Book Reviews - II - EC346

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Book Reviews, II
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 44
Length: 0:53:58
TapeCode: ec346
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.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


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 346, August the 30th, 1995.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will continue our discussion of books and I would like to begin with a point that Andrew raised about Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

It was a very limited work because he was so judgmental on Christianity and on theology and other subjects where he was totally ignorant. It is a classic of scholarship in that where the politics was concerned his knowledge was encyclopedic.

We have a number of works that were produced in the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries that represented a great deal of scholarship, but a minimal amount of interest to us. I would say those by some American scholars on Spain and the Spanish Empire are the best: Prescott Robertson and the like. But one of the problems with some of these works dealing with Greece and Rome was that we had in the era form the Enlightenment until the present and still continuing to a limited degree a virtual idolatry where things Greek and Roman were concerned.

I cannot recall at the moment the author. The name escapes me. But I have his set at home, I think in about 10 volumes, on the history of Greece. I have read in it. I have never read the set, because it tells more about Greece than anyone would want to know. I doubt that even specialists in the field will now sit down and read that huge set, because, for one thing, a basic premise is that here it happened. This is the great moment in human history and I am going to describe it for you in very painstaking detail. [00:03:05]

Well, it is a form of idolatry and that sort of thing

Well, it is a form of idolatry and that sort of thing has diminished as far as Greece and Rome are concerned.

I would like to go on to another book now and this by a writer immensely readable, disliked by many professional historians because he was popular and well read. And I would agree that very often the popularizers overlook certain things and do not give the right emphasis. But Harold Lamb was a good writer and this book, published in 1957 he wrote on the title Constantinople: Birth of an Empire. It is, in part, about Justinian and Theodora, but he wrote another book about them. In this he concentrates on the city and, to a very large extent, on Justinian and his life as centered on the city of Constantinople, Byzantium. His motto for the book tells you his whole premise. It is taken from a letter by a confederate soldier written shortly before his death. What the letter was talking about, I don’t know. But this sentence in it is marvelous.

“Men who saw night coming down about them could somehow act as if they stood at the edge of dawn. Men who saw night coming down about them could somehow act as if they stood at the edge of dawn.”

A tremendous statement. And I think that describes Justinian, Theodora his empress and the brilliant group of men around him.

Now Justinian did have some scoundrels that rose to high places whom he trusted. But when you look over the roll of men that he had, it is amazing. More than a few of them have had books written about them, because their attainment was so great. Certainly he had some of the most amazing generals, especially Belisarius. Belisarius was one of the great men of history. [00:06:17]

A very simple man in anything not military, but put

A very simple man in anything not military, but put him in a military situation and he was a genius. He could think exactly as the enemy thought, put himself in their place. He understood the diverse peoples and with an unerring instinct knew what to do when the odds were against him.

Well, Rome had fallen. The eastern empire was crumbling. It was surrounded on all sides by people who saw this very wealthy center and wanted to take that. It was like a pot of gold. They were all attracted to it. And here was a man who was concerned with rebuilding the whole world.

The code of Justinian is spoken of as a codification of Roman law. It was more than that. It was, to a great extent, the Christianization of Roman law, especially where family law was concerned and there Theodora took a hand and saw to it that only the biblical view of sexuality was the law.

The geniuses he gathered around him were remarkable. For example, Narses. The last person you would expect to be so brilliant and selfless. He was a young Armenian of a prominent family whom some enemies of the family or of himself personally when he was a teenager grabbed a hold of and castrated.

Now he was on the... in the border areas and who it was, he never said. But he left, went to Byzantium and very quickly rose to considerable authority under Justinian. Without any knowledge of anything military, Narses, at the age of 70 took over a crisis and drove the barbarians out of Italy with one brilliant strategy after another. Justinian had an instinct for people like that. He wasn’t infallible. He made mistakes. But he was mostly right. [00:09:27]

One of my... well, two of my favorite episodes when rioting led to a revolution in Constantinople and Belisarius with the palace guards had no way of getting out of the palace, the mobs were there ready to destroy them all and they decided on the other side they had a ship on the front of the Dardanelles, of the Bosporus. And they would escape, go to North Africa or Italy and try to regroup, although it seemed impossible. It was really a retreat and a surrender.

