Skip to main content

tv   Douglas Murray The War on the West Yoram Hazony Conservatism  CSPAN  July 3, 2022 7:59am-9:36am EDT

7:59 am
so thank you mary and the team
8:00 am
for organizing tonight's event and thank you all for for joining us. at common sense society. we promote liberty prosperity and beauty. and those are themes central to the western tradition and so it's our honor tonight to be joined by ram hosoni and douglas murray to discuss their most recent books that are trying to understand where we are and what time it is in western civilization. so very brief introductions uram. hazoni is a political theorist educated in the united states
8:01 am
born in israel and his most recent book which you'll be signing to your right of the stage following is conservatism a rediscovery and encourage you to read that but previously he wrote the virtue of nationalism and on basis of that convened a series of conferences national conservatism both in the united states and in europe, and i believe that there is an energy in those conferences. that is very important at this moment in the trajectory of the west and the united states in particular and it reminds me of the 1960s and my understanding of the role that fusionism played and i think we'll have an opportunity to discuss some of that this evening. also douglas murray is an associate editor of the spectator and his book the
8:02 am
madness of crowds was the best seller and book of the year for the times and the sunday times in the uk. he's also written the strange death of europe immigration identity and islam and his most recent book is the war on the west which he'll be signing to your left of the stage encourage you to that as well. so let's dive in all of my life douglas. the west the story the narrative has been that in early modernity. this is how i learned about it in early modernity. some white european nations in europe began to compete and then to expand and then to exploit. and through colonization and slavery and war they built powerful nation states and empires that dominated europe and the high seas and most of the world.
8:03 am
and then in the 20th century through international socialism and national socialism and world war. they brought a lot of horror to the globe. and now the united states bears the bloody mantle of oppression racism. today so with that understanding douglas if it's true as you say in your book that the the west is under attack there really are only two things to do. one is to join in. right tear down the institutions dismantle the western tradition hmm or stand by and watch and hope that something emerges better from the rubble. than what we currently have. is that your view or do you have a different perspective perhaps, yes. that's what we call a softball question.
8:04 am
first of all, thank you so much to common sense society. it's a great thrill for me as well to be on stage with your arm again, and i'm really looking forward to this evening. i'm sorry for the delayed the event. i've been busy doing some research into traffic congestion in the dc area, which is fascinating and a subject for my next book. you know, what you just outline reminds me of a famous interaction that took place in the early 1970s and apartment in new york. the apartment was that of leonard bernstein and his wife and they were hosting an incredibly. afterwards notorious reception for the black panthers. some of you will know about this because it was described by tom wolfe in his great work radical. chic. and there was a particularly magnificent moment on this occasion when the bernsteins and their guests are eating these exquisite canopies and listening to these revolutionaries describing. how people like them will be
8:05 am
treated doubtless at some point in the near future and one of the guests otto pleminger says to one of the black panthers, but what are you going to do next? and and the panther keeps well, you know, he says no, but after the revolution after you've pulled it all down vertical you do next. and eventually the panther says you can't put a blueprint on the future man. and bernstein leans forward in his chair and says you're just going to wing it. and that really is i think all that anyone has as a plan. they just hoping to wing it the act of destruction is so thrilling as we all know that if you can be wrapped up in it, you can have all of that thrill all the high octane enjoyment that comes from pulling down and some of that obviously is literal and some of it is is theoretical for
8:06 am
now just yesterday. it was announced that cambridge university's new music curriculum is going to decolonize the curriculum by looking at among others mozart and verdi through the prism of colonialism. they also apparently want to attack stravinsky for what they call them musical appropriation. which we used to call listening. now anyhow, the point is is that every single thing in our society now can be done through this lens and everything in our society is everything from politics to our understanding of the western past every figure in our past every cultural figure every cultural movement of any worth. everything is looked at through the same three prisms all interconnected in some way the prism of slavery the prism of colonialism and the prism of racism all of these prisms are
8:07 am
things that of course, you can understand why there's an interest in them. nobody could deny the history of racism in the west. it's a part of the history i would argue. it's not the history of the west and nobody could argue. there's been a history of slavery and colonialism but to look at everything through only these these three negative lenses. is an extraordinary act of destruction and willful destruction at that because we could do it to anybody else. i mean if we were so malevolent we could say i'm interested in african history and my primary route to look at it is through the history of racism in africa by black africans against other black africans you could do it, but anybody of any worth would say, well that's an unfair way to look at it entire continent. we could say we're going to look at the middle east solely through the history of arab exploitations of african stolen from the african continent and
8:08 am
other things because they look at everything like that, but you would easily say well that's an unfair way to look at the history of the middle east. yet with the west it's not unfair. it's deemed to be perfectly legitimate in everything in the academy and elsewhere is now dedicated to this project of destruction. so and before hanging over i mean i just would say that obviously we can join in that act of destruction. and my hope and my urging is that people do not because there isn't actually very much to do once you've deconstructed like this the people have done it will find that they are deeply wanting for meaning. as always we know how easy it is to pull down how hard to build up so i encourage people surprisingly to take a different route from the ones you outline. not surprising. it came up yesterday that our mutual friend the late great, sir. roger scrutin went asked. what's the dividing line between the west and the non-west he said we write symphonies.
8:09 am
so clearly culture was central the enduring art that we produce in the west, but how do you define the west? well, i'm actually not that interested in definitions if i can say so because in a way that you can play the definition game forever and you still wouldn't succeed in it. i said the west is obviously a geographical construct but more importantly a philosophical political social and cultural construct. um, we i think everyone in this room knows what the roots of it are anyone who thinks that it doesn't exist should just i know stand anywhere in china. china is china, but it's definitely not the west so it's one of those things you certainly know it when you see it, even if you don't want to get bogged down and definitions. and but all of us could give our own descriptions of the west i think is a obvious philosophical political.
