Foundations of Social Order
Foundations of Social Order
Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Subject: Foundations of Social Order
Dictation Name: RR126G13
Let us pray. Almighty God our heavenly Father, we give thanks unto thee that thou art our God, and as we face this troubled world we face it not alone but in thee and in thy power. Make us strong in thee therefor over us, confident in faith, resolute in thy service so that in all things we may be more than conquerors through Him that loved us, even Jesus Christ our Lord. In His name we pray amen. Our scripture is Psalm 127, the first verse in particular, and our subject the foundations of social order, the foundations of social order. We have been studying and will continue to study the creeds and councils, but it is time to assess now again the significance of creedalism, and the necessity to analyze the foundations of social order. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrow, for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is he the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Every social order rests on a creed, on a faith and a concept of life and law. Every social order, every culture is a religion in action. Culture is simply religion externalized, therefor every attack on the structure of a society is an attack on its basic faith, on its religion. [3:07]
A society grows in terms of its basic faith, or else it perishes because that faith is in process of being denied, and a new structure, a new foundation is being built. The Marxists are very astute men in this regard, they recognize that any tampering with the basic structure of society, any criticism of it, is what they call counter-revolutionary activity, that is; a revolution against their revolution, that western is today dying because it is indifferent to its basic structure, its creedal base of Biblical Christianity. We need therefor to examine the foundations of social order, to understand what the basic creedal foundations of society must be. The first of the foundations of social order come to focus in law. Law is as we have seen, enacted morality, and every legal system is simply the codification of the moral principles of a society, and morality rests on religion, it is an aspect of religious order. Therefor basic to the first foundation of social order, law, is religion. The law and morality are manifestations of a religious faith. Now when we analyze religion we have to recognize that religion can be classified basically under two broad headings. Religions are first of all theistic, and this is Christianity. Theism, that is faith in God, asserts God to be creator and lord, total governor. Theism asserts that the order of the universe is a god given order and that it is an absolute order, that man’s social order must be patterned after Gods law order, and Gods law is the source of man’s law, and Gods predestination governs all things. [5:56]
The other great classification of religion under which virtually every religion except biblical Christianity is to be classified, is political religions. The central religious institution is political, politics is then the source of morality and law, and as we have already seen on previous occasions we have classic examples of this in Greece. Plato first of all defined his politics and then derived his ethics and morality from his politics. Plato and Aristotle and all of Greek philosophy and all of paganism saw the priority of politics and politics as the true religious order. As a result, it sees the order of the universe as something which is a developing and evolving structure which man must through politics guide and control, because man is his own God, and predestination is by man. Thus the first aspect of the foundations of social order is law, and (?) concept of law, what kind of religion you establish it on. The second foundation of social order is the state. The state is the social organization of a creed or religion, it is the legal structuring of the moral system of the society, and state cannot be amoral, that is neutral to morality, because if every law represents a moral code, neither can a state be neutral to religion because it is the religious structuring of society. When its faith claims to be neutral in the area of religion it is because it is in process of abandoning one religion and accepting another so that the pretense to neutrality is a false front. It is a pretense maintained so that if one religion can be scuttled and another introduced. The state can be no less religious than the church, the two basic religious organizations in any society are the church and the state. [8:54]
In Christian society, church and state are equally religious, the state is the ministry of justice and the church is the ministry of grace. In every non-Christian society the state is the main religious institution, and the temple or the church or the shrine is simply an aspect of the religious functioning of the state, so that the state is either equally religious with the church or it is centrally religious there is never a society in which the state is non-religious. It is the reason why the Caesars were deified, this is the reason why Mao Tse Tung’s birthplace is a shrine and you have a cult of the sacred heart of Mao Tse Tung. This is the reason why Stalin called for worship of himself, and why the new Russia since Stalin supposedly knew Russia no less has a worship of the dictatorship of the proletariat, so that while it is not focusing on man it is focused on the state nonetheless. This is why you have the cult of democracy, a religious cult in the Fabian socialist countries. The state is a religious institution inescapably so, and if its religion is not Christianity it will be something else, and in our day and age it is humanism. The state therefor can have two functions depending on the creed of the state, if the creed or the religion of the state is humanistic the state will be Messianic, it will be man’s savior and its political program will be a program of salvation. If the state is Christian then the state will be a ministry of Justice whose purpose it is to establish Godly law and order. The third foundation of social order is sovereignty. Sovereignty can either be transcendental, that is beyond the world in God, or it can be imminent, that is of this world residing in man or some institution of man. And the two conflicting sovereignties of our age are the sovereignty of God versus the sovereignty of the state. [11:59]
