Discussing Books and Ideas - RR161BE106

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Discussing Books & Ideas
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 106
Length: 0:57:19
TapeCode: RR161BE106
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, RR161BE106, Discussing Books & Ideas from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 216, April the sixth, 1990.

Otto Scott and I are going to discuss books and ideas connected with books and I am going to start with one which I think is a good one to begin with in April. It is Ron Luciano, the former major league umpire and David Fisher, Remembrance of Swings Past. There is a lot of good humor in this book. It is in some portions hilarious as he recounts some of the episodes connected with baseball and baseball players going back to Dizzy Dean and coming up to the present.

For example, this one and I quote. “When not fighting Clint was well liked by his roommates and opponents who delighted in playing practical jokes on him. Catcher Less Moss often repaired other players’ gloves. And one day he was restringing Scrap’s catcher mitt. Early when saw Moss at work and suggested that they sow a slice of limburger cheese into the pocket.

“‘I couldn’t do that to an old roomy of mine,’ Moss said.

“‘Here. Give it to me.’

“Moss completed the job. Leaving air vents so the odor would come out Len returned it to Courtney. When Courtney came out to catch umpire Johnny Stevens crouched over him for the first pitch. Stevens immediately jumped up and called time. He was gasping for breath, one remembers. His eyes were watering and he couldn’t see. He looked into the dugout and saw me sprawled over the bat rack laughing hysterically. And then he yelled, ‘You get out of here and stay in the clubhouse. If the manager needs you, he can get you.’

“Meanwhile Courtney just kept staring at his glove.

“‘John,’ I asked, ‘What have I done?’

“He was still coughing and choking, but he said, ‘I am not sure what you done, but we have got nine innings to go and I don’t want you doing it anymore.’

“I don’t know if Courtney ever knew that something was wrong.”

Well, the are a lot of stories like that and better, but there is one thing in it that I thought on a serious level was quite telling. Ron Luciano discusses the argument: Was baseball better in the old days or is it better now? He does not come to a conclusion. He gives you the arguments pro and con. But he does make an interesting point or two that favors the argument that it was better in the old days and I think it is important for us for this... well, I will come to the reason later. His argument is this. [00:03:38]

We now have far more major league teams than we did

We now have far more major league teams than we did in the old days when there were only eight teams. Eight teams in each league. So we have not only more players per team, but more players per league. So, he said, “You are not going to have as much quality when you have a large number of players as compared to, say, what was in the 30s and the 50s.”

On top of that what has happened since World War II is that the temper of the people has changed quite a bit. In those days there were minor leagues galore from coast to coast, each with a large following so that a young player had the extensive experience of a long time training in the minors. So by the time he reached the major leagues, he was three, four, five years in the minors and seasoned, an experienced player. Now he goes up to the majors as a raw rookie. So apprenticeship has largely gone out of baseball.

Now this reminded me of something else in another book that I was reading about the same time. It was, in fact, a book by Lamoure, the western writer. And in it he spoke of his apprenticeship before the war in pulp magazines, writing for them. And then it was a great training school because in those days there were more readers than there are now per thousand people. I know that in those days not only young men, but older men, farmers, cowhands in isolated ranches read heavily in the pulp magazines. And a great many exceptionally good writers got their start here. The editors were very capable. They were demanding. So a writer was spooled before he broke out into the big leagues which would be Liberty, The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers and the world of novels. None of that now exists. The pulps are gone. The old schooling that writers received is gone. And writing has declined. So I think the evidence that Luciano collects does indicate to me even though as an umpire he remains neutral, the evidence does indicate to me that the lack of apprenticeship has hurt us in baseball and, I would say, in other spheres as well.

Any reaction to that, Otto?