8:10 am
tradition an incredibly rich tradition and and yes. getting but i always fear getting stuck on on exactly what the west is because then we get stuck on terms and once people get stuck on terms. they often can't get start off them again. so well, let me let me press you a little further would you say that the west is primarily of ideas? or is it more about tradition? no, it is also the people who made up the worst. i mean, this is one of the things that's extremely difficult today to talk about. i have a section at the end of the war on the west right? i i talk about very very difficult question. that's come in recent years. and already people have tried to attack me for what i say and they say douglas's is eliding whiteness with the west. and i'm not a very careful about this, but you can't divorce white people from the west. i mean any more than you would wish to could try to or should
8:11 am
try to divorce other ethnicities from areas where they've lived and for very long periods of time. so the people who this is a great. disaster being wrecked by the people who now call themselves anti-racists really what they're doing is attacking people who live in the west for people who looked like them in the past and looking at them solely through this negative lens. this is why we have to destroy mozart because he's got the same three sins that everybody else does is a white male and dead. and the current cultural revolutionary to think all three of these things are bad, but the third is a sign of particular loserness to die. who do that, you know. and they've got something coming
8:12 am
to them. so it's a bit of a tyranny of the living and of course your arm you you are chairman of the burke foundation and your book the virtues of nationalism places. nation as the central actor in western civilization of course, you have to answer the charge that the 20th century largely. went wrong because of nationalism. and you represent a form of conservatism national conservatism. how do you answer that charge that your resurrecting a toxic ideology that could mess up this century as well. i'm going to answer that but let me first offer some definitions. i i know this is going to annoy douglas because we've done this
8:13 am
before and additional exercise. no. no, he sees douglas is right that you can just go around in circles forever. the problem is that he's a poet and and and as you can see he writes these you know, like symphonic type books and this particular one. i recommend highly it's it's a masterpiece because it in 200 pages, he has all everything you need in order to understand that there's no moderate goals here. there's an attempt to destroy everything that's been inherited. absolutely everything so douglas's previous books have been super well researched. they've been much longer. they've been brilliant, but this one is is basically a summary of a worldview, which says take a look around you we really are being driven off the cliff. someone wants to uproot it all. and let me offer a definition for for the west and you don't
8:14 am
have to agree with them. the west is a family of nations. and it's it's a family a particular family of nations. it's those nations that inherited the bible now, you can add all sorts of things the most of these nations inherited greek and roman thought and all sorts. you can say all sorts of things. but the one thing that distinguishes the west from everything else in the world, i think is that these are the lands that inherited the bible and that were shaped by the bible for 2000 years. and the the the bible contributes all sorts of things people. usually think about the theology or the morals but among other things the bible also contributes a view of political life the political world. which other civilizations don't
8:15 am
have islam there are many great things about islamic civilization, but islam did not have did not have the bible and if you want to understand. at least a central pillar of what is it to be western? it's it's to inherit from the bible a view of the world as divided into nations. god creates the world's divided into nations that that's our tradition. and so the there is a seesaw in the western tradition between thinking well, let's just unify the whole west under one empire that sort of the roman part and and that see so the other side of the seesaw is is let's allow each of these nations its own freedom. to to pursue its own its own way to god and in its own way to live. now obviously and this leads directly to the question that
8:16 am
that marion oh asked which is you look at the last century and you see well we tried we tried dividing, you know, the world's into different nations and some nations decided that this they would use the power that they had in order to go and conquer everybody else. and isn't that a problem and of course, of course, it's a very big big problem. the i think that the the answer to the question is and and you know you you'll have to we'll have to argue it out. i think that the answer to the question why is nationalism which is a biblically originally a biblical worldview that says the world would be governed best if if it were divided up into nations and each nation would be allowed the freedom to to pursue its own way to god, right? this goes all the way back to
8:17 am
god creator of heaven and earth gives to moses a law for all of mankind and then he in that law. there's a a provision that says, but you're not allowed to conquer your neighbors. it's in the book of deuteronomy. you're not allowed to they have their own ways. they have their own land. so that that biblical thought that there's a universal god but nations are many god is one but we're plural that thought. that's the foundation for what i see is is the the positive european christian idea of of national independence without the bible there is no national independence. there's no such thought there's only empires destroying one another. so when we come to the 20th century and you know as everyone everyone knows hitler didn't use the word imperialist to describe his aim of being lord of the
8:18 am
earth mein kampf which explicitly talks about germany becoming the the lord of the earth and the mistress of the of the globe uses the word nationalism to describe hitler's biological imperialism. his view is that that one nation should rule the whole planet. and you i think people can be forgiven after world war two after having seen how that goes if they say well that's not a very good word then is it the problem the problem is that that there isn't really an alternative world for a world of alternative word for a world of independent nations. so you'll each decide for yourselves, but my recommendation is that we're not allow hitler to dictate political theory to us. i don't think it was very good at it. and and so one pillar of this
8:19 am
this inheritance that douglas is calling us to defend i i propose is the idea that nations can be free that they can leave each other alone that they can pursue different paths to god and different paths to different ways of living. and that's one of the things that we are on the verge. god forbid of losing. can i throw one of the things your arm says when i spoke at the first i think national conservatives and conference in rome. i made this comment, but that the the accusations against nationalism are are curious to me because they seem to suggest that because nationalism can go wrong nationism is always wrong which is a fallacy. and as i said your conference in rome, the everything can go wrong. and made me one thing in this world that can't i mean probably
8:20 am
the left niles will say well love love is the answer. no love can go wrong. love can start wars. look at the trojan wars. nobody would think of outlawing love because it can start wars, but it can everything can and this it's a very strange. i mean i can only think that we're in the sort of you know, still the post 20. should we hang over that that we have that we would still be stuck on the fact that the nation or nationalism should be so still behind crime scene tape as as it seems to be. and it's a it's a it's a big error and it's it's i mean, by the way that people who push that tend to say that socialism should be tried as if we don't know how that goes wrong. right, and so speaking of socialism. i mean i've spent a number of years trying to understand the lasting impact the legacy of communism in countries that were formerly ruled by communist parties.
8:21 am
and without a doubt there is a lasting mass psychological effect on society. so if you take that into account, you look at slavery and the history of colonialism right in the west and you see today the anti-racist movement. you of course recognize this legacy among western countries, but you seem to not accept the premise that past oppression by certain groups against other groups justifies unequal treatment today. no, okay. can you enlighten us on why you think anti-racism today in the west is not a sort of adjust appreciation of of the past and a path forward. first of all, i may hate the term anti-racism because it's one of those terms that's
8:22 am
immediately set up for its opponents to fail. i could announce that everyone who doesn't agree with everything i think is anti. no bunny rabbits or something. i could just make up the terminology to suit myself and that is what the people now call themselves anti-racists have done. they've loaded the game. so that for instance, i mean the one that people i critique in the book ibraham x kendi his book how to be an anti-racist. it would be more accurate if you just dropped anti from the title because what what he says, is that because people have been prejudiced in the past. there must be prejudice in the present and specifically. that people who look like people to whom a bad thing was done should inactive vengeance today upon people who look like the people who did the thing in the past. this isn't even now a hereditary thing. this is a very specific.
8:23 am
i mean we even have robin d'angelo and others who have made this horrific moral leap into saying there is no good form of being white and white people are stuck with being white and you can't leave and i say, these are just horrific racist ideas, which we recognize as racist if they were used about any other group of people if if robin diangelo of course is white herself went around saying that i know people from india, should realize there's no good form of being from the indian subcontinent and they can never leave this identity. we'd say what a horrible racist thing to say. so there's a strange there's a strange period of revenge. we're in in that regard which is you can tell it's loaded simply because they look at everything only solely through this relentlessly hostile lens that i described. it's so deeply unfair that's a word i keep coming back to it's unfairness.
