#119- The Triumph of the Therapeutic Part 1
Scott and Karl begin discussing Philip Rieff’s book The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud.
Published in 1966, the problems that Rieff saw with an increasingly irreligious view of society have only expanded with time.
Rieff asks, “The question is no longer as Dostoevsky put it: “Can civilized man believe?” Rather: Can unbelieving man be civilized?”
The duo talks about the elements that may have created a therapeutic culture in place of theology. Scott says, “He’s kind of like Nietzsche. A keen observer who gets all of the problems right, and I don’t like that.”
Tune in for the beginning of this two-part discussion. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.
Scott Hambrick 0:09
Welcome to the Online Great Books podcast brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com, where we talk about the good life, the great books, a great conversation, and great ideas.
Brett Veinotte 0:30
Hi, this is Brett, I am the producer of the online great books podcast. And today you are going to be listening to part one of two of Philip Reiff’s The Triumph of the Therapeutic. And boy, am I feeling like we all made the right decision to split these shows into two parts because this one is quite heavy but absolutely delightful if you ask me as both the producer and the listener. It begins with Scott and Karl talking about how they basically got pranked into reading this. And then the first hour of a very lively discussion follows from there. So be sure to check back next week for part two. Thank you for listening and take care.
Scott Hambrick 1:15
I’m Scott Hambrick. I’m Karl Schudt. And today on the online great books podcast, we’re going to read a book that Brett McKay recommended to me.
And I texted him, I said, Why did you recommend this to me? He said, I wanted to hear you rant about it.
So he didn’t recommend it to me because I would like it with friends like that. Well, he’s the one that turned me on to Wendell Berry. So I thought I could trust him. He suckered you. This was the bait on the hook. And you swam up and you grabbed it and it hooked you.
So today we’re reading are discussing having read the 40th anniversary edition of the triumph of the therapeutic uses of faith after Freud by one Philip Reiff. r i e, f, f. The book was written dog on it 1966 I believe, I thought that this was kind of like Nietzche-like, keen observer gets all the problems, right? And I don’t like that.
All the problems, right? No solutions, no solutions. This is not the feel-good book of the century. But before we get into this thing you and I had talked about the next book is going to be the Hardy, the first Hardy Boys novel, which Karl has never read. It’s very upsetting. You never even read it when you were like eight. No, I read Tom Swift.
Karl Schudt 2:47
Not Hardy Boys.
Scott Hambrick 2:48
Yeah, so we’re gonna read the tower treasure by the Hardy Boys and not by the Hardy Boys about the Hardy Boys by who is the mythical author of The Hardy Boys. Well, the book says it’s Franklin W Dixon, but it’s Leslie MacFarlane a Canadian. Okay, who was paid $85 A piece to write those during the Great Depression and also wrote the first handful of the Nancy Drew mysteries. Hmm, the reason I’m a conspiracy theorist is that I was an adult, I weighed out that there was no Franklin W Dixon, and I’m like, Oh my God. Nothing is as it seems.
Karl Schudt 3:33
What was that who was the Tom Strider Victor or something or other?
Scott Hambrick 3:37
I don’t know.
Karl Schudt 3:38
I don’t think he’s real either. Victor Appleton,
Scott Hambrick 3:41
see see what they did to us.
Karl Schudt 3:44
Nothing was real. Everything was fake.
You know why? I’m a conspiracy theorist.
Why? Because there are conspiracies.
Scott Hambrick 3:53
I know, I can swear all the time to try to get people to read these great books, you know, to get my kids to not be awful.
Karl Schudt 4:00
Like, why wouldn’t people conspire to do you know, grander things than that? I would. I was chatting with a guy at the gym a couple of weeks ago. And I mentioned something that I had heard that was conspiracy ish.
And then I looked it up, you know, in the mainstream, and turns out to be true. And I told him, I had to look it up. I had to check myself and he was laughing at me for being self aware enough to check my conspiracy minded theories. Well, yeah, you have to know I mean, if you’re the sort listen, if you’re the sort that is a little bit paranoid and sees around the corners, we need people like you just like you need a guard dog. Yeah, okay. That makes me feel better. You might have some false positives.