So as they got ready to board the ship, the Empress Theodora sat down and she said, “One who puts on the purple, should never take it off.” In other words, I am staying.

And they looked at each other helplessly. Neither Justinian nor Belisarius nor anyone else wanted to pick her up—she was a small thing—and carry her aboard. They knew she wouldn’t say. And they felt ashamed. So they looked at each other and they decided, “Well, let’s go down fighting.” So they opened the gate, the huge doorway where the mob was piled trying to break it down and charged them.

Well, with that, the mob panicked. They couldn’t imagine a handful of men there on the palace charging all of them and they assumed there must be something here, more men or something have landed. So they panicked and they killed one another struggling to run. And after that it was just a slaughter by Belisarius. They regained power and nobody ever rioted or started a revolt again.

The other, when Theodora was dead Belisarius, old and retired on his farm and Justinian an old man. The enemies were all around them on the African, Italian, Persian fronts. And their armies were all out. Nobody there in the capital. And suddenly they received word that just across the straits, a little ways up this would be what we would call Greece and the Balkans, these barbarians out of central Asia were coming in. [00:12:41]

And it was going to be a walk in

And it was going to be a walk in. Nobody to fight them. Nobody to resist them. They did not even have a police force in those days. So Justinian sent word to Belisarius to come. And he got his old war horse saddled it and came and had trumpeters go out all over the city summoning any of his veterans who were still functioning to come. And they came about 300 of them, I believe, old men, some of them rushing to get there still had their aprons on because they were tending bar or waiting on tables. Others were baby sitters for their grandchildren and so on and on. And as he walked up and down the line of men he stopped in front of one, waved his hand before his eyes and realized the man was totally blind.

So he said to him, “Focus. If we get some recruits you can tell them how we fought in the old days.”

So he took these old men, got horses from the circus for them to ride on and was taken across the straits and moved towards the area where they were, the Huns or what... I forget whether they were Huns of Avars. I don’t recall, but at any rate, the barbarians. And they spotted them as they looked through this narrow valley, very narrow with mountains heavily wooded coming down to form a little narrow draw.

And before they went out into the open, he sent 100 men up into the high area on one side and 100 on the other and stayed there with the other 100 to give them signals. And he told them what to do. [00:15:20]

Well, then he appeared in the open and the Hun or barbarian

Well, then he appeared in the open and the Hun or barbarian leaders when they saw even from a distance what was obviously a group of paunchy old men on horses laughed. It seemed to be such a joke that these men would dare to come out after them.

So they sent out a handful of men to wipe them out. And at that point they began to hear the clank of armor because he had told them, rattle your pots and pans, your canteens against your armor as much as possible, which they did on both sides behind the trees. And from hidden places started a shower of arrows with their olds accuracy and brought down men in great numbers. And immediately the barbarians panicked. They started to scream, “It is a trap. It is a trap. The real men are up there behind the trees.” So they started to run and they killed each other in their panicky flight.

Well, Belisarius knew the Barbarians and he knew their courage as well as their disorganization and their readiness to panic and how it would communicate. So they chased them for a time and concluded they probably wouldn’t stop running until they were in central Asia.

And with that Belisarius passes from history. He was briefly imprisoned because they were afraid that with his power with the populace after that victory if he had said, “I want to be emperor,” he could be emperor. But after a few weeks Justinian let him loose and Belisarius went back to his farm and a little later died there.

Well, Belisarius, Narses, Theodora, Justinian and all the others associated with them did not see themselves as in the twilight of civilization. They saw themselves as the builders of a new world. They saw the dawn of history with them and they accomplished great things. [00:18:19]

It is unfortunate that Byzantine history is not studied

It is unfortunate that Byzantine history is not studied more. One of the things that was stressed early and very heavily stressed by Justinian was a sound currency of gold solidus that would never vary. And you can find the Byzantine currency as far afield as east Asia and all through Europe among the barbarians. Why? Because it had value. And people wanted it. It made Byzantium the center of world trade and anyone who had any dealings there or worked with them, like the Venetians, gained great power. That is how Venice later on became a great industrial force.

