The Influence of Socialism in American Education (Q and A) - RR151A2
The media player is loading...
Our concern this afternoon in discussing socialism in American education is not to document the infiltration of our schools and of our universities by subversives. That has been extensively documented over and over again. Nor is it necessary to point out communists have made schools a target for infiltration. Of course without the communists our situation might be no different, and I think a good case could be made for the fact that it could even be worse. Because the native American socialist movement which antedates Marx was very strong. The Russian revolution of 1917 had a salutary effect on the world in that it frightened people and awoke them to the issues. We have had fifty five years now of anti-communism in the United States and the American scene grows steadily worse. Most anti-communist movements are about as productive of results as the mule is of progeny. Obviously something is wrong. The problem is the failure to deal with basic issues, with roots. [00:02:04]
Only the symptoms, the outside superficialities are...
Only the symptoms, the outside superficialities are treated, symptoms instead of the disease. Our purpose then will be to examine the result of the roots that we might understand how the results can be obviated. Christianity brought freedom to the world and created great civilizations. It created a productive culture, it was not easy, it had a great deal of resistance, and the foundations, sometimes, when men are dealing with a hostile environment can only be based. The church fathers of the fifth century, as William Carroll Bark, a Stanford historian, not a Christian, has pointed out, laid the foundations for western freedom. Especially after the Reformation, a productive Christian civilization was possible, because Puritanism in particular made capitalization possible. There can be no development in a society without capitalization and capitalization is a product of work plus thrift towards productive goals. The result has been a tremendous flowering of Christian civilization and the United States in particular became a prime area of that flowering, in fact anywhere where puritanism had sway. [00:04:01]
However we have seen for some generations now a steady...
However we have seen for some generations now a steady return to paganism. One of the key figures in this return for our purposes was Hegel. As Dr. Singer no doubt has pointed out to you because he is particularly telling in his analysis of Hegel’s influence, it was through Hegel that the doctrine of cultural evolution was reintroduced prominently and decisively into western civilization. His influence was determinative on Karl Marx, on Darwin, Freud, Sterner, Barth and others, John Dewey, very emphatically. This doctrine of evolution conquered science in Charles Darwin and his theory of biological evolution. When Darwin’s book came out in 1859, the first edition sold out on the day of publication, the world was ready for what Darwin had to say and greeted it gladly. Here was scientific proof of what they wanted to believe. Two of the most interested readers of Darwin were Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. They wrote very happy letters one to another welcoming the publication of Darwin’s book. Their reason was very simple; with Darwin they felt socialism and communism had become inevitable. [00:05:57]
While previously they were espousing a somewhat esoteric
Whereas previously they were espousing a somewhat esoteric faith, one which I’ve had little prospect of sensibly for any conquest, they now felt and rightly so that with the adoption of Darwin’s theory as science, as the faith of modern man, socialism and communism were inevitable. They were right. Let us analyze why, because I think it is imperative for us to realize that there is no fighting socialism in all its forms, pagan or Marxist, unless we undercut the impact and the affect and the roots thereof: the theory of evolution. Now the theory of evolution teaches us that the world is a universe of chance, not of law. That natural selection or the survival of the fittest brings about the change of the species and the development of living things. In other words, it tells us that this is a dog eat dog universe, that its war between man and man, between species and species. Last night I lectured for two and a half hours at the other end of the country on ecology and Christianity and I pointed out among other things that the whole ecology issue as we face it today is organized anti-Christianity and organized anti-Capitalism. [00:07:59]
And I pointed out that much of our problem too stems...
And I pointed out that much of our problem too stems from the science that from Darwin has taught us of this inherent conflict in all creation. I cited a number of statements from scientists about this world, nature against itself and man against nature. When you have this theory of the survival of the fittest, of unending struggle, “I survive only because I knife you,” it is inescapable that when you apply it sociologically you come up with the theory of class war. And if you have the theory of class war you have socialism. You cannot escape it. Your only solution then for this conflict is something that all groups are in inescapable conflict is to say unless we stop this, man is going to be committing suicide. Therefore there must be a powerful agency, a scientific socialist state as the arbitrator. This is why when Marx and Engels read Darwin they were delighted. Their theory of class warfare, class conflict, now had scientific respectability. Anyone accepting the theory would inevitably move into the socialist camp. And that’s exactly what has happened. In America before Darwin wrote, those who were Hegelian were beginning to put down the theory of class warfare, very emphatically. Your transcendentalists, your abolitionists and others, all had this theory of class conflict as basic to their faith. By 1885 as a result of the Hegelian and Darwinian influences without any influence yet from Marx, the academic circles of this country were very heavily tilted in favor of socialism. [00:10:32]
In 1885 the first association of economists, academic...
