Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Von Mises and Jesus agree, and Aquinas agree, that all that man does man does for happiness. No matter if it’s Hitler, he thinks he’s doing it for happiness. If you’re doing it for happiness but you live in a utilitarian world, the only thing that can achieve that happiness is an increase or an expansion of something that is part of that material world. That’s the error, isn’t it? Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Von Mises and Jesus agree, and Aquinas agree, that all that man does man does for happiness. No matter if it’s Hitler, he thinks he’s doing it for happiness. If you’re doing it for happiness but you live in a utilitarian world, the only thing that can achieve that happiness is an increase or an expansion of something that is part of that material world. That’s the error, isn’t it?
David Simpson: What is useful really applies most appropriately to man in this temporal realm, not exclusively, but, in other words, when you say “use,” you must be talking about action. When you’re talking about action, you’re talking about the physical body. That’s the secondary reality to man. In other words, our highest function is not our actions or our will but rather our intelligence. Granted, both the intellect and the will are gifts of God. Those are the two things that rise up above the animals [ph?]. If you want to talk about perfection in man, you want to talk about how does he get to his highest thought on the highest thing? It’s a contemplative order that becomes man’s greatest achievement. Utilitarianism has no place for contemplation. That’s the problem, that they’re chasing something that would not often make them happy. To get back to your point, yes, we are looking for happiness and we’re looking in the wrong place.
Mike: When you say you’re constantly – David Simpson, who is the host of the True Money Show, which is live today from 11:00 to 1:00 – I’m going to make the announcement when the Gutzman book goes on sale during the True Money Show. So, not only do you have a great guest, which we’ll get into in a minute – I can’t wait to watch this movie that Jason has come out with. I’m going to ask him to come on my show as well. You have the added benefit of a big announcement for Founders Pass members as well. I just wanted to mention that. David will be live in less than two hours here.
Back to the subject here. This all began with “The Dissolution of the Real” piece on a Wisdom Wednesday posted by Rod Dreher. Let’s go to what Dreher concludes on this. As you and I know, he usually starts off in the right direction but finishes somewhere down in the bottom levels of Hades with Dante.
This, says Myers, results in the conviction that politics is about nothing but power, [Mike: To me, I can stop right there and just recall that George Washington, in one of those letters or diaries or something written down that survives extant today said that politics and the use of politics to make the use of law is fire. It’s pure power. It is imposing your will over and onto someone else. This is largely correct here.] and that one should do whatever one can to acquire power. This, he says, is something that many Christians have fallen into in their support of Donald Trump [Mike: We warned about this. We talked about this. If you want Trump to be elected president so he can exercise your wishes from the seat of the imperial presidency, you’re no better than an Obama fan. It’s the exact same thing exercised for a different material, utilitarian purpose.] you know, the idea that he may be a bad man, but at least he’s on our side.
Anyway, there’s a lot for Christian conservatives (and, in fact, all social and religious conservatives) to talk about in that Mars Hill series. What Hanby’s interview brought to my mind is the contention by some commenters on this blog that the politics of transgender is nothing but a distraction from “what really matters.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.
As Hanby points out early in the interview, we now find ourselves in a world in which things that were given — maleness and femaleness, sexual complementarity as normative, the traditional family, and so forth — no longer are. The most radical of these things is the concept that male and female have nothing to do with biology, that they are conditions chosen by individuals, as they will.
Mike: You probably didn’t get to hear Brother Andre when he was on the show yesterday previewing our class in St. Thomas Aquinas which begins on February 8th. If you want to sign up and get a 20 percent discount in the 31-part lecture series, you talk about making yourself a smarter person and a better person, take that course with us beginning February 8th, every Wednesday night at 6:00. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you the coupon code that you can download the series and start listening to it.
Brother brought this up, that once you get into the erroneous and commit the errors, and errors go on to create errors, once one revolution has been entered into, if it’s successful – see the sexual revolution, it actually conquers or attains the goal that the radical revolutionistas had in mind for it – then they can’t, in this system that we’re describing, they can’t rest on their laurels. They then have to go to the next part of the sexual revolution. [mocking] “Well, we didn’t just mean women can be liberated. We meant women should be liberated to be with other women, too.” They have the one revolution then defeating the next. Brother even said someone that was at Stonewall in the 1960s that was fighting for whatever that revolution was fighting for would not recognize the radical whackos today that are fighting to have their children’s bodies mutilated and so little girls can be turned into little boys. Right?
Simpson: Yeah. This is quite an incisive article of Dreher. I do think he, like you said, goes off the rails usually towards the end. I actually protest something he writes at the end, which is that he was against this. He does give a citation where he said he’s going to give his attack on natural law and attack on sexual identity. I just happen to remember an article he wrote where he said it was no big deal. He’s got his wires crossed a little bit. The issue there, Mike, remember, the title is “The Dissolution of the Real.” One of the things we maintain is real is what we call normative sciences. Dreher even puts in here, uses the word “normative.” “…maleness and femaleness, sexual complementarity as normative,” what does normative mean? The way things ought to be. That ought to, meaning there’s some type of law or rule or order here that was imposed by something and someone upon the real means that we have to follow those rules, those laws, those natures imposed on the real. The war that we’re seeing today is on the very thing, that there’s no such thing as a natural law, therefore there’s no such thing as normative relations, therefore anything goes. It is an insanity.
