the healing of the leaves. Would you care to go into that now, or is it too early to do that? [00:45:26]

[Rushdoony] Well, I will, but I am going to write it...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, I will, but I am going to write it up as probably an article or an editorial.

In Revelation we are told of the tree of life—now, the tree of life is Jesus Christ—and that it is ... it bore fruit all year long, every month so that unlike all other fruit trees its leaves did not follow a seasonal calendar. This is why because the evergreen is, in a sense, a tree of life, it was early chosen to be a type of Christ and the Christmas tree is what we got as a result of it, the Christmas tree because it never sheds its leaves even though it doesn’t bear fruit all year long or any time is a type of Christ and a Christmas tree, which, when I was a child, still followed Revelation 22 in that the ornaments resembled fruit and you had strings of popcorn on the tree.

But it occurred to me. It speaks not of the needles of the tree of life but of the leaves, a fruit bearing tree and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Now we know that a great many leaves have medicinal characteristics, have been historically, very often used medically and when I was a child it was very common when you got certain ailments you had a tea brewed of certain leaves which you would buy in dried form.

Well, the leaves, therefore, this is a tree that in a sense is evergreen and yet it is not an evergreen tree, because it bears fruit. But the leaves heal. Who are the leaves if not the Christians? Christ is the source of our life, of our power and we are in him to be the means of healing all the nations and meeting their every need. And that is why we write what we do. That is why we do the charitable work under your direction, John, and that of others. [00:48:31]

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... that we do, because we are the healing leaves for the nations.

[Voice] In contrast to just planting a tree.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And saying that that is sufficient or that Christianity is become a symbolic situation, not an individual working situation, but that this is the big symbol.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] I think, too, we would shift gears here just for a minute. We would be remiss if we didn’t point out, since this is the topic of Carey’s book, how the intellectuals had a degraded view of women. Speaking of H. G. Wells Carey says, “A more insidious evil the newspapers unless resistible was a woman. Though Wells was highly susceptible to feminine allure, his considered view of women’s influence on civilization was not favorable. For one thing it was undeniably women’s unchecked fertility that was to blame for the population problem. For another women notoriously used their sex appeal to capture the young males and force them into marriage, thus, tying them to the bread winning treadmill and effectively ending their lives as thinkers,” close quote.

And there are a number of others. And I think another example of intellectual hypocrisy is the supposed reputed support for egalitarianism among the sexes and yet at root intellectuals do tend to have a very degraded view of women and this is demonstrated quite clearly in Carey’s book.

[Voice] And not only that, but charity for Nietzsche, quoting, “Benevolence, public spirit and consideration of others are despicable herd virtues.”

[Rushdoony] Good point, John.

[Voice] “The truly noble man is egotistic. He despises pity which is unhealthy and is valued only by slaves. The warrior is a type of the finest man. War and courage have achieved greater things than charity. Men should be trained for war and a woman for the recreation of the warrior.”

[Voice] You know what is amazing, too, John, is that is... see, Nietzsche was convinced that Christianity was... genuine Christianity should be involved in godly charity and that is one reason he hated genuine Christianity because it was a charitable faith.

[Rushdoony] And did you get the picture of Nietzsche that I sent to you and Dwight?

[Voice] Yeah. Yeah, I love that.

[Rushdoony] Nietzsche hated Jews and women and he said when you go into a woman carry a whip. [00:51:12]

So he fell madly in love for Lou Salome a Russian Jewish...[edit]

So he fell madly in love for Lou Salome a Russian Jewish beauty of the day. And his partner at the university Ree also fell in love with the same woman. She never allowed Nietzsche to lay a hand on her even while she carried on with others, but she got back at Nietzsche. She had him and Paul Ree at the dog position in a dog cart where the harness is put on while she stood in the back with a whip over them. So she put Nietzsche in his place, which didn’t make him like Jews or women any the more. It only confirmed him, perhaps in his hatred. But that, to me, is a picture which delights me, a photograph.

[Voice] Well, the antidote to this tyranny of the experts, of the elite is Christian men operating in self government under god.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Because if we are busy, first of all, getting our own houses in order, taking care of our wives and our children, educating them, doing the work that God tells us to do, we are going to be too busy to worry of what these poisonous flies who are the elite are saying or doing.

[Rushdoony] Before we go any further, let me remind you that the book that we have referred to so many times is John Carey, C A R E Y, The Intellectuals and the Masses and it was published this year, 1994 or in December of 1993 by Saint Martin’s Press, New York. The subtitle is Pride and Prejudice among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939.

Kerry himself after exposing the anti humanity thinking of these intellectuals falls prey to it himself, because he really cannot see any answer to the so-called over population crisis other than eliminating people.

[Voice] His real criticism was merely that they thought... they didn’t think they were part of the problem.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] These were all part of the problem.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] He didn’t disagree with their view of the masses. He said, “We are all the masses.”

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] I think, John, another solution to the problem, too, is educated laymen, this idea that only the elite, even in Christianity can understand theology is utter nonsense. And I think that is one reason that Chalcedon is so important because from the beginning one of its goals was to bridge the gap between laymen and scholarship and it has done that admirably and well in the future. [00:54:42]

[Rushdoony] Scholars, when I came out with my books...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Scholars, when I came out with my books were critical of them. One in particular said that it should write for scholars instead of people generally. Well, I wrote it as clearly and exactly as I would to scholars to everyone, because the problem is not inability to understand, but an unwillingness.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It is a moral unwillingness.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And this they resent, because they want to confine intelligence to their liberal sphere.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And to treat all men intelligent... as equally intelligent if they choose to be, is offensive. We have people who are factory workers, who read the report and a group of them as they are having lunch together will sit around and discuss it.

Well, they are as intelligent as the professors. Their reasoning is not with the high falooting language, but it is no less competent and maybe more so because they have a moral dimension to their thinking.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] You know, Rush, I don’t know about you, but I think the most elegant and eloquent description I have ever heard of David’s battle against the Amalekites was by Reverend George McKinney in a...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... sermon called “Go Get Your Stuff.”

[Rushdoony] Which you made a film of.

[Voice] And he told me that story in his own way and it... it inspired me to read a lot more about David and I came across those terribly dense scholar, scholarly journals and they are just indecipherable.

[Rushdoony] Yes. They are afraid to say something flat out because they might be wrong, so they express themselves in such convoluted language that they can always say you didn’t understand me.

[Voice] That is right. In fact, especially in the modern humanities and English departments, there is a tendency to obviously or hide what is being written, that language is specifically employed to confuse for some of those very reasons that you mentioned. [00:57:06]

[Rushdoony] Well, we have about a minute and a half...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, we have about a minute and a half left. Anyone have a final comment they would like to add?

[Voice] Well, I think a great hope for the future is the Christian school.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...system which we didn’t really touch on too much, but since there are no seminaries teaching Reconstructionist views, the next best thing is to try and give the next generation a sense of ... of where it is going and give them a path and something to believe in, because there is an awful lot of kids out there that have nothing to believe in at all.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.