About 100 years before Byzantium fell a foolish emperor adulterated their gold coins and after that it was all down hill for Byzantium. He did it because the battle of Manzikert was a great defeat for them, but the greater defeat was his adulteration of the currency to pay for the costs of the war.

Well, the men of dawn, I like this because of that emphasis by Harold Lamb. And I would say right now as the world is falling apart, we have to be the men who see it not only as a twilight of a world, the world of Humanism, the word of the state, but the dawn of a Christian order.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, let’s turn now briefly to another book, a recent one published in 1988, the author Louise J. Kaplan and the title of it is The Family Romance of the Imposter Poet Thomas Chatterton. [00:21:08]

Well, first, I am sorry

Well, first, I am sorry. Do you have any comments or questions about the book on Constantinople and Justinian, Belisarius and the others?

[Voice] I seem to be able to learn from history and my question is: Why can’t we?

[Rushdoony] Yes, a very good question. Well, one thing that stands out is that beginning with Justinian especially, although you could say in part it began with Constantine, they had one major concern: to create a Christian order. Therefore, they had standards. They had premises. They took seriously God’s law. A just measure shall ye have. And the reference is to everything beginning with money, gold and silver. Money was by weight. A shekel means a weight of gold and a weight of silver. So that type of thing, Justinian made it a law. And that is what gave them a longevity. There were times in the history of Byzantium when you could have said again and again it is all over. But they survived because however wayward their theology was from a reformed perspective, they did take the Word of God seriously. They did believe God’s law. They tried to reestablish society in terms of it.

[Voice] His wife’s insistence on going back to biblical law in matters of sexuality is really a triumph of the human will.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And it really set the temper for the empire and it prevailed. What she did, the codification of biblical law with regard to marriage governed all of Europe and the United States until the 60s. It was on the books, but disregarded in many countries, but it has all been combed out of the law books now. After all these centuries, from the 500s to the 1900s, about 1400 years, but it gave a character to the western world. [00:24:03]

It is interesting, by the way, that in this century

It is interesting, by the way, that in this century Theodora has gotten nothing but hostility from scholars. They don’t like what she represents.

[Voice] There is an obsession with Greco Roman culture, but Byzantium and the eastern empire get such short shrift today and that is largely because of what you said, Rush.

[Voice] I can remember even when I went to grade school that all of the teachers, you know, history began with the Greeks and ended with the Romans and that was...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...that is what we were taught. There was virtually nothing of Byzantium.

[Rushdoony] Well, to go back to Thomas Chatterton, when I went to school and when I was at the university we got quite a bit about the genius of young Chatterton who committed suicide after he was exposed as a forger. He had produced some poems in imitation of medieval poetry supposedly written by a medieval priest. For a time he gained a great deal of fame and notice. There were, at that time, in the 1800s a number of men who produced such forgeries. Macpherson was another. The Ossian poetry was regarded as the work of an Irish bard and is equal to Homer and so on.

Well, at any rate, this book is interesting to me, because he remains in the English history books and your conducted in brief fashion—at least I was when I went to the university—through Chatterton’s writings which I thought were very poor, but supposedly a great genius died when he committed suicide.

Well, the interesting thing to me is that Dr. Kaplan’s research points out that he was not such a angelic boy as some regarded him. He was a young man who was totally a reprobate, apparently diseased, venereally diseased. He may have died of an overdose of a drug that was supposed to cure syphilis or gonorrhea. On top of that he was a pornographer. He did write things that were designed for an off color market. He was radically immoral. [00:27:33]

Dr. Kaplan says, and I quote, “Rimbaugh spoke of a poet as the great sick man, the great criminal, the great accursed. By the 20th century the sexual, moral eccentricities of poets was becoming an acceptable, indeed, essential ingredient of their life histories,” unquote.

I read recently a contemporary scholar who feels that it is essential to be a great poet to be somewhat mad, to be perverse. Homosexuality is a popular form of perversity. And to be totally against everything that biblical faith and morality declares is right.

Now would you like to comment on that? Because I think that is a key aspect to the interest in Chatterton.

