Our Relationship to the Past and the Future - Churchmen and the Past - Liberation Theology - David Estrada Herrero - EC146

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Our Relationship to the Past and the Future, Churchmen and the Past
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 13
Length: 1:00:20
TapeCode: ec146
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 146, May the 14th, 1987.

I would like to begin by discussing a very important fact, our relationship to the past and the future. When a culture despises its past it begins to perish because it becomes rootless. This is why Scripture commands us to honor our father and mother. This means that we have roots in the past. We respect the past. But at the same time the Bible tells us what God’s purpose is for us. The kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. And we are to work for that goal. So we respect our past and we work for our future under God.

However, when cultures either lose a vision of the past or respect for the past, that is a failure to understand the rock from whence they have been hewn. At the same time they lose a vision of the future. The two go hand in hand. Then in place of an appreciation for their past, all they have is nostalgia. They want the relics of the past, the artifacts, the furniture, which is good, but they don’t know the meaning of the past nor appreciate it.

Now a number of things happen to a culture that loses its touch with the past and the future. It cannot convey its meaning either to its own children or the strangers, the foreigners in its midst.

Every great culture has had a very simple time of absorbing aliens, aliens of the most diverse kinds: racially, linguistically, culturally alien people. When they come into a strong culture they are reshaped by that culture so that their standards are picked up from that culture, because it is dominant. It is powerful. It is vital. [00:02:44]

However, when a people begins to despise its own past...[edit]

However, when a people begins to despise its own past, it has no future. Then it can convey nothing to those who enter its borders except material prosperity. Then both the indigenous people as well as the immigrants in its midst are doomed. The country has no future. The key to all of this, of course, is a religious faith, because it is our faith in God which gives us respect for the past as well as God’s goal for the future.

Now a little more on the past and its impact on us. Most of us prefer the security of the past. We know the past. We don’t know the future. And, therefore, we like to linger in terms of what we know in the past.

A military man some years ago wrote that one of the problems in warfare is that most generals fight the previous war all over again and this can lead to disaster. In other words, they are not current with what is going on in their own circles or are afraid to try it because there is so much involved in human life. Therefore, they like the security of the past, of military knowledge from the past. And the result, very often, is deadly. But it has not only been military. The worst offenders, of course, are politicians. Politicians can only move when they see most people lined up in favor of a particular cause so that, although politicians like to play the reformer, they like to pretend that they are the great innovators who bring in this or that advance socially, actually the measure becomes politically viable only when it has already triumphed with the people. [00:05:22]

This is true in other areas as well and the area that...[edit]

This is true in other areas as well and the area that is of a special concern to me is within the history of the faith. Churchmen tend to be oriented to the past also. This is even more an error and a sin on their part, because the Scripture gives them the key to the future. It gives them a mandate to go forth, a promise that as they advance wherever the sole of their feet shall tread, God will give them that ground, that area, that aspect of life. And yet churchmen like to repeat the past. They feel secure in it. And this is, again and again, led to all kinds of disasters.

Let me cite one such disaster. Before the Reformation began, before Luther was born, the medieval Church was in serious trouble. The kind of thing we ascribe to Henry VIII, the confiscation of church properties and of monasteries, was already underway by the monarchs and by various lords, princes and the like. Moreover, there was a factor in Europe at that time for which the Church was not only not prepared, but was definitely hostile to. It was the rise of the city, of an urban culture, of merchants, of commerce, of business.

