Twentieth Century a - RR160F12a

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Twentieth Century_a
Course: Course - World History
Subject: Subject:History
Lesson#: 22
Length: 0:46:23
TapeCode: RR160F12a
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
World History.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

[Tape begins]

…and the hopes of our day into Thy loving hands. Guide us in thy service and prosper us according to Thy word in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tonight as we conclude our series on world history our purpose will be to discuss something of the movement of history in the twentieth century. The basic events of the twentieth century, the two world wars and other major developments are familiar to all of us. It will be our purpose therefore to look behind them and see what has been a motive force. A week ago we dealt with Britain from the eighteenth century through the nineteenth and I commentated on the loss of the will to live that the enlightenment and its skepticism with regards to God brought to men everywhere. Let me cite a further example of that from Edmond Gosses [sp?] study of Thomas Gray the poet who wrote the Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard.

It says of Gray he never hence forward visually rose above this deadly dullness of the spirits. His melancholy was passive and under control, not acute and rebellious like that of [unknown]. But it was almost enduring. It is probable that with judicious medical treatment it meant have been removed or so far relived as to be harmless. But it was not the habit of men in the first half of the nineteenth century to take any rational care of their health. Men who lived in the country and did not hunt took no exercise at all. The constitution of the generation was suffering from the mad frolics of the preceding age and almost everybody had a touch of gout or scurvy. Nothing was more frequent then for men in apparently robust health to break down suddenly at all points in early middle life. People were not in the least surprised when men like Garreth Fenton [sp??] died of mere indolence because they had become prematurely portly and could not be persuaded to get out of bed. Swift Thomson and Grey are illustrious examples of the neglect of all hygienic precaution among quiet middle class people in the earlier decades of that century. [00:03:03]

People had no will to live and so they ate in a kind...[edit]

People had no will to live and so they ate in a kind of frenzied way as though there was nothing else to life except eating, pictures of the period indicate the kind of incredible obesity of people and the fact that men including men of prominence would simply go to bed and stay there and wait to die is indicative of the will to live. It was also an era of man centered morality, to cite an example from France, from a classic of the day, the stage is [unknown] and a very revealing passage about how people were governed, [unknown] has just met this very young widow and within four or five minutes of them meeting he is trying to seduce her and I quote:

“Hold said she you are too impertinent, this is like a rake; I fear you are but a loose young fellow. For shame Madame, can you set your face against what women of the first taste and condition encourage? A prejudice against what is vulgarly called vice may be all very well for citizen’s wives [that is for middle class, the puritan element, the Huguenots]. That is decisive, said she, there is no resisting so forcible a plea.”

Now that’s the kind of mentality that prevailed in the eighteenth century. It was barely pushed back by the evangelical re-awakening, it began to return full force in the twentieth century. And with the twentieth century there began something that was unique in history except in the latter days of Rome: the strong tendency towards suicide. Early in the years of this century Masaryk [sp?], a great Czech scholar, called attention to the fact that suicide was something new in Christendom, a high rate of suicide and suicide as a major cause of death. It still is, far more so than it was before World War One. The difference is is that now of course the statistics on suicide are almost impossible to get because too many doctors will cooperate with the family to over the cause of death and it will not be properly reported in the press and death notices. [00:06:20]

In the eighteenth century taste was what reasonable...[edit]

In the eighteenth century taste was what reasonable cultured people could enjoy and the world was to conform to their taste. Joseph Addison said and I quote:

“The taste is not to conform to the art but the art to the taste.”

In other words what an elite group of people said is good taste determined what constituted art, what constituted proper attire, everything. And of course with taste changing in terms of the fad created by the elite what was good art and good music also was a changing concept. Last week we saw how the aristocracy took over and became a governing elite. The twentieth century saw this aristocracy progressively replaced by equally anti-Christian group. The eighteenth century had seen these people quite powerful in France: the philosophes of the enlightenment. In the twentieth century the modern philosophes, the intellectuals, came to the fore so that the old aristocracy that was anti-Christian was replaced by an even more viscous element and even more anti-Christian. When we speak of them as intellectuals this is the technical term, it doesn’t mean they are more intelligent than others or that they are more scholarly than others. By soft definition the intellectuals are anti-Christian. Thus recently in another part of the country a professor, an associate professor at a major university lost his position and one of the central charges against him, he was a very popular, a very successful professor, one of the central charges against him I the hearing that ensued and it was in the press was that he had assigned to his classes a book by a man named R.J. Rushdoony entitled Messianic Character of American Education which was actually against the public schools and how could such a man be a scholar and assign such a book. [00:09:12]

