Resentment and Hostility - EC367

From Pocket College
Jump to: navigation, search

The media player is loading...

Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Resentment and Hostility
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 65
Length: 0:57:05
TapeCode: ec367
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 367, August the second, 1996.

This evening Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will be discussing, first of all, the subject of resentment, hostility, the suppressed feelings of hatred, revenge, envy and the like.

An important study was made early in this century by the German philosopher Max Scheler, S C H E L E R, 1874 to 1928 are his dates. A thoroughly remarkable man. He was born in Munich of a German Jewish family, was, on the whole, very close to Christianity and was within the Christian community off and on, Catholic and Protestant. But this work was the most perceptive one that is his classic. It was last printed in English in 1961 to my knowledge. Perhaps there is a more recent printing. But Max Scheler wrote Ressentiment, R E S S E N T I M E N T, very similar to our English word resentment. The work is a classic precisely because he very, very ably put his finger on a major current in the modern world.

To understand what he meant by the term, let us see how he defines it and I quote. “Ressentiment denotes an attitude which arises from a cumulative repression of feelings of hatred, revenge, envy and the like. When such feelings can be acted out, no ressentiment results. But when a person is unable to release these feelings against the persons or groups evoking them, thus developing a sense of impotence, and when these feelings are continuously re-experienced over time, then ressentiment arises. Ressentiment leads to a tendency to degrade, to reduce genuine values as well as their hearers or bearers, rather. As distinct from rebellion, ressentiment does not lead to an affirmation of counter values, since ressentiment imbued persons secretly crave the values they publicly denounce,” unquote. [00:03:35]

The word ressentiment, although Scheler was a German...[edit]

The word ressentiment, although Scheler was a German writing in German.

Now the word as he defines it is a bit narrower than we are going to ... more narrow than we are going to consider. We will take it from the English term resentment, hostility, suppressed feelings of anger and rage against other people and society. Scheler is quite apt in tracing it to the French Revolution and the universal love of all mankind that was professed and to the idea of equality.

If you educate people as our schools are doing and as schools everywhere are doing to the belief that everyone is equal, then if you find that you are not equal to others, you are going to be a very resentful person. Somehow you are being cheated of those things which are your right to have. And the result is explosive.

It is amazing how people with little or no talent and who will not study nor learn nor cultivate any ability that they have are full of hostility because what is the use? They are going to be cheated by the establishment or by the people who control things.

Now one of the worst notions that has ever plagued mankind is the idea of equality. People are not equal. They are different. And when the Bible uses equality, it uses it in a different sense than to apply only to the fact that God’s grace is the same to all, that God saves all of us by grace equally, that we contribute nothing to it. So there the idea of equality eliminates merit on our part. We are equally objects of God’s grace. [00:06:18]

But the idea current in western culture of equality...[edit]

But the idea current in western culture of equality has overwhelmed the other notions of the French Revolution and has become the governing factor the world over in one culture after another. But we are created differently, not equally. There is an equality between two quarts of milk and another two quarts of milk, but not between two people on one side and two people on the other. Some of us are very talented in one or two things. Others, like Douglas here, are so multi talented there are not many things he can’t tackle. We are different. That is the work of God. But a culture that stresses equality is headed for explosions, because you cannot teach people that they are equal without them demanding that everything be equalized. And that is impossible.

Well, with that introduction, Douglas, do you want to continue?

[Murray] Well, the political opportunism is one thing that jumps into my mind as being the fertile ground for the exploitation of class resentment. And it is a ... you know, it is an old strategy of divide and conquer. It has been used for centuries and as a ... as a political tool and a weapon to divide people. Today we have division. We have resentment that has been exploited by virtually every group in society has been pitted against each other. We have inter generational resentment. The politicians continue to exploit it by telling the younger generation that they are going to have to pay 80 percent of everything they make to support the people on social security. Yet the politicians are the ones that create the social security monster in the first place. And they have got everybody addicted to it and so they have this... they have... they have built up this resentment. We have got the exploitation of racial resentment, economic resentment, inter generational resentment. You name it. It has been exploited. And we have a... although the politicians say everybody is equal, yet they... they strive to exploit the differences rather than... than allow people to acclimatize themselves to the differences and adjust to them and get on with their lives. [00:09:36]

It... it creates vendettas. We now are seeing the rise in the Islamic world of a vendetta against Christianity and it is beginning to play itself out in ... in various forms. And it is going to be a growing problem. Many of the Islamics themselves don’t understand why Christians have abandoned their faith and ... but they are going to exploit the weakness and even among the Christian ... Christian world there is resentment among religions and there is resentment everywhere. It permeates our culture. It permeates the entire... the entire world. And it is standing in the way of the advancement of mankind.

