Trustee Family and Economics - RR175B3

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Trustee Family and Economics
Course: Course - Christian Reconstruction vs. Humanism
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction/Humanism
Lesson#: 11
Length: 0:42:33
TapeCode: RR175B3
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Christian Reconstruction vs. Humanism.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.

Our subject in this session is the Trustee family and economics. Before beginning I would like to correct a mistake I made in the last session, I spoke of Mrs. Jenkins Christian School in Inglewood and I wrongly assumed that Inglewood was simply a suburb of Las Angeles although it is surrounded by it. It is actually a separate city. Howard Almenson I am grateful to for correcting me on that. And next I know how much you enjoyed the (Goscelli?) superb presentation, I know it made you realize some of the facts of our history and I trust in this listening to him you also realized how badly accented our non-southern speech that we all have is. (laughter) now our subject as I said is the trustee family and economics. The French scholar Charles Morose and the triumph of the middle class makes an amazing statement with regard to the enlightenment, he writes and I quote: “it was during the two following centuries that Europe rediscovered the Greek art of proof by reason.” He’s talking about the enlightenment. This new procedure was in its infancy even at the time of (de lombare?) but at last the certainty conferred by reasoning was felt and tested. [00:01:53]

And although it was used indiscriminately for arithmetical...[edit]

And although it was used indiscriminately for arithmetical problems or parlor games it nevertheless fixed from the time of Parma (spelling?) and Pascal, the rigid standards by which all knowledge was to be judged. This is an amazing statement, what Morose says is that reason was born with the enlightenment. That it was dead from the time of the fall of Rome, until the Renaissance and the enlightenment especially. One of the great patristic fathers like Tertullian or the superb reasoning’s of Anselm, the magnificent mind of Aquinas, of Calvin, and of numerous other scholars. Was it reason indeed born only with the enlightenment after its death in Greece? What Morose and others are saying is that reason can only exist when God is the presupposition of human thought. The enlightenment saw itself as Dr. Kelly pointed out as the time of light; ironically it was a time of oppression, a time of unparalleled filth, when bathing for a while, was out of style. It was a time of tremendous human arrogance. For men like Morose truth means a manmade universe of thought and things. I cite Morose’s statement because it is pertinent to our present concern. It explains the humanistic hostility to the family. The family is not a manmade product. In a humanistic world, that which is appreciated is a product of man’s fiat will. [00:04:23]

But the family was not designed by the state, it is...[edit]

But the family was not designed by the state, it is a given of the natural order. Men are born into it, it is declared by scripture to be a part of a supernaturally ordained order, the nature of things. All rebellion against the family is self-defeating, because the family is inescapably the matrix of life. But man dreams of abolishing the family. A federal judge within Washington DC has actually said, a female judge of questionable character, that the family is the greatest enemy of mankind and for the welfare of man the traditional family need to be abolished. I could spend an hour going into the current declarations of warfare against the family. We can go back to the early years after WWII to begin to find the assault on the family, the family declared by educators and scientists to be the great roadblock to human progress, to the achievement of democracy, to the realization of man’s potential. The family is the enemy because it inevitably being not man made has loyalties and roots which man cannot set aside nor control readily. [00:06:32]

Remember after all that in that great utopia, Aldous...[edit]

Remember after all that in that great utopia, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, human birth was replaced by test tube birth. And why not? After all what kind of loyalty will you feel if you were born out of a test tube 999 as against being born from a human mother. Your loyalty will be to the state, assuming this pipe dream were realizable. The family is a given almost like oxygen. It is necessary to life. The more a person is separated from the family, the less life he has. Now if a family is God ordained, then it follows that there must be a necessary tie between the family and other areas of life, such as economics. But first before considering that fact let us look at the family itself. The great scholar in the area of family sociology was Dr. Carl Zimmerman of Harvard. And Zimmerman disagreed with most approaches to the study of family life. Traditionally we have had a variety of absurd approaches. Most families are looked at by sociologists internally: are they polyandrists, polygamists, monogamists, matriarchal, matrilineal, patriarchal, and so on. These variations are not germane to the basic fact of family life. Thus polygamy for example is a very limited fact, even where it is legal. The clearest and safest estimate is that in a polygamist country, one out of 500 men are polygamists. So that polygamy does not characterize any society and never has. As a result, Dr. Zimmerman approached the family from another perspective. The family in terms of its status in society and its powers. [00:09:18]

