Louis XIV - Revolution - Napoleon b - RR160E10b

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Louis XIV, Revolution, Napoleon_b
Course: Course - World History
Subject: Subject:History
Lesson#: 17
Length: 0:46:25
TapeCode: RR160E10b
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
World History.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.


[Tape continues]

And we will decide for him. This is why when the Revolution began and these philosophes took over they had no compunctions about eliminating people, executing them for their own good, like George Bernard Shaw, a modern philosophe who said that in a Fabian socialist state when people disagreed you tried to persuade them but if they continued to disagree for their own good you would execute them in a kindly manner.

[Lady speaks]

[Rushdoony] This is why in the French Revolution these philosophes could sit down and debate for the good of the people, for the good of France should we eliminate with the terror twenty five percent, fifty percent or seventy five percent of the people. Eliminate them, wipe them out, execute them. And of course they proceeded to eliminate everyone they felt was an impediment to the will of the people. The French Revolution therefore represented the ideas of the Enlightenment, of the philosophes on the march to remake the world. The man who stopped it was Napoleon. Now Napoleon is a hard man to get the facts about because Napoleon against his own wishes had to have England as his enemy and most of our books about Napoleon were written by Englishmen. One of the best is written by an Englishman who appreciates Napoleon, [unknown] Wilson. [00:03:13]

For a long time the American sources were excellent...[edit]

For a long time the American sources were excellent until the British war after the civil war especially began to prevail. Perhaps the best single most readable, most exciting book on Napoleon is by Abbot, a four volume work. It’s exciting reading. But most of what you get in English today about Napoleon pictures him as nothing much more than a ladies man who spent his life going from one bedroom to the other. And as the men of the day go Napoleon was quite moral. His affairs were very, very few, very rare. It is interesting that during his lifetime a book from England was brought in which pictured him as this terrible lecher seducing girls all the time and he read it and he said how would I ever get any of my work done if I spent as much time chasing girls as this book says I do. Napoleon began as a typical liberal, a believer in the ideas of the revolution but he very quickly realized the fearful evil that was there especially when he went to Egypt on the Egyptian campaign and saw the depravity of people there. Every last illusion he had about the natural goodness of man disappeared. He knew that man was depraved, fearfully depraved and no one had proven the depravity of man more than these people who talked about the natural goodness of man. He recognized that there was no substitute for the legitimate power of the monarchy except here. And so the revolution had to rule by fear, by terror, because it had no legitimate ground for authority. Napoleon concluded that power without moral foundations is violence and tyranny. But how to provide the moral foundations? He was not himself a Christian, he was close to it in many of his ideas but the Christianity he saw in France then both Catholic and Protestant was quite decadent. He wanted the Christians to provide the moral foundations but they were not really able to do it. [00:06:08]

He could not call descendants of Louis XVI back to...[edit]

He could not call descendants of Louis XVI back to rule as he would have liked to because Louis XVI’s family did not have the common sense that Louis XVI did. Louis XVI went to the guillotine rather than call in the British against his people. He knew the minute he did that he was finished as the king of France. You cannot call in the enemies of your country to be your allies and expect your people to have any part of you. And so he refused. But the heirs of Louis XVI made the colossal mistake of seeking English help which meant that no French man would want any part of them after that. Which meant then that when Napoleon seized power however willing he was to have a continuation of the monarchy and the Bourbons rule there wasn’t a Bourbon who had the common sense to be used because they were all working with the French, with the English. If they had gone to the Spanish or to the Austrians it would have been different but they went to the English. The English who had taken away Canada and India from France and no Frenchmen could forgive that. This is an important fact to remember. It required foreign guns and foreign bayonets to drive out Napoleon and Napoleon III. But Charles IX, the Bourbon who succeeded Napoleon and Philip who later succeeded him both were driven out by Frenchmen. To this day the French government prohibits certain celebrations commemorating Napoleon, they are afraid of his memory. They are afraid of the heirs of the Napoleonic line because they recognize this that both Napoleons thought of France first and they created a national loyalty that no one before it created and no one since has been able to command. [00:09:00]

Now Napoleon’s desire was to reestablish the power...[edit]