In the hearing the professors who engineered the firing...[edit]

In the hearing the professors who engineered the firing of this associate professor admitted on the stand that they had not read this book by Rushdoony but it was obviously unscholarly in view of its thesis, you see, because it was Christian and it was anti-public schools. So you define an intellectual as one who takes a particular line. Of necessity anti-Christian, of necessity socialistic, statist in orientation. We saw how in France Louis XIV introduced the pentagon concept, the use of experts, government by experts. And so you had the rise of experts to power, of intellectuals and scientists. And increasingly as the twentieth century moved ahead the great expert came to be a scientist. Louis Munford who definitely is not a Christian nor a conservative has commentated on the role of such people in his book The Pentagon of Power. He says among other things concerning the goal of these scientific experts and the goal he says is to create life. They are governed he says and I quote:

“By a more insidiously flattering idea, who he creates life is a god. Hence the very idea of a creative deity who science from the sixteenth century on has regarded as a superfluous hypothesis in analyzing matter and motion came back with redoubled force I the collective persona of organized science. All those who serve this god participated in its power and glory and for them was the ultimate kingdom too. Even a few years ago this interpretation might have been seen unacceptable except in an avowed science fiction track but in 1965 the President of the American Chemical Society, a Nobel Prize laureate in a parting address put this ambition into so many words ‘let us martial all our scientific forces together’ he urged his colleagues, ‘in order to create life’.” Unquote.


So the god concept, he says, is full force except for...[edit]

So the god concept, he says, is full force except for now the desire is for a new god: the scientific expert. Man has made the machine and now scientists are seeking, he says, to remake man in the image of the machine, to program man. And he goes on to say and I quote:

“The final consequences of such submission may be well be what Roderick Siedenburg has anticipated: a falling back of man into a primordial state of unconsciousness, forfeiting even the limited awareness other animals must maintain in order to survive.”

In other words to be like Zombies.

“With the aid of hallucinatory drugs this state may even be described by the official manipulators and conditioners as an expansion of consciousness or some equivalent tranquilizing phrase that would be provided by public relation experts. If proof were needed of the real nature of electronic control no less a [unknown] of the system than [unknown] has supplied. Electromagnetic technology, he observes, in understanding media requires utter human docility and quiescence of meditation such as befits an organism which now wears its brain outside its skull and its nerves outside its hide. Man must serve his electric technology with the same fidelity with which he served his corporal, his [unknown] and all other extensions of his physical organs. To make his point [unknown] is driven brazenly to deny the original office of tools and utensils as direct servants of human purpose. By the same kind of slippery falsification [unknown] would reinstate the compulsions of the pyramid age as desirable features of the totalitarian electronic complex.” Unquote.

Now some of this seemed like peculiar language, what he is saying is that [unknown] and others require utter human docility and quiescence of mediation as befits an organism that now wears its brain outside of its skull, what does that mean? Wearing our brain outside of our skull? Why the idea there is that we are creating giant computers and all so those are now the real brains of humanity. [00:15:07]

They and an elite group that will run them...[edit]

They and an elite group that will run them. So our brains are outside of our skull therefore what’s left inside of our skull must be utterly docile and totally quiet and with drugs it will be made quiet. This then is the vision of the future that the new governing elite of the twentieth century has. World War One and Two were preceded by a great deal of thinking and planning by these people whereby the world was to be now an area of utter safety. A world of peace and unlimited progress. It became instead an age of total war. With the peace treaties after both wars the dream of creating world peace was revived, after all was not World War One fought according to Woodrow Wilson to make the world safe for democracy, a war to end war? And the same was ostensibly the purpose of World War Two. The peace treaties however reflected Comte, August Comte, the founder of sociology and sociology with the results of the League of Nations and the United Nations. Now according to Comte mankind has three stages in its history, the first was the stage of religion and of myth in which man was trying to find the meaning of things. The second was the stage of reason and philosophy when man was still trying to find the meaning of things. The third is the stage or the age of science when man has advanced to the point where he realizes there is no meaning to anything and it is only the religious idiot who is interested in meaning and purpose, in morality, as though these things were real and important when they are just myths. The age of science is the age of technology, of technique, where you try to solve all problems by scientific technique and technology. Now of course this is exactly what was attempted after both wars: the League of Nations, United Nations, techniques for differences together and resolving them scientifically, rationally. [00:18:05]

