Decadence and the New Age - RR161BF107

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Decadence & the New Age
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 107
Length: 0:55:48
TapeCode: RR161BF107
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, RR161BF107, Decadence & the New Age from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 189, March 10, 1989.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to discuss decadence. You can call the subject also the growing departure from reality in our times or the insanity, as it were, of men and nations. At any rate, the general subject is decadence.

We could, perhaps, deal with the subject just by reading the daily paper into the microphone, because what we see all around us gives evidence of decadence.

Otto Scott some time back defined decadence very powerfully and I am going not leave it to him to repeat that. I shall deal with it by calling attention to the kind of thing that represents moral decay, represents decadence in wisdom, in law, in a culture.

This is an item from the USA Today for Tuesday, March the seventh, 1989, page 3A and it reads, “Rapist Outrage. A judge’s decision to spare rapist David Caballero a prison term because the young man wants to become a police officer has outraged many in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. Judge Charles Stark convicted student Caballero, 21, under a youthful offender act that spared him a minimum five year term for sexually assaulting a female student at Lake Superior State University. ‘I think they would like to lynch the judge if they had him right here,’ said local newspaper editor Ken Cesari. Prosecutors are appealing.”

Well, that is the kind of thing that increasingly is in evidence. Many of you have sent me clippings of like incidents where judges have acted as though they have demonstrated their nobility by forgiving criminals when it is not in their right to forgive him and then feeling that the public outcry against what they have done represents a depravity on the part of the people. [00:03:15]

This kind of thing represents a departure from reality

This kind of thing represents a departure from reality. And it is more and more with us. Wherever we turn we find this warping of vision, a warping of moral insight on the part of more and more people, especially people in high places.

Otto, do you want to start off with a general statement on decadence?

[Scott] Yes. the definition of decadence that I quoted some time back is from a small book on the word in which the author—and I am sorry I didn't bring it with me tonight—the author defined decadence as the condition which overcomes a country when it will no longer fight.

Now if we take that definition... now he said not wine, women and song, because that often accompanies victory. And the results of fighting. If we were to take that definition and step back a bit and look at what Kennedy, the historian called the rise and fall of great powers, and in our time the greatest power to fall has been the British Empire. When you and I were young most of the map was salmon pink...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...representing the possessions of the British Empire. British very small island with a relatively small population controlled almost one third of all the people in the world, the largest empire every known to history. It succumbed to decadence, even though it fought well in World War II, the last major war in which it was engaged. But the ruling class succumbed, not the people. The ruling class succumbed and it is very interesting now to compare their attitudes, let us say, in 18... from 1885 to 1910 with the attitudes of the American ruling class today. They didn’t want to pay for defense. They didn’t want to expand or maintain the navy. Churchill and Lord Fischer had a terrible struggle to get them to switch the navy from coal to oil, although that was obviously the coming thing. In order to stay up with Germany they would... had to do it. they were forced to do it. They did it very reluctantly. [00:06:09]

They also refused to do anything about that steady

They also refused to do anything about that steady diminution of their productivity, the loss of their heavy industrial sales around the world and the influx of foreign goods that came in. They refused to do anything about the fact that they could no longer feed themselves and they refused to put up a tariff wall to protect their agricultural interests. In almost every respect you find the British from 1885 to 1910 the British governing class, that is, expressing all kinds of noble Socialist principles, liberal principles as they are called, allowing their country to decay around them, the empire to get very soft. And compare that with our governing class and its attitudes today. It isn’t simply the rapists that are getting off. Lots of people are getting off.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And, in the mean time, we are sliding.

[Rushdoony] Yes. When we were young, as you mentioned, the saying was the sun never sets on the British flag. And it was true. I think one of the most horrifying stories about its collapse came shortly after World War II. Two men, two people, a husband and wife, both morally decadent to the nth degree, Lord and Lady Mountbatten were sent to India to resolve the problems there. And their resolution was the most incredibly wrong headed one imaginable. And it led to the murder of millions of people as independence was granted and India was divided. And yet Mountbatten returned to honored and to the time of his death regarded as a great man for being the author of a tremendous tragedy, a holocaust.