Now Napoleon’s desire was to reestablish the power of France to prevent it from more revolution by regaining India and by reestablishing the Mediterranean as the French sphere of influence. He was not going to try and retake Canada; he had given up on that. This is why he made his eastern campaign. His position was a logical one but his downfall again was the historic downfall of the French, the lack of naval power. This was what doomed him. The lack of naval power. Had he had the naval power he could have invaded England easily at one point, he could have prevented any English invasion of his country, he would have triumphed. But it took a coalition of all the powers of Europe to defeat Napoleon. Now Napoleon is important, very important to us, very important to the British, very important to the whole world because what Napoleon did was this: he checked for a full century the forces of the Enlightenment, of the philosophes, of revolution. All those basic ideas I outlined to you of the philosophes are ideas you recognize but for a century they were held back because of Napoleon’s work and only again with the Russian revolution did they begin to march. We have the same ideas on all sides of us today. Now Napoleon’s answer was an inadequate one ultimately. Napoleon saw that ultimately it had to be a religious answer, he himself was not able to provide it. The Napoleonic law code which he provided was a terrible one because it did not have a Christian foundation. The basic premise that his lawyers worked out was that you were guilty until proven innocent which subverts the whole of our Christian tradition. So Napoleon while he delayed the day of reckoning did not have the answer. [00:11:52]

The thing that prevented the same thing from happening...[edit]

The thing that prevented the same thing from happening in Britain was the evangelical revival in the Church of England and the Wesleyan revival of Whitfield and Wesley. And this is what gave England the tremendous position in the 19th century to make it the most influential power in the modern era. Since World War One with the same ideas once again on the march there is not going to be another Napoleon now to postpone the day of reckoning. And so the issue this time is inescapably religious. Either there will be a return to a thoroughly biblical Christianity or we shall see once again these ideas of the philosophes. Not only on the march but reordering all society, killing off people at will, treating people as nothing but building blocks to be used or not used and to be ordered about totally in terms of their preconceived anti-Christian concepts. We have two more meetings left and we shall in these meetings deal with what happened in the 19th and 20th centuries but you already see from what we have dealt with tonight how the issue of history is coming to a focus. It was delayed once by the Reformation, then as the Reformation receded Napoleon was able by his work to postpone the day of reckoning but now in the 20th century the issues are coming to a focus. What we do as Christians therefore is all important in terms of the future. Let us pray. [00:14:18]

Almighty God our Heavenly Father we thank Thee that...[edit]

Almighty God our Heavenly Father we thank Thee that Thou hast placed us in so great a time where every decision we make for Thee is so important for time to come. Oh Lord our God by Thy grace enable us so to serve Thee that every little thing we do may add up to great things for Thy name’s sake to the end that the kingdoms of this world might become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now I’m going to show you first a couple of pictures, one a statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy and the other of his palace, [unknown] was the name of it and France Ferdinand lived in the palace right before World War One. This is Prince Eugene in his old age. In fact this was done after his death.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Bernini.

[Silence]

[Rushdoony] We do know that they took over the Czar’s bureaucracy of civil service to a great extent, never change it because they had no way of running the country so that [unknown] bureaucracy stayed on and began to work for the soviets. Bureaucracies stay when governments come and go.

[Unintelligible Question] [00:16:50]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Well we do know that the Soviets train homosexuals for espionage work so they can contact homosexuals in foreign governments. This is a very definite part of their training. Yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes, right, named after the same…

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes. He was one of the medieval philosophers whose philosophy was named the official philosophy of the Catholic Church and he was declared a doctor of the church and a saint. And now of course Aquinas had no children but the family of Aquinas was an ancestor of Prince Eugene of Savoy.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Aquinas College? Well it is a conservative Catholic school but we would not consider it too conservative from our perspective.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Well yes in my book The One And The Many I deal with the latent and implicit radicalism of Aquinas’ ideas. Yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes. Phil?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Philosophe, it’s a French word, philosophe. It referred to these thinkers who regarded themselves as a kind of true philosophy, they were the thinkers, wisdom was born with them and their ideas were just what I described, they had been very ably described by an American scholar of Dutch ancestry, Peter Gaye on the Enlightenment. And Peter Gaye himself is not a Christian and he’s one of the few that’s been honest about telling the truth about their anti-Christianity. Most writers cover this up but Peter Gaye very plainly admits how they were first and foremost anti-Christian. [00:19:47]

[Unintelligible Question]...[edit]