Now it is true that in the cities the great cathedrals were built, but the Church did not link itself with the new element in society to any appreciable degree. It helped create that. The Cistercian monks had a great deal to do—whether they intended it or not—with the rise of a commercial culture. They created to a great degree the work ethic that led to it. But the Church allied itself to the past, to power, to the nobility, to the monarchs, precisely the people who were exploiting the Church. The Church had wealth. The Church had property and the nobility, the royalty sought to expropriate that wealth and those properties. So the Church made the worst possible alliance. [00:08:44]

As a result, the Reformation was an urban affair...[edit]

As a result, the Reformation was an urban affair. It was not that the urban population appreciated the theology of the reformers. It was that they saw here some kind of faith that was more agreeable to what they represented. We must remember that in some instances in the generation or two before the Reformation, the cities were petitioning the bishops who never put in an appearance in that city to put a new roof on the cathedral because the roof had fallen in, to make the necessary repairs and so on. One such city with all kinds of problems with the bishop was Geneva. Geneva never liked Calvin. And the idea that Calvin was the dictator of Geneva is pure mythology. Calvin in Geneva faced all kinds of problems. In fact, during the trial of Servetus he had his bags packed, because it was quite likely that after sentencing Servetus they would go after him. He was later exiled. He did not want to return. The place to him was a horror and it was only because he was told that he would be despising the calling of God that he went back.

The people of Geneva would fire guns under his window at night to prevent him from sleeping. They would sic their dogs on him in the streets. Only when Calvin was dying did they give him citizenship in Geneva.

But Calvin succeeded in Geneva. And it was because his faith was relevant to the people of Geneva, a commercial center. He made the faith a living concern for them. Remember, in the century before the Reformation, many of the better monasteries and convents were for the sons and daughters of the nobility or royalty. They were barred to commoners.

Now whether those monasteries and convents were morally disciplined or not is irrelevant. They were irrelevant to the people. They were places with an orientation to the culture that no longer existed. [00:11:49]

There is another factor here...[edit]

There is another factor here. The nobility did not like the cities. Their power was rural. The cities were outside their power, had become independent powers.

As a result, the nobility detested the cities and favored the rural area and the Church did the same. The Church had grown up in the context of a predominantly, an overwhelmingly rural Europe. It never looked to the future.

As a result, the Reformation long before the theology of any of the reformers, was understood by the people of the cities, appealed to those peoples, because the faith was made relevant to them, because scholar reformers spoke intelligently about the faith and nobody else had done that. The cities had been bypassed.

And this is why the Catholic Church after the period of the Counter Reformation went into a decline and even then the Counter Reformation did not address itself to this problem.

Well, then the next crisis came with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. And at this point the Protestants who had profited by the rise of the cities proved to be incapable of learning from their own past. What happened was that they fought the Industrial Revolution. They fought it because they didn’t like its disruption of the easy pattern of life.

One of the things that marks industry is that certain types of work require continuous operation. Take, for example, power, electricity. You cannot shut off the generators or stop power sundown Saturday evening until Monday morning. Continuous operation is required. Steel mills cannot shut down the furnaces. They require continuous operation. A good many things more in the area of industry require continuous operation. [00:15:12]

Well, previously, of course, there had been things...[edit]

Well, previously, of course, there had been things that required continuous operation. Farm work. After all, in a dairy cows must be milked seven days a week. This was recognized. After all, the Bible spoke of works of necessity. But because the Bible spoke of this in terms of a rural context, the Protestants, when faced with the Industrial Revolution were ready to see a dairy man milk Sunday morning and night or throw feed to his cattle. But they couldn’t see the continuous operation of generators, of dynamos. And, as a result, they fought against the Industrial Revolution and the city which has shaped the modern world since the early 1800s grew up increasingly devoid of a strong Christian influence. The Industrial Revolution was strongest in the Protestant areas and it was precisely in those areas that Protestantism lost its relevance. It became very important on the mission field, but it had no message for the cities. It continued to exist in the cities, but it became increasingly peripheral to the culture.

But in recent years, especially since World War II both Catholics and Protestants have sought to be relevant to the modern culture, but on the wrong terms. Not in terms of Scripture, but in terms of something else. And the name for it is liberation theology. Now liberation theology is simply Marxism with a little holy water sprinkled over it. Liberation theology says that no one should talk to the poor of the world about salvation until they are first fed, clothed and housed and given cradle to grave security and much more. Liberation theology, therefore, does not work for the conversion of the peoples of the world. It works for revolution. It works for their liberation from Capitalism. And this means, in the thinking of many of the liberation theologians, their liberation also from the Church, because they say the Church is tied to all these things.