[Scott] Well, six million, I understand, died.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, let’s compare that particular triumph, which, incidentally, is still hailed as a great step forward in human progress, because India is now independent and they are eating each other alive in that horrible sub continent. Let’s compare that particular event with something lesser, but a more recent event in which is hailed by the United States government as a great triumph of diplomatic, the Angola treaty between Angola and South Africa.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:09:03]

[Scott] We pride ourselves on having played the part

[Scott] We pride ourselves on having played the part of a broker in that treaty. The South Africans who have been supporting Savimbi in his fight against the Marxist government of Angola is... South Africa has agreed to curtail all support to Savimbi. It also agreed to pull all of its troops out of Angola within a six month period. In response, the Cubans in Angola are to pull out over a 28 month period. And I understand that there are over 10,000 Cuban soldiers who have taken out Angolan citizenship, married Angolan women and are settled there, which, of course, helps the infrastructure of the Marxist government.

In addition to this, the South Africans have agreed to pull out of Mozambique which is now called Namibia by our press. Well, it used to be called Southwest Africa, which is very rich in mineral resources.

So and to agree to free U N conducted elections in Mozambique which will be dominated—as everyone knows—by a Marxist group called {?}. So Mozambique, which is next door to south Africa will go Communist. Angola, which, incidentally, the ... and American oil company has been providing the Angolan Marxist government with enough money to pay the Cuban troops with the blessings of our state department and our White House.

Now on the face of it, this looks like a very strange treaty for South Africa to make. The treaty was signed, by the way, in New York. Chester Crocker, under secretary of state of the United States was the arbiter. The Angolan diplomat who signed for his government took occasion to issue a long diatribe against the United States which was not covered by our press. Instead, Chester Crocker was praised. I am not sure that he got a medal, I am sure he will get... he got something. And many editorials appeared on the wonderful peace that has now been brought to southern Africa.

But my friends from South Africa tell me that something entirely different has taken place. What they say is that when we applied sanctions against South Africa, the Soviet block and the Soviet Union did not do that. They abstained. They don’t have any embassy in South Africa, because, of course, they say they are against Apartheid. And we all know how much the Soviet Union is in favor of human rights. They are famous for it.

In any event, they, instead of applying sanctions against South Africa, they increased their orders. They increased the business they are doing. Then they came to the South African government {?} or behind the scenes, because the two countries have always collaborated with one another on the medals market scene internationally and said, “We will stop supplying money to the African National Congress. We will no longer send arms or ammunition into the black revolutionaries of South Africa if you will cooperate with us in all your international dealings instead of the West.” [00:12:37]

The South African government, my friends say, has agreed

The South African government, my friends say, has agreed, because, they say, the United States is the greatest double crossing nation in the world. They came against us although we have been a loyal and faithful ally all through the years. They drove us into the arms of the Soviets. And at least if we make a deal with the Soviets we can stay in power. The blacks will not take over and we can get an extension on our survival.

Now that is the sort of diplomacy which I think deserves the word decadence, because we did this in order to placate the black voter in the United States at the expense of our future stability.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Decadence involves the loss of any sense of reality. And that is what characterizes our foreign policy. This treaty is comparable to the one we made when we withdraw from Vietnam Supposedly leaving behind something that was for the welfare of the people. And we know what happened.

I think this loss of a sense of reality increasingly marks our time. We don’t want to face up to reality.

I have a book here which we were discussing briefly before we began, James E. Oldburg, Uncovering Soviet Disasters: Exploring the Limits of Glasnost, published in 1988 by Random House. And the chapter titles are of things like “Anthrax in {?}, accidents on ice, the bloody border, military disasters, submarines, disasters afloat and on land, in the air, super projects, dead cosmonauts, exploding rockets, reactors from the sky, the Urals disaster, nuclear gulag,” and so on and on. [00:15:01]

Now the Soviet Union has been faced with one disaster

Now the Soviet Union has been faced with one disaster after another that they will not admit to the world that these have happened nor to themselves. They will not face up to their growing internal collapse realistically. And if it were not for us propping them up, they would collapse.

[Scott] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] So it is this kind of thing that marks the world today, the inability to face reality, the insistence that pronouncements are the reality, not what has happened.

[Scott] Well, it is a complex situation. Apparently prosperity is bad for the human character. Apparently God does us a favor when he keeps us poor, although it is hard for us to accept that. I am convinced that God has determined that money would ruin me and he is doing me a great favor by keeping it out of my hands.

And... but time and again we se the spectacle of a country becoming rich and fat and then rich and stupid and then finally rich and cowardly.