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes [unknown] and all the others.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Oh yes in part some of them but basically they were anti-Christian, that was the essence of their position. Yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Oh yes, first of all Voltaire was a thorough scoundrel. I don’t see anything redeeming about him, the so called famous saying I disagree with everything you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it Voltaire never said. That’s the modern invention to give him some respectability. He was a scoundrel, he was a cheat, he was a liar, Fredrick the Great who invited him to his court finally had to chase him out because he was so shameless and so contemptible. He was probably himself a homosexual, he certainly had strong tendencies in that part, he did everything to rob and to cheat his host. He had a lifetime birth there and the cushiest kind of conditions but he did everything to aggravate Fredrick the Great who leaned over backwards to try and be tolerant. Now these philosophes of course, these enlightenment thinkers, had taken over very steadily, the court had been tolerant of them because what you have to realize is that while there was some semblance of faith there Louis XV was a profligate monarch who as long as the money was coming in and he could afford his mistresses and his gay court was content to let things go. And having no great faith he bought the ideas of these men, he subsidized them and if they got too far out of line he cracked their knuckles a bit but basically he favored them and subsidized them. Louis XVI was a very earnest well-meaning man, very devout man but all the same Louis XVI had imbibed so many of their ideas that he had no way of successfully resisting them. If you already have bought nine tenths of your opponents ideas or even fifty percent how are you going to resist him because the enemy is then in you. [00:22:53]

So while there was a tremendous conspiracy at work...[edit]

So while there was a tremendous conspiracy at work in the French Revolution, there’s no question about it and I think the best account of it is Webster’s book on the French Revolution, a very important work, very important. But still what you have to say is it wasn’t the conspiracy that did it but the fact that everybody in the church, in the state, among the common people, high and low, had imbibed these ideas. On the Huguenot side there were practically none who resisted the ideas and the Catholic..what?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] No. But they did not resist it and on the Catholic side there were very few also. In fact many of the bishops were prominent among those calling for everything revolutionary. Yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Pushing now, learning…no. No there’s a difference.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] No…that…no. That kind of thing alchemy had passed out long before.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] No by and large these philosophes were not only not interested in science but hostile to it, it was learning, it was art, it was the art-y emphasis that they were selling and these were popular in the courts, to be a patron of learning.

[Unintelligible Question] [00:24:47]

[Rushdoony] No you had that more in Kennedy and his...[edit]

[Rushdoony] No you had that more in Kennedy and his group [laughter], Kennedy and his group basically had the entertainers, the dramatists, the musicians around the court and it was Camelot, another King Arthur and all these gay troubadours and so on. Kennedy’s concept was in essence…[someone interrupts]…well, he’s a politician primarily, that’s a minor note. It was the Kennedy regime that was trying to create as it were a royal court and you had the last hangover of the Kennedy regime in the Bernstein mass not too long ago.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] No he was not of relative unimportance, Kissinger was a big wheel at Harvard and if you trace the history of Harvard in recent years you find that since FDR and his brain trust calling in experts a la Louis XIV Harvard has had a high place in this and Kissinger is a man in political science naturally who is high up in the running. So I’d say Kissinger was a natural for the job, what they wanted someone who was more or less liberal, who was in the Harvard tradition, who could command the intellectual community and have prestige and respectability and give Nixon that prestige and…[Someone interrupts]…Oh yes he does. He does very definitely.

[Unintelligible Question] [00:26:44]

[Rushdoony] I’d beg to differ with you, Kissinger commands...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I’d beg to differ with you, Kissinger commands a great deal of respect in the intellectual community. A great deal.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Among the philosophes very definitely.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Oh no we wouldn’t agree with that but the point is [laughter]…he, as far as the American people are concerned he’s doing a good job because I would say he has been a major political asset for Nixon. Because you may not like him and I may not like him but you’ve got to realize that most of the people are very happy about the kind of thing he has done. And the Democrats are themselves complaining that a lot of their campaign promises and hopes have been stolen by Nixon a la Kissinger. So he’s been a major asset, now they don’t figure your vote and mine is anything, they’ve written that off, so they don’t care about us but with most of the American people he’s been a major asset, he’s been a major asset in dealing with foreign governments so Nixon is a politician first and last and he has Kissinger there because Kissinger is an asset to him and he’d drop him tomorrow if he weren’t.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] You see our point of view is very definitely a minority point of view and a man may look bad and ridiculous to us but that doesn’t mean he is that to the country as a whole. And what we felt is the most horrible thing in American history is all this speech, Nixon’s, gained him more popularity than he had since he took office, so you have to look at the reality of the situation and I think this is one reason why conservatives have generally been impotent because they are sure that the people really don’t want what they are asking for. But they do, you see. When we take that position we’re taking the position of the philosophes who said we know what the will of the people is, we know what they really want rather than what they say they do. But when the people vote for something when the people approve of something you have to say that is what they want. This is why I don’t put any stock in what people say, well most of the people and the Presbyterian or Episcopal or Methodist church are really good Christians at heart. If they were they wouldn’t be there, they are there because they like what they’re getting. [00:29:42]