8:24 am
yeah, we know from the bible the problem of the sins of the father ethic. sins of the great-great-great-great-great possibly didn't even have a relationship with him figure. is a terrible thing to enact on anybody in society? let alone by the way and i say this just as a warning let alone the political disaster of trying to do that to majority populations. i mean well, let's come back to that in a moment, but on the point about this ends of the fathers, i mean surely from a conservative perspective in which we appreciate the you know benefits of previous generation sacrifices opportunities successes. a significant percentage of the population. let's just say in the united states was cut out of a lot of that because of slavery because of segregation and other policies, right? yeah, so why not with affirmative action taking into account disparities and housing and an equities and employment and on and on i mean why not for
8:25 am
a few generations have something that doesn't look exactly like equal treatment but taking into account, you know past yes past injustice. that's the over correction theory the over correction theory i wrote about in the mountains of crowds as well, which is the theory whereby for instance because it's undoubtedly the case that women in historically in our countries have had fewer opportunities and fewer challenges to make life choices the men have that we should punish men for a period i mean anyone who thinks that's a great way to have the sex is getting on is i think deluded but there's an idea that this is how it should act that you over. correct. you see it in other mine in minority rights claims. i say madam secretary theater and lgb t minority rights crane claims because something bad is happening in the bathroom is over correct for a period now, i think the worst moral disaster is doing that in regards to race because you'll touching one of the most dangerous rails that we
8:26 am
have and in the case of of the west today. i simply think it is wild unfair to say that our history is racism rather than that. it has been a part of our history but not it is not the history. we we practice colonialism. you know now we think that's wrong, but if it's to be a historic revenge for this and why don't we have historic revenge against the ottoman empire, which was one of the largest and and most wide reaching empires and the last thousand years if if people agree that slavery is wrong and of course it was and why should we look at everything in american society through this lens? why do we not look at the 18 million people who would stolen from africa and sold to the arab countries in the same period of the transatlantic slave trade and the reason why is not another generation is because the arabs castrated all of the men why is there no even knowledge of these things and i think the the answer is we are
8:27 am
undergoing strange assault at the same time. total context collapse about history going on in our societies so that not one in a million people knows what the rest of the world was doing whilst we are telling ourselves that we are the only people who did these bad things? right. so i mean we're talking about politically quality here and that is a uniquely western concept also. and your rom. let me turn to you in the american conservative tradition. i mean we have an idea of i guess more of a rationalist or credal understanding of conservatism. we hold these truths to be self-evident. from your writings it seems that. you would place the emphasis on we in we hold these truths rather than the truth themselves themselves. can can you explain your
8:28 am
understanding of? i guess an empiricist approach. as a as opposed to a rationalist approach well to conservatism and even going back as far as it gets fortescue, which you do in your book. well, the declaration of independence doesn't doesn't begin with we hold these truths to be self-evident it begins by talking about. in the course of human events want to when a people has to break the ties that bind it to another people. and the that that launching point that ability to to think in terms of there is a we there is a nation or we're talking before about a family of nations. but in this case that there is a nation. and that nation is is known knows itself through its its inheritance. it hands things down.
8:29 am
it hands down the american nation, you know, even in declaring independence from great britain nevertheless, you know within within a few years establishes a constitution that is in the image of the the traditional british constitution in many many ways the the unitary executive the bicameral legislature the authority of the legislature to to tax to decide on taxes and on laws the executive veto you could you can continue this way for for 20 minutes the jury trial the american constitution is a you can say that it's an improvement or an adaptation to local circumstances, but whatever you say it. a restoration of the traditional english constitution by george washington and the federalist party who believed that that was the only way that america could
8:30 am
succeed. and the the the question that i think is is raised by douglas's fabulous books is since we are at a moment where we can now see clearly that everything is being uprooted. and everything is under attack. i think that the question that needs to be asked is is what would you have to do in order to be able to conserve anything? okay, i mean we can get into the later if you like into the discussion of you know, what what exactly are the things in the american tradition that should be conserved and and which which not i assume that eventually we would actually agree on those things, but the core of the discussion today has to be we live in a world in which nothing is conserved liberals aren't conserving anything. marxists are out there, you know doing their thing as douglas
8:31 am
described it and many of the young people who i meet say, you know, i'd like to be sympathetic to conservatism but one was last time conservatives conserved anything. and it's not it's not an unfair question. it's a little bit, you know rhetorically juicy, but it's not unfair at all. because if you you know, if you if you look at the you know at the post-war conservative movement the last 60 70 years, let's say so there are some some crucial successes to 1960s william buckley type fusionism for example that form of conservatism defeated the soviet union that form of conservatism rolled back socialism for an entire generation it it certainly has important things to be said for it even even recently. i think we could we could say that that brexit that returning national independence and sovereignty to the to the
8:32 am
british people and to the to the british parliament is is an ongoing piece of success of buckley-style conservatism. so, you know it it has very great accomplishments to it on the other hand. i think that when these young people say what what have you conserved? and they start to list well. certainly, not god in scripture certainly not national independence and and as a value and family. family, definitely not at this point. the distinction between man and woman is not being you know is not being conserved and you can keep going i mean douglas will give you like a catalog each thing worse than the next and guess what? they're not done. they'll just keep going every couple years. there'll be a new a new horrific book to be written about the new things. they're destroying. so the question of the the most
8:33 am
fundamental question that we have to address is what would it like to actually transmit? things from generation to the next what would you have to do? what would need to be done? because if if you if you're not having that discussion then you know it it's very important to see where we are and understand about to go off a cliff but we also need to offer people a something that they can do, you know if you wanted to conserve if you wanted to to transmit an inheritance. how would you go about doing it? that's that's the reason that i wrote this book, which is very long as you can see. and and you're on i mean you do provide religion as one of the most important factors in saving. the west so i want to ask you
8:34 am
about. when when you say that the idea at least in american context of the separation of church and state. as a point, which we went wrong. once you explain that and then also how critical in your view is religion is scripture is a judeo-christian worldview. in going forward in terms of anglo-american conservatism and then i i'd like for douglas to respond to that. yeah. well i think douglas and i agree. i think these two books agree that that there is a there's that a nation or a tribe or or any kind of community has a public. it has a public religion. it has a public philosophy. there is a an implicit or
8:35 am
explicit framework that every human community lives within that. that's what allows what allows our our children to not have to reinvent, you know, every thought every idea every every standard every norm from scratch every generation. is that some something very big in general is inherited. and and i i think quite a few people have argued that that the the rapidly rising woke neil marxism. whatever you want to call this movement. however, you want to define it that movement is making a bid to offer a public religion and it's succeeding. it's succeeding very very well in creating a new public religion a new public philosophy for the united states and britain and for other countries. and and and the the previous public religion or public