In 1885 the first association of economists, academic economists was organized. And it was at its inception governed and dominated by men who were socialists, of this school then known as institutionalists. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a product of institutionalist framework. Now, since the institutionalists posited the class conflict on Hegelian and Darwinian framework it was popular for the institutionalists to have a great deal of sympathy for the Marxists. Two different schools but basically related. What did we see now in our day? Because of the acceptance of Darwin, because of the general acceptance of the theory of evolution, it’s teaching now for over a century in our state schools, class conflict is assumed. It was assumed that capital and labor are naturally opposed, that they have a conflict of interests, that the rural and urban populations have a conflict of interests, the farmer and the laborer. Class conflict thus has been bought, and at the same time another theory has been adopted, again conflict. Race war. The idea that the various races are inescapably going to be at odds with one another and as a result very early the advocates of this theory began to speak about the yellow peril and the black menace. [00:12:34]
After all, what the Negro has done in the past ten...
After all, what the Negro has done in the past ten years in the way of furthering race warfare has been simply to give back to his white teachers what he has learned. He has been taught that conflict is basic to life, that all classes, all groups are at war with one another. Being a slow learner, it took him almost a hundred years what evolution meant for him. But he has learned a lesson, he isn’t being original, he’s simply applying what the educational system has taught him. And today on every continent this is the implication. Then again the students have learned the lesson, the students versus the university. After all there is a logical conflict, they represent two different groups, the students versus the establishment, there has to be therefore warfare. It is impossible going on the average campus today, and I talk on many secular campuses every year, to talk to these students and to get them to see that there need not be any conflict between the teacher and his student. No. They represent irreconcilable differences, therefore conflict is inescapable, and they’ll tell you there’s a generation gap, a war between age groups, conflict society. And so you have today the widespread assumption that young and old cannot agree, they cannot get along because conflict is inescapable. [00:14:40]
Now, when I was in Houston I spoke about the fact in...
Now, when I was in Houston I spoke about the fact in passing when I spoke about the concept of maturity that in no other civilization except very briefly in one or two in their period of decline has there been a conflict between adolescences and their parents. AS a matter of fact instead of adolescence being a time of rebellion in most cultures adolescence is a time when people are most ready, children, youth, to draw closest to their parents. They are on the verge of maturity, on the verge of assuming their role as men and women, and therefore most interested in being close to the older generation, learning more from them, and following very closely in their footsteps. But after Darwin, adolescence developed and today you have books on adolescence psychology which teach you that supposedly adolescence is a period of necessary conflict with the older generation. Now this is simply the idea of conflict which evolution has taught, now how can you have that kind of psychology taught without class war, socialism being the answer? Of course finally the women had caught up to the whole idea, even they have learned, and women by large are not as ready to be revolutionary. It’s not in a woman’s temper to be violent; it’s one of her advantages. But today you have a very violent breed of women, the woman said, and they tell us there is a war between the sexes, an inescapable war, and necessary warfare. It is very interesting to read some of the manifestos and some of the books, and I have read most of the main ones, of women’s lit, women’s lib. They are declarations of war; it’s not surprising that one or two writers in New York City have said the last thing that they would want to happen to them is to be caught in a dark alley by two or three women’s lib leaders. [00:17:06]
And I do not think they were entirely joking...