And what you are saying is you know better than they...[edit]

And what you are saying is you know better than they do what they are and you don’t and I don’t. People find their kind and they seek their own level, water always seeks its own level and those people are in those churches because that is where they are at home and people vote for what they do because they like it. Yes?

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] But they don’t want to know because basically they don’t have any principles, you see, you cannot give people principles they don’t have. You can’t say well if they knew better they would feel that way, they don’t know better because they don’t care, they really don’t have principles. There very, very few people in the country today who have any religious principles, any real political principles. It’s basically what’s in it for me. Now this is our problem today, I had a very interesting conversation a couple of days ago with Bill Richardson our state senator. And Bill was telling me about a radio address he had just made and it was about crime in the state of California and the gist of it is this: now I may not have the figures quite accurately but I think I do and his secretary called me today, she’s going to send me a text of it: []31:51</audiopointer>

There are over six hundred and forty thousand crimes...[edit]

There are over six hundred and forty thousand crimes of violence against persons and property, serious crimes of violence against persons and properties committed in the state of California in 1970. Now that’s quite a few when you consider there are twenty million people and those are families, divide them say by five, the average family and then six hundred and forty thousand serious crimes you realize how many people are hit. Of those in those cases only two hundred thousand arrests were made, about less than one third. Of those two hundred thousand only a little better than fifty thousand were taken to court by the district attorneys. Thirty four percent of those that were taken to court were already out on parole or were awaiting trial for some other offense. Of those fifty thousand taken to court these were the ones that the D.A.s felt that these were the ones we’ve got to win, we can’t lose on this! Five thousand served any time at all, the others were turned out on probation or something like that. Now, what Bill pointed out, he said study it carefully, trace this out, and he said he’s been working on this for about eight, ten months. Our prisons are empty now, they’re empty, we’re not sending anyone. Now some of the courts are real problems but even more than the courts are the juries, the average person on the jury wants to turn them loose and Bill said do you know why? Because they figure well the next time it could be my boy or my girl or it could be some relative or maybe even me because they all have the larceny in their hearts, there’s not enough faith in them, not enough righteousness in them to make them ready to stand up and meet out any serious sentence. And the percentage of convictions are dropping all the time. What does this mean? Well and this is the picture across country. The percentage just varies from state to state. It means that the average American and Bill drew this conclusion, today is on the side of the criminal and he proves it when he goes to court whether as a witness in that he doesn’t want to be a witness or whether as a member of a jury. [00:34:56]

He’s on the side of the criminal and he proves it too...[edit]

He’s on the side of the criminal and he proves it too in his taste in movies and his taste in television programs a hoodlum is a hero. But the number of them who are unwilling to give up firm sentence because they figure well the next person up might be my kid and I don’t like things strict because I think my kid is alright even though he does get into this and that trouble. It wasn’t too long ago in this area where not too far from here, just three four miles police had to shoot a teenager who after a hold up savagely assaulted and crippled a man and was suspected of having done this in a couple of other cases shot and wounded a police officer. They finally killed him and the mother was viscous and savage in her attack on the police, her boy was a good boy and what did they think going around killing good boys like her son. Now that’s the reality of our situation today except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it and today there is no righteousness in the American people and we cannot give them a righteousness by saying well they are good Americans and so on, they are ungodly and in the sight of God they are bound for hell. And they are going to show their hellish character and they are doing it. And Bill says the police are ready to quit. What’s the point in going on under the circumstances? Now imagine two hundred thousand arrests where they figured they had the person, fifty thousand only go to court, five thousand with convictions which might be a very short thing in jail. Less than one percent conviction. Why it pays to be a criminal now, crime definitely pays and this is exactly what we were talking about this season, the ideas of the philosophes, this anti-Christianity is revealing itself in the breakdown of law and order. [00:37:40]

And we’ll never, never in all our days be able to cope...[edit]

And we’ll never, never in all our days be able to cope with it unless we say we are in an ungodly generation and in the midst of an ungodly people and nothing short of a Christian reawakening, Christian institutions like Christian schools will turn the tide. Short of it what happened at the French Revolution with the reign of terror and the French Revolution will take over the whole of the western world. Now that is the logic of the situation. We cannot do anything until we face exactly what we have.

