Book Reviews of History - Church and State - RR161BC102

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Book Reviews of History, Church & State
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 102
Length: 0:56:30
TapeCode: RR161BC102
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
From the Easy Chair.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

Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161BC102, Book Reviews of History, Church & State from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 212, February 5, 1990.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to discuss some of our reading, past and present. One of the things we do enjoy is reading, studying and books are important because they teach us to think in terms of perspectives other men have so that it stretches our minds. Our intellectual muscles are greatly strengthened by reading.

One of the interesting books published of late is a book whose editor is Thomas J. Burke, Junior, the title Man and State: Religion, Society and the Constitution, published by the Hillsdale College Press, Hillsdale, Michigan.

There are a number of writers in the symposium, Burke, Llewellyn, Stanton Evans, Brevard Hand the judge, Thomas Molnar, Don Fetter and {?} as well as others.

I thought there was an interesting fact cited by Don Fetter in his chapter, “The Christian Vision: Man and the State.” He writes, and I quote, “Government is nothing but the legislation of ethics. Every legislative enactment involves a moral choice, the decision that an act is necessary and should be mandated or wrong and therefore must be prohibited. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the founders of our nation intended this republic to be guided by religious values. John Adams, perhaps the wisest of the founding fathers put the matter forthrightly when he stated, ‘Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.’ Daniel Webster, who was close to the founders, both chronologically and intellectually admonished, ‘Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits they believed cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle nor government be secured which is not supported by moral habit.’” [00:03:19]

And Fetter goes on to say that this kind of thinking

And Fetter goes on to say that this kind of thinking is shared by the majority of Americans and the majority of American Jews, but not the secular Jewish organizations which he, as a Jew criticizes because their thinking is premised on what he calls a knee jerk modernism.

So every chapter virtually in this book has some very, very telling places. Brown quotes Miller Darfur saying, “The future will be Christian or it will not take place.”

The ... another writer {?} calls attention to the fact that despite the mythology that before the Spanish republic of the 30s, the Spanish church was very wealthy it was, as a matter of fact, very poor. And so on and on. There are a great many things in this book that are very, very important and well worth reading. So I strongly commend Man and the State, edited by Burke and published by Hillsdale College Press.

Otto, do you want to discuss something now?

[Scott] Well now that you brought up the early days of this republic, I would suggest reading The Anti Federalist.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Written by... written by Jackson Mame of the University of North Carolina Press, 1974. The most prominent anti federalist, of course, was Patrick Henry.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Patrick Henry said when he read the constitution, “As a result of the efforts in Philadelphia I smell a rat.” And he did. He smelled a drive for central power and he was rather eloquent about it. So did most of the people. That is why they added the Bill of Rights. They said it wasn’t enough to take the government’s good will for granted, they wanted to make a special case that the government of the United States, the new United States would not be allowed to do certain things.

Now I recently wrote something for The Chalcedon Report on this issue, so I am not going to anticipate myself, but the anti federalists is a paper back book. It is not very long, but it would probably be more informative than a great many others that people might get hold of, because we are now running into at the end of 200 odd years, or whatever it is, some of the criticisms that the anti federalists anticipated. [00:06:34]

We have not got a perfect government and that is not

We have not got a perfect government and that is not simply because it is operated by imperfect people, but because the structure in Philadelphia was not really perfect. And the reason that it was not were described by the anti federalists and it may well be time for us to reconsider their thoughts.

[Rushdoony] A number of the anti federalists wrote some extensively, some briefly, on their objections. I believe the first one I years ago read a number of the anti federalist writings and I believe all of them have been reprinted in a series. But Luther Martin was the first one. He left the convention in protest.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The thing about Luther Martin that made him notable and limited the value of what he had to say was that Luther Martin was a cantankerous and quirky person, very difficult to get along with. But his very suspiciousness of human nature made him aware of things that the founding fathers were not as fully aware of, namely that looking down the road, what were some of the people going to be like? How would they use this document? And the anti federalists largely took their doctrine of total depravity very seriously.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And they felt that that the founding fathers were assuming that everyone was going to be like the first generation.

[Scott] Well, there was also the fact that the men of Philadelphia were young men.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] With the exception of Washington and Franklin and one or two others, these were m en who hadn't even been in the War of Independence. And young men have more ideals.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Perhaps I am not putting it properly. I don’t think that one loses one’s ideals as one grows older, but our expectations wither.