Okay, there are going to be some things you think are going on that aren’t really going on. You won’t have any false negatives you won’t you fewer of those, you’ll pick up on most, most of what’s going on. But sometimes you’re going to be a little bit off. And so you You need to know this about yourself. If this is your personality, have somebody who you can talk to and say, Am I crazy on this one? I probably shouldn’t talk to Scott about these sorts of things to see if I’m crazy back. He’s gonna say Nope, you’re not crazy. Absolutely. That’s true across
Scott Hambrick 5:13
like, there’s this Operation Paperclip. I’m like, Yeah, that’s right. And then he’s like, Hey, there’s this MK Ultra thing. I mean, yeah, that’s, that’s right. He’s like, Oh, there’s the Gulf of Tonkin thing. Yeah. That’s right. And then he’s like, just Jackson Pollock guy. He was getting paid. I’m like, yeah, he’s like, What just goes on and on and on. is good, you know that Franklin W. Dixon was on a guy and I’m like,
Karl Schudt 5:35
Scott Hambrick 5:38
they lied to us.
Karl Schudt 5:43
Were you mad as hell, and you’re not gonna take it anymore
Scott Hambrick 5:45
as a fed up with it. Fed up with it.
Karl Schudt 5:49
I’m looking up Tom Swift right now.
Scott Hambrick 5:51
Hardy boys gave me so much pleasure, though. They did.
Karl Schudt 5:57
Yeah, so Tom, Tom Swift. He had rockets and Tom Swift and his giant telescope. The books were published under the pseudonym Victor Appleton. But it was Edward Strait, Meyer and Howard Garris.
Scott Hambrick 6:08
That’s crazy. The first Hardy Boys book is 1927. I believe. It’s pretty crazy. We’ll read that. But we got this damn thing in front of us right now. Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic. Karl, this thing wore me smoothed out. I think that I will. I’ll let me see if I can state his thesis. This is a difficult book. This is I kind of liken this to After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory by Alasdair MacIntyre. it’s difficult like that. And it’s important like that there aren’t a lot of these new books that I think are that important. I actually think this is important as much as I hate it. I mean, he uses words like proto Dudek and stuff like that. And like, knock that off. His thesis, let me see if I can get it is that societies need institutions that perform therapeutic purposes, or services. Religion had once done that by helping explain the nature of evil, in order to, I don’t know, help people come to terms with their suffering. But since Freud, that has been a move away from a description and understanding of the nature of evil into trying to resolve disparate parts of one’s own personality, and bring them into quote unquote, harmony with themselves, that they may have a pleasurable life. Mm hmm. And that now, the therapist is Neo priest.
Karl Schudt 7:59
Yeah, except there’s no religion,
Scott Hambrick 8:00
Except there’s no religion, but it’s a religion of the self. Does that sound right? Did I miss anything there? No,
Karl Schudt 8:07
It is pretty much right? Probably, we need also to figure out what he means by a culture. So this is page two. A culture survives, principally, I think, by the power of its institutions to by then loose men in the conduct of their affairs with reasons which sinks so deep into the self that they become commonly and implicitly understood. Yes, with that understanding of which explicit belief and precise knowledge of externals would show outwardly like the tip of an iceberg, I don’t think you need to read the last bit of that. So a culture would be, it’s got permissions and restrictions, things you can do things you can’t do at the service of some cultural goal. That would be for Christianity would be salvation. You know, it for somebody else, it might be something different for the service of the revolution, or for the spreading of Greater China, I don’t know. So you have your culture has a goal, and it has things that are allowed, and things that are not allowed. You can’t be a drunk or a child molester, because these things are not allowed. Because it’s not conducive to the goal. The problem that he saw in 1966, was that we don’t have these positive. I think he calls them positive communities anymore. It’s all dead. I think he thinks that died and in 1914 It’s all dead. No, that was DH Lawrence thought had died and I think 14 God is dead. And you don’t have those options anymore. Nobody would take it seriously. So what can you do? Well, you have Freud, and Freud is an atheist therapist, whose therapy is to get rid of your hangups To get rid of your bindings to get rid of those last bits of the cultural bindings that make your life miserable.