[Sandlin] Well, can begin by saying that inferior individuals resent and wish to punish superior individuals. Poor individuals resent and wish to punish rich individuals. Non Christian individuals resent and wish to punish Christian individuals. And we could go on down the line. If they can get the power of civil government in their hands to do that, they will do it. And that is specifically what has happened in this country especially over the last, oh, 50 or 100 years. If any of these groups that feel somehow disenfranchised because they don’t feel equal if they can get political power in their hands, they will use that power to equalize things.

[Murray] Do you think that... do you think that this resentment arises from a feeling of superiority or inferiority?

[Sandlin] I think it is a feel of superior... ah, inferiority that they feel down deep in their bosom, but as Rush pointed out, they have been told that they are entitled to certain things or to a certain acceptance in society as the case may be. And, therefore, they feel they should have it by right. That really is a thoroughly corrupt word as it is used in that concept, rights. It is not really a biblical word as used in the modern sense. Probably derived from the French Revolution and not long after that, at least in that... at least in the modern sense. [00:12:04]

So they ... these individuals feel that they have certain rights that they are entitled to and usually they want to get centralized civil government in their hands to guarantee those rights and punish people that tend to be wealthier or intellectually superior or owning more land or have the political franchise or that sort of thing. This has happened, of course, almost as long as ... as long as sin has been in the world, but especially as it intensified in the last couple of hundred years on the secular basis deriving from the French Revolution.

We have set the seeds of it in the United States today and the seeds are blossoming more and more. It is a very sad, sad phenomenon.

[M. Rushdoony] I think resentment can work the... the other way, too. Resentment can... can be from the supposedly superior to the inferior. A good example of that is intellectuals, artists. They like being different. They like the fact that most people don't understand what in the world this painting conveys. And they like talking sometimes scholars in scholarly terms or using a terminology that leaves most people in the dust. Professionals, such as educators, create their own lingo so most people can’t understand what it is they are actually saying when they write articles for other educators. Every discipline has its own lingo and it becomes almost a legalese, only it is not just in the legal sphere. It is many different spheres.

[Sandlin] Well, I think that is more derision than resentment, wouldn’t you think?

[Murray] Yeah, but does this create resentment because of the failure to communicate or because people feel that they are being talked down to or...

[M. Rushdoony] I think there is a resentment for the common man amongst some people. We all ... we all... we have a ... the first sin, remember, was to ... to play God. You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And men like to play God and men with intelligence sometimes like to think that they are God and that the common man shouldn’t be able to understand them or decipher them. They should be a cut apart. And...

[Murray] All.... all of the professions are guilty of this.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] The medical profession, the legal profession, judges, all of these people that, you know, have gotten good educations seem to revel in the ability to use terminology that the common man doesn't understand.

[M. Rushdoony] I think the problem on both sides is that they refuse to recognize each other’s gifts and callings. I mean, the people that are called common ought to recognize that, well, I know a ma that repairs cars and knows a great deal more than I do. I know virtually nothing about automobiles. I may know more about theology or philosophy. We ought to recognize those differences. But... and on the other hand, people that are very gifted in a particular area whether it is in repairing cars or in teaching philosophy, ought not to deride those that are ... that don’t have that gift. I think there has to be an understanding of differences of gifts there. Or that you are using the illustration of the New Testament about their different, you know... [00:15:22]

[Sandlin] Yeah, as in the Church...[edit]

[Sandlin] Yeah, as in the Church.

[M. Rushdoony] ...one body the Church and it has many different parts.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And it doesn't work always that well in a church.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And in the... the secular sphere that doesn't even pretend to be godly, there is even more of a hard time recognizing that the need for others and appreciating that the skills and the contributions of others.