And I do not think they were entirely joking. Very obviously our world today is in savage warfare, there is no possibility of the abatement of this warfare apart from a change of faith. Because in the modern world evolution is well-nigh universally believed, socialism is inescapable until evolution is under cut. Moreover, the tragic fact is that most conservatives are buying the evolutionary framework, and as a result without knowing it, are teaching class warfare, class conflict, the basic premises of socialism. Very widely read book by Gary Allen is really Neo-Marxism because its premises are basically neo-Marxist. Let me quote again what a Canadian conservative has written: “Maybe the meek shall inherit the earth, but the strong are running it now. They have been running it since the dawn of time and the indications are that the strong will continue to run things long after we are gone, and our children, and our children’s children. The strong pretend to rule by law; they put up a good show until the laws don’t suit them. That’s when you have things like the Nuremberg trials, legalized by the strong to suit the wishes of the strong. The proof of this lies in the fairly safe conjecture that had Hitler been stronger; the Nuremberg trials would have gone in reverse. The strong are admired, respected and revered. The weak are affronted, and often despised. So every man tries to be strong and every nation tries to be strong, and it is a never ending contest, in the end the strong call the shots.” I submit that is socialist rubbish. [00:19:41]
It says there is an inescapable warfare between the...
It says there is an inescapable warfare between the strong and the weak and I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. I do not believe that the world is one of conflict; I believe that it is essentially because God created it, a world of harmony, of basic harmony of interests. That god created all things good, and that even when man fell, God’s law still prevails, that God created races to live in peace, classes to live in peace, the sexes to live in peace. The weak and the strong to live in peace and whenever any of them violate that, someone subdues. God’s law operates against them, to warn them, and to execute them. I believe that God’s law preserves and undergirds and develops this basic emphasis on the harmony of all interests. And it shall culminate in the reestablishment of total harmony; the lion shall lie down with the lamb. And all nature and man shall be at perfect peace, to depart from that harmony of interests is suicidal. God gave the rainbow as a sign of that covenant of peace, and he declared to Noah I will set my bow in the heavens and it shall be for a token and a covenant between me and the earth, and it shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the water shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud and I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. God said his covenant of peace includes every living thing. Every living thing, the whole of us are bound up in the covenant of peace and those who violate it are under his judgment. [00:22:10]
Conflict thus is a violation of God’s basic order,...
Conflict thus is a violation of God’s basic order, it is a violation of man’s being, our Lord said speaking as wisdom ages ago, speaking through the mouth of Solomon in Proverbs 8:36: “He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul, all they that hate me, love death.” If the strong exploit the weak, they wrong their own soul first, and they bring upon themselves the judgment of God. All creation all classes, all things, need one another. They are called to work in peace or else they are doomed. Our problem today is the doctrine of evolution. Communism, socialism, modern democracy, fascism, warfare is in all these and many, many other varieties are politics of conflict and suicide. They are products of Darwin’s thinking. Here is the fallacy of non-Christian conservatism. It deals with the symptoms, it is unhappy about some of the products, not about the root. It doesn’t get to the root matter, that faith in evolution which produces conflict inherent and guarantees it. You are not going to eliminate socialism in the world in any of its forms or in all of its forms until you reestablish the doctrine of creation and all its implications. And when you do that, you have killed communism, socialism, fascism and every form of socialism. It becomes impossible when the philosophy of the conflict of interests is undercut. Non-Christian conservatism as a result is impotent, is sterile. It’s rather pathetic, it works against itself, it wants the fruits but not the root and certainly not the tree of Jesus Christ, the tree of life. American education because it is humanistic and evolutionary is as a result logically socialist. I think the hippies represent the most intelligent of our students today. I think that the campus revolutionaries are the most intelligent students on the campuses; I have talked with many of them, thousands. They have learned best the lesson taught by our statist schools, they have imbibed it so thoroughly that they systematically see warfare on all sides. [00:25:39]
And as good products of the schools, as good believers...
And as good products of the schools, as good believers, true believers in the doctrine of evolution, they are engaged in a holy war against the whole world, and ultimately against one another. Not surprising that the world of the hippies finally turned to cannibalism. Whether you know it or not, there were certain instances of cannibalism that arose, this was logical. In a dog-eat-dog world why shouldn’t man eat man? The doctrine of evolution leads to that. IT is futile therefore to try and stem the tide of subversion without stemming the principle of subversion. It is futile to document what subversives are doing in the public schools, let them die. It is futile to document what they are doing in our churches, build churches in terms of Christ. We cannot deal with symptoms; we must deal with the basic causes. And therefore, as Christians we are called upon particularly in the Christian school movement to rebuild in terms of Biblical faith. [00:27:05]
This means first of all a systematic teaching of creationism...