And Dr. Zimmerman said that the trustee family is the family at its utmost strength. The trustee family sees property not in terms of private nor state ownership, but family ownership. In the trustee family there is authority, there is solidarity. But the head of the household the man, represents not his private wishes, but represents the social responsibilities past present and future. In a time of trustee family life men speak of being buried with their fathers, the term that appears repeatedly in scripture. Because the solidarity is seen not in terms of the historical family which is at present inexistent, but the historical family past present and future. So that as a trustee, what one sees is a responsibility to past and to future as Naboth did. Who when Ahab offered him an excellent proposition, tremendous property on his piece of land, responded that to sell it in terms of profit would be treason to his forefather and those who were to come after him. In the trustee family the basic governmental unit in society is not the state, it is the family. It is the basic law and forcing agency the basic governing agency. At one time almost all men in western civilization were ruled by family law. Which is traditionally called in legal circles customary law. The state had no jurisdiction after the fall of the Roman Empire over the family and its economic life. The state was a minor and irrelevant fact except in military matters. Most justice was handled by the family, most law was handled by the family, the family was the basic unit. However, we have a second type of family, the domestic family. In such a culture the state is beginning to increase its powers and it is encroaching upon the life of the family. And the head of the family, the father no longer is a trustee in terms of past present and future, and the family no longer holds title to the property, the head of the household, the man holds it in his own person. [00:12:50]

As a result unlike the trustee family, in the domestic...[edit]

As a result unlike the trustee family, in the domestic family, the position of the man is individually more powerful and that of the wife lower. Because she no longer has title to the family, the property. Previously, it belonged to the family as a whole. In the domestic family there is more freedom for the individual from family authority, but more despotism on the part of the head of the household and the control of the family assets and the families future. Then we have a third type of family the atomistic family. The family ceases to be either the central or the sacred unit of society, the individual is more important and is supreme. The child now has status apart from the family, in the trustee family an illegitimate child could have no part in anything with regard to the economic or governmental life of the family. There were severe penalties upon illegitimacy. In an atomistic age the illegitimate child is increasingly granted rights of inheritance, and equal rights with any other child. This is the condition that preceded the fall of the Roman Empire. In the atomistic family, marriage moves from a covenant to a civil contract, and family powers are replaced by statist powers. An atomistic family precedes the breakdown of every civilization and culture. Now one of the most significant facts of our world today is that we are seeing a polarization in family life. On the one hand the atomistic family is breaking down all around us with tremendous consequences socially. [00:15:19]

With a sky rocketing crime rate as a result whereas...[edit]

With a sky rocketing crime rate as a result whereas on the other hand we see domestic families seeking again to be trustee families, and exercising more control and power over the property as a trustee to the past and to the future. But there is another factor to consider as we analyze the significance of the family from a biblical perspective, and in terms of economics. A generation ago Joseph Daniel Unwen an Oxford scholar, an anthropologist, made a study his lifetime work of the regulations with respect to sex and the implications for culture. Is there a correlation between sexual regulations and cultural behavior? He believed there was none. As a humanist he set out to disprove the idea that the breakdown of morality led to the fall of Rome or any such thing could happen. To his amazement having studied every existing culture, every culture that ever existed in history, he found that there was a mathematical correlation between sexual regulations and cultural behavior. That in a society where there was neither post marital or pre-marital chastity. The ability of that culture to count beyond the fingers of their two hand was nil. Their idea of an afterlife was practically non-existent; they were basically primitive (animus’?). Their ability to organize, to build, to develop tools, was severely limited. But as sexual regulations came in, the cultural level increased until when you had pre and post marital chastity you had a tremendous cultural energy a theistic faith, and a highly developed civilization. To his dismay Unwen reported in a book published in ’33 by Oxford university press, there was a mathematical correlation. Now the point of all this is that the biblical family is obviously in terms of these studies the central source of social energy and of power in any society. The biblical family is a trustee family and as such the great local of power. Hence it is hated by every other claimant to power. [00:18:52]

History has shown again and again the warfare of one...[edit]

History has shown again and again the warfare of one institution after another against the trustee family, one of these rival claimants has been the Church, which unhappily at times has sought to control and to displace the family. To try to absorb the family into the church in such a way that church life replaces family life. Then the church instead of being a place of worship and of teaching, of schooling, it becomes instead the total life of man to absorb all their activities and to control them. But the basic rival of the trustee family has always been the state. Age after age the humanistic state seeks to supplant all other institutions and agencies ruthlessly, to take over the schools, and to destroy the family. We in our day are accustomed to hearing a great deal about adolescent psychology, in schools of education courses are commonly taught in the psychology of adolescents.[00:20:21]

The subject is part myth and part a cultural product...[edit]