[Murray] I think that the greatest thing is to appreciate people who strive to do a job well.

[Sandlin] Amen.

[Murray] Regardless of what that job is.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Murray] You know, how many times have you heard people cry out in desperation, “If I could only find a good plumber.” You know, and... and in some areas of plumbing it is not the most glamorous job, but it is a very vital....

[M. Rushdoony] Well, the Puritan work ethic really came from the concept, as I understand it of the priesthood of all believers...

[Murray] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ... that all me could serve God in their given calling. And therefore a common laborer or a farmer who was doing what he was doing in a moral way to the glory of God was a worker for God just as was a member of the clergy. And this created a value to work...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] ...and you... there was a dignity in your work and a dignity in your calling that didn’t necessitate a resentment or a jealousy of others.

[Murray] This... this idea, though, is not something that is taught in the public school system. I think it is probably only taught in Christian schools. Public schools don’t teach that. You know, it is get the big education. Get the big bucks and leave everybody else in the dust.

[Sandlin] That is right. Well, Puritan society, we have to remember, Mark is right, but Puritan society was not an egalitarian society, by far. So we need to... we need to remember that. There are all sorts of difference and different classes and social spheres, but they can all work together if there is a godly understanding, a sensible understanding of ... of differences, of inherent God given differences. There doesn't have to be fighting and arguing and bickering over the matter. Unfortunately, intellectuals can tend to feel inherently superior. Politicians, especially, can feel superior, especially when they have power.

[M. Rushdoony] I noticed appreciating the differences of others and recognizing that sometimes difference are necessary. I have noticed a lot of the marriage and interpersonal type counseling that are always very popular on talk shows and ... and, you know, talk ... and, you know, books and so forth and seminars. A lot of them are focusing now on the ... the inherent differences between men and women.

[Sandlin] Brilliant deduction, Watson, right? Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, for a lot of time there was this ... this idea that, you know, there wasn’t the differences. Now they recognizing that there really are differences. And... and they have... they use different analogies and one is that, you know, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And they use different analogies, but they... they have finally come around to the point where women are different and men have to realize that women thinking differently if they are every going to understand women. [00:18:37]

[Sandlin] Yes, yes...[edit]

[Sandlin] Yes, yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ... and women have different needs and they perceive their needs differently than a man perceives.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And they finally would recognize that and it is very interesting. It is almost biblical without using biblical terms. What they don’t come around says is God... they are different because God made them different.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And God made them for a particular purpose and they both contribute to the relationship.

[Sandlin] Mark, I have got to add. This was about six months or a year ago one of the networks says, “Friday we are going to talk about new studies indicate that women are different from men.”

I said, “It took them that long to figure that out.” That is ... that is precisely.... I mean people are at war with God’s order, the created order. And therefore they tend to gloss over those differences. And they tend to.... especially, of course, feminists in modern culture and others.

[Murray] Well, the... the... the ... the whole reason that the media makes those kinds of pronouncements so that they can appear to be the first one on the scene.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] ... to find this out. They want to be the oracle of information. They want to be the Bible.

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is exactly right.

[Murray] The media... the media wants to be the Bible.

[Sandlin] Well, I think we... when Rush was talking about resentment, I think that we can eliminate a lot of that resentment if we do recognize those differences.

Mark brought up the case of sex, called gender today. I think if... if people recognize that men are not inherently superior to women. They are different from women. They have different roles. In some ways women are far superior to men in their particular calling. And the same is true of men in their particular calling. But I think what is true in the relationship between men and women is also true in all of these other things that we are talking about.

[Rushdoony] If I may go back to Scheler’s book, he makes an interesting observation and I quote.

“Universal love of mankind becomes progressively more powerful until the French Revolution when one head after another was struck off in the name of mankind,” unquote.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] That is a very apt observation. If you have a false value, you are going to be a hypocrite. And if you believe that you love everybody and that is a mark of you political party or your group or your intellectual coequals, then you are going to show a hostility for other reasons.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...towards those you resent.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...because you are not going to eliminate your hostility and resentment. You are going to be veiled about it and particularly ugly.

[Murray] Well, our... our esteemed president had the FBI arrest a group of young girls who made an unkind remark...

[Sandlin] Yes. I heard about that.