This means first of all a systematic teaching of creationism and I believe that means exactly what scripture says, literal six day creationism. That God created heaven and earth and that in the space of six days. This means moreover teaching the implications of that doctrine, that God governs the universe, absolutely. Now, we have in a non-Christian sphere two answers that are given to this problem of who governs the universe. On the one hand, the Marxists tell us the world is governed entirely by impersonal forces and these impersonal forces work irrespective of people, dialectical materialism, necessitate certain things coming to pass. So it makes no difference what man thins or what man does, this is historical necessity. Since the universe is ultimately impersonal, it is ultimately Adams emotion that is useless to speak about individuals having any part in history. This is why in our school textbooks there is no room for what individuals have done. How many of you have ever read in any textbook, anywhere through your education from the lowest grades through the university, about the Empress Theodora and what she did to change the world? [00:29:02]
It’s quite a dramatic story...
It’s quite a dramatic story. The story of what one person by faith can do, most of what you read about her is filth and false. Her father was a lion tamer for the Roman circuses. He died, he left three little girls ages (I believe) five, seven and nine. There was no means of support and before long the mother and the girls before they were ten years old were prostitutes. It was a vicious ugly life. And yet out of that life in her early twenties, Theodora became a Christian. Later she met and fell in love with a lawyer who was the nephew of the Emperor Justin. That young lawyers name was Justinian, they were married and subsequently he became emperor. The code of Justinian laid the foundations for Christian law in the West, but that code would not have been possible but for Theodora and more than one attempt. When rebellion broke out against Justinian the whole city of Constantinople or Byzantium was lost. A handful of troops were cooped up in the palace and the mob, and the enemy forces, the opposition forces controlled the city and finally when it seemed utterly hopeless they decided to set sail for North Africa or somewhere else, Spain, with what wealth they could put into the ship which was anchored at the side of the palace. [00:31:06]
They were all ready to leave and Theodora said that...
They were all ready to leave and Theodora said that one who puts on the purple must die with the purple, I stay. The emperor and the general looked at each other helplessly; to walk out and leave a woman was impossible. So they stayed and fought. And to fight at that juncture was so unexpected that they won. She saved the empire by her statement and then she was responsible when the code of Justinian was formulated for making the biblical laws of sex and marriage the laws of the empire and the law of western civilization. Your morality and your present legal revolution is warfare against what Theodora did. One person. I mentioned Belisarius. In his old age unexpectedly the Huns moved against Byzantium and they were within sight of the city and its walls and there was panic, they had wiped out the army, the other troops were scattered around the far flung borders from Persia, across North Africa and into Europe. There was no way of defending the city, and the call went out for Belisarius, the old veteran. And he came with his faded military cloak and set out runners to summon his old veterans and they came out, taking off their work aprons, old men staggering out of shops into the sunlight, one of them stood before and reported: “Otis of the Third Legion reporting” and Belisarius looked at the man and saw he was blind but he was still reporting for duty. He was able to get three hundred of them mounted and ready for action and then some few hundred more and he went out to meet the Huns, a very large army. It’s a dramatic story, well worth reading; it should be a part of your textbooks…he won. The element of surprise and strategy, but above all the element of faith and leadership. You see our history books have bought the evolutionary, the Marxist, thesis. History is a blind and impersonal thing, Patrick Henry is scoffed, Degara is gone from the books, Belarus is gone, and men of great faith who did great things are gone. No, it’s just blind forces, impersonal forces that make history. [00:34:45]
On the other hand there are those who are not Christian...
On the other hand there are those who are not Christian or conservative and they say oh but we do believe that persons are important. We don’t agree with this impersonalism, we are against it; we are going to fight it. But they run into trouble, most conservatives today and the conservative movement by and large is becoming Satanist. They worship Satan, why? Because it’s basic thesis that the world is in the control of evil conspirators who manipulate and manage everything that every headline is a product of their work, every event that takes place is a product of their work and you have a doctrine of predestination by Satan and satanic forces. And I don’t believe it. I believe that the very hairs of my head and yours are all numbered, all ordained, all counted by God. And every action from beginning to end is a product of his organization, and that all things are his. That even which what Judas did and what Sanhedrin did, the supreme Satanic act of all history, evil at its finest point, even at that point Saint John tells us they were fulfilling God’s purpose, not knowing that the one man should die for the redemption for many. You see, if you do not have the doctrine of Creation, you fall further into the snare of impersonalism or you inconsistently try to maintain the personalism without the sovereign God. You fall into Satanism. Power is inescapable in the universe. No philosophy can ever be formed without power, absolute power, being located somewhere. Now, if you do not ascribe power to the sovereign and omnipotent God, you’re going to ascribe it to blind historical forces or you are going to look below. Back in the teens and early twenties there was an editor of the New Republic who was a very discerning man, Kenneth Burke. And Kenneth Burke in one of his essays made a very sharp and astute observation, he commented that in our day man, having lost faith in grace from above and power from above, would now look for grace from below and power from below. It’s not an accident that you have the movement towards witchcraft and magic, this is a logical product of men’s surrender of faith in God. [00:38:10]
It’s not surprising that the University of California...
