Why History is Important b - RR160A1b

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Why History is Important_b
Course: Course - World History
Subject: Subject:History
Lesson#: 2
Length: 0:31:38
TapeCode: RR160A1b
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.

He therefore classified the whole of the animal world, a major task. He tilled and dressed the garden, an agricultural task. He thus very quickly developed the basic skills to maintain life and to live in terms of a reasonable command of knowledge. Thus you have to say Adam indeed was a remarkable person. Then you have to recognize Adam began at the beginning with all the potentialities, all the genetic abilities of the human race concentrated and unfallen. So that there was a clear mind of a high degree of intelligence unaffected by sin, so that he could very readily grapple with his problems. Very interesting point that I read recently written by a psychologist who is a [unintelligible] going humanist but a very good scholar. In his book he says the problem with modern man is not a lack of intelligence but inner conflict and tension which makes him unable to use his intelligence. Then he went on to say one of the things that characterizes most people and he said the more people that are free to work the way they want to work the harder it becomes for them to work. Why? Well they will sit down and he cites the example of the writers will sharpen their pencils and arrange the paper on their desk to stall endlessly before getting down to work although they know what to say. Or people who will stall on doing a job and he says man’s psychological tensions are so great that he is unable to get directly to what he has to do. We’re all familiar with the fact that if we’re upset it’s hard for us to settle down to work. Well looking at what he says in terms of our perspective we have to say that he is simply calling attention to the fact that the sinner is not able to function effectively because the fact of his sin so disturbs and troubles his mind that he is continually at war with himself. Now this problem was not present in Adam. This problem will not be present in us in the new creation. We will then function perfectly. [00:03:16]


[Question Unintelligible]

[Rushdoony Answers] Yes, well you have in effect have stated it as you said I have on other occasions called attention to the fact that a couple of centuries ago and almost to the civil war in this country it was very common for young boys to have a capacity and girls for knowledge far beyond what even college graduates assimilate today. And in those days a person went to college or university at the age of fourteen or fifteen having finished everything what we know consider grade and high school work by about thirteen or fourteen at the latest. Moreover they were mature much earlier and I’ve cited the example a couple times before but it’s good and bears repeating since a few of you have not heard it, of Admiral Farragut who at the age of fifty nine was a fifty year veteran of the U.S. Navy. He entered at nine as a cabin boy. In his boy men commanded ships before they were out of their teens. Many scholars were mathematicians and scholars working or managing businesses before they were out of their teens. You had then a Christian concept of man and man being Christian was better self-disciplined and better able to function. But as you have the development of humanism you have had the coddling on the one hand of children and they remain babies for much longer and boys and girls much longer and you have their inability to function. Now Christian education will progressively bring the age of maturity lower and lower so that again maturity will be something that people have in their teens or when they hit their teens. So it will make a difference. And man will have a different concept of himself and of his past, present and future. Now the goal is, as I’ve pointed out before, perpetual childhood as it were. [00:06:50]


[question unintelligible]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes, there’s a book written about the work of this girl, among the chimpanzees. Well you see, if you have an inadequate definition of man or a false definition what you come up with, if there are some scholars that said for a long time that man is a tool making animal, the chimp makes the tools. It’s just a little trick; therefore the chimp is probably a man. Now, if the definition is what I cited once, that man is a two legged animal, then chickens are men too. [Laughter] You see what happens with them, they begin with a false definition and they wind up with a false conclusion. Something else on TV, twice this week, Buckley’s interview of B. F. Skinner has been on the air, did anyone listen to that? One person. Now- oh, two. B. F. Skinner is a Harvard psychologist, a behaviorist. He has written a book Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Its behaviorism and I think the best statement of behaviorism was by John Watson and I have a chapter on him in my book The Messianic Character of American Education. His whole point of view is that we cannot talk about man as being responsible and he said the older perspective, the Christian one, was that man sinned, he was responsible for this and that and then he said the newer liberal perspective was that well you’re aren’t responsible it was your parents fault or it was your teachers or the communities fault. He said this is still a hangover from the old idea of responsibility. But what we have to say is that man is just a series of reflex actions so that you cannot say he is responsible. You cannot say he is guilty. You cannot in fact talk about his freedom; in fact we have to develop a society which is beyond freedom and beyond dignity. We have to condition man totally. Now of course there are ways of conditioning men. You can condition man by planting electrodes in their brain. [00:09:57]

Now if it comes to that maybe they’ll do it to all...[edit]

Now if it comes to that maybe they’ll do it to all of us. But of course Skinner feels there’s easier ways that can be used to control everybody and a handful of men, and he admits he is a man who has an urge to dominate others, but a handful of men such as B.F. Skinner will rule the rest of us, you see for our own good. We will be autonomons as it were, robots, human robots, controlled. And they’ll pull the strings for our welfare. Because we are not truly responsible, that’s a myth! This is the only way to save the world and the future. Now B.F. Skinner is not a johnny-come-lately or a nobody, he’s a very powerful man, if you go to a job at most major corporations, that test you take is a test planned by B.F. Skinner. So it’s going to eliminate most of you unless you’re a good liar. Now that is the truth. The tests are denied by Skinner to eliminate people like yourself. On top of that he is very, very influential in his thinking as far as Washington is concerned. Now he has a view concerning the past that eliminates Christianity as a myth. Therefore he has a plan for the future, to eliminate over population, to eliminate all ecological problems and so on, absolutely controlling us in every respect. We’re not fit to control ourselves. Here is a plan for the future. And your plan and mine runs counter to it. If the issue is going to be decided in terms of who has the most people on their side, he’s won. But if there’s an absolute truth about history, God, then B.F. Skinner is on a collision course, is he not? He’s going to run straight dab into almighty God and I don’t think it’s going to be God who’s going to give in to Skinner. [Laughter] [00:12:15]