No consideration given to the fact of sin as important...[edit]

No consideration given to the fact of sin as important, no. Technique is everything. And thus the twentieth century is the century of technique. The problem therefore must never be seen as sin but simply inadequate technology. One of the most important statements of this was in 1962 by John F. Kennedy at Yale University at the commencement exercise. When he said we have now passed the age of ideology, the age of religious conflict and the conflict of ideas. We now understood that all problems were technological problems and we now had the experts who could cope with them. This is why of course all the intellectuals dream of the days of Kennedy as the days of Camelot, he was their shining King Arthur because for him all answers were answers that the experts were going to solve and he was gathering the experts into Washington to settle all the problems of the world. Thus any concern with truth, any concern with meaning, with purpose was an indication that you really belonged to the realm of the idiots, the religious people, you were a fool. It is interesting that Will Durant, not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination nor conservative by any stretch of the imagination, still had enough in him of the old fashioned world to be concerned about truth and some few years ago he wrote, June 8 1931, a letter to Lord Russell and sent it to Presidents Hoover and [unknown], Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald, Boy George, Winston Churchill, Philip Stolon, Mussolini, [more names unknown], Madame Curry, Jane Adams, Joseph Stalin, Igor Stravinsky, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, H.G. Wells, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Eugene O’Neal, now that’s certainly a letter that went to some of the most important people in the world. Of course the letter was regarded by most of them as a joke. [00:21:17]

But why?

“ I am attempting [I’ll just read a few passages] to face in my next book a question that our generation perhaps more than most always ready to ask and never ready to answer. What is the meaning or worth of human life? The industrial revolution has destroyed the home and the discovery of contraceptives is destroying the family, the old morality and perhaps through the sterility of the intelligent, the race. Love is analyzed into a physical congestion and marriage becomes a temporary physiological convenience slightly superior to promiscuity. Democracy is degenerated into such corruption as only Milo’s Rome knew and our youthful dreams of a socialist utopia disappear as we see day after day the inexhaustible inquisitiveness of men. Every invention strengthens the strong and weakens the weak, every new mechanism displaces men and multiplies the horrors of war. God who was once the consolation of our brief plight and our refuge in bereavement and suffering has apparently vanished from the scene, no telescope, no microscope discovers Him. Life has become in that total perspective which is philosophy a fitful peculation of human insects on the earth, a planetary eczema that may soon be cured. Nothing is certain in it except defeat and death, a sleep from which it seems there is no awakening. We are driven to conclude that the greatest mistake in human history was the discovery of truth [that is the truth that there is no God supposedly]. It has not made us free except from delusions that comforted us and restraints that preserved us, it has not made us happy for truth is not beautiful and did not deserve to be so passionately chased. Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what help if any religion gives you, what keeps you going, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy. What is the goal or motive force of your toil? Where you find your consolations and your happiness, where in the last resort your treasure lies, Sincerely, Will Durant.” [00:23:56]

Well you can see why it was a joke because even though...[edit]

Well you can see why it was a joke because even though he was an atheist like the rest of them he was still concerned about truth, about meaning, when all there is supposedly is technology and sensation or pleasure. You see Will Durant didn’t get the message that your grade school children have gotten today and this is why they are the way they are. This is why you have books like E.F. Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity and people act surprised about it. But as Mumford makes clear when you have to eliminate man as a factor you have to teach him that his brain is over there in the computers and the governing elite. Why shouldn’t you openly propose that he have electrodes put in his brain so that he can be controlled better? The twentieth century however saw something else, the Russian Revolution of 1917 which wound up in a Bolshevik victory. In the old Russia the nobility had been working with the revolutionists subsidizing them, because they wanted to overthrow the Czar. It ended up of course with their overthrow. And the Bolsheviks who were a small handful, not enough to overthrow a village really, were able to overthrow the entire country by turning loose the mob, promising the mob everything. And so what you had for a while was anarchy and destruction in Russia, the anarchists were fully encouraged, and the mob, the peasants, the working men were turned loose with the promise of everything, take it it’s all yours. And so it was a period of wild looting as the mobs poured without any interference into good homes and into the best homes, into the palaces, everywhere to loot, to kill, to take, this was going to be their enrichment. The Bolsheviks could never have done it without the mob. And the mob, because the loss of faith was filtering down to them, was ready to do what they were asked to do. [00:27:17]