It’s not surprising that the University of California which was regarded by some as the outstanding educational institution in the United States has in the last few years given a degree in magic, a master’s degree in magic. Why not? If you deny the sovereign power of God you are going to locate power either in Darwin and materialism or in the underworld, in Satan. You cannot therefore cope with the problem of socialism, and with demonism in its every form, sociological and personal, without a return to the doctrine of creation. I think one of the things that I have felt most pleased about in the Christian school movement in the recent years has been the Houston contests. Because every year some facet of the doctrine of creation has been stressed and this is basic, the great work of the Christian school movement will be to reestablish the centrality of the doctrine of creation which means the centrality of God, and then to develop its implications for every area of life. When we again make the doctrine of creation basic to our world then we will have undercut and killed off socialism totally. Are there any questions now in our remaining minutes? [00:40:06]
[Question, hard to hear] I would like to ask a question...
[Question, hard to hear] I would like to ask a question concerning the Gary Allen book, to Dr. Rushdoony, could you accept any phase of this conspiratorial view?
[Rushdoony Answers] The question is, do I accept any phase of this conspiratorial view. First of all because I do not believe in the impersonalistic view of history which holds that impersonal forces govern history, I do recognize that conspiracies are and have been always a real factor in history. They are not, I repeat, they are not, nor have they ever been, a determinative factor. Conspiracies operate on a supply and demand basis. For example, if we had untold billions of dollars and we set out to establish a conspiracy, all of us in this room, let’s say four hundred billion dollars and more untapped to do two things. First persuade Americans to establish a monarchy, and second persuade all Americans to become vegetarians, we could spend all our money and get nowhere. For the simple reason we would be going against the current of the day. What conspiracies do is to arise and meet a demand. They cannot even with great funds go against the basic faith and temper of the day. To set an example, this country was never more extensively subverted by conspiracies then during the administration of George Washington. George Washington took over a country that was very weak, newly born, without any military or financial power, with not even two hundred men as a standing army and with nothing but deaths. The French Revolution broke out. It was important for France to involve us and to get us to help them out by engaging Britain in war in Canada so that once again the British would be tied down in this continent and thereby free France in its revolutionary program. All kinds of subversives were sent here, money poured out almost without limit to buy up every person who could be bought up, even right up into Washington’s cabinet. Never in all the history of this country has there been anything approaching so high a ratio of paid subservices in this country. And they failed for a very obvious reason. You had a very large percentage of the people with a dedicated thoroughly biblical Christian faith. Because of that, they could not subvert this country. It was an impossibility. [00:43:44]
Nowadays we would be on the same road if we didn’t...
Nowadays we would be on the same road if we didn’t have the subversion, in fact I believe we would be further along because I believe the Russian revolution woke us up. It created a counter movement while prior to that we were galloping into socialism. So why I recognize as I do believe persons operate in history, I do not believe the conspiracies govern history, that’s a Satanist perspective. I believe the biblical point of view is best stated in Psalm 2: “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing. The kings of the earth take counsel (or that can be rendered ‘conspire together’) against the Lord and his anointed but he that sitteth in the circle of the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision.” And then the warning to the nations, to the conspirators: “Kiss the Son lest He be angry and ye perish in his way.” [00:45:10]
[Question, hard to hear] Dr...