Scott Hambrick 10:08
I said on a show, I don’t know, not too terribly long ago that I thought we needed a new psychology. Because it has been, since Freud psychology has been about overcoming repressions in, you know, in resolving these hang ups, and I’m like, Well, what’s pretty pressed at this point?
Karl Schudt 10:30
Scott Hambrick 10:31
I mean, maybe this community or that community, maybe you know, the potty training is weird in the Amish community, whatever. But by and large, our psychology can no longer be about repression. I think Brett heard me say that. And that’s why he recommended this show this book for the show. Mm hmm. So Freud was about resolving these internal tensions that result from repressions of what he saw as natural impulses, perhaps.
Karl Schudt 11:04
But Freud doesn’t have any particular thing to say about how you ought to live. So let me give an example. Yesterday, I was up in the city, and I did what people in my positive community, which is still there, even though it’s kind of on hard times, is what we do. So there’s a church up there on the northwest side, that has something called confession on Wednesday, afternoons at three. Alright, it’s neat, because I start work at the gym at four. So I can go and five feeling that I’ve done something that I shouldn’t have done, has some of these hang-ups, Freudian hang-ups? Well, I can do what for 2000 years people did, which is you go, you find your appointed person who is a member of the clerical order, laid out with apostolic succession, and you go in there and you tell him what you did. And he says prayers that are supposed to absolve you, and then you go do penance, and you’re supposed to feel better. So there it is your release, that’s a binding and loosing and the hope is that there is salvation at the end of that, that they’re not just magic, they’re not just words that the priest is saying, but there’s something that actually does something. Okay. Other cultures have different ways to do this. Day of Atonement. Ramadan, I don’t know too much about Islam, I know they have some sort of thing when they, they get rid of past troubles. Sure, the Hindus have something they have a way to do this. What if you no longer believe that this is real? So if I completely lost my faith, would I go to that little church on Wednesdays at 3pm? And mumble my, my sins to a guy in a box? It would have no more power, would it?
Scott Hambrick 12:47
Does man need that? So all these different traditions have some way to expiate these things. So before we get to the question of you know, whether someone, whether it works if you don’t believe it, or you know, however you just pose that. Is that human necessity? Like, do we need that?
Karl Schudt 13:10
I bet we do. I think we do. I think
Scott Hambrick 13:13
We do. So if that’s destroyed, like you said, or that faith chunk is taken out of it. Then you ask, you know, if you go talk to the man in the little box, you don’t think it works anymore than you know.
Karl Schudt 13:31
Yeah, so why would I do it, but I would still be doing things that were wrong. I guess. And I wouldn’t, I might still feel guilty about it. But I wouldn’t have any way to expiate the guilt. Okay, so, enter Freud. So here’s Freud. And Freud would say, Tell me about your mother.
Scott Hambrick 13:53
Yeah, it’s not your fault. Your mom potty trained you extra harshly. And now, you know, whatever.
Karl Schudt 14:02
Yeah, we need to get rid of your feelings of guilt. Okay, we don’t need to amend my behavior so much, except insofar as I want to, you know, but we need to, to get rid of, of the guilt of the things that are binding you up. Whereas the priest promises salvation, the therapist promises being well adjusted, which might be all you can do, if you don’t have, as Jung called it, The God term. So I think reef is is probably on board of that he I don’t think he’s, I think he’s seeing what he’s seeing. All there is is therapy now.