8:36 am
philosophy which again? i you know, i i don't want to go down the the rabbit holes of labels and definitions but in my book i argue that from after world war two until the year 2020. there was a hegemony of a thing that a public philosophy that recognized itself is as liberalism that called itself liberalism at least all the professors we talk about it called that liberalism. and the the fact is i mean, it's a shocking fact. it's a terrible fact the fact is that that both the right and the left. in mostly in the uk and in america during those two generations roughly had the idea that if if you allowed people to be free and you made sure that they were equal then you would take care of basically everything that needed to be taken care of. and there's good reasons for
8:37 am
thinking that. but it's not true. it didn't work. i mean we tried the experiment and it turns out that if liberalism alone freedom inequality alone if that's your public philosophy if that's your public religion it it appears that within two generations. it collapses and and is overtaken by by something terrible. now, there are many books there been written explaining. you know, what's the mechanism? how does this work? my book is one of them? i don't i don't think we have to go into the the details of that right now but answer marion's question. i believe that. roughly the experiment that was tried after world war two was to banish. biblical religion to banish christianity which up until the second world war was still still still understood to be the public framework. just take a look at franklin roosevelt's state of the union address in 1939 on the on the of
8:38 am
war in europe. and and it's very clear what roosevelt believes? when he speaks for the american people and speaks to their hearts and and prepares them for this war. it's very clear what he thinks the war is about. he says that this is a war between god-fearing democracy. that's his expression. that's god-fearing is obviously a biblical expression and he means it to have a biblical resonance. it's a war between god fearing nations between god-fearing democracies. he also says that democracy comes out of out of the scriptural tradition. and he says it's a war between god fearing nations and those that don't fear god those who the those those atheists. this is basically the biblical amalek. he's referring to a nation. doesn't fear god. and and he's telling his people were that this is a fight for freedom for sure. but he also thinks it's a fight for god. he thinks it's a he thinks he calls it a crusade. he thinks it's a war for religion. now that's a very powerful
8:39 am
force. you know, i i i'm sure that douglas and i will mostly agree on the things that have gone wrong with religion and the evils that have come of religion and the repairs that need to be introduced into religion. but first, let's let's understand this fundamental fact about the countries that we're talking about that they were not just liberal countries. they were biblical nations that were christian nations handing down a christian a christian tradition. the public life was was steeped and saturated and and so was the law even even the the american supreme court until the 1930s recognized americans as a christian nation formally. and what the experiment was was let's let's suppress let's take the bible and god out of the schools. let's suppress christian the
8:40 am
christian moral vision will allow will allow pornography will allow a liberal version of divorce laws rather than a christian version of divorce laws, and you can go on and on. now i some of the things that came out of this were were good. i think that that personally i think that the the mission of stamping out the persecution of blacks in the united states was an extremely fitting thing for the generation that won the war against nazi race theories to do but for my perspective they had this this this crucial mission. and instead of saying okay, let's let's end jim crow. let's let's put an end to that problem because it's the worst problem and it's been tormenting us as a nation for for a hundred years since the end of slavery. instead of doing that what they did was they said? well, let's use that tool of anti-discrimination. to solve all problems alsocial
8:41 am
problems, so we're not going to in the night by the 1960s. it's not just that blacks have to be. uh equal to to and all things. it's also that men have to be equal to women and all things and -- and catholics and protestants have to be and and all other religions have to be equal in all things. and by the 1940s 1947-48 the united states supreme court is using this tool of equality in order to eliminate bible and god from the schools under the claim that it that it it violates basic human rights to give school and education in in religion in the schools, so what you're essentially arguing then is that one not one more. yeah. okay. here's this is the end. here it is you new very well. i was getting to the we did the experiment.
8:42 am
we need to force that is capable of providing a a framework and a public culture a public religion a public philosophy. we've discovered that 1960 style enlightenment. liberalism is too weak to do it. we've discovered that that neo marxism. appears to have the strength to do it my proposal is that we need we need a return of biblical religion as the the background framework for our politics, right? okay. so on that point for someone who understands a free society as protecting the right of citizens to exercise religion of their choice or no religion at all. sounds like you're advocating for a theocracy. what's the limit? are you are you advocating for religious tests for public office? some people are and and to your
8:43 am
point also about the fact that there is a sort of vacuum created since the 1940s as you argue that this moral framework. that a biblical understanding offered for family and society. that's sort of evaporated. you do have a vacuum where we're now. yep. we're we're arguing about whether or not there are two sexes. yeah and whether or not children can be chemically castrated. without parental consent. yep through the school system publicly funded. this is absurd. right right. so clearly i think we can all recognize that there is a problem. we've lost the we've lost the language of a public moral framework. we're not speaking about that in in terms that are to all citizens.
8:44 am
now some people are overreacting to that. we have people i'll mention one name adrian vermeul. there's an idea of integralism. that that very much does sound like theocracy. can you respond to that and then we'll turn it to douglas. well, okay. adrian is explicitly advocating catholic world empire, whatever arguments there. they're you know, he may have in support of that. i i don't think it's a practical proposal. for the united states at this time or for britain. so so i try with my i try with with with my work i try to propose things that are you know within within the realm of something that could actually happen. so here's something that could actually happen. it's possible that in certain that certain states in the
8:45 am
united states that parts of the country. still have sufficient attachment to to a christian framework for for public life. so that they should be allowed in those areas where there are majority they should be permitted to due to to try to make it work. and i think you know lots of people don't want to see that. and i think that at this point the number of choices that we're looking at is actually very very limited. i think that that if they're play if their states where there's a majority that wants to try to implement things like like teaching bible in schools like banning pornography all sorts of other things that you we could name their places that want to try it.
8:46 am
that's actually the way that america was founded. it was founded as a federal a federal republic meaning that each of the states was supposed to have the power to do different things with to church and state. i mean, this is a you know, philosophically maybe not a huge point, but historically it's a huge point that the american constitution did not did not talk about separation of church and state and that religion was still still taught in schools across the country until the 1940s. in fact until the 1960s. so we're talking about a conservative approach which does not try from the top to impose a solution because that's not something that we're good at it tries from the bottom to say we should stop preventing christians from influencing the public life of the country as we've been doing for 60 years. we should allow experiments in in a re-christianization of
8:47 am
public life where there is a majority demand for it and we'll know fast enough very quickly. we'll know whether all the accusations of you know, it's going to be theocracy and it's going to be fascism whether those are true or whether a coalition of people who support christian values are able to implement something that will make people say wow, you know. maybe we should do that in our state because it looks better than what we have. right? so douglas, i mean do you agree? do you think that religion is central to the project of defending western civilization? of course, it's central. i mean you you can't take it away and still have what we would call the west. and is that christianity in your view right here question biblical world? yes, you do a christian tradition, of course, i mean if europe had taken islam as its religion or had islam given to it is religion. the would be different.