Liberation theology has its representatives in virtually every seminary in the United States if not the world over. It is without question the greatest heresy of our time. And there is much that could be said about it, but the simplest and most basic statement is that it is not Christianity that liberation theology preaches, but Marxism, revolution. [00:19:28]

A very fine book has been written on one aspect of...[edit]

A very fine book has been written on one aspect of liberation theology. It isn’t the central theme, but an important theme. It is by Malachi Martin, a retired Jesuit. The title is, The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church, published by Simon and Shuster in 1987 and the price is 19 dollars and 95 cents.

Malachi Martin has documented what has happened in the Catholic Church and a parallel story could be written of what has happened in Protestantism. A study of liberation theology among Protestants and Catholics is being written by a Chalcedon staff member and we hope in a couple of years it will be available.

However, the key to the whole subject of liberation theology is that the Church has failed. It has failed because it has been past oriented, not God oriented. And, as a result, it has looked not to the faith for the key to the future, but to the world, to Marxism. Hence, a growing disaster is underway.

It has no vision of the future in terms of Scripture and, as a result, it looks to the world for a vision of the future and Marxism is almost alone in having a strong and unhesitating vision of tomorrow. The result, liberation theology.

Well, we have to rethink our view of the past and of the future in terms of Scripture. This means an eschatology of victory, as I titled some of the works I have put together of J. Marcellus Kik. It is an excellent book, by the way, An Eschatology of Victory, available from Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. [00:22:17]

At any rate, without an eschatology of victory we are...[edit]

At any rate, without an eschatology of victory we are going not turn one way or another, if not to the Marxists then to some other political group and ask them to give us a vision of the future. And what they have is no vision. It is blindness. And yet you can turn on the radio in various parts of the country, I am told, and hear an all out attack against Postmillennialism, because it talks of victory in biblical terms and Christian Reconstruction. If they are going to have a future, they want it these churchmen, on the world’s terms, on humanistic terms. And, as a result, they have no hope.

We need to have a sound perspective on the past and on the future. Without that we fall into sentimentality. A good book dealing with that is by Pascal Bruckner, B, as in boy, R U C K N E R. The title, The Tears of the White Man: Compassion as Contempt, published for 17 dollars and 95 cents by The Free Press, a division of MacMillan. It was published in 1986.

Now Bruckner, a French writer, writes out of a background of Liberalism and he exposes a kind of thinking that he once held. The gist of it is that our culture has long believed in the myth of the noble savage. As a result of this mythology it has been ready to embrace any and every cause in which the noble savage can be identified with somebody. The youth revolt saw youth as the new noble savage. Feminism has presented women as the new noble savage. But, basically, it is the people of the world who have been in various colonial empires and, as a result, they are idealized as noble people.

In rebelling against the old world, that is, the white nations, these Liberals tells that we are the end of history and that destiny now commands us to vanish. And, as Bruckner says, I quote, “At the end of our day it is too late to save our values and the only thing left for us to do is to collaborate in our own downfall. Every time the white man is kicked out, driven away or eliminated, humanity regains a little of its independence,” unquote. [00:26:13]

This is the thinking of these Liberals...[edit]

This is the thinking of these Liberals. They are hyper sensitive. Theirs is a religion, he says, of affliction and life is seen as a sickness. They have a false conscience. And, as Bruckner comments, and I quote, “An overblown conscience is an empty conscience,” unquote.

He speaks of the damage wrought by left leaning Christianity which refuses to spread the gospel. These people are marked by a kind of Relativism. Their premise is: To each his own truth. Moreover, they are guilty of a belief that anyone couple acquire a state of grace because of the suffering he has undergone. Hence, these people are prone to every kind of myth. Has someone suffered? Then they are the innocents, the people with grace, the saved people.