Scott Hambrick 14:43
Yeah, that’s the title, the book, The trend for the therapeutic? Yeah,
Karl Schudt 14:47
We’re a second look, we’re a secular outfit. Online great books is secular. But sometimes members like to talk about stuff. And so somebody posted something about how do you find a good church that was worried about that threat I thought it was gonna get nasty, but it didn’t. Everybody was nice. But somebody said, Well, what I do is I look for a church that preaches everything I believe. I think that’s a therapeutic approach. Where you look for the place where you’ll feel comfortable. I would have said, find the thing that you think’s the true Church and then believe what they believe. I think the different the therapeutic approaches, I’m not going to go to this organization because they have anything of capital T truth to tell me, I’m going to go to this organization because they make me feel better. Or they confirm me in the things I already kind of believe. It’s all therapy all the way down.
Scott Hambrick 15:44
Isn’t it all about making you feel better?
Karl Schudt 15:49
I suppose it’s better to feel? Well, I don’t know. Is it always good to feel good?
Scott Hambrick 15:55
Well, back to the Gorgias. It’s flattery. If you go to therapy, and you’re a scoundrel, and you hang out at the bicycle racks at the elementary school trying to ambush little kids. The therapist makes you feel better about that. I mean, it’s flattery. It’s not improving to the soul or the individual. But you know, I just got done reading Plato’s gorgeous again, I hadn’t read it I every time I read it, I write the date on the last page. Last time I read it was in July of 2018. He says that that rulers and governments should serve to improve the people. He says that they should serve to improve the people and not be confectioners and just give them sweets and make them fat. You know, does therapy actually serve to improve the people? That’s not
Karl Schudt 16:50
a pure project. Pure Freudian therapy wouldn’t.
Scott Hambrick 16:54
Right later, Jung and others maybe try, mate? Well,
Karl Schudt 17:01
Jordan Peterson. I don’t think he’s Freudian. I think he’s one of these others, attempting to put something in going ahead of ourselves, but attempting to put something in where the god term would be. Because that’s part of the problem with Freudianism with pure therapy is that I can make you I can help you through the talking, I can help you not be bound up, I can help you be well adjusted. But then what should you actually do with your life?
Scott Hambrick 17:30
Right? Well adjusted to what I mean, the adjustment idea. I’m not a Freud scholar here. But I’ve read some actually did a show with Dr. David Peters psychiatrist about Freud back earlier in the catalog before Carl and I started doing the show here, go back and listen to that. But that idea of adjustment implies the Freudian conception of the soul is that the soul has many parts. And that those parts need to be adjusted and be able to, you know, exist in harmony, without conflict inside the person. And then that person can be who they need to be without experiencing continued damage, from repression, and so on. This made me want to go read some Freud and see what I could if I could figure out what he saw as a soul. Or maybe he doesn’t. But if he doesn’t think there’s a soul, like, what is he adjusting? What’s going on here? I think he and I are at metaphysical loggerheads and I think he’s wrong. And then you end up with a self therapeutic paradigm. So our good friend Aristotle says, our soul has it’s one thing, it’s one, it’s one chunk, but it has appetites. The nutritive, the motive, the I’m not appetites, it has motives, right? There’s things you move, you have appetites, for the nutrition, and so on that cause the soul to make the body move. Am I wrong about this, Karl? No. But the soul is one thing. But then if you act virtuously, you’re able to take these motives and act appropriately at the right time, according to the right measure, and so on.
Karl Schudt 19:15
But there’s a governing motive above them all, which, in Aristotle, you see, he says somewhere I need to find the quote. And this is where the metaphysics makes sense. Okay, and it does change your behavior. This is to another commentator on our Slack channel, who asked what good the metaphysics did anybody? That whole theory of the price of the unmoved mover. It’s the way Aristotelian therapy would be not merely therapeutic, but salvific. Because all things strive for the eternal. Aristotle says somewhere this is why the bunny rabbits he doesn’t say bunny rabbits, but this is why they make baby so much because by making babies that they participate in the eternal So there is a desire of the soul towards what Aristotle would consider the higher things that gives a shape to the whole thing. So if I were to go to Dr. Aristotle for my therapy and say, Well, Dr. Aristotle, you know, I’ve got some problems because of the potty training and you know, some have some complexes and and the edifice thing, you know, and Aristotle would say, very good. But how are you doing with the unmoved mover?