[Murray] ... at one of his recent speeches and so much for freedom of speech and all the rest of it. [00:21:53]

[Sandlin] Well, I like the adage, you know, liberals...[edit]

[Sandlin] Well, I like the adage, you know, liberals love humanity, but hate humans. And that is the whole point. It is very abstract. I think, wasn’t it Edmund Morgan that wrote the book Inventing the People? Virtually every totalitarian regime over he last 250 years has always claimed to speak in the name of the people and to be very universal and to love humanity. But that really is a guise. What they really love is the particular kind of humanity that they believe in. And Rousseau was that way. I was just reading...

[Voice] Yes.

[Sandlin] I can’t remember when it was his... one of the works. I can’t recall off the top of my head in which he is essentially saying that. We should speak in the name of the people to get across our particular little provincial agenda. That is what he was really saying.

[Murray] Well, we could go a long way towards solving mankind’s problems if we could get two things done. Get the 10 Commandments on the wall of every school and home in the world and teach people to evaluate human behavior from the perspective of the seven deadly sins. Evaluate everything that... that the people do.

[Sandlin] Douglas, you are arguing for an objective moral standard, you see, and that is not ... that is not acceptable in today’s society.

[Murray] Well it is an answer.

[Sandlin] What is it Van Til used to say that we don’t have a right to say that only I have a right to say what I something like that, you know. Everything is relative except for my own view. That is the argument that so many people have.

[Murray] You know, you know, people are perplexed. You know, what do we do about this jam that we are in? I mean, let’s face it. The... you know, this world is in ... is in a somewhat ... a downward spiral morally, you know. All of the political leaders keep wringing their hands about the rending of the moral fabric of the country. But there is none of them seem to have an answer for it. They... they avoid the only answer that is going to work.

[Sandlin] The only hope is the gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to the law Word of God I all spheres of life. And, of course, they will always have political solutions and we as Christian Reconstructionists are... are often misrepresented. We don’t believe in ultimate political solutions. We believe in biblical solutions, Christian solutions that have implications for politics. But that is the only hope for mankind. And the... the Bible is very clear on that. Trust in Christ alone by faith for salvation and self government as Rush has said and in family government, church government and state government. But who in Congress or anywhere else wants to hear that message, you know? [00:24:31]

[Murray] Well they don’t want to, you know, give up...[edit]

[Murray] Well they don’t want to, you know, give up the prerogative of being... playing God and being the ultimate problem solvers...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...for the people.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] At... at some point I hope to see in my life probably a... a vain hope, but I would just like to see some glimmer of realization on the part of the people in this country, at least, that government is not the answer, that it is the problem, that there is no solution that government has ever come up with that has ever solved any problem. You always get more of the problem with every solution they come up with.

[Sandlin] I think we may be seeing a little glimmer, not as much as we would like, but, I mean, most honest people recognize the demise of the Great Society and the New Deal and all of that economic evil and economic blasphemy. I am hoping people realize the need for decentralization. I think there is a little of that on the horizon. But it is still ingrained in people. I mean, especially my generation and the younger. And even when the generation of the... a little bit older. I mean, it is evil and it is going to take a while to turn it around probably.

[Rushdoony] Well, there is an expression that Max Scheler used to describe this feeling and it was this: the stifling feeling of impotence.

Now that is a very interesting phrase. Someone has observed that if you go back to the 30s to the Great Depression the thing that is notably absent is anxiety. If ever a people had cause to be anxious that was the time. They didn’t have jobs. Their power was often turned off. The great dust bowl continued year after year. Those were difficult times. And yet America never laughed more. And there was no feeling of impotence. They were going to make it somehow. They had that feeling, but now everybody feels impotent and they are well off, they are driving good cars. They have more than their parents ever dreamed of having, but somehow life is cheating them. What tare they dreaming about? What do they imagine that they can have or should have that makes them feel so impotent? It is an interesting aspect of our time. [00:27:25]

[Murray] Well, the...[edit]

[Murray] Well, the... the... you know, one of the indicators is that we have a growing suicide rate among teenagers. You know, kids are pretty perceptive.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] For... for one reason or another they seem to have no hope.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] I think that this impotence grows out of having no hope and people who have no hope have no faith.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] I mean it is a logical progression...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Murray] ...from no faith to no hope to impotence to resentment.