This kind of thinking has been quite prevalent in our culture for some time, going back to Rousseau and others, to Goethe among others who in his conversation in Eckerman in 1828 said, and I quote, “That the Europeans are ailing. Our styles of life are far from the healthy state of nature and our social relations like charity and benevolence. I often wish I were one of these so-called savages born in the islands of the South Seas so that at least once I could savor human existence in its purity without some artificial aftertaste,” unquote.

Goethe was not as bad as many others. So you can understand from that quotation how bad the whole of the Liberal elite have been in their hatred of everything in our culture.

The anthropologists have been guilty of it, men like Malinowski felt that their role was a mission of preservation, that primitive practices, no matter what they were had to be saved, had to be preserved. And the fact that the West was economically and technically more advanced, to them meant nothing. [00:29:16]

Claude Levi Strauss was another one such person who...[edit]

Claude Levi Strauss was another one such person who held that the huge and innocent portion of the human race was the non white peoples and he saw, and I quote, “The development of the West as an accursed aberration,” unquote.

Moreover, the white man has been the basic promoter of this kind of thing. Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland saw adulthood as a form of degeneracy. Well, this is the kind of thinking that has destroyed our times.

I would like to quote again something that I cited a little earlier and quote a little further from Bruckner’s The Tears of the White Man. And I quote, “Nobody acquires a state of grace simply because of the suffering he has undergone. It is not possible to confer upon him a stamp of innocence, dispensing him from moral reckoning that would argue that his interests are one and the same with morality and right,” unquote.

I think that is worth your particular attention because in this century a great many people have suffered and have suffered grievously. These have included the Poles, the Czechs, the Germans and a good many other peoples in Europe including the Hungarians and the Gypsies, the Russians, of course and the Ukrainians, the Armenians, the Jews, the Vietnamese, the Cambodians and many, many more. Their sufferings have been very real. They have been very grievous. But this does not give them a state of grace. It does not identify their cause inescapably with moral right, nor does it confer upon them any permanent claim upon anyone. [00:31:58]

This is important because we have tended in this century...[edit]

This is important because we have tended in this century to identify good and evil not with what God declares that they are, but with people and with what they have suffered or what they have done. And so we have an exaggerated idea of the innocence and virtue of some peoples and an exaggerated idea of the evils of other peoples.

Turning now to another subject, somewhat related. In the Ada Parker Newsletter, which comes out of South Africa, the front page story in issue number 99 is about bishop Tutu and the faith of the South African Jews. He is militantly and savagely hostile to the Jews. He declares they must suffer. He is determined that they shall suffer and he, at times, makes Hitler sound like a tame person.

There is a story about this in the Conservative Manifesto of this country in number 73 in January of this year where we read, “Bishop Tutu is an anti-Semite. The Israel News Bulletin for November 11-20, 1986 reports from Jerusalem. Knesset member Yosse Saried of the left wing Citizen’s Rights Movement has invited South African bishop Desmond Tutu to visit Israel despite disclosures that Tutu made anti Jewish remarks in 1984. In a speech delivered in South Africa two years ago but just revealed publicly this week, Tutu called Jews the biggest exploiters of Blacks in South Africa. Shortly after receiving the Nobel Peace Price Tutu was invited to address a closed meeting of the board of deputies of South African Jews and so on and so forth. And Tutu has said that the Jews are the biggest exploiters of the Blacks so they must suffer. There will be no sympathy for the Jews and the Blacks take over and much, much more.”

Well, you haven’t heard much about this, have you? Tutu is the darling of the Liberals. Therefore, such statements are not given publicity. Another factor, one of the first things the Sandinistas did when they took over Nicaragua was to drive out the small Jewish colony. You hadn't heard about that either, nor the fact that the Sandinistas are militantly anti Jewish. [00:35:28]

The term anti-Semite has become a kid of term that...[edit]

The term anti-Semite has become a kid of term that can only be used against Conservatives and then undeservedly. But the Liberals and {?} some years ago in his book Leftism documented the fact that the Left is the author of modern anti-Semitism. They have the freedom to forget about it if one of their heroes, bishop Tutu is an anti-Semite.