[Rushdoony] One of the most influential men of the day who trained more people who took high places in Washington and as governors and so on, was John Witherspoon. And John Witherspoon declined because he was a little too old. And some of the other men who had earlier had a powerful influence were not up to being a part of the convention. And that in itself was a problem. [00:09:34]

You are right and I don’t think anyone has called attention

You are right and I don’t think anyone has called attention to the fact that while they were good and great men, they were young.

[Scott] They were. And they ... I think expected too much. And along the same line, if I could make another suggestion, a book called 1676: The End of American Independence.

[Rushdoony] Yes. A very important work.

[Scott] By Stephen Webb.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1984. Now Charles II’s brother, James the Duke of York, one of the more eccentric individuals in history, not stupid, very intelligent, but an autocrat.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And he determined that the provinces, you might say, the American provinces would stop being semi autonomous and would become colonies and would be governed from London and they would do what London wanted them to do and there was a rebellion, if you remember, in Virginia, in which a number of men were killed and it was suppressed with great savagery. And from 1676 onward in the drive for American independence began to grow. And unless Americans know that background, I would say their knowledge of American history is gravely incomplete.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And the sad fact is that that very important book scarcely had any notice and it has virtually disappeared from the minds and eyes of people who are interested in American history, but it tells us how after the Cromwellian commonwealth was destroyed, then the freedom of the Americas was destroyed.

[Scott] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] And we did not regain it with the glorious revolution. They kept us in subjection until the War of Independence created a counter movement to that earlier suppression.

[Scott] Well, the so-called glorious revolution, that is the greatest bunch of baloney that has ever been put out. They threw James II off the throne of England because he was a Catholic and he wanted to reintroduce Catholicism. And their glorious revolution was to bring over William and Mary, as you know. And the .... they... they explain this to this day, the English historians call this the introduction of religious tolerance. It was so tolerant that a Catholic wasn’t allowed. Lord Acton couldn’t get into Oxford because he was a Catholic. It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that Catholics were able to hold public office. [00:12:48]

[Rushdoony] Or the dissenters gained their ...

[Rushdoony] Or the dissenters gained their ...

[Scott] And the dissenters were equally barred from Oxbridge, as they call Oxford and Cambridge and equally barred from office. Only the Anglican Church members could rule, could even be counted as first class citizens. That was the glorious revolution. I don’t see how the words don’t choke in their mouth.

[Rushdoony] Well, power was seized from the crown by parliament.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] That parliament was not interested in the liberties of the people.

[Scott] No. I...

[Rushdoony] Or the liberty of the Church of England.

[Scott] The liberty of anything except the power of Parliament.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I mean, the whole purpose of politics is... is power. This is why it always amuses me when people say, “Well, if we get in better men...” The only men we have are the men that are. There aren’t any better men.

[Rushdoony] Well, to continue, one of the books I have been reading of late, it is a series of six volumes published some years ago, the work of R. W. and A. J. Carlisle, primarily the work of A. J. Carlisle, A History of Medieval Political Theory and the West in six volumes. And I won’t attempt to review these six volumes but just a few items of interest from these books. Quoting from volume III, this interesting statement, “The authority of the king is the authority of law or right, not of wrong. The king therefore should use the authority of law or right as being the vicar and servant of God on earth. For that alone is the authority of God. The authority of wrong belongs to he devil and not to God. And the King is the servant of him whose work he does.” [00:15:04]

Now this was the perspective of a great many people

Now this was the perspective of a great many people like Brockton who wrote on English law. And others made statements such as, “There is no king where will rules and not law.”

[Scott] What is the name of the series?

[Rushdoony] It is Medieval Political Theory in the West. And the thing we have got to remember, while there was a bitter battle underway throughout a good deal of the Middle Ages between Church and state, both Church and state saw themselves as Christian. There were monarchs from time who were about pagans. William Rufus who succeeded William the Conqueror was obviously anti Christian to the core. Frederick II the Hohenstaufen emperor much later was probably a secrete Muslim, but not openly so.

So mainly it was a battle between Church and state as to which best represented God and was going to predominate over the other and all of society.

There were more than a few churchmen who stood up against ungodly rulers and godly rulers who corrected ungodly...

[Scott] Popes.