Scott Hambrick 20:30
Right, yeah. Have you identified the higher thing? What do you do every single day? to habituate yourself towards that higher thing? Git requires something of you.
Karl Schudt 20:40
Yeah. Yeah. So that’s the difference. And if you don’t have that, if we’ve erased that, from whatever, for whatever reasons, the 20th century is the most bloody and violent century that humans have ever had so far. By a lot. It did an awful lot to, I think, probably to destroy the faith of Europe. Well, that absolutely destroyed the faith of Europe, and most of the rest of the world. If you don’t have that, what do you have left? So we got to get some quotes from Philip here.
Scott Hambrick 21:12
Yeah. He said it destroyed the faith of Europe on page nine, he says that faith is that Governor inclined always to be censorious about novelty. We call that faith. Faith is the compulsive dynamic of culture, channeling obedience to trust in Independence upon authority. So he goes on a little bit more about that, but faith is sort of the I’m going to say this, even though somebody is gonna pick up on it and beat me up with it. The sort of cage that we are in that protects us from novelty. It bounds our behavior. And the faith limits the number of potential actions that you will consider in the face of novelty. Hmm, yeah. So I said cage. I didn’t want to say cage because like, you know, Sam Harris is like see. But you know, the shark cage keeps the sharks from eating your ass.
Karl Schudt 22:04
Yeah, well, he calls it a sensor and the sentence before the one you quoted in every culture, there stands a sensor governing the opportunity of recognizing responding to novel stimuli essential sensor was a job in the Roman Republic. The sensor was kind of the guardian of public morals. He kept the list of people in the Senate and would exclude people if they, you know, it become degenerate. Nobody likes censorship. Except How do you have a culture when there is nothing? That’s not permitted? Wait, did I say that? Right? Yeah. When you have nothing that Yeah, yeah. When there’s nothing off limits, you don’t have a culture. But you need a sensor?
Scott Hambrick 22:46
What if this was supposed to be for the end of the show? But I want to add it now. And then we could just wrap up? What if there are entirely new categories of action that are off limits? And there is a new sensor? Yeah, they’re in a huge list of words that we can only list by the first letter of the word.
Karl Schudt 23:07
So the structure of the book, if you look at the table of contents, which I’m going to do right now, we have sort of sets the stage with Freud. And then we have talking about Jung and then right and then D. H. Lawrence was a weird cat.
Scott Hambrick 23:22
D H. Lawrence is a degenerate POS.
Karl Schudt 23:28
Yes. So five, six and seven of the book are therapists, people in the Freudian tradition who have found it lacking because there’s no God term, there’s nowhere to go. And so you have young Ian archetypes or Reich in photo Marxism, sex magic, or DH Lawrence, where it’s just the sex magic, trying to find a guiding principle. And we have people trying to do that now. So the therapeutic has, people are trying to do that. Now there are? Well, I’ll just say there are new religions. Yeah. Because we have to have one.
Scott Hambrick 24:10
Just read Protagoras and Gorgias. He says that we always act, believing that we’re aiming for the good. And then when we and that when we act improperly, it’s because we have incomplete understanding of either the consequences of that thing that we do, or you have an incomplete understanding of what the good is. But he believes that people act in good faith, essentially, you know, the example that my friend Carl gives is that people don’t smoke because they want some cancer, they smoke because the nicotine is beneficial, and it’s soothing to them in some way. So on there, they’re seeking those good things about smoking, not the tumors. I think that’s probably right. So the sort of new religions I think are trying to seek out some good but they don’t understand why they know not what they do. Environment animalism you know, well is is the Earth itself a good? Is that the highest? I don’t know, they’ll have to explain that to me. I just got done reading can life prevail by panty Lin Cola, extreme environmentalist there are there is no number of people that he wouldn’t be willing to kill to make the planet quote unquote healthier the total set of people minus one is how many he’s would be willing to kill for a complaint I’m serious. There are people who want to protect the feelings of others such that if you say certain words about those other about those people, there’s nothing they wouldn’t do to punish you.