[Rushdoony] Back in the 1950s, beginning of the 60s Robert Argray wrote a number of books and one of this theses which, I think, has a limited amount of truth, although I don’t buy it basically is in line with what you just said. He described the human race as bad weather animals. In other words, they thrive best in bad weather.

[Scott] A very... I agree. A good observation, because it is only against something that we develop our strength and when people become very comfortably situated, the first thing they worry about is keeping what they have got and the next thing is to being secure and then to being safe.

[Rushdoony] Well, let me add parenthetically, I am afraid that Chalcedon is overloaded with character, because we have not been made rich.

[Scott] Well, that is a reason to keep writing. We keep discussing. We keep struggling. If we were rich why would we have to struggle?

[Rushdoony] Well, I would do it anyway.

[Scott] You would do it anyway.

[Rushdoony] I love it and you do, too.

[Scott] Well, you will never get a chance to prove it at the rate we are going. [00:18:00]

[Rushdoony] Well, getting back to the problem of the

[Rushdoony] Well, getting back to the problem of the world decadence. Since World War II there has been a growing heedlessness. You dated it, in the case of Britain, from about 1910 and I think quite rightly so. And the developments that led to War World I were a part of the decadence of the time, because very few when they went to war in that war had any recognition of what they were doing to civilization. And we came out of it. We went into it under the illusion that we were going to make the world safe for democracy. Our president Woodrow Wilson with his diplomacy was going to be the world messiah. And that term was applied to him. Well, we have only increased in our departure from a realistic assessment of things, from having any vision. And, of course, Proverbs tells us where there is no vision the people perish. And by vision it means a knowledge of what God’s reality is. And more literally the second part is the people perish, the people run naked. They are crazy. They are wild.

So, lacking that vision, the people have been running wild. They have been running naked all over the world.

[Scott] Well, of course, another meaning of the word vision is a goal or a purpose.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] A life without a purpose is an empty and very unhappy life. If you don’t know where you are going, you don’t know what direction to face, what direction to heads in, what your efforts are supposed to add up to. I don’t think that one’s material comfort or the size of the house or the educational level of the children or the amount of clothes and cars you have constitutes a purpose in life. Purpose has to be something larger than your individual destiny. And God, of course, becomes the great companion to people who believe his presence and who will accept his rule and then find that they have the courage to pursue their talents and their purpose in the world and to stand up in honesty against all adversity. [00:21:03]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. A great many people have tunnel vision. Now tunnel vision is when you have a problem with the eyes so that you can only see a little spot ahead of you. You don’t have a broad range of vision. It is a very sad kind of eye defect. But Ford Schwartz was telling me a while back how some years ago when he spent a while in Mexico he stayed with some people in a village, the only non Mexican there. He found them to be very kindly and gracious people, but very limited, because all they could see was to do things exactly as every one else did so that their daily food was limited, day after day, to tortilla and beans, but they were living on the edge of the ocean. And he said day after day he caught fish in a matter of minutes, excellent eating, tasty varieties. But the Mexicans rarely ever touched the fish. They did things only as they had done them generation after generation.

Now that is tunnel vision. That is a lack of any real vision. And that is exceedingly common. We can see it in the Mexicans, but we don’t see it in ourselves.

[Scott] Well, we do have it. Congress is lurching from one issue to the next. Our corporations operate on short term basis. Every three months they have to add up everything and pay the tax collector and so forth, issue dividends and what not. Three months is a very short length of time.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The average person if you say, “Where are you going?” Will say, “Downtown.” Quo vadis somebody said in a sort of a satirical column where the protagonist stopped people on the street and said, “Quo vadis, whither art thou go? Whither thou goest?” And most people can’t tell you.

Anne got a call from a pollster once when we lived in New York some years back and the woman wanted to know her goal in life. And she said, “I am an Anglican.” And the pollster said,
  “Well, that is not the question.” She said, “Well, that is the answer,” and hung up. And it was a good answer. If you are a Christian you have goal in life. You don’t ... that is the highest possible goal and underneath that goal is how do you lead a good life in a constructive way. [00:24:00]

But our government has no goal

But our government has no goal. We have commitments all around the world. We are supporting millions upon millions, well actually we are supporting other governments. We are not supporting the people in other countries. We are supporting the governments of other countries. And in most cases left wing and Socialist and Marxist governments like the government of Angola that we just played Lord Bountiful to.