Sovereignty means that the sovereign governs everything within his world. His law order, his word, his government, his control over arches everything within his universe, so that everything, (?) air, sky, the whole world we as Christians see as the creation of God, all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. God’s word therefor speaks to every area, it is His law for the family, for the school, for the church, for the state, for economics, for every single sphere of life, because if sovereign is not sovereign, if anything in this world is outside His total government, when the faith therefor any human order claims sovereignty, then your social order loses liberty. In a Christian social order the faith has one area, the ministry of justice. It has no jurisdiction over economics which is similarly under God and governed by His law, not the state’s law. It has no jurisdiction over education, which is similarly under God, or over the church, or over the family or over any of the other spheres of human activity. Each of these is governed by God not by the state, because God is the sovereign, not the state, that when the state claims sovereignty, the state then says it is our word, our law, our plan or predestination which must overarch the whole universe, the whole world that we cover, so that church, family, economics, art, education, every area of man’s life is subject to our government, to our plan, to our word. We are sovereign. Two sovereigns cannot coexist at the same point in time and space without conflict because they have mutually exclusive claims so that when the state claims sovereignty the state is thereby saying that God cannot be sovereign, because sovereignty precludes any other law than the law of that sovereign, so that whenever you have a concept of the sovereignty of the state coming into the social order, you have therefor a war against God, the state versus God, Caesar against Christ. [15:04]
So that the persecution of Christianity becomes inescapable, it becomes a war to the death. For family the order goes down as it did upon Caesar, round them all up, by the tens, the hundreds, the thousands, the millions, every last one of them and behead them; they must be eliminated. And the only way that order was withdrawn when finally Rome surrendered, it was a war to the death, and it is precisely that today. The fourth foundation of social order is the doctrine of grace. Man’s problem in any system is evil, in every religion, in every philosophy; in every social order man has a problem with evil. And they handle it in different ways, he may like a Christian scientist say it is illusion and deny it, but every religious system (?) to the problem of evil, and how man might be saved from it. For humanism the great antagonist of Christianity, evil is in the environment, and the state’s power to change the environment is its saving grace. The physical and the spiritual environment for humanism must be changed to save man, and social change is statist grace in operation. When the state operates today its quality programs and walks and (?) it is according to its religious conviction ascending grace to those areas, ministering to them with the true salvation. The evil environment must be destroyed to free man. Now evil environment often involves institutions (?). Therefor if you are to save man with the statist doctrine of grace you must destroy or liquidate those things that are irredeemably evil in the environment. This may involve free enterprise, the churches, the clergy, biblical Christians, the middle classes, capitalists, any and all who are deemed to be irredeemably evil, they must be liquidated. The others then must be reeducated in terms of the saving grace of the state. [18:35]
For biblical Christianity the answer to the problem of evil is God’s grace, not the so called grace of the state. Man’s problem is not environment but sin, man’s desire is to be his own God and to become his own principle of ultimacy and his own law. But man cannot save himself by politics or by works of law or morality, or any other means. Jesus Christ is man’s only savior. Now these are the four foundations of every social order, and every social order is going to change is these foundations are altered. If the basic faith with regard to these four things is humanist, a society will be in revolution against anything that is Christian. If men’s convictions become Christian, then they will be in revolution against a humanistic social order. Today we witness through better than a hundred years of statist education, the conversion of the masses of America to the new religion, humanism. Today’s Examiner had a very interesting article just on Wednesday. A 37 year old Negro convict Aaron Charles Mitchell is to die on Wednesday. He has been a criminal since his first arrest at seventeen and only spent five of those twenty years has he not been in prison. He murdered a police officer while he was committing a felony. (?) hearing was held before governor Brown last May, his attorney pleaded and I quote: “Has this man been fortunate enough to have been given white skin? He undoubtedly could have wound up in the seat now occupied by your honor.” [21:15]