Well, on to still something else. A book that is quite interesting, hardly commendable in the spirit in which it is written, it is a rather arrogant book, but brilliant all the same. It is by John Carroll. The title, Puritan Paranoid Remissive: A Sociology of Modern Culture. This is published in London in 1977.

The book is a delightful one as far as its thesis is concerned in spite of the author’s wild statements at times. He simply does not understand the Puritans. But his thesis has some very real merit. He says that our culture, modern European and western culture the world over is very much under the influence of the Puritans. It is in revolt against them. The Puritans created western civilization with their work oriented way of life. For the Puritans, he says, the highest art was the art of living and it was to live in terms of God, to work in terms of a vocation, a calling.

Now he says we have seen since the decline of the Puritans the paranoid culture and now the remissive. What is the paranoid culture? The Puritans were marked by a strong sense of sin and responsibility. They felt that man was responsible to God, that what he did he had to give an accounting for. Therefore, in everything he did man had to be a responsible person. [00:38:33]

Once you take away that faith, responsibility to God...[edit]

Once you take away that faith, responsibility to God, then man begins to make excuses. Instead of saying he is responsible, he says the environment is responsible or his parents are to blame or his culture or Capitalism. Anything other than himself. Now he rightly terms that the paranoid perspective, the paranoid culture. And once western civilization left its Puritan background, it became paranoid.

Marxism, of course, is, in terms of his thinking, the classic example of a paranoid culture because for Marxism is the fault of someone else, of the Communists, of the... it is the fault of the Capitalists, of the Christians, of the exploiter class. And all you have to do to have heaven on earth is to eliminate all the exploiters. This is paranoia made into marching orders for the world.

Thus, the paranoid personality and the paranoid culture are particularly dangerous and have dominated our world for quite a while with deadly results. As he says, “For the paranoid, it is always someone else who is to blame. Misfortune, like all emotional states and influences, comes from without. Even sin is projected. Hence, the paranoid’s chronic fear of the unknown, his lack of curiosity and his one dimensional imagination. The paranoid accepts the existence of authority, but in a negative, punitive form. He lives the antithesis of personal responsibility, having no self. It is the external that is always guilty,” unquote.

Well, the paranoid, he says, has always been marked by a love for radical politics, Socialist or Anarchist and the paranoid invests the core of the under privileged, the deviant or the insane classes with extraordinary powers of latent virtue and is uniquely capable of redeeming society. And he adds the notion of the volk played the identical role for Nazi ideology. This, of course, ties his thesis in with Bruckner’s in The Tears of the White Man. [00:41:51]

But now he says the paranoid culture is giving way...[edit]

But now he says the paranoid culture is giving way to the remissive. In the remissive culture the sins of the fathers are now no longer important. Man is supposedly free to live out his hedonist philosophy. And the result is an aimless, unimpassioned meandering, he says, after pleasure. There... and I quote, “The remitted man is a depressive Dionysius, drained of ecstatic fury, seemingly more gutted than remitted. In his ways he is remiss. The remissive culture’s intellectual father was Freud. On the subject of child development Freud commented, ‘In mental life, nothing which has once been formed can perish,’” unquote.

So we are the victims of the past, but we grin and bear it. We surrender the battle and we meander after pleasure. It is an anti moralist culture and he says the remissive hedonist’s one conscience norm is to be anti Puritan, to doubt all inherited values. And, as a result he, in effect, surrenders any struggle in life. What is in it for me is his philosophy. He is not interested in knowledge and his only goal is pleasure, to gratify himself and to seek his will. Radical politics still maintains the paranoid personality, but increasingly most people drift into the remissive culture.

“Our education,” says Dr. Farel, “is remissive.”

And whether it be universities like Berkeley or the grade schools, what they are communicating to children is the remissive culture. And, as a result, we are committing suicide. [00:44:41]

There is a great deal more in this book which is, as...[edit]

There is a great deal more in this book which is, as I say, poorly written, arrogantly written, but brilliant.

Now this is an interesting comment.