[Voice] What the whole... that is a tendency of all intellectuals. They... they don’t want to be part of the masses. And didn’t that start in the last century? There was a conscious effort to insult the masses, their morality, their education, even to write in a way that would be difficult to understand the meaning of their poetry because they wanted people to think, I don’t really fully understand what he is writing about. He must be a great intellectual.

[Voice] Some of the things the painting, impressionist paintings...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... it is the same game. I have heard scholars, latter day scholars say that, for instance, the Beatles and the Grateful Dead are today’s poets.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I think we ought to mention that. Though... they are today’s poets. I mean, you see, that is the problem.

[Voice] With the rise in the middle class that it seems that a lot... intellectuals felt that they had to start insulting this new middle class because they were offended that there were so many people now were becoming more affluent, that could... that... that reading was extremely common. And they somehow wanted to separate themselves from the masses because they didn’t want to feel that the masses should be able to read them or understand them. And so they even began insulting... [00:30:20]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] ... I think late last year didn’t we deal with that in Kerry’s book, The Intellectuals and the Masses?

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Some very fortuitous things came together because right after World War II, by the time of the end of the 50s came, the 60s started, we had a very affluent youth in this country who could afford to buy the records and could afford to buy the magazines, et cetera, that the so-called latter day poets were ... were putting out. And they made a lot of money. I mean, Jerry Garcia who just died...

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] ...of the Grateful Dead, they figure that he generated about 250 million dollars in... in revenue just from that one band. And, of course, the Beatles are legendary for the amount of money that they produced.

So compared to the poets of the... the ... the 19th century or the 18th century, it was a different game. Most of those people died in penniless or lived penniless and in obscurity.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] But today’s poets live very, very well.

[Voice] Some of them did quite well and back then, I think, what a lot of intellectuals did, especially the offensive type who was kind of in your face type of immorality, that the ... the wealthy very often felt that they had to put up with the antics of these self described intellectuals and they often took great advantage of the wealthy and lived off of the wealthy and even while insulting them.

[Voice] True.

[Voice] it was... it was... it was an effort. And they would sometimes insult them and then tell them they were doing them a favor by taking advantage of them, because at least they were associating with a great mind.

[Voice] Well, while Plato believed in the philosopher kings, Shelley believed in the poet kings, that the poets should be the legislator of the world. Well, see that is what rock musicians are doing today. I mean, if they are the ones who, in essence are doing the legislating, because they are producing a society that is evil and Antinomian and I think that is something that we need to take into account.

[Voice] What people object to what is... to what is on television, movies, music. It... we get the same line. You are too stupid and ignorant to appreciate the art involved in this and that we are rising above your heady moral or ethical concerns. [00:33:00]

[Voice] That is

[Voice] That is...

[Voice] You don’t... you don't appreciate great music, great art, great movies...

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] ...drama, et cetera.

[Voice] That is like the guy in San Francisco when I lived there and took a canvas and I painted it black and then got up on a letter or ladder, rather, and dropped white paint all over this thing, spots of white paint over it. And it... what used to tickle me was people that would walk in art galleries and look at this stuff and I don’t know whether they were making it up or what? But they would attribute great meaning to these things.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] And they were absolutely worthless.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That’s right.

[Rushdoony] Well, according to Kaplan, to get back to Chesterton... or Chatterton. In his experimental, satirical poems he was formulating a free thinking creed and I quote. “Libertine sexuality, contempt for religious orthodoxy and a scornful superiority to those ordinary mortals who are deceived by corrupt gurus peddling religious beliefs for a fee,” unquote.

So you can understand why Chesterton... Chatterton is still in the anthologies. I ... I have never found anybody who enjoyed Chesterton... Chatterton, I don’t know why I keep mispronouncing that.

[Voice] You are thinking of Gilbert Chesterton, right?

[Rushdoony] Yes. But the scholars retain his status because he represents what they wanted. And the fact that he was guilty of fraud is not held against him. It is interesting that even in his own day Macpherson, who was guilty of a greater literary forgery, was promoted, got along very well the rest of his life. And that is why Kaplan may be right that Chatterton’s death was accidental, an overdose, because he was dosing himself with some dangerous drugs trying to cure himself.