This is pure environmentalism. Richard himself has said quote: “what people opt to be trying to find out about me is what it was in my environment that caused me to go bad.” In other words I am not responsible but my environment is. This then means that we have had a revolution, the foundations of our social order have moved from Christianity to humanism, so that what we represent today is not Americanism as it exists today, but we are relics of an old order, or else revolutionaries bent on creating a new order, which we are, depends upon us. Every social order has as we have pointed out, an implicit creed. And this creed defines the order and informs it, and when a social order begins to crumble, the greatest mistake that any people can make defending it is to make political defense the first line of defense. Political defense is necessary, but the modern conservative position has been to either make apolitical defense or an economic defense, and to say we are conservative, we have the correct position on economics, or on politics, and therefore we are going to save the social order. As a result they become fact finders. They document endlessly the corruption of the opposition, and what does it produce? It does not change the oppositions basic humanism, the most it ever does is to lead them to choose another humanism or, humanist, for the corrupt one they have at present, so they change from a Truman to an Eisenhower, and from an Eisenhower to a Kennedy, and this becomes reformed. Any defense that is not a creedal defense is a superficial one because it does not address itself to the basic foundations. [24:14]
One of the most pathetic defenses of a social order in all history was that made by Cicero. Interestingly enough Cicero is now held up as the ideal for conservatives. What was Cicero defending? The Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was established on the religious foundations of the old gods and the fact that the old Roman aristocracy represented the divinely established order, that they were the chosen bearers of authority, the ones who are destined in the senate and in other offices to wield authority and to establish and govern a republic. Now Cicero was trying to defend this old order against the masses when he no longer believed in the gods, nor in the philosophy that undergirded the republic. He was to retain the form without the meaning of the form, he was a radical unbeliever in everything that he defended. He defended it because it was what he liked, it was his position. Cicero therefor was a relic of the past an Julius Caesar who belonged to the same class as Cicero, saw that there was no future, there was no faith left behind what he represented so he went over to the mob and joined it and made himself its head because he said: this is where the future is, and even though it killed him he was right. The aristocrats killed him because the future was with the revolution. It alone had a religion that the people believed in, the religion of the masses today is humanism, and western civilization today is dying because its defenders will not defend the foundations. When the creed is accepted, the social order is determined. If the creed you accept is humanism then you have determined that you are going to have at a minimum democracy as a beginning, and communism as the ultimate of humanism. [27:05]
It is inescapable. You have the presuppositions that require it, if the creed which you have kept is biblical Christianity, the creeds of the early church, than the social order is again determined, and you will have a Christian social order, a constitution which denies the doctrine of sovereignty as far as man is concerned, and never uses the word. Which believes that because man’s problem is sin, you have checks and balances, and a fundamental (?) distrust of power, and you establish a social order on the foundation of limited power and limited liberty. There can therefore be no reconstruction of Christian civilization except on creedal foundations. Except the lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Most conservatives today are relics of the past. We because we are addressing to the creedal foundations, work again not the past, but the true future. Let us pray. Almighty God our heavenly father, we thank thee as we face the warfare that is now abroad throughout the face of the entire earth. We stand not with men but with thee, and we thank thee our God who thou art God, the true sovereign. And that with thee there is victory, and all that which is of man shall crumble with man. That all that which is in thee will endure and prevail. Strengthen us therefore in our faith, and to the end that we may be more than conquerors through Him that loved us, even Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray, amen. [30:11]
(Rushdoony) I hope we will get a copy of it, it was promised to us. General Lee has written a book on the leadership of President Kennedy in which he goes into some of the issues. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Yes, in other words he is offering a reforming humanism for a corrupt humanism, and there is no hope in that. Yes.
(Audience) Is there any (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) I myself see no point in having young men killed needlessly in a war that is a mockery, in which victory cannot be won.
(Rushdoony) Yes. First of all I am quite certain that it is planned. There will be more violence because after all the more violent they are the less guilty they are deemed by our powers that be. It is us who represent the evil environment and why shouldn’t they be turned loose to prey on us or to kill us? So there will be violence. So we have to take practical steps of course and many of us are taking practical steps for protecting ourselves against that, but the basic practical step that must be taken is to revive Christian faith and to reestablish it as the foundation of social order. We are going to see humanism go down in its own blood. [33:24]
And we had better be ready to recognize that it is going to go down in its own blood. They’re going to change their faith only when their false god absolutely and utterly fails. Yes.
(Audience) I’d like to ask you about our founding fathers. Now, they understood that (unintelligible) but there was some distinction (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) No, they could not because the conservatives today are not anything more than humanists who-
(Rushdoony) Yes, because they had power. Power is a very wonderful binder, wherever you have power you have people coming together and the power acts like a magnet, they hang to the center of power, that when people are not in power and they have no faith to hold them together, they (?) so that when you see a collapse in any power block you see also fragmentation, so that if tomorrow they lose power they will fragment.