8:48 am
as of any other religion, i think we've had an enormously painful experiment in our time of trying to sort of see whether it's i think this bakken ford is dilemma, isn't it? can you kind of things sustain itself after it's cut itself off from that which gave it birth. and the answer almost certainly is no. because you end up in the situation most of us have probably experience in our lives, which is among other things. you lose the you even lose common reference points, i mean even i as a secularist. i i will have a conversation with your am and we will we will understand most of each other's references because we've drunk from the same wells. if you haven't drunk from the same wells in your society and you you lose everything. i mean you even lose your ability to have metaphor, you know, i mean, can you imagine how strange it is to somebody to say camel through the eye of a needle? if they're not schooled in the bible, look at you like you're a
8:49 am
lunatic. well, it's man talking about and that's just that's the case across. i think the societies i am in favor. i'm knows actually of people at least having an a religious education that doesn't just offer the buffet. option but says, you know, this is actually these are the ideas. this is the well which has been our well. one of the things that deeply disturbs me in the current year is that it's not just the religious tradition of the west, but the secular tradition as well, which is now under equal assault and i go into this but i mean, there's now not a figure of the enlightenments. who has not been attacked for the same reasons that i outlined earlier all guilty of living in a time of racism colonialism slavery, and this is this is very strange to see, you know, voltaire lock everybody david hume's name being taken off buildings in his native
8:50 am
scotland. this is very strange because he needs of people who actually gave us much of the thing that we're living in and yet we seem to be tearing this out of our system as well. and that's i think the combination of these two things simultaneously is particularly deadly. i should say until i arrived in america. i didn't really believe that the integralists were serious by the way, just couldn't believe it that anyone was seriously going to try that. let alone to have any likelihood of tactical success that a minority religious viewpoint could be imposed in such a way seems to me extraordinary, you know coming from the continent i do. i didn't see the 16th century, but i heard about it. and actually by the way for those people who care about the retreat of religion for public life is worth remembering something that the late rabbi jonathan sachs said when
8:51 am
ratzinger or pope benedict to see them was visited england and and rabbi sacks said that europe lost faith in religion not least because it saw that people of faith could not get on with each other. that's that is a very profound insight that we should dwell on that and um, anyhow, i hate the idea of seeing this record we played but but no, it's it's it's a very troubling thing went as i say when every leg of the stool is taken away or shaved down the simultaneously that's what i think is happening and that's why one can actually identify bad intent, you know. well, i'm confident we've raised enough targets for vigorous questions and comments. so i'm going to invite anyone who has a question to please line up at the mike that is over here to your right and i'm going to just throw one last question here. so we've talked about a lot of
8:52 am
domestic. threats to western societies. i want to ask you what do you view as the most significant external threat. so in the realm of geopolitics or security and as as part of that i'd like to bring up the question of empire. so your arm you have written a very critically of empire. douglas you are an imperialist. no, i'm not. or a british or anyway. so i think we can take a scalpel to that claim and maybe separate the two if you have time so so enlighten us on that and and what is the greatest threat to the west or the geopolitically the geopolitical greatest threat is always is china the communist party of china. i don't think that russia poses any serious strategic threat to
8:53 am
the west as a whole it's certainly doesn't present to financial threat anything like a competition to us. i mean when people say that russia has the same an economy the size of italy is actually that's massively overstating the size of the the russian economy or it's strength so i don't think that's that although russia is is a is a regional threat and a military threat is not it's not a strategic competitor a china obviously is and obviously wants it. i mean it is that's one of the things i cannot get out of my head that in this area where everyone is talking about the sins of imperialism, you know, most of which i wouldn't deny people had totally uninterested in colonialism of our current day in africa carried out by china. i can't understand it and and this suggests to me that we are we deeply distracting ourselves. but i do think that the primary threat comes from us. i think we are our own worst
8:54 am
enemies and it's principally if i can say so because we've entirely failed to learn how to differentiate the difference between a critic who wishes us well and an opponent who wants us dead. and you know as i've quite often said in recent weeks, you know, the difference is so obvious to us in our lives. you know that if if somebody said to me, you know douglas, i think you could improve your writing by doing this, you know, i'd listen. if they said i don't like anything about you you're writing stinks. you can't speak nothing you do is good about the rest. this isn't somebody i need to listen to because they don't actually want me to do better. they just want me to stop or demoralize me or something. well, it's the same thing with nations and societies and cultures, you know, a very interested to hear. we are interested in hearing. it's a great western thing to be interested in hearing critiques of yourself in order to try to improve something that other societies and cultures have tended not to do we have tended to do it. it's a great attribute, but the moment where somebody comes along and says, there's nothing good about you you were born
8:55 am
evil. and you're born evil now and unlike everybody else. you will stay evil and you can't do anything good and you have nothing to be proud of i don't think oh what an interesting critique. i think i think this person really doesn't like me. it doesn't like my society doesn't like my culture doesn't like my country. but we have lost the ability to tell the difference between those two things and it's it's deadly your arm, what? what's the biggest external threat? i'm going to be boring and take what man. had i china china is without any question the the threat of the hour unless you you want to talk about our ability to focus on it which i mean which is in a sense the greater threat for 30 years the united states and europe built up china.