[Rushdoony] ...popes. For example, among the churchmen quoting, again, this is from volume I, “{?} Scotus warning evil rulers of the ruin which impends over them of the judgment of God which awaits them both in this world and in the next exclaimed, ‘What our impious kings with the great robbers of the earth, fierce as lions, ravening like wolves, but they are great today and perish tomorrow and of them God has said, “They reign, but not by me. They arose as princes, but I knew it not.” The evil ruler or tyrant is no king. He is only, as Cicero indeed had called him, a wild beast, the most terrible and loathsome known to the world.’”

That kind of plain speaking was very common in the Middle Ages. And the rebuke that churchmen administered to rulers was remarkable. They held that without justice a ruler is a tyrant and no king. [00:18:20]

So they did give evil rulers a bad time even as some

So they did give evil rulers a bad time even as some godly rulers gave the ungodly churchmen a bad time and properly so.

[Scott] Well, that brings up the modern world in which no greater power than the state is held officially to exist. And I think The Secularization of the European Mind in the 19th Century by Owen Chadwick...

[Rushdoony] Yes, a very important work.

[Scott] ... is a book published by Cambridge University Press, 1975. I am sure it is still available, is a very good book for Americans to read, because the English loss of face anticipated the American by probably a generation or more. They ... the diaries of the 1840s, 1830s, 40s and 50s of English people show all sorts of personal suffering and agony over their loss of faith. And, of course, the ground was so well prepared that when Darwin appeared his edition sold out in one day, the first edition.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They were so delighted to have an alternative view. But that didn't really hit the United States in any large sense, I don’t think, until probably the 80s and the 90s. By the turn of the century, the faith was hollow in this country. And without knowing what happened to the English, I don’t think the average American Christian can understand what happened here.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And how much more godless we were around 1900 than we are today. The difference was that people still had the moral training that that church provided and were not lawless as they are now.

[Scott] You are talking about manners.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] You are talking about my grandparents.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] On both sides. I remember coming away from the church of my grandfather McGivney. I thought the priest on that occasion had really gone around the bend and I was pretty young, very young. And I said to my grandfather, “What did you think of the sermon?”

He said, “What?”

I said, “The sermon.”

He said, “I never listen.”

[Rushdoony] Yes. That as once commonplace. Everybody went to church and nobody paid anything... any attention. In fact, I can recall early in my preaching one elder complaining that I spoke too long. It was not possible to sleep when I was speaking. [00:21:23]

[Scott] Well, Chadwick brings up, for instance, the

[Scott] Well, Chadwick brings up, for instance, the prime minister of Great Britain, Ramsay McDonald, the labor prime minister, if you call. I believe it was either he or an earlier one. It might have been Asquith. It might have been that far back who went... who played golf on Sunday and it created a scandal. Now Asquith was guilty of much worse, but the thing was that this was a public thing.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...fore the prime minister to play golf on Sunday. The ... all the manners were kept. The perfume, you might say, of religion was maintained.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And Chadwick does a marvelous job of explaining how the middle class churches turned away the working class. The working class had been disrupted from their village life and had no place to go. They began to communicate... only the... only the newspapers and the soccer games held them together and they ... they felt that they couldn’t even go into those churches, because they weren’t dressed well enough. We have that. That came in here to a marked extent.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, turning to the second volume of the Carlisle work, here is another interesting statement from Hugo Linus. “The fear of God is the foundation of law which is, in its turn, the foundation of human society and the state. For the state is a multitude of men joined together to live by law.” This is a summary statement of Hugo Linus by Carlisle.

Some of the other churchmen of the day said the fear of God is the foundation of law. Another said God is himself equity. But I like this especially, a statement by one of the great churchmen and legal experts of the medieval era, one of the most influential and he declared, “The Lord said, ‘I am the truth,’ not I am custom or constitution.” A marvelous statement.

And I think that sums up a very important strand of medieval thought, a belief that God himself is equity and law and that no law is valid if it is contrary to the law of God. This is why the Middle Ages was able again and again to correct itself when it went astray and to come back. As long as they held to that position they had a correcting power in their culture. [00:24:18]

[Scott] Well the Middle Ages was remarkable

[Scott] Well the Middle Ages was remarkable. Durant called it ... called them the ages of faith. The ages of faith are a remarkable by the... by the presence of God in the mind of all the people including the worst elements. The worst elements knew they were breaking the law.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But they didn’t divorce themselves from God.

[Rushdoony] I think, perhaps, the most moving and eloquent statement of that is a poem by François {?}.