“The decline of Puritan authority has had as one of its dimensions public intrusion on privacy, especially on that of men of affairs. The USA has gone so far that the senate and the media now consider it their national duty to inspect the private, financial and personal life of a candidate, Nelson Rockefeller, for the post of vice president. More would have been learned of relevancy to his suitability for the position from his public record in politics. The public now demands to know everything,” unquote.

Well, it is a very important work and because the paranoid culture has such a hatred of the past, one that the remissive inherit, the family is seen by some like Lang as pure evil. Religion is seen as evil because it hampers the freedom of man and so on and on.

Now on to something else, again, an older work, much older. This is Whitney R. Cross, The Burned Over District: A Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800-1850. This was first published, I believe, in 1950 and reprinted in 1965.

The thesis of this book is an analysis of western New York which was the source of a great many religious movements. Out of that area or into that area a number of movements found themselves. These included Mormonism, Finney, John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Colony and much, much more. It was an area that emphasized exotic manifestations of religion or of Christianity. It was an area that began the kind of thing that still prevailed when I was a student and, perhaps, still does in some circles. [00:47:54]

Quoting from a statement by David Rathbone in ...[edit]

Quoting from a statement by David Rathbone in 1812, “The Baptist generally in this western country are of the opinion that ministers should take no thought how or what they should speak. For it is not they that speak, but the Spirit which speaketh in them. And one of the ministers told me that I must let the Holy Ghost study my sermons for me,” unquote.

What this meant was that supposedly you never prepared before you preached. You went into the pulpit and let the Holy Spirit speak through you whatever came to your head. The result was very bad preaching and a lot of hyper emotionalism or a great deal of hypocrisy.

I can recall when I was in seminary a fellow student who told me that it was his duty to drive around to a series of meetings in different churches of that particular denomination. One of the supposedly great preachers who gave the same sermon over and over again and always pretended that it was spontaneous, that the sermon just popped into his head during the singing of the last hymn before he began his sermon.

Well, there was a great deal of that in those early days and it is still with us.

Now, I cite this because it is closely related to what has happened in the United States with some of the television ministries, with things like PTL and Bakker and Oral Roberts and his university and his appeal for funds. What these people did then was to go from one form of emotionalism to another so that it was known as a burnt over district, an area that would be emotionally exhausted from one appeal to the other. So it took more to arouse people and to make them respond. [00:50:34]

Someone has observed that Oral Roberts has in the past...[edit]

Someone has observed that Oral Roberts has in the past said, “You have got to give to enable us to keep this ministry going.”

This last time he had to say in order to arouse interest, “You have got to give or the Lord is going to take me home.”

Now maybe in the next one he is going to say, “You either give or the Lord is going to take you home or the whole country.”

Do you see what I mean? In the burnt over district they had to go from emotionalism to hyper emotionalism to hyper-hyper emotionalism. And with all of this to Antinomianism. The hyper emotional experience was identified with the working of the Spirit, a false equation. It was identified not with the practical day by day observance of God’s law and living in terms of it, but with what was known then as ultraism. Ultraism was going overboard on anything, pushing things to their extreme. Ultraism was the order of the day.

In fact, in our last Easy Chair Joseph McAuliffe called attention to the fact that one of these prominent TV evangelists used the closing verses of John’s gospel where he speaks of the man things written... said by our Lord that are not recorded to say that he was now uttering those things through the Spirit. [00:52:33]

Well, in the burnt over district men like Garrett Smith...[edit]

Well, in the burnt over district men like Garrett Smith argued that since they knew more about some things like the evils of alcohol than Jesus did, they would sin in following Jesus’ practice instead of the practice of Garrett Smith.

Well, the burnt over district was an area that was at total war with Calvinism, total war. It was at war with it because it limited the faith to the Word of God, to the law of God. They hated the Puritans above all else. And they wanted freedom in the Spirit, but they identified the Spirit with their emotionalism. And the result was disaster.