8:56 am
with their own hands out of an ideology that that by you know by trading with china china would become a liberal democracy. so this was a utopian fantasy and it failed completely and at some point during the year 2020 for about five minutes americans woke up from their you know, drug-induced stupor and and realize that that china is overtaking the united states and that if it does so the world is going to irrevocably change for the worst. suddenly americans are realized it and then they went back to you know, just you know the the issue of the month and so this month it's abortion and i'm not saying i don't mean to belittle it. it's a crucial issue and last month it was it was ukraine, and i don't mean to below it's a crucial issue but but part of losing tradition of uprooting all the traditions is that you lose common sense common sense is handed down through tradition. and so the capacity to maintain
8:57 am
perspective is is also lost people are are focusing on on ukraine as though there's you know it as those there's nothing else in the world and a weighted judgment about what's going on would say as russia's is primarily security threat to europe. so the europeans should should re-arm but the united states has to focus on china because if it doesn't who will well, we've raised a few more targets and so if i could ask in in the audience if you could just identify yourself and please keep your questions short so our authors can answer. go ahead. how can one keep one's question by yourself, please huh is this microphone on i don't know how you can keep a question short in light of some of what mr. hosoni has said. but i'll try mary and first i want to start by commending you
8:58 am
for bringing the discussion back to an institution to it the declaration of independence and you focused on the second paragraph which of course is the if anything the essence of the western tradition to which millions have appealed over the past two centuries, but then yorum came back and said well, but look at the first paragraph because that's where we distinguish ourself from a separate people but our constitution drew very much from the british constitution. i think you've got that fundamentally wrong our constitution for example has an independent judiciary which checks the political branches. we don't have a parliamentary system where you can have some grand political scheme that the country itself is. it is seeking to achieve whether
8:59 am
it be christianity sir coming toward god or socialism and the great watershed was with wilson and the other progressives who rejected the constitution and wanted a parliamentary system and that's what we're suffering under today the idea of a new deal a great society. and so my question is when you look at the post. world war two world, which you think failed? i submitted failed because we have lost sight of the constitution provisions for a limited government and no grand political scheme like the new deal the great society and the like such that today parents don't have the wherewithal to send their children to private schools where they don't have to be abused by the stuff that's going on with public education. so it seems to me the core is
9:00 am
you haven't really caught the distinction between the american constitution and the british parliamentary system. so i rest my case. so roger pilon's an institution and of himself, so, i mean that's a critique your arm. so would you answer that? well, first of all, i'd like to advertise my book because this argument is is a it's it's familiar. it's it has certain certain important truths to it and i and my colleagues have been working for a long time on trying to understand who were the conservatives that the american founding. and what did they want and i think that even if you don't agree with me on everything, i think that that you're representing a view which became common actually during the new deal years. it's a it's a it's a 1940s
9:01 am
construction of the american founding. this is this is my look shaking your head doesn't kind of help what's gonna help us buying my book. and so just i'm gonna make it short and then you can decide if you want to buy the book or not. so the 1940s is a time when i'm going to make this short and simple when there was a conscious move to to shift the focus from the american constitutional tradition to the declaration of independence. to put it simply thomas jefferson became the father of his country instead of george, washington. if you're willing if you're open to the possibility, which not everybody. is that the american founding there were there was not one political party, but two political parties a jeffersonian party and a federalist party which i argue was the nationalist conservative party and you look at what were they arguing about is i do in in this
9:02 am
book you look at all the issues that divided them and what you'll see is that that their view was similar to the one that that i presented the people who wrote the american constitution thought of it in terms of a restoration of the english constitution and not only that but they even made sure that british common that english common law would become the law of the the national courts once they were established anyway. there were two. is not everybody has to believe this, but if you're interested you you can hear more can buy the book. go ahead. hi, my name is arjun. my my pronouns are i'm just the great misfortunate of working for a large corporation which means that every month or so i receive a few nauseating emails from the company saying how much they support black lives matter how much they support the
9:03 am
lgbtqia+ people the recommending lectures to us from from ibraham kennedy and andy d'angelo and such and my response so far has been mostly to stay quiet kind of national teeth and turn the volume down on the computer. do you think and well the problem is then that all the people on the call never hear from people like me like most of us in the room and assume that there is no there is no opposition that that what they believe the socal anti-racism is just the default and that there was no alternative for people like me. do you think it's a good idea to remain quiet like i've been doing or do you think there is a way that we can speak up in these cold weather at work or in our personal lives to address this kind of thing going on i think is a very good question. i think you should speak up but i don't advertise advocate kamikazeism. i think smart people like yourself should not self-imalate and i wouldn't want to urge you
9:04 am
to do so and that is for people in many corporations what that involves. if you say, you know, i don't want to be given reading lists from my bosses for moral improvement. you know, you will be in trouble. there was a there was a partner at the firm kpmg who was fired. in london last year simply saying that he thought implicit bias training was was nonsense. he's australian. he said it was --. but and and he was correct. i mean, i i, you know, i can show that lots of people can show it that the so called implicit bias training is a crock. but you know, he lost his job for saying this. so even saying that is definitely a problem. i mean, i do sometimes give advice to readers when they ask along these lines and i i have one that i pass people which is you know, if your boss gives you a book to read give him one or her one in return. you might give them your arms book or mine or but you know, i mean, you know if we're going to be if we actually in exchange of ideas in the workplace rather
9:05 am
than on high tells everyone you've got to be in lockstep with this. well, then let's have an exchange of ideas. you know you i'll read your books you read mine, but and and then the very least you tease out at an early stage that this is not an exchange of ideas. this is a sort of indoctrination by companies. i think this is very troubling but yes, i mean we sadly we actually know the names of you know a lot of people i wouldn't say most but a lot of people who have been the ones who've stood up and said no, i don't want to do this. i mean the cases are ludicrous as one i give in my book of people at one of the nuclear laboratories in the us all the white males were sent on a training camp to go and learn about their privilege and you know america's nuclear future. should not have space or time for this kind of reprogramming nonsense. i do fear that but i fear that
9:06 am
what's happened is this has been smuggled in on us again because of our virtues in a way. no, unlike china. we think that racism is a bad thing. and where we see it, we deploy it and we want to kick it out of the public square. um, and so the accusation of racism like the accusation of being a pro-slavery or procolonialism is highly damaging. and there's one other thing by the way, roger scrutinized to talk about towards interest life, which is very very dangerous in our societies and we all need to think about a lot more. i mean basically the worst thing you can be in our societies is a child abuser, but next to that it's to be a racist and here's the problem that of course. with some exceptions the charge of racism cannot be proved nor disproved. the disproved bit is crucial. it's slightly akin to if you couldn't prove child abuse and people went around saying people were child abusers. you know that be an enormous slurry of it would be like, what's the things scientologists
9:07 am
believe, you know, sort of dusting this off yourself and it is that it morally taints people and people are upset by it and then they're told to even be upset is a sign of their racism and this isn't this is a very unfair game to impose on people, but but people mind i'm like and i hear from them all the time including, you know, black americans and others who get called the most horrible terms by people in the name of anti-racism, you know, and and so i think that we have to think about how how we our moral. hatred of racism and yet ensure that the term is accurately used and that maybe the way to do that is to ensure that when people level it inaccurately they suffer a cost themselves. that's something i'd like to see happen. so let's press on with a few more questions. yes. go ahead. just just quickly. i wanted to strengthen this point about not being a kamikaze. there are certainly many many
9:08 am
admirable things taking place with school boards parents taking on their school boards, and and i i don't want to deter anyone but i think everyone should consider the possibility that your your time and your energies and your resources might be better spent by relocating to a a state or a city where there's a chance of a significant chance of actually winning and creating a model that then can influence the rest of the country. next question, please. yeah, sorry. i'm not good name. is david on stock. i'm not real good with names for forgive me the one directed to the one in the middle you were talking about censor in the pornography my question is do you consider literature that? a supportive of lgbtq rights woman's rights troy son abortion and birth control to be pornography or otherwise a deserving of censorship.