[Scott] Well, of course, you are giving the story of my life. I used to write for the pulps. And I went through all that. But there are a great many more publications today than there were then. And I would say that there are plenty of opportunities for a beginning writer to break into print. There are city tabloids that are ... they don’t have big names. But there are a great many of them. Some of the best writing in San Diego when I lived there up until seven years ago was in a San Diego handout, a tabloid with lots of ads for beauty parlors and athletic salons and things like that. And I remember that the Seville, I think, was the fellow’s name who covered the theater and music and he far outdid people in much bigger publications. He was terribly good.

One of our... but I do agree on the apprenticeship thing. There are no apprentices anymore. They... first you have to go to college. And if you recall the issue before last of The American Scholar, the Phi Beta Kappa publication had a long article on the kind of writers that are coming out of school in which we have academic writer after academic writer who is writing along the lines of his teaching in school... [00:09:04]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And not along the lines of his observations, because what can you observe in school except the school. And writers used to roam the landscape to learn some ... he mentioned this and I had forgotten it, that a generation or more ago you would see on the copy, the jacket copy about the author that he had been a lumberjack and a truck driver and a fry order cook and a half a dozen other things before he started to turn out books. And the... you no longer see that. You now see that he is a graduate of Harvard or this place or that place. I don’t think the school makes a great deal of difference.

We have lost the idea of the link between the generations. You don’t... I don’t think young people today learn from older people. They learn from their teachers.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And this has had a devastating effect upon our society, because it breaks the link between the generations which makes them explicable to each other and it also severs the roots of tradition. Now the ball players that you were talking about we can all relate to, at least I can relate...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...to immediately. I remember jokes like that that we played on one another at sea. One time, it is not a very good one to repeat, but there were two men on the ... on the vessel, or one of the vessels that had false teeth and some terrible fellow transferred the lower plates of each to their one... one glass to another. And those two men got into a fight.

[Rushdoony] Well, that is an interesting point. The practical joking was very common place among the older ball players and it was routine. It is frowned on increasingly.

[Scott] Oh, terribly.

[Rushdoony] Because it is a big business now.

[Scott] It is a big business.

[Rushdoony] And you don’t fool around. At least that is the standard, not that they ...

[Scott] Oh, you mean the ball players.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Oh, yes, they get a million dollars a minute or whatever.

[Rushdoony] So that kind of thing is for the bush leaguers.

[Scott] I see. That is interesting. I don’t know where they come from now because I remember many years ago talking to a baseball scout and that is when they had lots of sand lot...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...and bush league and so forth. And, in fact, when I was a boy we made up our own teams and we played...

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Scott] ...on the brick yard. It was wonderful, because the clay gave the ball a good bounce. We had our own umpire and our own team. We selected everybody ourselves. There was no little league. The idea of adults being around would have absolutely killed us. We wouldn’t dream of it.

At any rate, this... this scout... I said, “How do you pick them out? How do you pick out a player that you think should have a shot at the big leagues?”

Well, he said, “If it is a big game, all the players look good because everybody revs up.” He said, “I will follow a team for a couple of weeks or more. I try to find the fellow who revs up for every game whether there is a big crowd or not, whether the game is important or not.” And he said, “That is the big league quality, the one who goes all out all the time. And that was very interesting.”

[Rushdoony] Yes, very interesting. [00:12:49]

[Scott] He always does his best

[Scott] He always does his best.

[Rushdoony] Well, we are discussing books today and I would like to go back to one I mentioned in our previous Easy Chair, A. J. P. Taylor Politicians, Socialism and Historians. This book was published in 1982 by Stein and Day. It is a very interesting collection of essays and, mainly, book reviews. A. J. P. Taylor was an historian at Manchester and then Oxford whose name became quite widely known after World War II when he wrote The Origins of the Second World War in which he said blaming Hitler for everything is simply bad history. And he gained a lot of disfavor for that book, but they couldn’t go too far on their hostility to him, because A. J. P. Taylor was a good Socialist, a leading member of the labor party and much more.