This is not a goal for people. God did not put us together to support the governments of the world.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] That is not a work... that is not even a sensible activity, let alone a worthy one.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And you mentioned the short term outlook of corporations because of our general tax structure. Of course, the existentialist mentality of people creates such a short term outlook. Now occasionally I have problems with somebody who wants to know why in the world we have so many people on our staff. We have 10.

[Scott] That is a lot.

[Rushdoony] I am talking about writers.

[Scott] You are talking about writers, yes.

[Rushdoony] Full time and part time. And all they are interested in, these people—and I am glad to say their number is not great—and what are they producing for the report next month? And I tell them, “Well, some of these people are working long range on writing projects and this is the way we want it.” And some of us are working both long range and short range in terms of providing something for the monthly report. But they can’t see anything long range. That is meaningless to them.

And they make this kind of demand of their churches, of their civil government, of everything. It is the kind of mentality that leads people to demand of a pastor, as one pastor told me, what are you doing for us senior citizens? And in another instance what are you doing for the teenagers or the college age? As though the function of the Church is to meet the needs of people rather than people submitting themselves to God to be used by him. We have this type of existentialist mentality in which we are the center. And, of course, this leads to decadence, because no man is fit to be the goal of his own life.

[Scott] Well, that is true. And going back to the manifestations of decadence in the case of the author I mentioned, {?} or refusal to fight for your country, when the country refuses to fight for itself. This was, of course, as you recall, the class judgment on ancient Greece in which the historian said they sought security. In order to attain security they sacrificed honor. Having sacrificed honor they sacrificed, they lost courage. Having lost courage they lost everything in the end. And he said in the end we can sum it all up as a failure of nerve. [00:27:50]

Now a failure of nerve reflects itself in very different

Now a failure of nerve reflects itself in very different ways. A failure to take unpopular positions even though you know that they may be correct is a failure of nerve. The judge’s failure was an attempt to actually curry favor with the liberal community and he made a mistake in this particular case of this particular rapist. The community was not in favor of that, but our judges in general are political judges, political lawyers who sit on the bench, who rule according to what they consider the prevailing trends in the community.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

I would like to call attention now to something that one of our Chalcedon friends and supporters has written. Douglas Groothuis in his book Confronting the New Age, published in 1988 by Intervarsity Press had this to say about New Age thinking, and I quote, “The phrase ‘create your own reality’ is often intoned in New Age circles as a basic premise. The idea is that we are not underway under any objective moral law. Rather, we all have different ways to realize our divine potential. And since all is one or monism, we can’t slice up life into categories like good versus evil. That is too dualistic. We must move beyond good and evil in order to realize our full potential. And suppose spirit guide {?} teaches that God, of which we are all apart, is neither good nor bad. God does not judge. No one sins and there is no need for forgiveness. {?} continues, ‘Every vile and wretched thing you do broadens your understanding. If you want to do any one thing regardless of what it is, it would not be wise to go against that feeling, for there is an experience awaiting you and a grand adventure that will make your life sweeter,’” unquote. [00:30:17]

Now we have New Age thinking infiltrating our law,...

Now we have New Age thinking infiltrating our law, our courts, our schools in that everyone chooses his own values and those are good for him. And the same was for a long time, but you could do anything you chose, just as long as you did not do physical harm to someone against his own will.

But, of course the thinking of the Marquis de Sade is now being increasingly popular and publicized, namely, that doing violence to anyone you choose is your right so that New Age thinking which says if you have a desire to do something, do it, because there is no good nor evil represents the decadence of our time. You create your own reality according to New Age thinking as Douglas Groothuis has so powerfully demonstrated. In this book.

[Scott] Well, that is very interesting. The ... beyond good and evil was one of these phrases that... that Transcendentalists use and that was a favorite of Emersons. He was quite eloquent on that, the higher law. And, as we know, Transcendentalism and Unitarianism which was a New England variation of Hinduism...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... which Emerson was steeped in was one of the elements that led to the holocaust of the Civil War.

Now we find the same thing appearing again in the decadent period of Victorian Europe or Victorian England. Nietzsche talking about beyond good and evil, Thus Spake Zarathustra this ubermensch and so forth, the super man. And we see the holocaust of World War I.

Then after that in between the wars we hear somewhat differently phrased the idea that the human life is unimportant beside the necessity of the state enunciated by Hitler and Mussolini and, of course by Stalin before both of them or at the same time resulting in the massacres of World War II and since.