9:09 am
thank you. you're wrong. i think that you know, look i i wanted to distinguish between my individual view on all sorts of different issues and and the proposal that i'm making here about allowing different states to experiment with with a different. with different legal regimes with respect to these kinds of things. i i would say that my own view is that there's no reason whatsoever. that schools should be should be teaching the kind of material that you're talking about, but i understand that there are you know, there are many millions of people who at this point. are they think it's important and i want to be practical about this. i think that people people who have the view that this kind of thing should should not be in the schools. i think that their best practical bet is to go to a place where many many people
9:10 am
agree with you and strengthen them in their fight and create a place where where people can live their lives in in that fashion because the the goal here is not you know, the goal here is not just to be right the goal here is to figure out how our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren can receive an inheritance that that is worthwhile. and that is something that you can only do in a in a community of people or somewhat like-minded. next question i try to make a short as i can. and to that end. i want to come back to your question mary and the very first one where you asked. douglas, what do you mean by the west i sympathize would not wanting to define terms at the same time. it's impossible not to and one of the problems that i have.
9:11 am
with a conversation is that nationalism and conservatism? are both very unclear without getting platonic about it. what is nationalism for example, nonetheless. i have the following problem. and so i will have a question after that. the problem is this when your arm if i may first names when you're i'm mentions that the bible sanctions nationalism or nations and then mentions deuteronomy actually in the bible in even genesis the mention of nations is in the context of languages. not territories and so forth. i was born in in a country in romania where where the concept of a nation was extremely fluid to put it mildly the same place
9:12 am
changed countries and nations several times in eastern europe. that's the rule they don't come in concrete. but so the the question is this if a nation according to the bible is defined by a plurality of concepts. that is to say not everybody as in the tower of babel not everybody speaks the same language has the same idea the uncasus conception of we all think the same but rather everybody's different ultimately what the bible gives us is the idea of pluralism plurality and nations are meant to be communities. also conservatism therefore is
9:13 am
supposed to be what is this not rather? the idea that what matters and that defines the west is that each person each human being is created in god's image and people can get together according to that to certain common ideas that they have in carbon languages accordingly. is it rather not that the idea of the west is not so much conservatism as the freedom to to believe as we as according to our common views. thank you. so so a good point you're a term that hasn't come up in this conversation as individualism. so where does individual liberty stand in your assessment of the nation and western civilization? individual liberty is something
9:14 am
that we we find in the bible. we find it in anglican american tradition. it's probably more precious in the anglo-american tradition than you know, then in in any other political tradition in the world. and but none nonetheless the the anglo-american conservative tradition does not turn individual liberty into a single final ultimate principle, you know, for example, if you look at the the the preamble to the american constitution, which is was written by a really interesting conservative named governor morris from washington's party. it has seven different principles and one of those principles is the blessings of liberty, but the purposes of government are multiple ensuring the general welfare and
9:15 am
establishing a more perfect forming a more perfect union and and justice and i mean there's all sorts of principles. and i think that what where we went wrong as as a conservative movement in in the 1960s with fusionism where we went wrong was in elevating individual liberty into the one ultimate and final principle that is supposed to represent anglo-american thinking i think that it's false historically, but i think it was just a blunder because it's led to all sorts of excesses which now are going to hit us back as a boomerang. yeah, douglas you want to respond to that and also you've written on how our language of rights individual rights has been misused. i agree with much of what your arm just said my own i think that a pretty good definition of a part of the west is individual
9:16 am
freedom within a structure, which also has a capability of restraining it. and that latter point is one that's so hard. oh has been hard in the last half century or so the you know, the the sort of post-war liberal is forever in the case in the situation of can starve in a believing that he'd fly faster without the air. and and this is a of course is a great error and but it's it's hard for i think it's hard for liberals on to sustain the individual freedoms. without arguing for the structure it must come in. and that's might be at why it might be a mono generational phenomenon in that if the structure goes then the freedom isn't actually there. anyhow, we need another question that i had another thought i'll save into after so this will be our last question. go ahead. thank you so much for coming
9:17 am
here today and discussing these sensitive topics with grace in a very elegant manner. it's very appreciated. my name is harrison and i wrote this down because i was in the marine corps, and i'm not as elf queen of the speaker is douglas. so forgive me if i look down and read this but i want to get your thoughts on this. i think that a critical threat to our democracy and western identity is the increased weaponization of one status is a victim. it has become uses a projectile to undermine not only our democracy religion common sense, but also judicial precedence and that something that you haven't mentioned and so i just wanted to get your thoughts on that. yes, well, i'll leave the judicial reference to yoram. it does absolutely true what you say and very well said i it is certainly the case that we live
9:18 am
in an era of victim olympics victimhood olympics the person who suffered most somehow wins. it's very interesting how that came about because i think many if not most of us in this room at least were almost certainly brought up with a different ethic which was an ethic of heroism among other things of of not moaning. there was literally a phrase when i was growing up in britain mustn't grumble. i haven't heard anyone use it in decades, but the idea behind this was. you know that the world isn't miserable place in lots of ways everybody suffers and that you don't make anyone like anyone else's life better by grumbling. you actually diminish the well of happiness around you rather, you know, you don't by adding to it. you don't you don't have your own torment by sharing it you just you just double it or
9:19 am
something like that. and and obviously in the last few decades, this is he says he's gone on speed that. that the seeking to have minorities status is seems to me in part that based on this idea that if you are a minority, then you must be elevated and then of course we get these strange things where groups that should you know be given a bit of a break people then end up wanting to be part of and then you see the the metastasizing of what we see victimhood as being so that i mean my own belief. is that much of the gender. nonsense is is white heterosexual males who want notice and in this era can get it by saying that they're part of the queer non-binary community or something. and and another one is is metastasization of mental health as a as a minority victimhood status thing. i think these things are very
9:20 am
dangerous because because once you know things interesting thing about heroism is you'll know is is it i mean if an army has a heroic commander or platoon has a heroic commander the platoon is heroic. you know, they only go over the top and follow somebody if that person knows where they're going and shows fortitude and courage. if the person purporting to lead them. is racked with doubt. they're highly unlikely to want to risk their lives for him. and it's the same in societies and strangely. we have we have fallen into this thing where we where in we actually admire people for their claims of suffering? and i think there's an easy way out of this which is simply to reject it. individually and collectively and to say, you know i don't grant that people have the right to.
9:21 am
dominate a narrative or conversation simply by didn't of something they've suffered everybody has stories and it's the whole problem with the privilege thing. you can never actually guess what somebody has or hasn't gone through in their life. certainly not by any characteristic you can make some sweeping judgments, but you can't actually know anything about somebody by just glancing them or knowing one detail of their life. but i'm just stunned by the way in which even people who were brought up with this ethic of heroism have now turned like like the vicar of bray who went from such different side to different side in the various protestant and catholic convulsions in my own country and they they've sides and become sufferers. so that even a prince? can brought up in the same way as me ends up. telling us that he's sad.