Thus the modern age sees first dissolute degenerate...[edit]

Thus the modern age sees first dissolute degenerate monarchy, than a dissolute and degenerate aristocracy, a degenerate class of intellectuals and scientists and a degenerate people turned loose to destroy. And so it was a very easy matter after they had destroyed the old order for the Bolsheviks to take over and to organize it. Lenin held that the end justified the means; he was a totally merciless man. For him the goal was a scientific socialist order, he had an utter contempt for truth and the idea of truth or honoring his word. When his fellow Bolsheviks brought him the peace treaty in 1917, early 1918, to be signed with Germany the treaty was surrendering great portions of Russian territory to the Axis powers and he was asked to read it before he signed it. His remark in indignation was:

“What? Not only do you want me to sign this impudent peace treaty but also to read it? No, no, never. I shall neither read it nor carry out its terms whenever there is a chance not to do so.” Unquote.

And Lenin made it clear you sign whatever is necessary, that’s our policy, you keep your word about nothing unless it is necessary or convenient to do so. Mass executions were ordered, [unknown] said that the bourgeois kills separate individuals but we kill whole classes. A Czech official wrote:

“We are exterminating the bourgeois as a class, don’t look for evidence of proof showing that this or that person either by word or deed acted against the interests of the Soviet Power, the first questions you should put to the arrested person is ‘to what class does he belong’, ‘what is his origin’, ‘what was his education’ and ‘what is his profession’. These should determine the fate of the accused; this is the essence of the red terror.” Unquote.


And so it was the mass execution of all officers in...[edit]

And so it was the mass execution of all officers in the army, of all the middle class, of all the upper class, of everyone in certain professions, of all the clergy and so on. Moreover Lenin said in 1920:

“All phrases about equal rights are nonsense. They were a fine language when they were getting the mob on their side. He also said we repudiate all morality which proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas which are outside class conceptions. In our opinion morality is entirely subordinate to the ideas of class war. Everything is moral which is necessary for the inhalation for the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat. Our morality then consists solely in close discipline and in conscious war against the exploiters. We do not believe in external principles of morality and we will expose this deception. Communist morality is identical with the plight for strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat. There are no morals in politics, there is only expediency.” Unquote.

Psalm 64 tells us that our trust is not to be in the upper or the lower classes or in man. Weigh them in the balances and they are less than nothing our trust is to be in the Lord. And modern history has amply demonstrated that as one group after another has gained power. The scientific socialist state was what triumphed in the Soviet Union. The people, the common people had power for a while during the overthrow and the anarchy and they demonstrated what they were made of. The scientific socialist state now governs in virtually every country of the world in varying degrees. Its concept of society is that it is a scientific experiment. Now in an experiment there can be no freedom so you must progressively eliminate freedom as a factor. In an experiment you can make mistakes but you do not sin and even a mistake in an experiment is not really bad because you need a variety of experiments to determine what will not work and you keep performing experiments until you come to a solution that works. Man thus is the test tube animal in the scientific socialist state. [00:33:34]

The scientific society is with us everywhere, on both...[edit]

The scientific society is with us everywhere, on both sides of the Iron Curtain. We have a scientific society in this country and it is of course exactly what people want. At the beginning of the modern age Bacon and Descartes said and held that the accumulation of scientific knowledge would automatically bring more human welfare. In recent years some have said we must put the emphasis more on social sciences and this means a political problem and humanistic politics as the answer. Now like it or not the answer of the over whelming majority of people in every part of the world is that a scientific state will provide the answer. That the problems of man will be solved by the sciences. Those who believe in God are few and far between and if you do not believe in God the logic of the situation is that humanism has the answer and the most logical forms of humanism are Marxism and existentialism. The new view of reality as men see it today is that man is the measure. Men are humanistic today and this goes not only for the ones on the left but those on the right and where men are humanistic the logic of human will carry them into either existentialism or anarchism or into communism. Moreover the new view of reality is that realism means dirt. One of the pioneers in so called realistic writing was [unknown]. And J.B. Priestley himself a humanist and therefore ineffectual in protesting against realism has said of [unknown] and very validly and what he says applies to writers today and I quote:

“In spite of their objective naturalistic manner which so easily deceives the young and the innocent when that manner is in fashion they are no closer to the facts of our common existence than the tales of the early romancers. They monstrously over simplify life, rob it of most of its potentiality of change and growth, deny it any power of compensation just to make their one cruel point as if they were matadors and life a dying bull. There is so much falsification in the cool neat cynical [unknown] type of short story as there is the sentimental and rosy fiction of the popular magazine. There are as many tricks in this business of leaving characters desolate forever after three incidents in thirty pages as there are in leaving them in a permanent glow of happiness. Thus what you have today in novels and in fiction, in television and in movies, the so called realism, is something as unrealistic as the old fairy tales because it is no more a faithful picture of life then it is their concept of what reality is: a myth. “


Moreover as we saw last time appearance has become...[edit]

Moreover as we saw last time appearance has become reality. The essence of life is to put a good front, to make an impression, to be seen and heard, to make an impact on the public. This is why even men like McIntyre essentially a humanist want parades down the streets of Washington; this supposedly is going to change men. This of course is precisely humanism. It is Comte psychology and sociology. What is Comte’s essence of what constitutes the third age, the scientific age: technology. You don’t work in terms of meaning but to make an impact with technology and so you are going to manipulate people by making an impression on them. Appearance, a show, a parade, in place of reality, in place of moral principles, in place of changing the hearts of men. Moreover the new temple has become the humanistic state school, the true temple of the modern age, its religious institution. Charles Francis Potter in Humanism A New Religion, 1930, himself a leading humanist wrote:

“Education is thus the most powerful ally of humanism and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of five day program of humanistic teaching.” Unquote. [00:40:00]

Moreover as men dream of the future their vision of...[edit]

Moreover as men dream of the future their vision of that future is totally in terms of this scientific society. Two of the most popular books best sellers of recent years, which deal with this subject are John McCall’s The Future Of the Future and Alvin Tippler’s Future Shock. Now Tippler was editor, associate editor of Fortune and a professor at Cornell and elsewhere. And McCall is also a very outstanding writer and scholar. And their vision of the future is of course precisely the kind of thing that Munford was describing. It is a world in which artificial men are created, man itself becomes obsolete and makes way for clonal man, in which the least of things done to men is to put electrodes in their brain. It is a world ruled by the scientific elite in which there is no room for God and really no room for men in any sense that we can recognize them. Very definitely the death of God means also the death of men. For when God goes man is expendable in the minds of these men. He’s poorly made, he doesn’t meet their specifications and since they cannot remake him they will invent something to take his place. Niche claimed to be the great humanist and lover of life and of man but he ended up with the slobbering hatred of man and demand that superman be created. And now the scientific elite tells us that they will make superman artificially and they actually claim that the time will come when you will go to an air terminal to the counter to get your ticket and you’ll not be able to tell whether the very beautiful girl waiting on you is an artificial girl or a human being. And of course ultimately the artificial girl will be much more reliable than any real girl and so you can guess who will be dispensable. [00:42:58]

This is the mad, the truly insane dream of the new...[edit]

This is the mad, the truly insane dream of the new scientific elite. It’s a dangerous dream, it’s a dream that spells murder, the murder of man. The millions upon millions that were murdered by Stalin and the millions upon millions who were murdered by Mau in Red China are just a drop in the bucket. To what men in the universities very close to us all across the country, in England, in France, Germany, all over the world are contemplating when they discuss, plan, make a scientific goal to do the kinds of things these writers describe. It is the planned murder of man, of mankind. Moreover they are doing this with the hearty approval of most men, the overwhelming popularity of these books can scarcely be believed. The average man is ready to accept these because he hates life. This book was published in July of 1970, it appeared, condensations of it, in Horizon, Red Book and Playboy.

[Tape ends]