We can’t operate – the human being – you’ll learn this when you talk about [unintelligible] St. Thomas Aquinas treatise on man or about man or that which is human means that we’ve peered into ourselves and found out how we work, what’s required for us to work. One of them is a set universal law by which we understand the world around us. If you take away the normative, it means you can’t do science anymore. It means you can’t do mathematics because there’s no such thing as rules. I think that’s where we’re going now, that there’s no such thing as rules. Murder in the street is just the next step in this thing. Cannibalism is the next step because insanity will rule the day.
Mike: That is a brilliant analysis. Divorced from the insanity that’s coming, or separate or distinguish between the insanity that’s coming as a result of this and the insanity that we currently live amongst. I can’t imagine the world being more insane than it is today. I’m thinking of the last time someone tried to remake H.G. Wells’ Time Machine. Guy Pearce was the actor that was in it. His wife kept getting killed and he kept going back and trying to fix it. Did you see that one, David?
Simpson: It’s ringing a bell, but I don’t recall the title.
Mike: Maybe this is where – I doubt Wells was going there with this because Chesterton was always on Wells’ case about what an existentialist he was. Maybe Wells was trying to get here to where, when he goes to the year 8080, when he gets to that year, what do we find? Man has devolved into what? Apes.
Simpson: Yes, I think there was almost like a dinosaur –
Mike: Cannibals. The ones that lived below the surface, they’ve been driven underground because they’ve lost their sight. I’m thinking maybe there’s some messages in there. Again, since it was Wells – maybe if Chesterton wrote it there’d be messages. Since it was Wells, I don’t know. They’ve lost their sight. Truly, when you lose sight of God, then you truly have lost your sight. To be driven underground and into the darkness, there is some metaphorical stuff going on there.
Simpson: Here’s the thing, Mike. You and I see this devolving into some kind of crazy, insane, post-apocalyptic world, and that’s true to a degree. I think, if you go back to the article, Dreher is right on another point, or Hanby, whoever was going to these points, and that is, no one can handle that type of disorder, so what always results from it is tyranny. Someone will step up and say: I will impose a new order on this thing because you guys are insane. What he says in the last paragraph:
But if the state reserves to itself the right to control the definition of reality for the sake of protecting freedom, so construed, we are well on our way to tyranny.
Simpson: That doesn’t seem to make sense right away, but what the sense of it is is, when it devolves into insanity, and it does, then you have to have a strong man step up because people crave security. They only find in security some level of happiness. This does not go the way that Wells ends up, which is some kind of strange world where you have these two societies and some barbarians and cannibals running around. It’s going to devolve into a very ordered society with a strong man at its head.
Mike: That’s a great take on that, David.
Finally, there is talk today about how we live under “post-truth politics.” What I wish Christians would contemplate going forward is that this is not an aberration of liberalism, but is rather the fulfillment of it.
Mike: Post-truth politics. I looked this up because –
Simpson: Is there a better calling card for the Veritas Radio Network than that line?
Mike: It gets even better than that. Post-truth politics means that there is no truth. Each class of Congress gets to determine what’s truth. Each person that wants to define what gender is gets to define what that is. Now we’re being told there is no biological attachment in between me having an outie and you having an outie and our wives having innies. There’s none whatsoever. Nothing to see here, citizen. It’s devolving to the point of ridiculousness now. Even those that don’t study philosophy but maybe have some common sense passed down to them from their grandparents, they’re going: Really? Come on. We tolerated your homosexuality and your promiscuity and all that. I can’t go with there is no biological attachment to the sex. That’s just stupid. To think that people want to make law and want to compel people to live under that law that would come from that. You can imagine – they say anytime you play the Hitler card you lose, right? You can imagine, Hitler couldn’t have wished for a better philosophical environment to ply his diabolical craft in than the one we’re in today, could he?
Simpson: No. You know what? This is going to sound maybe a little, I don’t know if conspiratorial is maybe too, I don’t know, prophetic or something, but when you think about it, every totalitarian society, everyone who tried to impose an empire through will, it seemed to, if you kind of go back in time and look at each one, each empire, they realized where they failed and why freedom sprung back up and people returned to some type of normalcy and found God. It seems like the totalitarians are advancing their science.
Mike: If that’s possible.
Simpson: If only we could track them better. If only we knew their minds better. If only we could regulate their money better. It seems like every iteration of totalitarianism gets a little bit better with their technological advancement on how to maintain power over people. I’m thinking that maybe this all turns on the reasons – you said it could be better than if Hitler wanted this. They’ve progressed. They’ve gotten better than what Hitler had.
Mike: They’ve actually taken Hitler and expanded him and made him worse than he was before, as if that is even possible.
End Mike Church Show Transcript