He also has been on the B B C and has written articles for various periodicals and has a lifetime credential, as it were, with the labor party. Well, he is a remarkable man, because he calls attention to things that you would think are emphases that only a Christian would make. But he emphatically is not. He sees the doctrine of evolution as a heavily applied to the world of ideas and he says it is irresistible to the children of the Darwinian age. So he said when have a great deal of warping of history, a misconstruction of the past, because we take Darwin’s ideas and apply them to history and there is no relationship. [00:15:22]

Moreover, he basically feels that British Socialism

Moreover, he basically feels that British Socialism died in 1931. I don’t know his rationale for that. Certainly it has been powerful since World War II.

[Scott] Well, Atlee came in long after that.

[Rushdoony] Yes. But in the process of his comments, he says, and I quote, one of the greatest sentences I have read of late or this year, I quote, “Once admit that human wickedness and natural hardship are inevitable and Socialism would have no sense,” unquote.

[Scott] Well said.

[Rushdoony] Remarkable coming from a man who is a Socialist.

[Scott] Does he know that he is talking about innate depravity?

[Rushdoony] Yes. He knows he is talking about original sin and the fact that this world is a fallen world. So while he is very cynical about Socialism, he doesn’t drop it, but he puts his finger on the heart of the issue. When you recognize the depravity of man and the natural hardships that make up life, you cannot be a Socialist.

[Scott] Well, no. To be protected from the tests of existence is a ridiculous dream.

[Rushdoony] Then, ironically, his two favorite writers are George Bernard Shaw whom he writes about with delight and he speaks of Shaw’s superlative quality as the greatest arguer that has ever been born. But, he says, that Shaw despised humanity and at the end of his life—and I am quoting—“Shaw confessed that he stood for nothing.”

[Scott] Well, despite that, he was a great guy.

[Rushdoony] Yes. He was very fond of him. And he says that, “Though I owe more to Bernard Shaw than to any other single writer, I owe more to H. G. Wells’ Outline of History than to any other single book,” unquote.

And yet he has a devastating critique of that book and of Wells. He says of Wells’ novels, “Each book by Wells begins more or less realistically, usually in rather depressing surroundings and then the principal character escapes by a miracle,” unquote. [00:18:09]

Quoting again, ...

Quoting again, “None of Wells’ characters get out ... gets out of his difficulties by his own strength. The escape comes from outside. It happens to him. The need for a miracle even in Wells’ apparently realistic novel was, of course, much greater in his scientific fantasies, was, indeed, at the sense of him, of them,” unquote.

And he says of Wells, “His imagination took him prisoner. He always wanted a glowing future, but the future of his fantasies often turned out to be most unpleasant. Wells the thinker and prophet was the same. He could work miracles or, at any rate, wanted to work them. Wells did not really understand what he was talking about. If he wanted something, he assumed that there way in which it would happen.”

And he goes on to say, “He was passionately resolved on changing man, changing him, he thought, biologically. So he looked to science to work the great miracle to change man. He regarded man and society as animals subject to the laws of evolution and he felt that tall he had to do was to point out what was wrong and then evolution would step in,” he says, “and put it right.”

So he was a man who was constantly looking for naturalistic miracles to take place, he says. So, he says, and I quote, “If the world state was not coming of itself, what were we to do? Sometimes Wells implied that there was a superior moral force pulling things away in which he wanted them to go in a phrase borrowed from Matthew Arnold. That is something not ourselves that makes for righteousness. But he soon confessed that God, in his view, is merely another name for his own wishes,” unquote.

Then he comments, Taylor does, “All experience teaches that if an elite run affairs, they do so in their own interest and this is, perhaps, truer of businessmen than of any other so-called elite. Wells became more and more convinced that knowledge would transform the world, if only there were enough of it.” [00:21:03]

A little later he quotes Wells as saying, ...

A little later he quotes Wells as saying, “The right thing to do,” which he has in capital letters, “will be to have a vast ordered encyclopedia of facts and thought for our Bible, a gigantic organization not only of research and record, of devoted teachers and interpreters, a world Church, a world brain, a world will.”