One attorney who knows many of the major TV evangelists told me earlier this year before these problems developed, that these people were now identifying in their thinking debt with the true Spirit. In other words, they were not getting their charge, he said, from the Holy Spirit. They were getting their charge from the fact that they were head over heels in debt. They could not get out and preach and speak and appeal with any passion or power without debt, which borders, to me, on the demonic.

Now to something in a totally different vein. And this I have because it is an advertisement placed in the Crowley, Los Angeles paper... Crowley, Louisiana paper by the Crowley Laundry and John Sudwisher one of our Chalcedon supporters. [00:54:49]

The title of it, and I will read it in its full is...[edit]

The title of it, and I will read it in its full is, “Pity the Middle Class.”

“The greatest fear in a man’s life is to be poor. It is about the worst thing that could happen. But gradually that is changing. In fact, nowadays you can get subsidized housing, health and dental care, university scholarships and various other welfare benefits provided you are poor enough. All you need to enjoy many of the advantages of life is proof that you are disadvantaged. Nobody can complain about that. It is human and kind. However, in curing poverty society has created another problem group and that is the middle class. Nobody wants to be middle class anymore because the middle class has an awkward amount of money, too much to be eligible to live as well as the poor, too little to live as well as the rich. The middle class wage earner is caught in between. Instead of living downtown like the rich and the poor, the poor sap has to buy a crummy lot 35 miles from town because that is all he can afford. And then he spends the rest of his life trying to pay his bills, educate the kids, meet the mortgage, because nobody will help him out. If poverty gets any more attractive, the following conversation may soon be common place at the office.

“‘Mr. Goody, I wonder if I could speak to you a minute.’

“‘What is it, Smedley? I am busy.’

“‘It is about my salary, Mr. Goody. I wonder if you could give me a decrease.’

“‘You had a decrease less than a year ago, Smedley.’

“‘I know, sir. I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important, but I sure could use less money.’

“‘What size decrease did you have in mind?’

“‘I was hoping for a 25 dollar cut in salary.’ [00:56:50]

“‘Twenty-five dollars. That is a big slide, Smedley. What have you done to merit it?’

“‘I have worked for the company 23 years, Mr. Goody, and I have never let you down. My work has always been up to standard.’

“‘I realize that, Smedley, but 25 dollars. Wouldn’t you be satisfied with a 15 dollar cut? We have a budget right now. We are already below last year’s salary figures.’

“‘Mr. Goody, a 15 dollar cut back is better than none, but my wife and I had our heart set on a 25 dollar decrease.’

“‘How about 20 dollars?’

“‘If I made 25 dollars less, Mr. Goody, we would be eligible for an apartment in the city’s new development, the one downtown with a pool, sauna and tennis court. Besides, my son would qualify for a government scholarship and we could get his teeth fixed.’

“‘You drive a hard bargain, Smedley. Ok, you get a 25 dollar decrease on this condition. If your work slips, you will take a 10 dollar raise no questions asked.’

“‘Bless you, Mr. Goody.’

“‘And, Smedley, will you invite me over of tennis and a swim some night when you get into your new place?’

“‘Certainly, sir. I believe the poor should share with the less fortunate.’”

I thought you would enjoy that as much as I did.

Well, one last item. This is from Reason from the April 1987 issue, the brick baths page. And I quote, “The Farmers Plight.” [00:58:44]

“Subsidies of 2...[edit]

“Subsidies of 2.2 million of the largest support payment to any farm in Texas last year went to a 70 million dollar partnership owned 50-50 by International Paper Company of New York and Crown Prince Hans Adams of Lichtenstein. The partnership controls 76,500 acres of Texas farmland, more land than all of Lichtenstein. Don Matthews who manages farm and ranch land for the prince’s company said he took part in the federal subsidy program because he had to.

“‘In 1985 we did not participate, because we could operate outside the government program,’ he said, ‘but last year we were forced in. By forced, I mean the government started selling rice at half price. Either you join in the program or go broke.’”

Well, with that bit of federal wisdom, I will have to close this session of the Easy Chair. Thank you for listening and God bless you all.