Well, now I want to get on to a book I refer to every now and then. I love it. It was first written when Napoleon was alive. It was written by a Richard Whately, a professor of logic and an archbishop in the Church of England. The title, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte. [00:36:06]

Now the book was written to show that the methods used

Now the book was written to show that the methods used by the early radical scholars in biblical studies to show that Jesus probably never lived and that the books are not historical and are not trustworthy and they are tearing the whole of the Bible apart, especially the life of Christ. They were concentrating on that.

Well, in a few years there was a German scholar who produced a book in which he ridiculed the belief that any such person as Jesus had ever lived. But that kind of thinking was already prevalent in Whately’s day. So what he did was to take the methodology that these people applied to the Bible and applied it to someone who was living, Napoleon Bonaparte. And he proved that there was no ground whatsoever for believing that Napoleon Bonaparte had ever lived or was alive. All the sources were very, very dubious, untrustworthy sources. So it was obvious. It was a myth.

His account was so compelling that there were people in his day who actually concluded that the British foreign office had concocted the myth of Napoleon in order to wage war. And so it was a giant conspiracy against the British public.

But it is a gem. If you can’t find it and periodically it comes back into print, this is an edited version by a professor Ralph S. Pomeroy, a professor at the University of California at Davis. But it is better to get an unedited version with all of Whately’s footnotes. They were a joy to read and it was so convincing that this book became a kind of forgotten classic almost from the beginning because it was forgotten because nobody wanted to face up to it. [00:39:00]

[Voice] It sounds like a text book of disinformation

[Voice] It sounds like a text book of disinformation. I mean, history is littered with...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...examples of this disinformation technique right up to the current time. I mean, there was a... there was an attempt here a few years ago to disprove that men went to the moon, that the Apollo program was just a sham and it was all done with television and... and graphics, pictures.

[Rushdoony] Well, Whately was a very astute man. The same thing could be done today, as you pointed it out. But his concern was to say, “Look, if you doubt Jesus, then you have to be ready to doubt everything in history, because I can tell you that the evidence is more convincing for the life of Christ than it is for the life of people living today.”

One of Whately’s favorite New Testament verses which he often quoted or alluded to in his writings was 1 Peter 3:15. And Christians are there told to be re ready always to give an answer to every man that asks of you a reason of the hope that is in you.

Well, we have a little time yet and I think I can squeeze in these last two books. One is currently in print and the other is an old book, forgotten. Both about Walt Whitman.

Now Walt Whitman, according to Kaplan, a century after Chatterton was shown to be a fake, a forger, and after Ossian was proven to be a fake and a forger, nonetheless, modeled himself after Ossian and would sit and read Ossian with rapture.

Well, Walt Whitman’s America is by a current professor, David S. Reynolds. Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography, published in 1995.

It is full of details, but not every kind of detail. He does bring out what a recent book, scarcely noticed, documented at some length, that Walt Whitman as a young man and a school teacher was run out of town, in fact, tarred and feathered and run out of town as a child molester. And since his poetry and his life was full of homosexuality there is no reason to doubt the truth of that charge. [00:42:41]

Moreover, what Reynolds and his book on Walt Whitman

Moreover, what Reynolds and his book on Walt Whitman’s America lacks is any judgment on anything about Whitman. He regards him as a great American poet, of course. But even when Walt Whitman first published Leaves of Grass and at the time of his death, his poetry was never popular. The all America poet, in terms of popularity was Longfellow. And the intellectuals, the cynics, the skeptics, heavily promoted the works of Whitman. But they never have caught on. If they were not sold to university students because they have to read Whitman in American literature, he would be a forgotten poet in a hurry.

[Voice] That is probably why there is no judgments in the book. They wanted to sell it as a university text.

[Rushdoony] One of the interesting things that he never refers to, Reynolds, that is, is the Christ picture. He saw what he wrote almost as a new gospel, if not actually as one, and has his picture taken as a Christ, a photograph.

[Voice] Another false idol.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Another thing of interest and the pictures are abundant, is that he was very much a dude as a young man. And until he decided he was some kind of prophet of Humanism, of the new age, he was a dandy. But once he decided that he was going to be the prophet of the people, a man of the people and a prophet of the people, he put aside his fancy clothes and began to dress like a worker. [00:45:26]

Now I referred to this other book written by another

Now I referred to this other book written by another scholar a good many years ago, a very brilliant scholar, but she became a non person with this book which was published in 1993 and again in 1936, excuse me and again in 1938 titled Walt Whitman’s Pose.