And Taylor says, “This is the great contemporary delusion at its wildest.”

So his critique of Wells is devastating and it is ... he calls it the golden calf of knowledge. Taylor writes like a Christian prophet in his critique of Socialism.

[Scott] There is nothing ...

[Rushdoony] He is cynical of Socialism as he is of everything else. But it is a devastating study, a landmark book. He is feeblest when he suggests anything positive as he does when he says that the answer to Communism is not anti Communism it is a democratic Socialism, equally convinced of its principles, but more tolerant in applying them.

[Scott] Well, I can’t forget that H. G. Wells’ last book was called A Mind at the End of its Tether.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] He died in despair because he came to understand at the end of his life that his belief in science was misplaced. Things were not turning out the way they were supposed to turn out or the way he expected. He was a wonderfully gifted man. He had genuine imagination. He wrote early in his career 30 stories of imagination, I believe, and it was true. Every one of them were unique and original.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But like Hemingway, all his stories ended in either no resolution or defeat. His War of the Worlds, the invaders, the alien invaders succumbed to a disease. The people of the earth did not protect themselves at all. In The Time Machine when he went forward toward the end of the world he found human beings reduced to virtual vegetables living by machinery. And that sort of colored his whole life. There was no actual real optimism in Wells and his personal life was very messy. [00:24:11]

[Rushdoony] Yeah, very messy

[Rushdoony] Yeah, very messy. I read everything that I could get of .... get my hands on by Wells in my early to middle teens. I did not read one book which I could not locate on Mr. Polly, I believe.

[Scott] Oh, yes. Mr. Polly Goes to War.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, and then I did get his autobiography, but I found it so sad and just browsed through it and put it aside.

[Scott] Well, let’s move, if we can, to a non literary figure who is being covered by two unfinished so far biographies so far by Robert Carroll, The Path to Power by Robert Carroll, Random House, 1981, Lyndon Johnson...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... he is writing about. And the book that came out this year by A. A. Knopf, a different House, Years of Ascent, 1990. Now it is very unusual for a biographer of Robert Carroll’s formidable power not to keep the same publisher all the way through a multi volume biography. So I consider it significant that Random House didn’t print the second book. They... that was turned over to Knopf.

Now I read The Path to Power and I read the years... I haven’t yet read all The Years of Ascent, but I have read some of the excerpts. And in the second biography he proves beyond any doubt that Lyndon Johnson stole an election in order to get into the United States Senate.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And he also goes into great detail, which none of the reviewers have discussed, on how he became a multi millionaire while he was on the government payroll by using his influence to get a television monopoly in Texas.

On route to these outstanding situations, he describes in the first book how Lyndon Johnson had an {?} affair with one of his most powerful and wealthy backers. In the second book and in the first book, too, he talks about how he publicly insulted and abused his wife, treated like an animal or a dog, used to shout orders at her across the room. His... and almost unspeakable personality, crafty. He played former speaker Rayburn of the House. He played son to House’s lonesome father, I mean to Rayburn. And in every respect he is portraying a man that, I guess the only... only word we could use would be evil, an evil man in high power, a President of the United States. And none of the reviewers want to review these books. They are now abusing Robert Carroll for having written them. [00:27:48]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] And I think that every American should read these books because they throw a light on a transitional period in our political history where we moved from men of integrity, at least men that we thought had integrity like Stevenson, the Governor of Texas was a tremendous person. And in order to overcome the effect of Lyndon Johnson’s duplicity, his crookedness, his lack of character, the reviewers are dumping on the men that he defeated.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] One reviewer says, “Well, it may be true that Johnson stole the election. The fact is that Stevenson, the man he stole it from was a reactionary and Johnson was a progressive person.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is all right to steal if you steal from our side.