Now what we are talking about here, what you are just quoted, is the famous sequence where the United States, somebody said it and I will repeat it, picks up every idea of Europe 30 years after Europe proves it didn’t work. We are now in repeating what Europe has done again and again. This is sheer Hinduism.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:33:24]

[Scott] Absolute

[Scott] Absolute. To call it New Age is nonsense. There is nothing new about Hinduism with its seven degrees of hell and the idea that God is both good and evil at the same time and you can get to Nirvana either way. Only an illiterate would fail to recognize. And I remember telling a highly respect figure in my own past one time who talked about the wonderful philosophies of any of the... that I would pay his way to Bombay and let him stay there for a month and I would pay all his expenses just to shut him up. You go and you use the naked figures in the street. You see the girls in the cages in the streets of Bombay and there the seedbed of all of these rabid ideas.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...which are now hailed here as the New Age. Now we can go down into the swamp of the orient, of course, and there will be nobody left with any intelligence to mourn our departure.

[Rushdoony] I, some years back, knew a couple of me who did go and who had all kinds of allusions about the exotic Far East, one a young man, college age, the other an older man. And it was a shattering experience for them that they suppressed, because it told them about the reality of evil and the reality of man as a fallen creatures which they did not want to admit. And I think their suppression of the reality marks our age. We do not want, as an age, to know what evil is, unless, of course, it was Hitler and we killed him and now we just mo pup on a few of these extremists. We will be in a world state of...

[Scott] Safe. We will be safe from evil.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Isn’t it interesting somebody said to me recently that we are still searching out Hitler’s accomplices, but Stalin didn’t have any?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There are no extraditions. There is no war trials, no crimes, not commissions, no investigations of all the torturers of the Soviet. And yet they killed as many people as Hitler. They killed more people than Hitler and including Jews and every other race and nationality.

But the inability to confront evil is a very serious impediment to one’s life. [00:36:27]

[Rushdoony] Well, you mentioned a book on decadence

[Rushdoony] Well, you mentioned a book on decadence. I have one. Not a very good book, in fact, a very bad one, because, after dealing with the subject cynically, he dismisses it as a relic of a Christian past.

[Scott] Oh, that is a very bad book.

[Rushdoony] Yes. So he says it is impossible to define decadence, because for him, of course, the is no such thing as good nor evil. And since all things are equal and all things are acceptable, to use the term decadence is to think mythically.

[Scott] Well, if that is the case, we wonder how he defends himself and his family. If there are no values then why are so many people defending Rushdie?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] What is all this nonsense about free speech when a particular oxen is gored?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... out of the whole herd. There is only two or three sacred oxen. We really can’t get too noble about the Indians, you know, because we have got some taboos walking around of a fearsome size.

[Rushdoony] Well, the New Age thinking, which, of course, is as Groothuis points out and as you did, Far Eastern, Hindu thinking. It says, “Create your own reality.” And these people are creating their own reality and they are denying the validity of your and my idea of reality and of good and evil.

[Scott] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] So that there is only one reality and it is that which we affirm. I was very interested recently in a letter from Phil Spielman, a superb letter like almost everything he writes. And he described going to one of these intellectual soirées in Berkeley. And the question of the greatest evil of this century came up and, of course, it was not Stalinism, not even Hitlerism. It was, this woman told him very intensely and earnestly, Fundamentalism.

[Scott] Fundamentalism.

[Rushdoony] Fundamentalism.

[Scott] Has anyone ever defined it?

[Rushdoony] Well, for her, of course, it was obvious. It was a belief in good and evil. It was a belief in God, a belief in absolutes, in the moral law.

[Scott] Well, that is forbidden.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:39:13]

[Scott] That is what you would call forbidden thoughts

[Scott] That is what you would call forbidden thoughts, underground thoughts.

[Rushdoony] Yes, especially in a place like Berkeley.

[Scott] Well, Berkeley, if I... I started to smile when you said an intellectual soirée in Berkeley which is a contradiction in terms. Probably the greatest collection of stupidity that the world has seen in quite a long time is present in Berkeley. They have created a housing shortage of monstrous proportions. They ... it is a seething mass of racial, ethnic and religious hatreds. How the school maintains its reputation is a matter of wonder to me. I seldom hear of anything intelligent coming out of it.

[Rushdoony] Well, Harvard and Yale and all the other schools are no different. They are all competing to excel in the same kind of decadence.

[Scott] They all have a very high reputation amongst the elite journalists and the governing class. But I fail to see any evidence of superior scholarship coming out of them. We haven’t had nationally speaking a first rate philosopher since William James died. We have no world class conceptual thinkers at all.