9:22 am
and i don't really care. i'm sorry for him and i'm sorry if his wife, but but this is no business of the rest of us and we paid too much attention to this. and and really the something we know we've got to say sorry because we've been slightly. we've we've gone on to quite a lot of different tracks and i'm very conscious that we need to make sure that we don't define the west as conservatism and that although both euro and i are conservative and different ways maybe but that we're both. somewhat conservative, you know the west belongs to everyone in it and and people have different political traditions and there are many things that i describe in the war on the west that are left winger. absolutely can be on board with i mean, i mean there are left wing figures who absolutely would share my views about architecture music and much more. this is not a right left thing this belongs to everybody. i actually i especially loathe
9:23 am
the politicize certain. parts of our culture and say they belong to only a bit of it for political or any other things. i think it's awful. i think on the great gifts of the west is is that it is that the west says, you know, this is what we have and if you'd like to be a part of it and join it, then you can you know, and this is one of the great invitations it is not an invitation which every civilization offers and i just say one other thing very quickly. so you see your your questions sparked all this but this means it's a good question and i just wanted to say one other thing on this which is it's very very important that a conservators and others. we don't get stuck on this sort old game of. where did it go wrong? or you know, how do we make sure we don't just do liberalism at a different speed or so on it, but but keep returning to the things that we actually want to defend which i think both your arm and i are. a passionate about and we need to we need to impact should have spent more time focusing on but you know the the western
9:24 am
tradition is something that i think everybody on this stage certainly deeply loves and cherishes and wants to keep going. and so the question is of course how we do that? one of the absolutely crucial things is to never forget what we have. and it's unusualness. i mean everything that you're has outlined tonight and your outlines in his book it all could have gone a different way. any stage the whole thing could have gone a different way if one man or one woman had been born in a different place at a different time or not have the heroism they did at a particular moment. we might not be here. or might not be here with our ideas and and we have so much of the grumbling at the moment. specifically founded on the thing that our society isn't exactly right now in the eyes of every person currently sitting in it. well, it's not going to be and we could focus on that endlessly, but the thing i want
9:25 am
us to focus on is the things we have which are good. and that is almost everything we have comes from this tradition, which we know this incredibly rich tradition. and you know, i see every day. cultural revolutionary saying well, what about this? what about this thing? and i i say in my book i said, how about some -- gratitude for once? you know, you're born in a society that that minds discrimination that's not common historically or in the present. you know, we're living in a society that seeks to regard people as equal even though we're all in our abilities and much more wildly unequal but we we want to believe in equality we have these extraordinary cities. i mean we're sitting in one at the moment. that's not common. it's highly unusual when you travel around the world, you know, so when people say you know, well, what is the west or what's to give the west given
9:26 am
that's good much more? i say i could start just by listing cities. you know paris isn't nothing. florence isn't a dump. rome's pretty good but my point is i could go on and on and only talk about cities. and you never hear anyone say that. you only hear the negative. you only hear the -- and the whining i haven't got everything i want now. i i very much worry that the end process of all of this. is that we we whine our way to the end. and it would just be such a ludicrous way for civilization to go. you know, i sorry i finished one foot. there's a moment in my book. there's a couple of bits. i really loved doing is a target rich environments one of which is is a passage called racist
9:27 am
gardening and this is because it's an apaches i'd say everything's now racist and the this is a number of people who claim the among other things lawns are racist because there's somehow white. i mean, makes no sense. but but there are people at kew gardens and elsewhere in london in england who have been trying to make this argument lawns gardening. everything is racist. and so they believe that you should decolonize even a garden. and you know, it just reminds me of that great line of cyril connolly's cyril connolly said in the early 50s. he said it is closing time in the gardens of the west. i thought well if it is this is a weird way for them to close. your arm closes out. well, i i really like the gratitude bit. i like that very much and i just
9:28 am
a quick biblical story. god creates. man and man and woman and he tells them not to eat from the tree and then of knowledge of good and evil and then the woman takes from the tree and she eats from it. she gives it to her husband and he eats from it, even though he was told not to and god says what have you done? what have you done? and adam says the woman that you gave me gave me that apple tea. i don't know why you're not laughing. maybe this happens in your own homes. i don't know. it this is an astonishing thing. it's you know, just about the first sin almost. in the bible is the sin of in gratitude is blaming grumbling is is grumbling at god. it's your fault. it's your fault all the things that i did wrong. and part of the the switch that i think that we we need to make in our in our public life is.
9:29 am
to recognizing that in societies which are aware of the need to honor. to honor parents to honor political leadership to honor old people to honor teachers a society that teaches honoring as a fundamental thing from you know from the earliest. ages that is the traditional education in gratitude. those things go together is sure your parents are annoying and you're a teenager and you know better but still you need honor your parents. what does that mean? it means that that at that moment when the grumbling overtakes your entire personality. the society around you should encourage you to give honor to your parents instead of grumbling. right. so this is a it's a it's a
9:30 am
cornerstone. it's a it's an absolute dead center pillar that upholds the possibility of gratitude is teaching teaching children and teaching everyone to be able to give honor and that is something that is taught. very rarely only in the most most conservative corners of western societies now. and when we think about raising children, we think about how husbands and wives should teach one another when we think about what you know, what do you are you going to send your your parents to an old age home, or do you actually owe them something something more than that at the end of their lives when we think about all of these family things. we should also remember that and i'll close with this remember? oh, he's remember never forget that scene on on there was circulating on youtube where the president of the united states and and white-haired elderly man
9:31 am
is wandering around at a white house social event. hundreds of people are ignoring him. and they're paying attention to barack obama because barack obama is obviously more interesting to them. i don't know why but that scene. where this this man who is and i don't i don't care what you know what you think about what he's done and what he didn't do and i i i'm talking about a person who is an elderly man, and he is the president of the united states and a room full of operatives. didn't think that any of them should be talking to him. he wanders around by himself. he puts his hand on barack obama's shoulder barack obama pulls his shoulder away and reaches to shake somebody else's hand. this capacity for humiliating you your national leaders for humiliating the elderly who've done a thing or two in life that deserves gratitude? it's it's intolerable.
9:32 am
it's a formula for destroying everything and i i would say this is something that every individual can do in his or her own life beginning tomorrow is is to to think and i one of the grumblers or or am i going against the current and honoring where it's difficult to do? that's the first step to turning everything around. well, i want to express my gratitude to all of you for joining please stay for the reception following and douglas. murray will be signing his book on this side of the stage and new orleansoni will be signing his book on this side of the stage. please join me in thanking douglas murray and your mom.
9:33 am
9:34 am
9:35 am
and joining us now on book tv is author tom nichols. his most recent book is called our own worst enemy the assault from within on modern democracy. he is recently retired as a us naval war college professor professor nichols last couple years. we've been hearing that democracy is in danger. do you agree with tha

2 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on