[Scott] I was thinking of him.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Here he was a failed student living off of a prostitute and yet in one of his moving poems, which is something of a prayer, he faces up to what he is. He has no pretensions of being anything more than he is and he prays for mercy and pardon.

[Scott] Well, who knows the presence of God better than a real sinner.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And that {?} knew himself to be in the final analysis.

And that is what is gone in our society. Our courts have made it clear that there is no law above themselves. And Holmes in his book on the common law made very clear that law is simply experience.

[Scott] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] Experience codified. So what can be above experience? Nothing.

[Scott] Well, the effort ... there is a book about the effort to create a religion and called Lenin Lives by Nina Tumarkin, Harvard University Press, 1983.

[Rushdoony] I have that, but I haven’t read it yet.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] I just picked it up recently.

[Scott] I think you will find it one of the most fascinating of books, because {?}, {?} the commissar of ...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] and culture was a real intellectual. He was the one who saved the ballet because he had a mistress who was a ballerina. {?} observed that no society could endure without a faith. And about the time of Lenin’s death, before Lenin’s death, he began to prepare the transmutation of Communism into a religious faith, because the Russians were a religious people and, in fact, all people are religious.

So a determined effort, first of all, the money, which I think is probably wax figure in the mausoleum.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] He had a big contest to see whose plans would be chosen for the mausoleum. And then he had Lenin’s face engraved and baked into the enamel of cups and dishes and placemats and pictures and statues and the head of Lenin corner in every home like the household gods of the pagans. They had these parades trough the streets of the enormous enlarged portraits of Lenin and the other founders, Marx and what not. And it was a total effort by a totalitarian society in charge of every platform, every paper, every radio, every film, every thing to implant the idea of Lenin as god.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And Lenin was supposed to have ... go to the factory and he rose from his grave and he went around to see how the unions were doing and all this kind of nonsense and all the speakers. Where is it now? Two generations. Where is it now?

[Rushdoony] The same kind of divinization took place with regard to Stalin in his own lifetime. And it didn't last more than a few days after his death.

[Scott] That is right. They waited, first, to be sure he was dead.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And then they turned to something else.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that marked the later Middle Ages was that as theology developed it developed in two directions. There was a papal theology and an imperial theology. Each camp striving to declare itself the true vicar of God on earth. And one of the most ominous developments was, of course, the development of imperial theology.

Now historically and theologically we have to say that the Church is the body of Christ. That is scriptural. But it is not his divine nature, but his human nature. We are his renewed humanity and so the Church represents the humanity of Christ at work in this world with his divine power behind the Church and behind us and working in and through us through the Holy Spirit. But as against this, the imperial theology took a very, very ominous turn. [00:30:15]

Going from the fourth volume of Carlisle’s study of

Going from the fourth volume of Carlisle’s study of medieval doctrine on the subject, and I quote. This I believe is from the anonymous of York. “The King, he maintains, and the priest are both anointed by God, but the priest represents the human nature of Christ in which he is inferior to the Father while the king represents Christ’s divine nature in which he is equal to the Father. The priest represents Christ as suffering death and offering himself as a sacrifice to God the Father. The King represents Christ as about to be crowned with glory and honor, then to reign forever in his heavenly throne over all authorities and powers. The angel of the annunciation said to Mary, ‘The Lord will give him the seed of his father David,’ not of his father Aaron, for God gave David authority even over priests. It is therefore just that the king should have power and authority ever over the priest,” unquote.

Now this concept is very important in western thought and is rarely touched on, because out of it comes the divine right of kings.

[Scott] Sure. That was Frederick II.

[Rushdoony] Yes. The notion that the Church, because it represents the humanity of Christ is vulnerable to criticism, which is true, but that the king representing the divine nature of Christ is above criticism. Only God, only Christ can criticize him. No man. And so out of that medieval doctrine of imperial theology developed the divine right of kings of which you have written in your book on James and which has had so long and evil a history.

Now what people do not realize is that the doctrine of the divine right of kings did not end when James II was driven from the throne.

[Scott] Oh, of course not.

[Rushdoony] It was transferred to parliament. And this is why Sir Hartley Shawcross after World War II, the attorney general of Britain, made it clear that parliament could do anything it chose, including decreeing, he said, that all blue eyed babies be destroyed at birth and it could not be criticized, nor could it be declared wrong.

[Scott] That is true. [00:33:18]

[Rushdoony] And that doctrine of the divine right of

[Rushdoony] And that doctrine of the divine right of the state is common to all modern politics.