[Rushdoony] That is in the academic community outside of the Church.

[Scott] Yes, well, that is... that is about it. The academic community is... is gnawing on its own tail.

[Rushdoony] Well the caliber of the universities is too often ascertained by counting the number of books they have in their libraries, the extent of their endowment, the size of their facilities, the number of departments and faculty members and so on. So it is a quantitative analysis the world over now.

[Scott] Well, we have more students. And we have more teachers. Spain went this route. It had more churches and Cathedrals, nunneries and monasteries, schools than any other country up to that time in the history of Europe. It spends a tremendous amount of money on it and it produced a class that felt that labor was beneath its dignity.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Which is very similar to the class that we are producing. Most of these young men don’t want to get their hands dirty. They don't want to do anything physical. They want to be able to think without a brain, which is a miracle that is denied most of them. [00:42:05]

[Rushdoony] Spain, I believe now, has one of the larger

[Rushdoony] Spain, I believe now, has one of the larger universities in the world with 50,000 students. So...

[Scott] You get lost there.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And never forget Henry Adams at a time when the United States was still virile in the 1860s, early 1870s, perhaps, being sent to Heidelberg by his father after Harvard. Now he said in those days Harvard use the tutorial method. Your tutor gave you a bunch of books to read and you would discuss them with him and then you would get together with your professor once or twice a week to discuss the subject. At the end of the four years the professors knew whether or not you knew and, he said, it was all very pleasant. Then he went to Heidelberg and he said in Heidelberg they had a monstrous class. He said all the other students drank beer all the time and never studied because each professor gave the same lecture every time and they passed the lecture around before the examination so that nobody could fail and he said there were no questions, no question and answer. The professor was on a platform. He spoke, you shut up and you made notes. He said he hoped the United States would never fall into such a dreadful system.

[Rushdoony] Well, I think the lecture method is superior if it is done properly because the tutorial destroys the professors. Very few of them can produce anything, because they are endlessly occupied with students. And if you have a large number of students and you have to see them all a few hours a week or a month think of what that does to your time?

[Scott] No, the professor isn’t the tutor.

[Rushdoony] The professor is also involved. He is involved.

[Scott] He is involved, but I have had both. I have had lectures and I have had tutors. And I will take the tutor.

[Rushdoony] Well, you must have had an unusual tutor because under the tutorial system too often it is a bored graduate student who can’t wait to get rid of you and the professor doesn’t know you anymore and has nothing to show for it.

No, I don’t think either system has been very productive. I think the lecture system has the potential, but not as it is now used. I know that when I went to the university and still, you could buy both a course lectures and skip the class because the professor would repeat himself year after year without increasing his knowledge of the subject.

[Scott] That is terrible.

[Rushdoony] The only ones who gave good lectures would... two or three exceptions, were those who were not full professors, because once you attained that rank...

[Scott] They were working, yes. [00:45:12]

[Rushdoony] You

[Rushdoony] You...

[Scott] That is the challenge again.

[Rushdoony] Yes. You taught three four hours a week and that was it.

[Scott] Well, decadence, I guess, if we could put through the pages of People magazine, which, in my estimation featured monsters and not people, we could look at television. We could see decadence in action. We can see the collapse of values in action. I heard a discussion today on the Crossfire program with Braden, Pat Buchanan and a couple of other people. It seems that this actress who calls herself Madonna—which is the mother of Jesus—has made a dirty commercial for Pepsi Cola. And the original head of People for the American Way, which apparently believes that Christianity is not part of the American way, was defending it as perfectly fine. A minister was in there agitating about it. And there {?} I think the man is from the American Way and he could not see why anyone should be offended.

[Rushdoony] I believe she did a tape for videos in which she parodied the crucifixion and more and then Pepsi Cola killed her commercial which they paid five million dollars for.

[Scott] Really.

[Rushdoony] Because they were afraid of the kick back, and rightly so.

[Scott] Well, then I misunderstood the subject under discussion, because...

[Rushdoony] I...

[Scott] I thought they had...

[Rushdoony] I may be wrong on that, but that was the impression I got.

[Scott] You may be right, too.

[Rushdoony] I was so disgusted with the news account of it that I may not have listened too carefully.

[Scott] Well, obviously things are going by the board.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Somebody else said to me that the lines, the categories appear to be dissolving. Now this fits in with your earlier comments on the lack of character involved in decadence, because decadence can see... if it sees no good, it can also see no wrong.

