Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “In Tolkien’s life, in his letters, and in his works, not least of which is The Lord of the Rings, there’s an ethos of basically what we would understand to be Catholic social teaching, an ethos of subsidiarity, solidarity, the Chestertonian idea of distributism. It’s all there, if you like, a political philosophy that underpins the very ethos of The Lord of the Rings.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Your colleague, Brad Birzer, has this at The Imaginative Conservative magazine website, “The Ten Points of Tolkien’s Politics.” Now, knowing that you are a Tolkienite and an authority on the subject of Tolkien, his first point was that:
Tolkien was a conservative and a Burkean. His wife confirmed the former, and C.S. Lewis’s letters seem to confirm the latter.
Second, though a conservative, Tolkien was not a very devout Tory, sometimes mocking Winston Churchill.
Mike: Is there a current of, not feudalism, I guess I would call it republicanism, but small is still beautiful running throughout Tolkien’s most famous work, The Lord of the Rings?
Joseph Pearce: Yes, absolutely. I did actually read that article by Brad Birzer, “Ten Points of Tolkien’s Politics.” It is actually excellent. I’m not sure that Tolkien would have been comfortable with labels such as conservative because he would see that it came with baggage he didn’t necessarily agree with. In Tolkien’s life, in his letters, and in his works, not least of which is The Lord of the Rings, there’s an ethos of basically what we would understand to be Catholic social teaching, an ethos of subsidiarity, solidarity, the Chestertonian idea of distributism. It’s all there, if you like, a political philosophy that underpins the very ethos of The Lord of the Rings.
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Pearce: I’ve kept the window closed out of deference to your listeners.
Mike: They love it.
Pearce: I’m sorry to deprive you and your listeners of the rooster. I promise, next time we have an interview, the window will be wide open.
Mike: We actually discussed this when we were talking about how to record the operative parts for Pearcing Truth. Joseph said, “Do you want me to record it with the window open so your listeners can hear the rooster?” I thought, “That’s good for listeners who heard the roosters, but for people that haven’t heard the rooster, they’re going to say, ‘What kind of shoddy operation is this?’”
Pearce: The ambience certainly befits a program that’s talking about small is still beautiful.
Mike: Let me tell you, our crack audio engineers can find a rooster. We can put a rooster in the background.
Pearce: That would be bogus. That would be the virtual reality we’re trying to escape from. I do the real thing here. My roosters are real. I can actually look out the window and see them.
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Mike: Oh, to have enough property to have roosters cavorting about amongst the collard greens and mustard greens. I’d love to see that myself. He is Joseph Pearce, the host of Pearcing Truth here on the Crusade Channel. Episode 2 is the first episode in our Small is Still Beautiful series. It debuts tonight. Joseph, as always, a pleasure. You remain, I don’t care what your wife says about you, a gentleman and a scholar.
Pearce: You know me better than she does. It’s not a problem, Mike.
Mike: I’m glad you called. I’m even happier to call you friend. Brother, as always, great show today. Thank you. God bless.
Pearce: My pleasure. God bless you, Mike.
End Mike Church Show Transcript