[Question Unintelligible]...[edit]

[Question Unintelligible]

[Rushdoony Answers] Yes, I’d like to have that if you have a copy. Oh, well of course my question to these people is if this is so good, your plan for putting electrodes in everybody’s head so that you can control them from a master panel, then let’s go ahead and do it and then give it over to me. Let me control you! Of course then it becomes a different story you see, it’s good if they do it. [00:13:05]

Yes? [Person talking unintelligibly]...[edit]

Yes? [Person talking unintelligibly]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes, except that I don’t like [Unknown name]. [Person replies and then Rushdoony answers] I think the weakness of [same name] is, and it’s a deadly weakness, he believes that these people, what they say first of all, and then he believes that they can do what they say they can do, he is their number one convert without realizing. [Person talks again and Rushdoony] Yes, any other questions, yes?

[Unintelligible question]

[Rushdoony Answers] Yes, social science is a science of the control of man by man. And therefore social science has replaced history in our schools because they no longer believe in history but they believe in social science. And they study history in a view to manipulating man in order to gain the social order they want. [Person talks and then Rushdoony replies] No, it is not a legitimate subject in any Christian curriculum. It is a humanistic perspective. Social science is the attempt to control man and the science of the study of man for purpose of control. Yes? [00:15:10]

[Person talks, then Rushdoony answers] Yes, the state...[edit]

[Person talks, then Rushdoony answers] Yes, the state then draws the changeover while the social studies in ’37 and then it became social science of course and now it is called the humanities. More and more is absorbed into the subject of the humanities. All a part of the whole same social science perspective that broadens to include English and other subjects. Yes.

[Question and then Rushdoony answers]

True, the question is ‘Are encyclopedias are humanistic (which they are) and why don’t we have a Christian encyclopedia?’ Encyclopedias represent one of the most important histories and ideas of the humanists. The French encyclopedists were the humanists who were anti-Christian to the core, they decided that the thing to do would be to put out an Encyclopedia of all existing knowledge which would be totally anti-Christian, totally humanistic. This then all encyclopedias have followed the same basic program. They vary in the extent to which they are revolutionary in their presuppositions but all encyclopedias, the Britannica and every other one have as their purpose to promote a kind of knowledge which says in effect we must have a social order in which man controls man and controls everything and you have that kind of society. Without God without an absolute law, with man’s control of man. The reason why you haven’t had a Christian encyclopedia is lack of funds. To prepare an encyclopedia requires a few million dollars at the very least. It’s a major undertaking. And at this point there hasn’t been anyone to come forward to put up money for such a thing. There hasn’t been through the years. And that’s the problem. Yes, as a matter of fact most of your textbooks today and your encyclopedias probably as well represent federal subsidies. We don’t realize it but when the state of California chooses a textbook it chooses a textbook or it offers a school a choice of two or three or four, these are from choices submitted by the federal government by textbooks that the federal government subsidizes. This is why the textbooks are such eautiful things today as compared to the textbooks of forty years ago. There are unlimited funds almost to make possible these beautiful textbooks with magnificent illustrations and maps, charts, everything. The modern science, history and other textbooks, English textbooks, are really gems. They’re works of art. Apart from the content, but they are magnificent and expensive products. [Laughter] [00:19:03]

[Woman speaking]...[edit]

[Woman speaking]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes but who wants to put up money for it? I tried a few years ago to get a number of wealthy people who claimed to be Christians to get interested in a program of textbook writing. And I knew where there were the Christian school teachers who were ready to do it. But none of them could be bothered. Yes?

[Person speaking unintelligibly]

[Rushdoony answers] Some of the older encyclopedias have some articles that are acceptable, but the basic perspective is still humanistic. Yes? Any other comments or questions? Yes?