Karl Schudt 25:40
Yeah, I was thinking about this too. So we’re kind of doing the end of the podcast very close to the beginning. And then maybe we’ll do the middle and then the beginning at the end sounds good. So the new religions that are popping up and I don’t really want to name because it gets awfully political but dear listener, you know, what we’re talking about? Are you seeing them around? All of these? There are permitted behaviors and forbidden behaviors and you do not question Okay, that’s kind of like a religion. The difference is what I would consider a genuine religion has a prophet it has a charismatic figure it has a Moses it has a Jesus it has, I guess that Joseph Smith, you know it it has somebody that is the archetype that is inspirational. And in the new religions, they don’t have this they just sort of arising from everywhere, it seems they’re like like cockroaches out on the floor, you know, sure where they’re coming from. I think there’s a problem for them taking hold on I always caught Heidegger on this Heidegger says only a God can save us. Nietzsche says pretty much the same thing. These are not Uber Mensch ever mentioned that are doing this their intervention so I’m not too excited about their prospects to grab hold of the earth and be the new religion. I mean, I think we have good religions that we left behind frankly, but I don’t want to name names because that won’t be political. But you know, certain politicians that go by three letter acronyms. Is that your new prophet huh? Can she bear the load? I don’t think so.
Scott Hambrick 27:31
Henry Cabot Lodge talking about
Karl Schudt 27:37
Scott Hambrick 27:41
i for a while welcome our pantsuit mommies
Karl Schudt 27:48
I’d rather have alien overlords
Scott Hambrick 27:52
illegal alien open anyway,
Karl Schudt 27:53
so a lot of what’s good. And what’s interesting in this is the talk about culture. And this is where if you have read Alastair MacIntyre, this would have been a good thing to read first, if you could manage it. All the stuff about culture, culture is another name for a design of motives directing the self outward toward those communal purposes in which alone the self can be realized and satisfied. That’s on page three. This thought of culture as being remissions and permissions directed toward some kind of cultural end. That’s pretty interesting to me. Makes me think Do we have one? Or do
Scott Hambrick 28:31
we have a culture? Yeah, yeah, we do. So let’s be political. No, yes. Like there are readmissions are arbitrary. What do they call permissions and remissions? What is he? What is his time limit forgotten?
Karl Schudt 28:46
I don’t know. What does he say? There are,
Scott Hambrick 28:49
They’re just different than they were in 1983. Girl. Like, you can go down to the HR department, and they’ll tell you what they are. You know, you could let your freak flag fly and get being the butt stuff or whatever. But you can’t say these words. You know, their permission,
Karl Schudt 29:09
And it’s coming from nowhere and everywhere.
Scott Hambrick 29:12
Well, yeah, coming from your pain, mommies and HR, they’ll tell you. I mean, I mean, the No, no,
Karl Schudt 29:19
no, no, no, it’s coming from everywhere. I hear Yeah. It’s a culture that is seeping in. If you’re in the seventh century, and you see this new thing coming out of the Arabian Peninsula, you can point to where it started. You know, who started it? You could even maybe get the book
Scott Hambrick 29:33
and when you have faith as a guardian. On page 11 He says that new experience was not wanted. Like that the faith told you. You know what proper experience was and would help you guard against novelty. And we don’t have it. I hate this because the boomers like snicker at it and then lose. By the way, Carl, you and I did a little Instagram Live this morning and before You got one there are listener listening to this show. Dre the poet. He’s like I thought you were a boomer. Did you see that?
Karl Schudt 30:11
How dare you sir, I did not see that comment
Scott Hambrick 30:15
apparently, I have not come out strongly enough in my anti-Boomer stances, and I’m going to have to make sure. I don’t know how he missed it, that I make this more clear. You know, you say it’s coming up out of the out of the soil, or like seeping in like groundwater or whatever. This culture of the therapeutic is about being at peace with your weird shit. I mean, that’s what it is. And that comes from Freud. He says that your psychological problems and frankly, human pain, the problem of being human comes from our inability to deal with unresolved tensions because of our weird stuff, which I think is related to the fall of man, and we’re born with and there’s nothing we can do about it. But he doesn’t agree. So if everybody has their weird stuff, and the way to, quote unquote, Freudian salvation, is to be at peace with that. Anyone that disturbs your peace about your weird stuff has to be destroyed. Hmm.