[Scott] It is believed.

[Rushdoony] And, of course, especially prominent in Marxism, but it is also on the background of American political theory.

[Scott] Well, just try suggesting that we reorganize the government. People’s eyes fall out.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They stagger around as though you have hit them. I mean, this is a sacred structure.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There has been mountains of propaganda on the sacredness of this structure.

[Rushdoony] And we have seen this, for example, in the comparative punishment of Bakker, 45 years. Jim Wright has a pension of what is 89,000?

[Scott] Oh, more than that. Much more.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And...

[Scott] He is worth more dead than alive.

[Rushdoony] Tip O’Neill has never been sent to jail. What is being done to Barney Frank? Nothing so far. And Cranston and the other senators are not likely to suffer. So offenses of the state are ...

[Scott] On a different level.

[Rushdoony] {?}

[Scott] On a different level.

[Rushdoony] I was interested in the news tonight. I forget what area of life today the state legislature was proposing to control and one man spoke and emptied the chambers of the state legislature when he said, “If you are concerned with moral reform, why don’t you start with yourself? There is no agency in the state of California more in moral trouble than you are and you are proposing to control us.”

There was no comment, no response, empty chairs as he spoke.

[Scott] That is very interesting.

Did you ever read The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell?

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] Well, it was printed by Oxford University Press in 1975. Since then Fussell has produced more books, but not of the same level. This is one of those remarkable works in which everything worked. [00:36:05]

Most writers have this

Most writers have this. They have one book in which everything works. And this is Fussell’s. I think it was his first. He is talking about World War I. And he began by examining the poetry of Hardy and others before the war. And, of course, you recall that what happened?

[Rushdoony] How do you spell his name?

[Scott] Fussell. F U S S E L L.

[Rushdoony] That is familiar starting with Hardy. When was it written?

[Scott] Well, part... 1975.

[Rushdoony] I... I must have read it.

[Scott] You... you... you must... you must have the book. Well, he talks... and he did. He exhumed it, a number of Hardy’s poems.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] In which the sense of the grave was almost overt, funereal in tone. And then, of course, you have that whole generation that came into maturity around 1914 which felt that all European culture was decayed, was static.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It was old. It was mustache Pete as the mafia said. It was the result of, to an extent, the unremitting reign of criticism that burst upon Europe...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...when the ghettos roles were fallen and in which all European culture exposed to brand new... brand new eyes, suddenly began to seem baroque, useless, ancient and so forth. So then the war and he does a magnificent job in depicting the bloodiness of the war in the West, particularly, the trench warfare, the hopelessness of it, the expense in terms of bodies and people. And the disillusion in the middle of the of the war that all the classic wars ranging all the way back to the Romans, everything that had ever been held to make men appear heroic and, in fact, men are heroic in war. They are sacrificing their lives. They are risking their lives. They are saving their comrades. They are obeying the commanders. And yet all of this in the middle of the experience when the general officers and the staff officers were in chateaus and dining off elegant tables with clean linen and so forth and the men of the trenches broke the whole mystique of the European culture.

Do you realize that since then we have hardly known what to fight for? One of the worst experiences of my life in World War II, coming back to the United States from the Pacific, the war was over and we were on a ... we were on a liberty ship which had served as a troop carrier or something and we brought back fellows on this emergency leave they called it because somebody was dying at home and all that. Of course, putting them on a liberty ship was ridiculous, because it took months to get across the Pacific. [00:39:33]

I talked to all the soldiers and none of them know

I talked to all the soldiers and none of them know why they were fighting. They all felt that they were being persecuted. Someone, somewhere had done them dirty because they had had to go to war while other men they knew stayed at home and made money. It was terrible. It was awful.

World War I they went in with a different period, but Carl Fussell in that book betrays the experience and the disillusion in an unforgettable way.

[Rushdoony] Well, somebody died the other day who expressed that mood of total cynicism, Samuel Becket.

[Scott] Ah, yes, he was the... he was the poet of cynicism.

[Rushdoony] Yes. His “Waiting for Godot,” for example...

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] ... in the... the 30s, was regarded as absolute gospel.

[Scott] Did you use the cartoon in The Spectator with the gravestone of ... of Becket in which Godot pinned a note to it, saying, “Sorry you weren’t home.”

[Rushdoony] Yes, yes. Well, apparently the most... now, what... Godot had a... I mean, Becket had a good life, born in Dublin...

[Scott] He had everything.