[Rushdoony] You are going to see a similar study when al the Kennedys are dead of that clan. There are people who are collecting data.

I would like to go back for a moment to A. J. P. Taylor, Otto, because he makes this statement that, oh, it is... I could spend a week on the book. There are so many telling things in it. But this and I quote from page 183. “The British left believed as confidently as Lenin had done in 1917 that Socialism could be made in 24 hours. Socialism was preached in moral terms. Men had to be persuaded that it was right and just. The only problem was to win a majority and then Socialism would follow of its own accord. The Labor movement had only to squeeze up wages and welfare until Capitalism exploded and the trick would be turned. Hence, while the left preached and argued, it did not lead. Economic conditions, not leadership, would produce the desired result,” end of quote. [00:30:15]

Now he has a great deal of that kind of commentary

Now he has a great deal of that kind of commentary on the total lack of any realism on the part of the left that they expected paradise to come in with their victory. They were the good guys and therefore when they triumphed paradise would immediately be ushered in, a leftist millennia.

[Scott] Well, they are still there.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Still believe it.

[Scott] And they are still here. The collapse of all the leftist governments in central Europe not withstanding. Results mean nothing to these people.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] We see the escalation of all kinds of problems in this United States mainly from the left. It was the left that was going to settle all racial discord. Look at it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It was the left that was going to make this a more equal society. Look at it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now some of the things that they are discovering, or at least they are proving are interesting to me. We hear a great deal, for instance, about equality of opportunity, the need for equality of opportunity. But the fact of the matter is it was soon realized, not admitted, that if opportunities became equal, the distance between the clever and the dull would widen and not contract.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because the clever, then, would move way ahead. So, of course, instead of having equality of opportunity, we have now Head Start which not only involves kindergarten children, but moves all the way up the scale to adults. Some people have to be given a handicap, like a golf tournament. Some people have to be given an extra push because it is unfair for the clever to be better than the dull.

Now I will never forget what Durant said. Durant said, “There is no system government that has yet been devised that will enable the dull to outwit the clever.”

[Rushdoony] Very good, very good. Well, one of the books I read of late, which, frankly, was a disappointment, because I had expected more from the author, Sir Arthur Bryant, who has written some exceptionally able historical studies. This is his book Protestant Island, first published in 1967. It is, of course, on England. And he describes England from the time of Charles II to, well, perhaps World War I, although basically the Edwardian era is when he terminates his very close attention. [00:33:23]

It is weak because it does not consider the religious

It is weak because it does not consider the religious history of that time, nor the impact of the Puritans and evangelicals. However, there are some excellent things. He says in this era, “The ruling principle of English society was the conception of a gentleman. Good breeding was not merely a mark of social distinction, but a rule for the treatment of others. It made few concessions to the ideal of equality. Men, it was held, were born to varying lots and in 1815 one took those ... these distinctions as one found them. But a gentleman was expected to treat his fellow creatures of all rank openly and frankly even when it meant sacrificing his interests to do so. A gentleman did not tell a lie, for that was cowardice. He did not cheat, go back on his Word of flinch from the consequences of his actions.

“When Lord {?} succeeded to his estates he had once settled and without question a gambling debt for 40,000 pounds alleged to have been incurred by his father at {?},” unquote.

And he said that a man’s reputation was his most valuable possession and the gentleman set the standard so that even the people on the lower levels of society looked to that standard of their own code. He said at that time there was a national character which was marked by pugnacity. The Englishman loved sports and he loved a good fight so that he relished war. He relished things that established his pugnacity. And he gives as an extreme example of this temper—and I quote—“A yeoman farmer of the same place left a sum of money to cover his grave with spikes pointed upward swearing that he had never been trodden on when alive and would not be when dead,” I quote.

[Scott] I like that.

[Rushdoony] And he said it became such a thing that where there was a law they didn’t like or a rule they didn't like they systematically broke it, a temper that apparently passed on to the United States according to Europeans. But he says in one area, “In the villages of Wittlebury Forest almost every householder was a poacher. That was a result of having strict rules against poaching. [00:36:36]

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] They all had to do it.