Karl Schudt 31:20
Yeah, so you can’t really be universal peace. Let me I want to grab a juicy quote from Professor reef here on page 10. But this time, men may have gone too far beyond the old deception of good and evil to specialize at last wittingly, in techniques that are to be called in the present volume therapeutic with nothing at stake beyond a manipulatable sense of well being this is the unreligious of the age and its master science. Okay, so you want boomers, it’s probably the generation before the boomers actually hit it, but you want, okay. You get to do whatever you want. And nobody’s gonna have a problem with it. Except that that’s not true, because people will have problems with it, because your desires are going to conflict but nevertheless, you want now what do you do with your life? Well, whatever you want, well, what should I want?
Scott Hambrick 32:19
It’s freak flags all the way down, bro.
Karl Schudt 32:22
It’s nihilism. It if there’s nothing that’s worth anything, you’d be a well adjusted zero,
Scott Hambrick 32:32
just below that. Where you said that on page 10. And I have here the systematic cutting down of all settled convictions represents the anti cultural predicate upon which modern personality is being organized. He’s right, modern personality is organized on an ultra anti cultural predicate. If there are cultural norms, both repressions and shoot, I forgot I keep forgetting his terms, their permissions and repressions. Modern personality is predicated on a rejection of those things.
Karl Schudt 33:13
Used to be so that’s where I think you’re right, that things are changing, where now there’s very clear orthodoxies. There’s very clear permissions and permissions that we have.
Scott Hambrick 33:24
In 1966. It was more up in the air, I guess.
Karl Schudt 33:27
I mean, there’s a reason I don’t have a Facebook account. Does Facebook kick you off, bro? No, I didn’t get kicked off. I left before they could kick me off. Well, I didn’t want to make an offhand can’t fire me. I quit. I didn’t want to. Yeah, I didn’t want to make an offhand comment in somebody’s post, and then have it be ammunition against me. Right. Better to just leave and not say anything. And, of course, you know, the hours of podcasting we do is kind of counterproductive to that goal. But it’s dangerous out there to run afoul of So for the record, for anyone who’s listening, whatever it is, that is the dominant way of thinking right now. I completely agree. You’re right.
Scott Hambrick 34:13
I agree. And, and I lost everything I own in a boating accident.
Karl Schudt 34:22
Yeah, so I’m inoffensive. I don’t have any opinions on anything. As far as you know. So I think we have not stayed in the in the boomer Freudian state.
Scott Hambrick 34:33
We’ve moved past it, huh.
Karl Schudt 34:35
Yeah. And so he starts the whole thing with the, with the Yeats poem, or is it yeah it’s I think it’s a it’s what rough beast it’s our come around at last Slouching Towards Bethlehem to be born. Well, Something’s coming. What’s coming. Something else Babylon. Yeah, well, well, something I mean, You’re going to have a culture with permissions and remissions, you’re going to have a culture with a belief system, what’s it going to be?
Scott Hambrick 35:07
Almost every time somebody says so, and then set states my view, they’re making sure that what you’re saying is so what you’re saying, Carl, is that mankind cannot operate without repressions, and permissions. Race these the sets of beliefs that are pro these things, and against those things.
Karl Schudt 35:33
Yes, that’s the
Scott Hambrick 35:34
kind cannot exist with a permissive in full permissiveness.
Karl Schudt 35:42
Yeah, or put it another way mankind is humans are naturally religious. religious law I’m going to use Aquinas is etymology on this religio to bind back. To tie down. Whether it’s you know, Zoroastrianism or Shinto or something, there’s going to be something, living without it, just it’s not going to, you might last for 10 years without it. But then you’re gonna start raising up a whole bunch of little prophets, who will start saying what you can say and what you can’t say and what you can do and what you can’t do?