[Rushdoony] ... a family always reasonably well off. And yet on one occasion living in Paris and London on one occasion on a beautiful day when the sun was shining and everything was green and lovely, he was walking, I believe, in a London Park and a friend who saw him said, “Samuel, on a day like this, even you must find life worth living.”

And Becket immediately said, “I wouldn’t go so far.”

[Scott] It is very interesting. I once wrote a piece which was turned down. It was rejected. It was titled “The Sorry Smell of Success.” All the successful Americans that I have both known and read about who find life unpleasant sitting there, as my grandmother would say, with a {?} and a cup full of butter.

[Rushdoony] Well, profundity, according to the critics, since World War I is being totally cynical about everything, being happy about nothing and trying to make everyone as miserable as yourself. Then you are a great writer. [00:42:14]

[Scott] That is really a sin, you know, because God

[Scott] That is really a sin, you know, because God intends us to be happy.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] It is a beautiful world.

[Rushdoony] Along those lines, one of the books I read recently by Pierre Cabanne, C A B A N N E, is Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp.

[Scott] Ah. That must be fun because he wound up showing off toilet bowls, as I remember.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Oh, yes. And is regarded as the great man in modern art who set the temper of art since World War I or before. And some of the profundities from Duchamp, this quote, “There is no solution because there is no problem.”

He sought to be the great saboteur of art and his work is described as formal decomposition. He is described as a missionary of influence. He says, “A painting that doesn’t shock isn’t worth painting.”

And he would...

[Scott] Yet, oddly enough, these are people that are easy to shock. All you have to do is to tell them what you think of their work.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, Cabanne asks him, “You protected yourself particularly against the family.”

Duchamp answered, “That is it. The family that forces you to abandon your real ideals to swamp them for things it believes in, society and all that paraphernalia.”

He refused to marry until he was an older man and then only a woman who was incapable of bearing a child any longer, because only then could you negate the world.

[Scott] That is really a death wish.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] That is death, walking death.

I have a great deal more admiration for Thomas Sole.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Thomas Sole and I would ... I would recommend every book he has ever written, published by Basic Books, that is his publisher. And the thing that really struck me most about Sole, although I like, as I said, all of books, was his book on black education.

[Rushdoony] That was good.

[Scott] ...which was... which was autobiographical. He ... he shouldn’t have made out. He quit school and was a messenger, because his family wanted him to bring home some money and they were poor and they were living in Harlem. And then he realized that he was trapped. He had trapped himself. So he went in the army. When he came out of the army he had the G. I. bill and he also got a job in the government part time under a woman in Washington, DC who hated black people. And he kept quiet. He reported for work every day in the office. And went to that very famous black university, Howard? [00:45:51]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Is that the name of it? And he said it was a farce. He said they were just passing them through. And he transferred. And I guess this was the beginning of the affirmative action program. He transferred to Harvard and Harvard, he said, almost broke his heart, because he realized for the first time how far behind he was. And he had to work 18 hours a day to keep up and to get through and he did. Then he transferred to the University of Chicago where he ran into Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economists and he found a home. And, of course, as you know, he has since gone on to make are remarkable career.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And he is not colored. He is black. I remember listening to him on a television program in which the situation of South Africa was discussed. And there was a white American liberal woman who was taking the side of the black people in South Africa while Sole was trying to tell her that he didn’t think they were ready for independence. And she accused him of being a racist bigot.

And he looked at her and I really thought he would strike her, but he restrained himself.

[Rushdoony] Well, he says in that book that he was discriminated against at Howard by a white woman professor who was very light skinned because he was dark and she was sure that because he was dark he couldn’t be very bright.

[Scott] Yes. And I think that is true.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] In the... in the black community.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There was a case recently...

[Scott] ... of discrimination.

[Rushdoony] ...of discrimination on that grounds charged.

Well, to go back to Marcel Duchamp, the one question he resented—and he was ready to talk about anything—was any reference to God. And in the climactic instance of that Cabanne asks, “Do you believe in God?”

Duchamp, “No, not at all. Don’t ask that. For me the question doesn’t exist. God is a human invention. Why talk about such a Utopia. When man invents something there is always someone for it and someone against it. It is mad foolishness to have made up the idea of God. I don’t mean that I am neither Atheist nor believer. I don't even want to talk about. I don’t talk to you about the life of bees on Sunday, do I? It is the same thing.”