[Scott] Strict property laws.

[Rushdoony] And he says the Church was the center of communal life and it was the chief social event of the week. And in those days, he says, the villagers provided the music until the old string and brass choirs were superseded by the new fangled organs and harmoniums. The village played as great a part in communal worship as the parson. Standing each Sunday in the west gallery, these rustic instrumentalists in with their copper key bugles, trombones, clarinets, trumpets, flutes, fiddles and bass viol represented a folk tradition older than squire of clergy,” unquote.

Now Sir Arthur Bryant doesn’t go into it, but that is the background of General William Booth and the Salvation Army and their bands in public places holding meetings. That was the English village tradition.

[Scott] Well, I am very interested in what he said about the manners. I recall that in FDR’s generation, my father’s generation, that manners... they had excellent manners. Not only do they have very good manners in conversation and dealings with other people, they would listen. They were very courteous and so forth. They would respond to what said, but they also had a very wide level of acquaintance. I recall that my father introduced me, amongst others, to a shoe shine man in Caracas as well as the president of country. He knew everybody up and down the ladder. And in those days it was customary for a man to know everybody and to remember their names and to be courteous and ask about their wife and their kids and so forth. This was not a salesman’s thing.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It was simply a part of common courtesy.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now we can’t do that anymore. In the first place, we are separated by ethnic dissent, by race, by class to an extent that the United States has never been separated. If you try to strike up a conversation with somebody who is of a different group than your own or a different class than your own, you will be met with suspicion and resentment and hostility. Manners have virtually disappeared. I only encounter really decent manners when I am spending money in a store, and not always there, because in New York, you know, they count the change and throw it on the floor. They count it to themselves and throw it on the counter. And the doctor’s office, the dental office and so forth, the little girl calls me Otto. We used to call our servants by the first name. And it is simply a change of style. It doesn’t mean what it once meant. I mean, it is being friendly and they are trying to get along with you and so forth. But manners in the United States have become conspicuously lacking. [00:40:11]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And you have lacked the standard that he is referring to.

[Rushdoony] Yes. You mentioned ethnic conflict today. Up until the early 20s a high percentage of the people of the United States were foreign born and had been since the end of the War of Independence. We were a nation of immigrants. Now one of the things that you hear about very often and read about is the conflict in those years between various groups and some newer immigrants settling in their area. So a great deal is made of the fact how bad we were then. But what they do not say is how may people went out of their way to welcome the newcomers, whatever their background, to invite them to groups or to create organizations that would minister to their needs. But Christians were setting up schools. They were setting up housekeeping classes for these foreign women, job training for the men and a wide variety of things so that they had a sense of community. So while there were conflicts, there were also close associations such as we have not seen in recent years.

[Scott] Well, don’t forget, most of the immigrants were Christian.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now we have Hindus, Buddhists, Mohammedans, African tribesmen. A few years ago in Washington African tribesmen were dominating the taxi cab business. They had scars on their cheeks and so forth. They did a good job, but...

[Rushdoony] You were never sure whether they knew where you wanted to go, though.

[Scott] And I... I wasn’t sure. You know, I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with any of them. [00:42:21]

But the English are discovering what we have already

But the English are discovering what we have already discovered that when you bring in people from totally different cultures the problem of getting alone becomes exacerbated, because, as you so often point out, our standards are based upon religious values. And when you have a different religion then you have different value system. And then, of course, there is the constant propaganda by the schools which have outlawed Christianity and which have practically made a profession out of denigrating American and European history so that now we see.... I see hostile looks from people whom I have never known before...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...never seen before, total strangers who feel in some way that they are being oppressed, because of events that occurred in the past in some other part of the world.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So I think is its rue also of Sir Bryant’s book. His book is obviously not operant, because England is turning into a multi racial, multi ethnic country.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The England that he is discussing no longer exists.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] Interesting.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Did you want to get on to another book now?