(Rushdoony) Correct, there is fragmentation. Yes. But the fragmentation will not take actual effect until they lose, the elements are there but they are cohesive enough at election time, it will be with defeat that the fragmentation will truly set in and rend the party. Yes.
(Audience unintelligible) [36:08]
(Rushdoony) A very (?) lines in Mexico (?) old Spanish will not mix with the Mexicans, the Mexicans looked down on those who were part Indian, and those who were part Indian looked down on those who were all Indian, and all of them keep the Chinese and Negroes and other little- other racial roots outside the general stream of things. Yes.
(Audience) (unintelligible) And He got so mad that (unintelligible) and the Lord repented. How can the Lord repent?
(Rushdoony) Yes. Well the word for repent there is different in its connotations than we have. It means literally he reversed directions as far as what he said he was going to do. It doesn’t mean that there is repentance in the modern sense of the word.
(Audience) But here he established a covenant (unintelligible) Moses who pointed out that (?) contradicting him.
(Rushdoony) No, this was in large measure a trial of Moses, then later on he makes it clear that this was a trial of Moses because he tells Moses I will make you a great people rather than these. You will be the source of the new Israel and this was very exalting of Moses, that Moses was not thinking of himself, and so Moses passed the test. But the word repent there, in some modern versions will have another word, there are about three or four words that are translated as repent, and none of them have quite the connotation that we give the word today. One thing more- Yes.
(Audience) (unintelligible) the way I want to, but the republican party in the past, for the past few years has carried the label of the conservative party and now it is practically taken over by the liberals and the thing (unintelligible) and we say the democrat party will be pragmatic in the (unintelligible) we just work for it because (unintelligible) and we seem to be losing all the time (unintelligible) to a point (unintelligible) [39:45]
(Rushdoony) Well very often of course when we are voting we have a choice where we have no Christian to vote for and that is a real Christian who knows what Christianity means, in fact we have rarely had such a man for a generation or two. So, sometimes I feel I cannot vote for either, other times I vote for the lesser of two evils, and this we must do when we feel that one of them will improve the situation, so we must vote to the best of our abilities, we have to be practical in terms of the situation, but meanwhile work through education to reestablish, a knowledge of the foundations, and make the foundations Christian. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Until they fall flat on their faces very thoroughly so.
(Rushdoony) It has to be something drastic and it probably will be economics. Now when I was very small we lived in a home where of course the heater was an old fashioned potbellied stove and it was quite a problem, I was crawling around then to keep me from that stove, I wanted to go and touch it. So my father finally said to my mother one day: let him touch it. Let him touch it. So I went up to it and it wasn’t at that time red hot as it sometimes gets, but hot enough to burn and I touched it and I never had a problem again. I crawled around the room day after day and I never touched the stove again I had learned. [42:02]
Now very often that is the only way, not only children but civilizations learn, they have to get burned, and we are asking for it now.
(Audience) (unintelligible) and we are going to go through that again (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) No, that’s right. They never did because they didn’t have anything good to begin with, but Christian civilization has recuperated a number of times. It would take a long time, to go through the medieval period and trace the rise and decline, and then to recover it. The most dramatic of course occurred in the latter part of the middle ages when we had everything you have now, the pornography, you had the beatnik and the hippies, you had actually things that went further, far further than now, you had some of them staging nude parades in the big cities of Europe in defense of their free love ideas and far out ideas, and Europe was dying on the vine, it was rotting through moral corruption, and then the reformation came along, you had the revival of Christian civilization. It just had to go down the drain again, and the United States where the colonies were established became a means of revitalizing the world again, now we’re going down. Well where you have the element of Christian faith you have the possibility of recovery because you have something you can recall people to, that does offer hope. In all these other cases the basic foundation was a form of humanism, and it was just a case of their humanism going to sea, so what could you recall them to, it was nothing. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Very true. Our time is almost up, I would like to call your attention to something in the Oakland Tribune, Sunday April 2, entitled: Hungry Hindus eat cows. This is very significant, other times they have starved to death rather than to eat their sacred cow, but this associated press release from Calcutta India said Hindus facing starvation in drought stricken areas of the (?) state are slaughtering cows and eating the meat, even though the animals are sacred in the Hindu religion a government official disclosed today, and so on. This I think is good news. They are getting burned, and they are beginning to wake up so that there is some hope in the future if more of this continues in India. Its time they started slaughtering the cows, and they will be reduced to slaughtering cows and everything else before it’s all over, and they’ll be through with their Hinduism then. [45:55]
(Audience unintelligible) (laughter)