[Sandlin] Well, if you get rid of God there is only chance. And if there is ... if you live by chance, then there is ultimately no hope. And I think that is one reason there is a difference, Rush, that you were talking about. At least there was a residue, as you know, in the 30s of a belief in God and predestination. Maybe not a theological sophisticated sense, but a residue of it. But that is largely gone today. We just... we live in a relativistic culture so everything springs from the moon of chance. So there is no hope. Man has to make his own.

[Murray] Well, too many people gave up faith. They traded faith for the New Deal and the ...

[Sandlin] But what became their new faith.

[Murray] ... the promise of...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] ... of this Socialism.

[Sandlin] Yeah. And now that that has failed they have nothing else to bank on.

[Rushdoony] Well, thus feeling of impotence is so much a part of our time that we have lost the sense of reality.

The movie heroes, the television heroes are not normal people meeting the problems of life realistically and with patience, but they are impossible people. They go out and wipe out an army. They solve all problems miraculously. We have lost touch with reality and that is a kind of impotence.

[Sandlin] They believe in instant solutions.

[Rushdoony] Instant solutions. Yes.

This was back in the 60s when I was traveling that I encountered something that since then I have encountered more than a few times and heard about a great many times. I was speaking in this one place and this pastor, a rather successful man was telling me about a very close friend who had suddenly flared up at him for all and for no reason at all accept he blurted out something about you think you are good because you have got a big successful work going on here. In other words, envy. [00:30:40]

And I cannot begin to recall all the times I have heard...[edit]

And I cannot begin to recall all the times I have heard about that, not only among the clergy, but among people generally. Some friend with no problem between them, for no reason flares out angrily, is very hostile and what comes out in one statement or another: How dare you be more successful than I am? That is the gist of it. And there is a ... a shocking amount of that going on in our time, so much so that on one occasion I was in one city and this businessman, very successful who was a devout man things he had done for the community and for Christian causes were so numerous that you realized this man was putting most of his income into being a Christian, helping others.

I would say, having visited in his home, that he obviously lived more modestly than any of us here around this table. He was very dedicated in his faith. And apart from making sure that his children and grandchildren would be reasonably well taken care of and his wife, if he were to leave her a widow, this was his life. And yet what bewildered him was the resentment of others. They resented him because he was so successful. They resented him because he was such a good Christian. They resented him for everything. And he said in bewilderment, “I can’t seem to do anything right as far as these people are concerned.” [00:33:02]

Now this is all too true in our time...[edit]

Now this is all too true in our time.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And I can vouch for the fact that I have experienced a few episodes of that sort. And some people assume that because we have a world wide organization and influence, somehow we have a major center here.

Well, that doesn't surprise me, because I have seen groups when they start up spend all their money for a long, long time in doing nothing but building up a headquarters, a large suite of offices, secretaries everything. All we have are two girls part time, half a day each, a tiny cramped office and yet when some of these people who built up things and are not accomplishing much are told that, they only get angrier. They are only resentful. And this is so much a part of our culture today, resentment that others are doing better in some sense or are having more of an impact or are enjoying their work in life more than they are.

[Murray] Well, you...

[Rushdoony] That in itself is an insult to them.

[Murray] It starts very early. You know, you have got sibling rivalries in families, if it is not guarded against. You have got conflicts in the classroom where some of the kids are a little quicker to understand than others. And the ones that are not as quick will pick on the ones who are quick and so kids get, you know, it is a... it is almost a pecking order very, very early if there is no one around to... to alleviate that.

[Sandlin] Don’t think all of us ultimately derives from hatred for God’s predestinating hand, that God has a right to make people different. He has a right to deal with people as he will.

Rush, you were talking about those that have resented you and Chalcedon. Of course, people that hate predestination, that hate that God has his own right, if I can use that word, to choose... what does he say in Scripture? He is the potter and we are the clay. Shall the thing formed say to the thing that formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

Well, they think that God should be an Egalitarian, don’t they? [00:36:08]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Well, look at the... you know, the... the all men are created equal and everybody assumes that that means that they should all have the same amount of money.

[Sandlin] No. That is not what Jefferson meant.