The subject is part myth and part a cultural product. Only in civilizations that are in a state of collapse do you have the phenomenon we know as adolescence. In any normal healthy society, the young who are reaching that point which we call adolescence are most concerned with following the pattern of their elders, with entering into maturity rather that rebelling against it, with drawing close to their elders rather than warring against them. What we call adolescence is always a mark of the decay of a civilization. And it is significant that in Christian schools that are strong and systematic in their position adolescence is not a problem, it is a phenomenon which is non-existent. The modern state has created this decay because it has been at war against the family. Strausz Hupe has called attention to the French revolutions hostility to the family writing that (Devuzac?) and I quote, a follower of wrote on May 3, 1793 “the spirit of the private family must famish when the great family of the republic calls. Children are born for the republic, not for the pride and despotism of the family.” Comments Strausz Hupe. [00:22:26]

Despotism is here synonymous with all private power...[edit]

Despotism is here synonymous with all private power, however modest and limited. Whereas the power of the state absolute as it may be is synonymous with freedom. The semantics of totalitarianism did not wait upon the refinements in this century of double thought and double think. We have therefor a war on our hands with respect to the survival of the family. Sociology gives highly fictional accounts to us of the family as a relic of the past. And we are told about the primal horde and its promiscuity, others point to a primitive matriarchy, others to a primitive patriarchy, other speak of pair marriages as a stage in the development of higher primates, but one which is, all agree, now a stage that we are to outgrow. Thus the sociologists are virtually united in seeing the traditional family of scripture, the trustee family as a vestigial social organism. As a relic of the past, as something which man in his evolution will transcend. As a result everything is done to destroy the family. The state claims total power. The police powers that are the state have increasingly as their goal the destruction of any freedom from the state. As Johann Von Justienne 1768 wrote concerning what the police powers of the state are to be and I quote: “the purpose of policing is to insure the good fortune of the state through the wisdom of its regulations and to augment its forces and its powers to the limits of its capability. The science of policing consists therefor in regulating everything that relates to the present condition of society, in strengthening and improving it, in seeing that all thing contribute to the welfare of the members that compose it, the aim of policing is to make everything that composes the state, serve to strengthen and increase its power, and likewise serve the public welfare” [00:25:34]

The goal of the police powers of the state more recent...[edit]

The goal of the police powers of the state more recent writers have said is the liberation of men, women, and children. This means the destruction of the family and of biblical morality. Let us turn briefly now to the social powers of the biblical family the trustee family, and very briefly because I have dealt with this in some of our position papers and in other writings. As I have pointed out, every major power in society save one is given by God to the family, that one exception is the death penalty. The first and great power in any society is the control of children, because the control of children is the control of the future, and hence every totalitarian every statist regime seeks to control children. Second, it is the control of property because again, the control of property is basic to the control of the future. It constitutes one of the cardinal powers of society, and control of property in the bible and in terms of Justinian’s code is the family. Third, control of inheritance which means control of capitalization we have today the effective control all over the world of inheritance, by the police powers of the state. You in the state of Washington have made a great step forward in abolishing the inheritance tax. Hopefully before this year is over, California will vote it out of existence. [00:27:40]

The farmwives of this country who have been the major...[edit]

The farmwives of this country who have been the major victims of that tax have been pressuring congress and if they keep up their pressure hopefully before the decade is over we may be able to abolish any death taxes or estate taxes on the federal level. But will take an ever increasing pressure. The control of inheritance is a basic power in any society; it enables the one who controls it to capture the future. And in the biblical family there is to be a capitalization of the Godly seed, that the kingdom of God may be furthered. The fourth, control of welfare is basic to the future of society, because it constitutes a tremendous power and the control of welfare in scripture is again governed by the family. As Saint Paul summarizes it, “he that doth not care for his own, hath despised the faith and is worse than an infidel.” and by one’s own meant not only blood relatives, but fellow believers. The early church did some remarkable things in this area and more recently this has been done which I’ll deal with in a later period. Control of welfare thus is important and the bible gives laws which I dealt with in the institutes, which govern welfare towards those outside the faith and those within the faith, and the poor tithe above and over our tithe which is the Lords, was to help with this kind of care. Then fifth finally, control of education is all important and in the bible it is again given to the family, is to be governed by Godly agencies only, is to be a part of the religious operation of the Christian community. Control of education was seized very early by the state and we now have a war on our hands because that power is slipping from the state and returning to Christian hands. And I am very happy to report that our work in this area is catching hold elsewhere and there is a movement underway abroad to develop Christian schools. In Australia in particular it is beginning to make an impact. We have been discussing in these five basic powers, control of the future and all of these powers have an economic implication. These are social powers, and they are extremely important. But now as we go a step further, we have to recognize something about the trustee family; the concept of a corporation is a biblical concept. It is passed from the bible into the hands of the state. We had it in earlier centuries in the saying: the king is dead, long live the king. That is the crown as a corporate entity who’s life did not depend upon the death of the current ruler. [00:31:44]