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] Oh of course. There are always, you never, never, never in all history had a period when you didn’t have organized conspiratorial people in the background but the question is what determines things ultimately. Now you never had an era in American History as I told our Sunday group some months ago, never an era in American history with more subversives then in the days of Washington and John Henry. There were so many subversives sent over here, paid revolutionaries, paid agents, by the French government, the French Revolutionary government that the United States was honeycombed with them. They had paid agents up into the cabinet of George Washington. We had a standing army then of a hundred men. They were so powerful in this country that they felt they could take it over almost any day. You never in all of American history had more organized more powerful subversion then them. But why couldn’t they do it? Because you had a strong godly element. That’s what you don’t have today, that’s the difference. So that we can never say it’s this subversive group that’s responsible or that subversive group, you always have to say as God requires in His word I, even I have done that which is evil in Thy sight. The sin of Adam and Eve was ultimately this failure of responsibility, the serpent did give me and I did it. The woman who Thou gavest to me she did give me and I did eat. You see as long as we take that attitude as a people and say it’s the communists who are doing this to us it’s the this and that subversive group or it’s the Illuminati or it’s the Fabian socialists or somebody else. [00:41:07]

We are sinners in the sight of God we are not saying...[edit]

We are sinners in the sight of God we are not saying I, even I have done that which is evil in Thy sight, because when men stand with God God stands with them and they are going to triumph. But today we have this mentality too often among conservatives and its unbiblical, its anti-Christian because in terms of Christianity no one can plead that, then they are putting themselves in the enemy camp and they are conceding to the basic environmentalism and if you become an environmentalist then there is no difference between you and the Marxist except one of degree because this is their premise, environmentalism. So ultimately we have to say it is the responsibility of the people and every man has to meet his own guilt before God and come to terms with God and Christ or there is no help for us in the future. This is why the conservative movement has taken millions of dollars and it has wound up really helping us further down the road because it has deflected the attention of people from the real issue, the spiritual issue. It has accomplished nothing but to blind people to the real issue, to find excuses, to say really we are a fine people to pat America on the back as it were and say it is just this handful of subversives that has done all this to us, oh we’re such wonderful people and it’s not true. We were a godly people we are now a very ungodly people and this is our problem today. [00:43:00]

[Unintelligible Question]...[edit]

[Unintelligible Question]

[Rushdoony] It isn’t going to, yes, the leadership isn’t going to come from any one source, but from many, it’s going to come as people do things which are being done right now and the Christian school movement is a big forward step. And it’s going to take thousands upon thousands of individuals each in their calling standing in terms of God and His word. Each of them building godly homes, rebuilding churches, rebuilding one area of life after another, this is what is going to do it. And I see it already being done and the reaction today is precisely in that area, not in the area of politics. There’s no hope in the political sphere, Dorothy and I recently had a friend come and stay with us, and I must finish with this, for three days on our way home to Northern California from Washington D.C. And this friend who is a professional politician whose work is promoting campaigns and so on and is a very competent professional politician said there was no hope politically. Anyone who expected anything to come out of politics and out of Washington was a fool. But the hope had to be elsewhere, the people were rotten to the core and they were getting exactly what they had coming to them. And she painted a bleak picture in Washington D.C. contrary to her previous visit there’s not much crime at night, nobody goes out, everyone is behind locked doors with a gun and she said as of recent months crime is a daylight affair because that’s when people are on the streets. So you’d be robbed when you stopped for a signal at an intersection, they’ll walk into stores and rob you. And if you want further details on what goes on, [unknown] can tell you what happens to cars in the Pentagon parking lot because he was there. So it’s a bleak picture, it’s one of radical moral collapse. A very radical moral collapse and the only answer is the one that the word of God provides: the saving power of Jesus Christ. [00:45:44]

And anything short of that is to delude the people...[edit]

And anything short of that is to delude the people and to join forces with the enemy, we can never allow anyone to think that anything short of Christ offers any hope for our future. Well we’ve run over time so we will have to end it now.