[Murray] The same amount of social status.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] You know, rather than understanding the .... all men, you know, in this country have the same responsibility to, you know, maintain a watchful eye over civil government, they immediately assume that it was, you know, everybody should have their hand in the public so-called...

[Sandlin] So-called economic justice.

[Murray] Yeah, economic justice.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] ... et cetera, social justice.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] And all the other things that have turned out to be an absolute tyranny.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well, I was an adult before I ever heard of sibling rivalry and about the terrible things done by parents preferring one child over another. It never occurred to us that there might be a preference on the part of our folks. We didn’t think that way or question anything they did.

[Sandlin] Some of these problems you avoided because you weren’t so smart.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And I can recall when I was of age I occasionally heard from someone or other of cases where a child or a young person in their teens was picking at this new language. And when they would whine to their parents, “You prefer him or her over me,” the answer was: And why not? You are such a stinker. Who wouldn’t?

[Murray] Yeah.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] So they were put in their place. But since the war it has become progressively a deep psychological problem. And you are entitled to do feel resentful because you are not preferred over your brother or sister no matter what you did.

[Murray] Yeah, but don’t you think the psychological terms have simply become control mechanisms to...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... that these credentialed frauds.

[Sandlin] Yes. Oh, of course.

[Murray] ... use to , you know, to maintain power over people.

[Sandlin] Clearly. That reminds me of what you said, though, Rush. You wrote one time, it must have been years ago on the heresy of unconditional love...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...that parents, you know, ought to love all alike and it doesn't matter what the child does or anybody does. And, of course, that is a part of the... the modern so-called Christian psyche as well as the psychological jargon. But I was sure certainly right. I think they just sort of invent jargon to suit their purposes to control people. Of course, some of these Christian call in programs. Some of you may be aware of the psychologists and it is amazing all these little buzz words they use and these women and men feel so important now that they have their diagnosed with this psychological problem, you know. [00:39:08]

[Murray] Yes. Well that is some of the cocktail talk.

[Sandlin] Yeah, exactly, yes.

[Rushdoony] Scheler at one point used an excellent phrase to describe this mentality. He called it a self poisoning of the mind, a self poisoning of the mind.

And I think that self poisoning marks our time. I know any number of people who would like to have their pastor take time to talk with them or who would like to have me when I go in that area to talk to them about their problem. And I know it is useless, because it is a self poisoning of the mind that is their problem. They nurse certain feelings of resentment. They build it up until it is consuming their being. All they can think of, day and night, are these feelings they are nursing and they are poisoning themselves in the process. Not only are they doing it, but they apparently enjoy doing it. There is a perversity in their attitude...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...so that the self poisoning becomes a virtue. Their attitude is: I do well to be angry, as though there were a virtue in their rage.

[Sandlin] And they become deeply cynical, too, and very vindictive. I have met people like that. One think... it thinks immediately of Cain in the Bible...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...perhaps the first example of this.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And it is self destructive behavior, because if it is not caught and repented of, then it does tend to destroy the individual. It just destroys his effectiveness and all that he does.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] So it is... it is when you center on yourself that the world usually doest’ comply.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And you become upset and... and we are in a very materialistic age and so a lot of envy centers around what I don’t have and what... or what somebody else has and, of course, Socialism is ... is Marxism in the lesser forms of Socialism that are prevalent in our culture today encourage this and if somebody is, you know, trying to climb this materialistic ladder, suddenly, you know, they... they realize that I can’t keep up. I am... missed a rung or I... I am lacking a skill, I am not going to make it any farther. This resentment, the... you know, builds up. And so I think a lot of resentment today does center, because we are in a very socialistic age, more than we really recognize. And I think that I... I... I keep remembering things the I have heard of from several different people who lived through the Depression. Something to the effect that we weren’t self conscious about being poor, because everybody was in the same boat. You know, materialism kind of was put on hold of a while because... and you didn’t need to feel bad about your state or feel self conscious because everybody else was in the same state. [00:42:38]

[Murray] Oh, yeah, the Consumerism...[edit]

[Murray] Oh, yeah, the Consumerism... our form of this is Consumerism. You know people feel compelled to go buy stuff they don’t need. You know, you can drive down the street.