From monarchies, the corporate concept passed then...[edit]

From monarchies, the corporate concept passed then into the hands of business firms and entities. But the origin, although we have some things which have a superficial resemblance to corporations in Greco-Roman culture, the origins of the corporation are biblical. The great corporation in scripture is the church; it is the body of Christ. It is a body which has a life that extends beyond the death of the individual members. It is the life of Christ in history, and a continuing entity. The family also in the bible is a corporation; the family has title to the property. It does not depend upon its members for its continuing existence. Hence in the bible you have the doctrine of the levirate marriage, you have the doctrine that the family if it could not continue through it immediate descendant was to be absorbed into a lateral branch, so that the family might continue as the fundamental corporate entity within history. We still have relics of this fact all around us today, in that traces of the biblical doctrine of the family as a corporation survived in many states in the community property laws. [00:33:39]

Now they are very much weakened, very much undermined...[edit]

Now they are very much weakened, very much undermined by state regulations, but they are a small relic of the concept of the family as a corporation and a community. What we need to do is to work to strengthen community property laws, to embark on setting up family trusts that will hold the property for the future, to utilize the existing legislation, to amend other legislations, in order to reestablish the family as the basic corporate entity. We have seen in our time some of the great and wealthy families of this country set up family trusts, so that the wealth and assets of the family are not taken over by the state. We cannot complain that they do so, what we need to do is to work to have that privilege extended to all of us! There is no reason why what once was the property of all Christians, should now be the property of only the Rockefellers’ and the Kennedy’s. The family under Scripture is a trustee family hence a trust, a corporation, and hence something that has a continuing existence. Under God the family is the basic entity for the religious, moral, and economic capitalization of society. It has the basic powers, its wide use of those powers governs the future of any society, and this is why any attack upon a family structure in any culture is destructive of the whole society. What red China did when it gained power was to destroy the historic family pattern of China. Now we cannot agree with their ancestor worship and with their concepts, which represented an offshoot and a perversion of the concept of the trustee family. [00:36:15]

But not without the radical and dramatic destruction...[edit]

But not without the radical and dramatic destruction of the trustee family, separating men and women, putting them in barracks, in every way working to destroy the family life of old China, has red China been able to survive. The result is that anarchy is basic to red China. In a recent issue of Harper’s, an American liberal who spent some time teaching in a Chinese university, reported on his experiences under the title: “China stinks.” He was expressing his disillusionment with that order. What he found there was dramatically different from what China had once been, instead of respect for the elderly and for ones elders, there was contempt for them, and the common statement thrown in the face of any elderly person was: “what business do you have being still alive?” Instead of the work-oriented character of old china, there was now such a nonproductive outlook that this professor was staggered. He found that the very modest homework assignments he gave that he felt were elementary, far below and collegiate level resulted in massive protests by the students. No Chinese faculty member dared push them to work, that in every area of life in China, non-productivity was basic. Family life had been destroyed and with it all those characteristics that make a society productive, energetic, and useful. Social energy and a strong family life are inseparably related. We are seeing the consequences of that in our own country today. Some few years back there was an article I believe it was in Harper’s also, highly critical of Bob Jones university, well, on theological grounds I would be also. But there reason for criticism was because too many corporations were going first to BJU to get their junior executives. [00:39:20]

Why? Because the highly disciplined character of BJU...[edit]

Why? Because the highly disciplined character of BJU produced a disciplined working student and graduate. And these corporations could not find students like this in the major universities, and they were now beginning to concentrate on colleges and universities that were once despised as Bible colleges, Bible built schools. They had a greater productivity. And the consequences are feared by these people because they see the future as one of corporate power slipping into the hands of people of this character. And for them, this is a disaster. We see in a number of states all kinds of statements made about Christian school graduates that because they are from non-accredited schools they will not be accepted into universities. But at the same time they are systematically recruited and sometimes given scholarships to come. Why? Because they are superior students, better educated at the lower levels, better disciplined, better productive. What I am saying should be obvious by now, the trustee family is the most productive unit in any society, when you strengthen the productive unit, the trustee family, you create that tool whereby you will gain social control. You will create not a centralized power agency, but a free power agency. Individuals whose character makes them essential to the development of the future of a productive community. Thus under God we see the agency for the religious and moral as well as economic capitalization of society already developing around us. And we must recognize that to command the future we as families must strengthen the family and its life. It is the key to tomorrow. Thank you. (applause) [00:42:18]