[Question, hard to hear] Dr. Rushdoony, I’d like to ask, and that is, some of those who are holding to conspiratorial thinking are saying that it’s a Jewish conspiracy, and that it comes from Rockefeller and Rothschild and the banking families, and they claim that all of this has come from back in the time from 72 B.C. when the …. Carried of the ten tribes and all this, and now they have somehow and other gone up into Armenia and that area, and intermarried, and that they came from this what was called the caveguard view or something--- and they say that Christ was not a jew but he was…
[Rushdoony Answers] I’m familiar with all of that, I think I have in my library of some fifteen, sixteen thousand books perhaps, and five or six hundred in that area and I’ve studied it thoroughly. The Khazars were very real people who were converted to Judaism. You see, at the time that it became apparent throughout the world of that day that Christianity was triumphing; various countries felt that they had to abandon their old faith and take another religion that would have some capacity of resisting Christianity. The Khazar Kingdom of southern Russia, Khazar Kingdom adopted Judaism and one or two other small groups did, most of them chose two other rivals, one was Islam but mostly it was Arianism which was a pseudo-Christianity, in reality Unitarianism, really a death of God religion. They didn’t believe in one God, they actually believed in no God, although they claimed to believe in one God. Now, this whole idea I think is nonsense. I don’t know where to begin in analyzing it, I simply do not believe it, and I’ve studied it very thoroughly and am familiar with every writer in the field. It’s a hodge-podge of half-truths and outright lies and a basic Satanism with regards to historical determination. [00:48:08]
[Question, hard to hear] I’d like to address a question...
[Question, hard to hear] I’d like to address a question to Dr. Rushdoony about the, I think the growth in Christian Schools and the development of our thought in the operation of schools, which is of course is an advance in the normative ideas, that some of our younger people, and older people to are seriously questioning what should be the relationship of the Christian school to its particular national setting, or in our case let’s say the relationship of the Christian School to the United States. And in particular the reluctance of some people now because of this Caesar vs. the American state idea, a reluctance to say salute the flag in Christian School classes, how would you resolve that?
[Rushdoony Answers] The answer to that is we have a summons in Scripture to bring every area of life and thought into captivity to Christ. This country was established to be God’s Zion, that was their term, in this new land. The law of Scripture was made at the very beginning the law of the land, at least until 1860 biblical law was the common law of this country. I believe that Christian schools should have, properly as one of its functions, a restoration of that basic Christian character of this country. We are called upon to make every area of life Christian, and certainly in this country we should be very proud of our heritage, precisely because I believe nowhere else was there a more thorough of the implications of our faith in terms of every area of life then we had for a time here. In the old world so much of paganism lingered and still lingers, here there was a fresh start made, there was a very real break in the old world conditions and the old world lingering paganism. A very thorough application of scripture to every area of life was forthcoming; we really are ignorant of our past because we’ve been cut off from it from secular historians. I was amazed when I began my study of biblical law and I have a book forthcoming on that, I hope by the end of the year it will be off the press, 900 pages studying the whole of the Mosaic Law and treating it as law and its application in this country and in Christian civilization, in the middle ages, the reformation and in this country was very thoroughly applied. Did you know that the law of gleaning was once common to this country, that church bells were rung at gleaning time; the gleaners went the field, that in some parts of the Carolinas it lingered up until World War Two and in one part of California up until the thirties and this is one illustration of many. We are not allowed to realize how intensely and extensively the law of God was the law of this country. [00:52:06]
We are being systematically given a secularized interpretati...
We are being systematically given a secularized interpretation of our heritage. I feel therefore it’s very wrong for Christians to depreciate the significance in the development of Christianity of these United States.
[Question, hard to hear] I would like you to comment on the decision in 1892 where the court did endeavor to establish that in some historic sense as to whether we are a Christian nation.
[Rushdoony Answers] Yes, but the record in 1892 did establish this was a Christian nation, however, actually that question goes back some years earlier. When the issue of Mormonism came up and Mormon polygamy, there was a real problem in this country and in the courts as to how deal with it, because the Mormons pleaded freedom of religion. On this ground they wanted to practice their polygamy and the first amendment promised freedom of religion. Of course the first amendment was written in to prohibit the federal government with interfering with the various religious establishments of the several states. Now, the supreme court in facing this decision came rather reluctantly but none the less very definitely to the conclusion that if in the name of freedom of religion they tolerated polygamy they would have to then tolerate narcotics, human sacrifice, robbing other groups, just about any and every human practice under the sun. Every crime imaginable on the ground of religious liberty, because somewhere some religious group practices those things, and so they had to recognize that freedom of religion meant freedom for any group within the moral structure and the common law presuppositions of a biblical faith, that there was thus to all practical intent, a legal freedom for that which did not challenge the basic Christian premises of society. Now, what they did was simply to recognize what I dealt with in the first lecture today, that every legal system is an enacted morality and a manifestation of theological order. And that of course is a point that was first made in a political arena in this country by George Washington that moral order presupposes theological order. [00:55:13]
[Question, hard to hear] Dr...