[Rushdoony] that is right.

[Murray] ...and you see all these garage sales and yard sales and they are just full of junk. I mean, absolute junk that people shouldn’t have wasted their money on the first place.

[M. Rushdoony] I... I... I have called these little catalogs that come in the mail that with knickknack stuff.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yeah.

[Murray] Oh.

[M. Rushdoony] I call it... I call it buying yard sale stuff at retail.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And it... it is... it amazes me how some people can enjoy buying junk which you can... I can just visualize it on a table of dirty yard sale stuff and it is... you know, it is... it is worthless, useless junk, but people buy this stuff.

[Murray] My uncle who is dead now, we... we went through in Saucelito years and years ago they had a great big boat there that they turned into a store and they had all this import stuff. It wasn’t too long, you know, after World War II. And it was all this stuff like you are talking about, you know, little baskets and, you know, just knickknack stuff and I took him to lunch and after we went through this boat he is... he didn’t... never said a thing the whole time as we were walking off the boat. He says, “I never saw so many things I didn’t need.”

[Sandlin] That’s right. Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Well, this feeling of resentment is building up in our time. Scheler made clear that the only antidote to it historically has been Christianity, because the Christian emphasis is in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content. And that is a hard lesson for many people to learn.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And it takes really some generations of Christian faith to overcome the kid of perpetual discontent that marks the world, because people outside of Christ are discontented. And they, in a sense, relish their discontent. They see it, in some instances, as a mark of a divine discontent someone called it and the fuel for progress. But it isn’t. It isn’t anything that leads people to advance themselves or develop things or contribute to civilization. [00:45:24]

[Sandlin] That is right...[edit]

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Burt, rather, it is a perpetual resentment because you.... you don’t have what others have. I think that is very much with us.

[Sandlin] Would it be fair to say that Socialism is essentially a resentment culture?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] I mean, that is its fuel.

[Rushdoony] Very well put.

[Sandlin] It is fueled on resentment, is it not?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] I mean, that is how politicians are able to, you know, equalize everything which is to say steal from some. They are voted into power by people who are governed by resentment, I would think, at least envy.

[Rushdoony] That is true of the left and right today in most countries. The left makes for resentment of those who are successful its selling card. Whereas the right tends to make resentment of those who are not successful a ground for doing something to these people, hostility to them. Whereas Christianity teaches contentment plus reaching out to everyone, rich or pure alike...

[Sandlin] Yes, that is right.

[Rushdoony] ...with the faith.

[Sandlin] Amen.

[Rushdoony] ... of the gospel.

[Sandlin] And biblical law is clear on that and... and protecting those that are less fortunate, not by redistribution of civil government, but by godly charity and the family and the church and so forth.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And biblical law makes it mandatory that we be not partial to the rich because they are rich or hostile to the poor because they are poor.

[Sandlin] Precisely.

[Rushdoony] Resentment can work both ways.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... as Mark observed earlier.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] Andrew, let me put you on the spot. For somebody who wakes up tomorrow morning feeling resentful or vindictive or feels they have got an axe to grind, what practical steps... if they don’t want to go through another day of that burden, what practical steps can they start with to unburden themselves?

[Sandlin] They have got to recognize that it is sin, first of all and not try to psychologize it, you know, and explain why it is. We can always find good reasons, you know, to rationalize why we are the way we are. And, second of all, I think, is to recognize the predestinating hand of God, that God puts us in particular situations that he is in control.

I have got to recommend Rush’s writing, By What Standard the little appendix. I think the appendix itself is called “By What Standard,” is it no, Rush, dealing with Job. He points out there that the final lesson that Job had to learn is that man must live in terms of God. God does not live and exist in terms of man. That is the great lesson of the entire universe. I think if people understood that, a great deal of resentment would be gone. But we are here for God’s purposes. God does not exist for our purposes. And those difficult things that we endure and that we go through, God has a reason for them. I think if people recognize that, then that is going to go a great deal toward getting rid of a lot of the resentment. God can do what he wants to with so and so over here. That is not our business. We are supposed... we are called ... we are called, Ecclesiastes 12 says to faith and obedience. Fear God and keep his commandments. This is the whole duty of man. [00:49:00]

Now, of course, that is easier said than done, if you...[edit]

Now, of course, that is easier said than done, if you ask me, but I think that is what we have to recognize and that will solve the problem, I believe, at least go towards solving the problem, contribute toward it.