[Rushdoony] Well, if you create your own reality, you no longer live in a real world. It used to be a joke when we were young about the insane and I am told that there were a fair number in institutions who thought of themselves as Napoleon. And that was a departure from reality, creating their own reality. That is what our world is doing today. [00:48:06]

[Scott] Well, we have created the reality of a great

[Scott] Well, we have created the reality of a great super power, impregnable, capable of... in a classic phase, we have got enough nuclear bombs to destroy the world. Or we have got enough bullets in any arsenal to shoot to death all the people in the world also, but it doesn’t mean that we have the capacity to use them.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, the way out of decadence, I think, is what we ought to deal with before we finish. And, of course, in general terms the answer is a biblical faith, Christianity. And I do feel that the growing evidence of a virile Christianity gives us the first ray of hope in this century.

John Whitehead has said that by 1952 the Supreme Court decided that Christianity was dead. And they could begin dismantling the Christian structure of the United States and proceeded to do so. But what has happened—and it came as a shock in the 70s—was suddenly to find a very real return to the faith. In particular, so many of the young, the interesting thing is that out of the student riots of the 60s two directions were taken by those who were involved in it. A fairly large number went into teaching and now dominate our universities and grade and high schools or went into civil government so that we find the state, both in its schools, bureaucracy and elective offices pretty well covered by these 60s revolutionaries. But a sizable number became Christian. And they are exercising an increasingly strong and virile influence in the churches and in the country.

[Scott] Well, revolutionaries that sought sanctuary on the civil service are somewhat amusing. Of course, they are mischievous and they are misleading many of the young. But they are not always effective in teaching the young what they think they are teaching, because the people are apt to go by what they see more than what they hear. [00:51:03]

[Rushdoony] And the failure that state schools have

[Rushdoony] And the failure that state schools have become from coast to coast is evidence of that and it is driving an increasing number of people into home schooling and Christian schools, 35 percent of the population as of about a year and a half ago.

So we are seeing some things take place that don’t get reported in the daily paper that indicate there is a change under way.

[Scott] Well, you know there is a change under way, because satirical skits that at one time created great laughter are now creating indignation. If Sinclair Lewis were to bring out Elmer Gantry today he would have a much different reaction from the audience than he had in the early 20s.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And it was some years ago that the film Elmer Gantry was {?} and there was no outcry whatsoever.

[Scott] There is no reaction at all.

[Rushdoony] No. Now a film like that would, indeed, bring about a major protest.

[Scott] Yes. So there is a ... and, again, it is the business of the challenge and the pressure.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Christian... the Christian revival is, in large measure, I am sorry to say, due to the enemies of Christianity who are waking us up.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And we go back to Paul Gottlieb saying that he is surprised at how easily the WASP was pushed off the stage. And my reflection later that is because he didn’t know there was a war. Once people realize that there are forces out to push them off the stage, why, then, there is entirely different reality emerges.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We have more Christians here than anywhere in the world, better educated, in better circumstances, with more instruments at their disposal.

[Rushdoony] And more vocal.

[Scott] And more vocal. And anyone who thinks that they are going to fade away has got another thought coming.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It was assumed before the last election that the evangelical vote was finished, but to the shock of many, it was very much in evidence and determinative even though they didn’t have a candidate. They still were felt. They could no longer bypass it.

I think the result will be that the hostility and the attack will increase. But I think the resistance will also grow and we shall see some dramatic turn arounds before the century is over in about 11 years.

[Scott] Well, the Reformation in the first place came out of the most decadent stage that Europe at that time had ever reached.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It was absolutely at the moral bottom when the Reformation arose. [00:54:13]

[Rushdoony] Well, I think we are in the midst of a

[Rushdoony] Well, I think we are in the midst of a reformation, but unlike the Reformation and counter Reformation, it deals with more than the changing of the structure of the Church.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is this time changing the structure of life across the board.

[Scott] The whole world.

[Rushdoony] The whole world.

[Scott] The whole world is what is ... because McLewan was right. They have created an intellectual and communication global village. And the argument has now moved into the center of that arena.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is an exciting time which to be alive. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out. And, Otto, I hope we both last long enough to see these so and sos get it in the neck and our side come out on top as it is certainly going to do.

[Scott] I agree.

[Rushdoony] Very good. Thank you all for listening.

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