[Question, hard to hear] Dr. Rushdoony… We made phone calls concerned about our public school, we were concerned about group teaching and meetings in group therapy and the parents were concerned that their children shouldn’t lose their individuality, they felt that the tendency to social…. We’ve lost several parents because of this reaction: “Your forcing my child to be a part of the group”… Could you comment on this?
[Rushdoony Answers] When you push individualism, and I do believe in Christian individualism, to the point of anarchism you make socialism inescapable, because an anarchist individualism dissolves institutions and dissolves associations, and therefore it leaves nothing but isolated individuals and a monolithic state. This is why the new left is at one and the same time socialistic and anarchistic, it pushes individualism to the ‘nth degree and it has no agency to deal with anything except a monolithic state. So that if each parents want the individualism of their child to develop, that individualism is best developed in the context of social responsibility, in the context of discipline. No one can be an individual unless he is first of all a disciplined person and to be a disciplined person does require first of all submission, such as the Christian school produces. This is why in the days when a very strongly puritan character prevailed in this country we produced the strongest individuals. The most disciplined kinds of persons. If they want individualism therefore, their children must have a very intensive discipline. Precisely because the public schools do not stress discipline, they cannot teach individualism. They prepare the child to be a part of the undisciplined mob, they create a mass man. Now, a very interesting book in this area, a sociological study of the early fifties is very interesting. Riesman, Glazer and Denney, The Lonely Crowd. In The Lonely Crowd, they pointed out how the American character has shifted from the inner-directed, disciplined, work-oriented, productive-centered individual to the group-oriented, undisciplined, pleasure-oriented, consumption-oriented modern person. The modern person in his individualism is individualistic in consumption. [00:59:26]
His freedom is entirely in consumption...
His freedom is entirely in consumption; his individualism is in consumption, not in production. It’s on the receiving end that he has strong personal tastes, no capacity for discipline elsewhere. Discipline therefore is inseparable for true individualism.
[Another man speaking] I would say a word about the group dynamics, I think people misread the affect and intent of group dynamics and the name sounds like you’re trying to get absorbed in the group but if you examine it a little bit you find that what it does is to destroy normal built in human self- uh, human restraint. And I think the reason I wanted to comment on this, one of the most important psychological factors we have to deal with, with school children, particularly teenagers, is in this area. They’ve been told, I’ve been told at least, all my life, the most important drive that human beings experience in their flesh is being boy crazy or girl crazy. The children are taught that today, this is an assumption of our culture. But I was greatly relieved to have it pointed out to me that there’s a far more important drive in every human being, one far greater than any sexual attraction. And that is his shyness, his reserve, and e very person has a built in silence and reserve that protects him against this attraction that we talk so much about, and I’m convinced that it’s far stronger, far more important, and the purpose of this group dynamic is simply to attack and attempt to destroy this innate reserve and shyness. It doesn’t have anything to do with incorporating you into a group. [01:02:05]
[Another man speaking] The comments you have just heard...
[Another man speaking] The comments you have just heard were by T. Robert Ingram.
[Rushdoony] If I may say one word more, to recommend a book that would be very instructive in this area I think one of the most important books ever written in the area of politics and education, Roland Huntford, The New Totalitarians. In some respects a very frightening books but what Huntford does there is to point out how in Sweden which he regards as the most totalitarian nation in the world, far worse than the Soviet Union, this false individualism is created and at the same time a radical totalitarianism. He feels it represents the direction of the whole western world, that the Soviet Union has resistance at least from its people, but not Sweden. The Soviet Union represents the old model, 1984 style, violence, force, whereas the Brave New World of Huxley is represented in Sweden, mind conditioning, the use of drugs, the working from within to condition man so that as they become more and more totalitarian they feel they are more and more free individuals. And of course he points out the analogy to every other western country and how many of their educational ideas are derived from this country. It’s a very important book, Roland Huntford, The New Totalitarians. [01:03:50]