[Scott] Yes, I do. There is a book called The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Paul Kennedy.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Scott] Random House, New York, 1987. It was a landmark book because it became a best seller and for the first time the average American suddenly became aware in reading The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, that the United States is not only in a perilous position as a great power, but it is probably no longer a super power. Now Mr.... Dr. Kennedy is a professor because he sort of soft pedals this at the end of the book. He doesn't want to say that. He wants to say that we are a still a super power and he talks about some of our military hardware and technological inventions and so forth. But the fact of the matter in my opinion is that we are not any longer a super power. We have lost military supremacy to the Soviet Union and we have lost financial supremacy to Japan. We he lost technological supremacy to both West Germany and to Japan.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:45:03]

[Scott] We are a great power, but we are not a super

[Scott] We are a great power, but we are not a super power. We are not in charge of the world, although we thought we were. And we can no longer afford any foreign aid at all. We should start taking care of our own poor people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Instead of supporting Egypt, Israel and countries around the world. There is no reason in the world of the American people to work as hard as they do in order to support the people’s of another nation. And it is about time that we faced up to the fact that we cannot afford to continue in international dole.

Other countries will have to stand or survive on their own feet. I do think that there is much to be said for not being a super power. For one thing, we should get rid of the responsibility. For another thing we should take care of ourselves and I think that to be a great power, but not necessarily the great power, would relieve us of responsibilities that we are not capable of supporting.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We don’t have the... we don’t have the leaders. We don’t have the intellectual class. Diplomas do not supplant intelligence.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And I would recommend everybody read The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, because every pit that Spain fell into, that England fell into, that other countries fell into, we have faithfully followed.

[Rushdoony] Well, I would like to deal with a different type of book now. One of the books which in the course of moving over the years I somehow lost was a small paperback atlas that I was given, oh, in the early 20s as a boy. And that was not an unusual gift in those days. In fact, this was a special edition of maps and statements for children.

[Scott] Sure.

[Rushdoony] I have always been interested in atlases and the one I have before me right now is historical atlas of Armenia over the centuries from the earliest days to the present, a very intensely interesting to me. But all atlases are. Perhaps this is an interest that has been especially strong in our family and my brother is a professor of geography. But I think it is a very sad fact that, for example, a test of knowledge in the schools of Britain not too long ago found... resulted in the knowledge that most of the students there could not place England on a map.

[Scott] In England. [00:48:17]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. They could...

[Scott] They couldn’t locate their own country.

[Rushdoony] No. They could not. They placed it, some in continental areas like Latin America, Asia. They confused it with Japan and other places. They didn't know. And you can talk to people who traveled all over the world and they have a very vague idea of the geography of the places they visited. They are ignorant.

Now how can anyone live in a world without understanding it or become a congressman or a senator with the abysmal knowledge they have of world affairs and world geography. But this is routine in our time. So I think this is why I introduced it. It would be a wonderful thing if an atlas were purchased by parents of their children.

[Scott] Well, they certainly should.

[Rushdoony] Of course, we have the ... what is it the yearbook of facts that is published annually?

[Scott] The almanac.

[Rushdoony] The almanac of facts.

[Scott] No maps in the almanac.

[Rushdoony] No, but you have all kinds of historical facts and data. A book like that plus an atlas, I think, should be in ever home that takes its responsibilities seriously with regard to children.

[Scott] Well, an atlas also does something else. It shows you how countries and nations and groups and cultures wax and wane.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I mean, Armenia was an independent country and so forth. And now, of course, it is a subjugated province.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And splintered and set apart. At ... when I was a boy and you were a boy, the British Empire was around the world.

[Rushdoony] The sun never sets, they would say.