[Scott] Irrelevant. [00:48:38]

[Rushdoony] Irrelevant talk

[Rushdoony] Irrelevant talk. Later on he says, “Despite yourself when you are an Atheist, you are impressed by the fact that you are going to completely disappear. I don’t want another life or {?} psychosis. It is very troublesome. It would be much better to believe in all those things you die joyfully.”

[Scott] Well, now, he was a big man in his small world, the world of modern art which ... which is still a small world, really.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And we compare that with the Nadezhda Mandelstam’s two books Hope Against Hope, printed in 1970 by Athenaeum and Hope Abandoned in 1974 by the same house. The wife of Osset Mandelstam they started out, both he and both she and her husband ardent Marxist revolutionaries, both gifted, both very literate, both having mastery of a number of languages, being raised in wealthy families, international families you might say. They were published, he was published in Germany and she was a polymath of sorts. And they were favored by the revolution until Stalin began to eat them all up and then they lost everything. They lost their right to have an apartment in Moscow. He lost his livelihood, with no chance of getting a job. Pravda printed a little item saying Osset Mandelstam the poet was last seen drunk in a bar. And they lived off the bounty of their friends. They lived as a couple of beggars. They would go into town and they would sleep a few nights here and a few nights there, free meals and what not.

There is a photograph of him very spiritual looking young man looking like a poet and then the same man 10 years later looking like the first photograph’s father. In the end he vanished in Siberia. The actual details of his death are unknown. He disappeared there, died up there and nobody dies pleasantly in Siberia. He forced her to memorize all of his poetry and later on after he died she spent hears in the provinces as a school teacher and then finally was allowed back in Moscow very late in her life in the 60s, I believe. And then young people began to come to her. [00:51:24]

Now she had actually believed in the revolution to

Now she had actually believed in the revolution to this extent. She thought the revolution could destroy the whole civilization. She was positive of it, because around here were nothing but the evidences of unlimited authority. And then young people came to her who came up with the same questions and the same intelligence as the people of her youth and it was the first time that she realized that the human race is renewable.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It cannot be cut down.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And those are two ... the first book made her internationally famous, Hope Against Hope. The publisher put that title on. The second book Hope Abandoned was her own title, because her name Nadezhda means hope in Russian. But in the end she said, “I know I am going to see Osset in the next world.” And for that turning towards the Christian faith she suddenly dropped from the reviews.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And both her books have subsequently been buried and they are both marvels of elegance. Tremendous.

[Rushdoony] We don’t have much time and I would like briefly to touch on a couple of books, one by Peter Cornwell, Church and Nation. It deals with royal theology today in England, the relics of it in the Church and state legal situation. And while he has a very liberal perspective, basically he is critical of the royal theology.

But he quotes from F. D. Maurice who spoke of the folly of opposing the spirit of the age with the spirit of a former age. And I think that is an important thing for conservatives to pay attention to, because they oppose the folly of today with the folly of yesterday when they need to confront yesterday and today with God and his Word.

[Scott] Yesterday is ... is really only interesting if you can extract something from it for use today.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is not... it is not an escape. It is not a program. It is not an alternative. You can’t go back in that sense. The only thing you can do is to avoid previous error.

[Rushdoony] Then another book, very briefly, by David Freeman Hawke, a good historian. Hawke with an E at the end of it, Every Day Life in Early America, published by Harper and Row. And he calls attention to the fact that tit is very difficult of us to grasp that both in the Colonial period and the early American period national affairs were minor things. Most people knew nothing about them, were not interested because the national government, the federal government as they would have said, was a sometime thing meeting a couple of weeks a year and no more. And it was a local scene that matter, he said. [00:54:48]

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] In the minds of everyone.

[Scott] Well, now you turn on the radio and TV and all you get is bulletins about what the government is doing.

[Rushdoony] Yes. So it is a totally different situation and the federal government then was a minor thing and local affairs took up the minds of everyone.

Then a minor point—and our time is almost up—he said in the earliest days one of the curiosities, and I noticed this particularly because it goes a grain... against the grain with me, when they went fishing and the waters were full of fish, the one thing they would not touch was salmon. They didn't’ regard salmon as fit to eat.

[Scott] Did you ever see a menu of some of the things they did think were fit to eat? Pretty terrible.

[Rushdoony] Yes. They didn’t like vegetables either for a long time. The Indians taught them that.

Well, our time is about up. And we thank you all for listening and God bless you.

[Voice] Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized by

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