Well, what was wrong with his book? I can recall the contempt expressed at Berkeley by professors in the English department for this book. She calls attention to the fact that, among other things, Walt Whitman read a translated novel by George Sand. In that novel there was a rough hewn peasant who went around spewing prophecies and poetry that described a new world that was coming, the democratic man, the age of freedom in every sphere.

And so he not only reproduced some of the langue of George Sand’s poet, he imitated the person of that prophet. And Dr. Shepherd demonstrated what he had done. And that was enough to make her persona non grata.

Now it is interesting that in a long, long book—let me see how long Reynold’s book is, 671, 671 pages—not one reference to George Sand or Dr. Esther Shepherd. So while he admits the evidence for the child molestation is true, he poo poos it and moves on. And he goes over the evidence for his homosexuality, but with a light touch and without any condemnation. But he will not touch on Esther Shepherd’s work, nor is Ossian ever mentioned or Macpherson or any other forger in his work and with good reason, because Walt Whitman was following in their footsteps, but in a different age, an age when people were more receptive to that sort of thing and more ready to go along with it. [00:48:42]

So Walt Whitman’s America is the America that we have

So Walt Whitman’s America is the America that we have had since the 60s on the seedy side. And it is all a marvelous thing and we have this great poet who is a prophet of the age of democratic man.

[Voice] Well, I just... they picked him for the {?} for Humanism. You know, there is an enormous amount of hypocrisy here. I remember in the 50s, late 50s after I got out of high school that kids were being taught to, you know, be against what their parents were for and that the beginnings of that whole movement to tear down the link between the generations and create the so called generation gap and all of these so-called poets of the age that came along, the Beatles and the Grateful Dead and all of these people. They were all, you know, talking about Marxist antimaterialism, you know? To, you know, don’t... don’t buy into what your parents have bought into. And yet every single one of them became enormously wealthy. The Beatles became enormously wealthy.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] The Grateful Dead became enormously wealthy. All of those people who were preaching this Marxist antimaterialism all socked it away.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And yet nobody ever says anything about it.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And just like the guy who wrote this book...

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...David Reynolds, you know, writing this thing without any critical comment, leaving out important references and other works in 671 pages. I mean, the only thing that guy is interested in is selling that as a textbook in a university and he ... the publisher has probably told him what he had to do in order to accomplish that. Oh, it is all hypocrisy the whole last 30 years, 35 years.

[Rushdoony] I don’t think the publisher had to tell him. I think his whole perspective is in terms of literary criticism not moral criticism. That has dropped out. Moral criticism is now taboo. [00:51:16]

[Voice] Claim to be values neutral, but, of course

[Voice] Claim to be values neutral, but, of course, we know Van Til and that you have taught us, Rush, is a total impossibility.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] What are values neutral, of course, are already set against God and you are right about so much modern literary criticism. That is precisely what it is. They are at war with God.

Plus there is a... a degree of revisionism. They want to refashion people historically in their own image in the present day.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, I got Reynold’s book because I thought here we will have an account that will delve into the seemy side that Whitman represents and has been used to camouflage in this country. But it was a thorough disappointment. I ... I have read most of the book. I am not going to bother to finish it, because it is very obvious what its perspective is.

And this has become literary criticism now. It has become history. The only time there is a moral criticism it is of the right for bringing up moral issues. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is supposed to be the great American classic. And it is a low point, I believe, in American literature.

[Voice] Well, we have gone through misinformation, disinformation and now we have got to no information.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Very well put.

[Voice] Well, speaking of literary criticism, with deconstruction, now you have the complete... complete destruction of {?}, destruction of meaning.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Meaning does not exist supposedly.

Well, our time is about up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

If you want to comment on this or any other tape and on areas you would like to have us cover, don’t hesitate to write in. We can’t promise that we know enough about what you are interested in to talk more than two or three or minutes about it. So we may not be able to discuss it. But we will do our best.

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