[Person speaking unintelligibly]

[Rushdoony answers] Uh, Macauley wrote some very interesting and moving volumes on English history. I like them. But the modern scholars are very hostile to them because there is a Christian perspective in Macauley. So you have Macauley, read him, you’ll enjoy him and he’s basically quite trust worthy. There are things you can get in Macauley’s History of England that you cannot get elsewhere. You’ll never encounter some of the data that he has in his books in any other book. [Person speaking and Rushdoony answers] William Macauley, M-a-c-a-u-l-e-y, [person speaks again] Thomas, excuse me, Thomas Macauley. But nowadays if you read anything about Macauley it shows nothing but scorn and contempt for him. Yes? [00:21:30]

[Person speaking unintelligible]...[edit]

[Person speaking unintelligible]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes, Webster’s French Revolution is her best work. It is her most trustworthy work and it is an unequaled study of the French revolution. Now if it has a weakness it is that it emphasizes the conspiratorial aspect which is still true, more than the fact that you had a moral degeneration and a central situation. This is the one shortcoming. You see, you have a radical collapse of both the Huguenots and the Catholics in France before the French revolution became possible. In fact you had both sides coming out strongly for the revolution. And this is why after the revolution both Protestants and Catholics were for all practical intent dead in France. They were so morally compromised it was their failure and the generations before the revolution that helped make it possible. Some of their clergy men were leading members of the revolutionary movement. And this aspect you see she doesn’t touch on but what she does deal with is excellent. Yes?

[Person speaking unintelligible]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes, the premillennial position has been very popular since the latter part of the last century until World War Two, it is not as strong as it has been since. The premillennial position says that there is no hope in history and basically the only thing to do is to wait for the second coming when Christ will come and establish a Jewish empire which will rule the entire world with himself as king. Now that’s the premillennial perspective. The source of it is from [name unintelligible], a Church of England clergyman, of rather peculiar tendencies out of whom came the Plymouth brotherhood and his most prominent disciple as it were, was [name unintelligible] whose edition of the Bible has notes in it which propagate this point of view. There are so many contradictions in Snowfield’s notes because in effect makes the cross an afterthought on the part of our Lord and salvation through his atoning work not basic and holds that the temple and the temple sacrifices will be revived and so on. That for years they’ve been working on a revision, they have one edition of it out and they’re not satisfied with it, the contradictions are too great and the movement is splintering some. Its basic stronghold is still the [name unintelligible] Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. Yes?

[Person speaking unintelligible]

[Rushdoony answers] Let’s see, oh yes, right. Well that’s very well done because you see when you have a despair of history as you do among the youth today there’s a flight from history and its problems. Thus you have the revolt against technology; I’ll deal with this in the next Chalcedon Report which characterizes modern youth. There’s a great deal of truth in ecology but there’s a great deal of nonsense in it too. And they are carrying a revolt against technology to the point of trying to return to primitivism. So they want to farm with hoes as though that’s the answer. They can’t grow anything that way, they become childish play actors, they wear clothes that are something out of the movies about the pioneer women and the frontiers and then they’ll go barefoot or wear sandals, it’s all a primitivism, a flight from history you see. And this is one reason why there is such an interest in things old now. Well that’s goo d to the extent that it helps preserve some of the past but its sick in that they’re running away from the present and the future. They don’t like what it has to say. This morning Dorothy had a discussion with a young woman whose father had just recently retired as a professor of Political Science and what is he doing? Well now he’s retired he refuses to read even the daily paper because he’s so sure that there’s nothing ahead but disaster. But he doesn’t want to face anything and he wants to die in peace, although it may be a long ways ahead before he dies. But he doesn’t want to know what’s going on in the world today. This is what characterizes men more and more. And of course one of the most common forms of escape that men have taken in every period of a collapse, when a faith or civilization is collapsing has been sex, to run away from it. [00:27:30]

When men have no faith their reaction to disaster is...[edit]

When men have no faith their reaction to disaster is to try and lose themselves in a wild frantic sexuality. As a result when the San Francisco earthquake hit the Bay area the lines at the houses of prostitution were blocks and blocks long. And this happens every time you have a disaster. Why? Because men are running away from reality and the bars of course do a [unintelligible] at the time of the disaster. So they use liquor and sex as an escape. And this is why you’re seeing the same thing today, the rise in alcoholism, the flight to drugs, the wild frantic sexuality; it’s all a flight from problems, a flight from the future. And such people cannot create a future except as disaster. Yes? [00:28:44]

[Woman speaking]...[edit]

[Woman speaking]

[Rushdoony answers] You mean- uh- oh she has been good in calling attention to that and her book on the new left is one of her best things. But her answer is just as barren as any meaning. Aynd Rand.

[Two persons speaking unintelligibly]

[Rushdoony answers] Yes, because basically for them everything for them today is nothing. God is nothing, man is nothing, life is nothing, studying, knowledge…everything is nothing. So you have to think of it as part of their total rejection of meaning…their flight from life. It’s pathetic and very, very wicked. Well our time is just about up, now you have your notes or will get them this coming Sunday. Please read them because then you can understand what I shall be saying about the Hebrews, Old Testament history, the Greeks, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, so on, next week. Let’s bow our heads in prayer. [00:30:22]

Our lord and our God, we thank Thee that we have a...[edit]

Our lord and our God, we thank Thee that we have a plan for the future which comes from Thee. We thank Thee that we live and move and have our being in Thee. That according to thy word all things work together for good for them that believes in Thee. For them that are called according to Thy purpose. Strengthen us, we beseech Thee therefore in the midst of an evil and despairing generation that our hearts may ever be filled with hope, our hands busy in thy service, our hearts grateful unto Thee for thy government. Bless us for this purpose we beseech Thee. Give us traveling mercies now as we travel homeward. A blessed nights rest and joy in our labor on the morrow, in Jesus’ name, Amen.