[Scott] And now, of course, it is reduced to a small island with 60 million people. [00:50:36]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The United States is shrinking. A lot of people don’t know that. We have given up territory to Mexico. We are in the process now of considering the surrender of certain crucial islands off the coast of Alaska.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... to the Soviet Union. And I remember that Galerius, one of the Roman emperors, was the first to allow a piece of Egypt to get out of the control of Rome, because, he said to his court, of what use is it? And they said, “Well, well get linen from there.”

Well, he said, he would save the empire really can’t get along with out linen? And they all laughed and said, “Well, of course they could.” And Gibbon said it was a very significant thing. It was the first time that the Roman Empire gave up territory.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We are giving up territory. I think the atlas thing is an excellent suggestion.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Howard Philips is the only one who has really been consistently vocal about the surrender of portions of Alaska, the islands.

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] ... to the Soviet Union.

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] But they are strategically of great importance.

[Scott] Very great importance and yet all our press, the media, Dan Rather is not concerned. Interesting.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, when you and I went to school, our geography books were basic. We studied geography almost every day.

[Scott] You had to draw a map...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...of all these various countries and list their exports, their imports, their products.

[Rushdoony] Exactly.

[Scott] Their cultural characteristics, the whole thing.

[Rushdoony] I remember once being sent out of the class for impertinence because I said that the teacher said that sharks were poisonous and I dissented. I said, “They are in the... they are hanging up and they are sold... shark steaks are sold in Latin America.”

Out of the room.

But it was a very important subject.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Very important and today it is not really taught in most schools.

[Scott] I wonder why not? Has anyone ever explained why not?

[Rushdoony] It has given way to social studies together with history and it is really unimportant if you have as your goal a one world order.

[Scott] Ah, yes, national boundaries are no good.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We shouldn’t have any excepting some countries should have some. Others don't. Apparently our White House feels that Lithuania is important to the Soviet Union.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, the publication of geography textbooks today is at the lowest ebb.

[Scott] But it was romantic. I remember how fascinated...

[Rushdoony] Oh, I...

[multiple voices]

[Scott] ... all these different people. And you know that this nonsense that came in at the end of World War II about one world and how small the world had become, the only people who believed that are those who have never tried to travel around it.

[Rushdoony] Well, as a part of geography, we had books in the classroom on these different countries. There were a couple of series. One was the Eskimo twins or the Spanish twins or the Scottish twins and so on which dealt with each of these nations and you learned a great deal and they were delightful stories.

Another was a series when I was a boy in and someone who had grown up, let us say, in Germany or in Russia or in Armenia, because there was one for Armenia when I was a boy in Armenia and so on. Wrote about their experiences as a boy. These were carefully done so that you learned something about the culture of a country. And that was in every classroom and you were expected to read a number of those when I was a boy. [00:54:53]

[Scott] Oh, as you are talking the images come to mind

[Scott] Oh, as you are talking the images come to mind. I remember being struck by the fact that Saint Bernard dogs were used to carry milk to poor... milk carts in Belgium.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I remember the pictures.

[Scott] Do you remember that?

[Rushdoony] Yes. I had totally forgotten that. And I learned about the Walloons and the Fleming people and so on. Very, very wonderful subject it was.

[Scott] And it... it made you feel warm toward people in different parts of the world.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] Now we hear about the governments, not about the people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is like the international bank lends money to governments and not to people.

[Rushdoony] Well, occasionally you would have a teacher who would round up somebody from, say, Sweden or Portugal who was in the neighborhood to come in and talk to the students. And that was a great treat.

[Scott] Sure.

[Rushdoony] But the ignorance of geography today is abysmal.

[Scott] Well, they have flattened out the imagination, too. Films do not do it.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] When you use a film it is ... it is sort of a self fulfilling experience. That is the end of that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And when you got it from books and descriptions, your imagination was free to visualize it.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, our time is almost over. I particularly enjoyed this, Otto, rambling through books and ideas and recalling student days way back in the 20s.

Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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

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