[Rushdoony] One of the things Scheler says in his book is that ideas do you have consequences, that if you begin with a mechanistic or a biological explanation of things, of life, for example, you are going to reduce all life to that. As he says, biological theory reduces them all, every aspect of life, to the criterion of utility. In other words, survival of the fittest, vestigial organs, getting rid of things that are not useful and so on. And so he goes on to say, “Thus, the practice of life is closely connected with theory. The theory seems to justify the practice, but in regality it is determined by the same shift in values. This view of life, a materialistic and biological, has more or less conquered the civilized world and has come to be dominant chiefly in England.”

Well, he wrote this when England was at the height of its power and he saw this type of reduction of life to biology...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...as fatal to a society, because the practice of life is closely connected with the theory.

If our practice of life is a Christian one, then, it follows that Christian results will be forthcoming. But if they are biological and Darwinian, the results will be deadly. And, of course, this is what we are seeing. In this sense, Max Scheler was prophetic in his study of ressentiment. [00:51:23]

[Sandlin] There is not much to add to that...[edit]

[Sandlin] There is not much to add to that. That is precisely correct.

[Rushdoony] This means, then, to turn to a more positive note, or first notably, there will be no recovery unless we sweep the intellectual grounds clear of all the false ideas about life and the world. And, positively, as we have more and more home schooling and Christian schooling and Christian Reconstruction, we are going to restore the proper perspective. We will eliminate resentment. We will create a culture in which men seek the approval of God by serving him rather than by trying to knife one another because they are not better than the rest of the pack.

The things that the false view of equality produce include a demand for leveling and, at the same time, a great deal of snobbishness, people withdrawn into their own circles. We are better than they. And as a superior ones, they will have all kinds of balls and parties to raise funds for this or that ostensibly good cause. They are not of the pack.

At the same time, it leads to a world where everybody is dressing alike, but as soon as they do, those at the top dress differently, because they don’t want to be a part of the great equal mob, so that there is a tremendous self hatred that is created by resentment and by equality and the two feelings go hand in hand. Equality creates resentment towards others who are better than one is and equality leads to a destructive attitude towards all those who are better than we are. [00:54:01]

[Sandlin] We address that in our book that we discussed...[edit]

[Sandlin] We address that in our book that we discussed in the Easy Chair. It think it was, what, about a year, year and a half ago. What was the book about the intellectuals and the masses, I think was the title?

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes, something like that.

[Sandlin] Yes. That book was a very insightful book to demonstrate...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ... one of the features that you just mentioned, Rush, how intellectuals have wanted to get rid of the common people.

[Murray] Well, government is trying to mandate equality which is absurd, because all you have to do is look around and it is... it is a myth. It doesn't exist.

[Sandlin] That is right. But it {?} and, of course, the chief goal of politicians is to stay in office so they will awful offer... offer all sorts of things to... to redistribute wealth in order to get in office.

[Murray] How... how long can the people be fooled?

[Rushdoony] A long, long time.

[Sandlin] Yes. We have seen that for years.

[Rushdoony] If they don’t become Christian, they are going to go on being fooled forever.

[Sandlin] That is exactly right.

[Murray] Well....

[Rushdoony] Some...

[Murray] ...people live in an animal level that submit to the pack mentality. You know, whether it is a pecking order among wolves or chickens or what ever they live on an animal level.

[Sandlin] The media is especially guilty of this very thing of producing resentment. I could give examples and I will not, but again and again this whole idea of fueling resentment is ... is demonstrated on television and movies. It is very prominent in our culture.

[Rushdoony] Perhaps no culture has seen these problems more clearly for a longer time going back to the days before Christ than China. But China has never had an answer. Again and again thinkers in China have analyzed the problem and yet because they have a thorough going Relativism, they can make no change.

Well, our time is about up. Is there a final statement any of you would like to make?

[Sandlin] The only solution is the Christian solution.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] That is for certain.

[Rushdoony] And this crisis of civilization, created by resentment and hostility, hatred, revenge, envy and the like, will not go away until people are Christianized.

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