Find The Remnant Among Us And You’ll Find Conservatism
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “What is someone 200 years from now going to think of us? First of all, they’re just going to stare in disbelief at our historical record. They’re going to say: There is no way that people with that kind of technology could have been that flipping stupid. There’s no way all of them could have been that ignorant. That’s the first thing they’re going to say.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Albert J. Nock’s The Remnant:
Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen. . . .
The Remnant want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. . . .
In a sense, nevertheless, as I have said, it is not a rewarding job. A prophet of the Remnant will not grow purse-proud on the financial returns from his work, nor is it likely that he will get any great renown out of it. Isaiah’s case was exceptional to this second rule, and there are others—but not many.
It may be thought, then, that while taking care of the Remnant is no doubt a good job, it is not an especially interesting job because it is as a rule so poorly paid. I have my doubts about this. There are other compensations to be got out of a job besides money and notoriety, and some of them seem substantial enough to be attractive. Many jobs which do not pay well are yet profoundly interesting, as, for instance, the job of the research student in the sciences is said to be; and the job of looking after the Remnant seems to me, as I have surveyed it for many years from my seat in the grandstand, to be as interesting as any that can be found in the world.
The fascination—as well as the despair—of the historian, as he looks back upon Isaiah’s Jewry, upon Plato’s Athens, or upon Rome of the Antonines, is the hope of discovering and laying bare the substratum of right-thinking and well-doing which he knows must have existed somewhere in those societies because no kind of collective life can possibly go on without it. He finds tantalizing intimations of it here and there in many places, as in the Greek Anthology, in the scrapbook of Aulus Gellius, in the poems of Ausonius, and in the brief and touching tribute, Bene merenti, bestowed upon the unknown occupants of Roman tombs. But these are vague and fragmentary; they lead him nowhere in his search for some kind of measure of this substratum, but merely testify to what he already knew a priori [Mike: By the way, a priori, Latin for “from the beginning” or “of the first things.”]—that the substratum did somewhere exist. Where it was, how substantial it was, what its power of self-assertion and resistance was—of all this they tell him nothing.
Similarly, when the historian of two thousand years hence, or two hundred years, looks over the available testimony to the quality of our civilization and tries to get any kind of clear, competent evidence concerning the substratum of right-thinking and well-doing which he knows must have been here, he will have a devil of a time finding it. When he has assembled all he can get and has made even a minimum allowance for speciousness, vagueness, and confusion of motive, he will sadly acknowledge that his net result is simply nothing. A Remnant were here, building a substratum like coral insects; so much he knows, but he will find nothing to put him on the track of who and where and how many they were and what their work was like.
Concerning all this, too, the prophet of the present knows precisely as much and as little as the historian of the future; and that, I repeat, is what makes his job seem to me so profoundly interesting. One of the most suggestive episodes recounted in the Bible is that of a prophet’s attempt—the only attempt of the kind on record, I believe—to count up the Remnant. Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job.
Mike: Remember, the prophets were given a job. [mocking] “Go out there and preach. There’s a messiah coming. Go tell everybody. By the way, tell them to repent. They better bow down on their knees to me because when I sent him, if their souls are not in the right order, there’s going to be heck to pay.”
Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord asked him [Mike: What are you doing away from your job, dude?] presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job. He said that he was running away, not because he was a coward, but because all the Remnant had been killed off except himself. He had got away only by the skin of his teeth, and, he being now all the Remnant there was, if he were killed the True Faith would go flat. The Lord replied that he need not worry about that, for even without him the True Faith could probably manage to squeeze along somehow if it had to; and as for your figures on the Remnant, He said, I don’t mind telling you that there are seven thousand of them back there in Israel whom it seems you have not heard of, but you may take My word for it that there they are. . . .
Mike: [laughing] I love that story. Who’s a Remnant today? Some of you are out there going, [mocking] “Ooh, ooh, Mitter Church, me, me, I’m a Remnant. Pick me. Pick me.” They love the idea, and I talk about this often. What is someone 200 years from now going to think of us? First of all, they’re just going to stare in disbelief at our historical record. They’re going to say: There is no way that people with that kind of technology could have been that flipping stupid. There’s no way all of them could have been that ignorant. That’s the first thing they’re going to say. Then they’re going to say: There had to have been someone that was chronicling this stuff and screaming like Isaiah or Elijah or Jehovah or somebody. You know who they’re going to find? Insert your Remnant here. If I believe that I can actually encourage internet participation of something, I would say we ought to have a contest to name that Remnant or to nominate a Remnant.
End Mike Church Show Transcript