Scott Hambrick 36:22
Yeah. Like, Greta, how dare you? How dare you.
Karl Schudt 36:31
I don’t know who Greta is, I’m not sure who you’re talking about. No knowledge of anything for strong beliefs.
Scott Hambrick 36:42
So here’s a little jab at conservatives, Carl, page 12. PAGE 12.
Karl Schudt 36:49
We’re gonna get past page 20 In this Na,
Scott Hambrick 36:54
current apologetic efforts by religious professionals and pretending that renunciation as the general mode of control was never dominant in the system reflect the strange mixture of cowardice and courage with which they are participating in the dissolution of their cultural functions?
Karl Schudt 37:10
Yeah, I’ve seen that happen. I have to because I do somewhat regularly go into that little box. And I have done it in all kinds of dioceses and churches, and the various places I’ve lived in the United States. Is a whole lot of times where I am told that whatever it is I was doing, that’s not sinful. Churches move beyond that. Just feel good about yourself. And then I would like bring the Catechism in and say no, says right here.
Scott Hambrick 37:45
Cross like, No, I’m a I’m a screw up. So listen to
Karl Schudt 37:49
right. confessional lawyer. There’s definitely a strong strand of that. In, in my church in particular, where a lot of people are just told, you know, you’re fine. You’re fine. We’re not into that much anymore. Well, if that’s the case, then what are you into? Yeah, so he’s right. You know, he’s not a believer at all. He’s absolutely right about the nature of what, at least what Christianity was.
Scott Hambrick 38:14
Yeah. So so right here. He’s talking about apologetic efforts by religious professionals. But I also see it as the political suppose a conservative, he says, Alright, again, pretending the renunciation as the general mode of control was never dominant in the system. Well, Buckley did that to us. He’s like, Oh, no, no, it’s about it’s about the enlightenment. It’s about classical liberalism. And it’s essentially about permissive ism. You know, it’s, and then they they talk about Locke says, We are rights and we’re and others begin and then you can just make up where yours began. And the other one is permissiveness. That’s what it’s become. Conservative. ISM has been ultimately about permissiveness. You don’t screw with somebody’s property rights, you know, but stuff Whatever, man, come on. It’s the enlightenment. And they pretend like the Wright did not exercise a modus of control, where they said this is okay. And this is not okay. And they used to do that.
Karl Schudt 39:21
They used to do that the right used to be the monarchist,
Scott Hambrick 39:24
right, close borders, you know, on and on and on huge list of prohibitions, and a small list of permissions. And they act and now that well, Buckley, you know, some sort of weird, crypto homo as like re defined, you know what it is, and then everybody wonders why it doesn’t work. Well, he tells you right here. Poor coral. I don’t believe anything I say it’s just felt theater. It’s infotainment, Carl. I don’t believe anything. I have no beliefs. The only thing I believe for sure. Whereas you shouldn’t use the N word. That’s the only thing I believe for real. That’s the commandment one. Yes. Nutella. That’s it.
Karl Schudt 40:09
Yeah, I’m not disagreeing with you. I just can
Scott Hambrick 40:11
I read a sample of how awful His writing is? Sure, behave like your savior Christian. He says Christian culture like other organizations of moral demand operated, however imperfectly, through the internalization of a soteriological character ideal, carrying tremendous potentials for fresh intakes of communal energy, semi colon, the highest levels of controls or emissions parens, which together organize systems of moral demands, in parentheses, experienced the historical and individualization individualized incarnation, such he humorist processes may have been indispensable to the vitality of the old culture. I mean, he just goes on and on and on like this at this stuff. So,
Karl Schudt 40:52
Rudel, but wait, wait, that wasn’t clearly.
Scott Hambrick 40:58
To adjust the expression impulses to the controlling Paragon, or character ideal defines the primary process in the shaping of our inherited culture. Good Lord.
Karl Schudt 41:08
Let me sum that up. Okay. Religions, in this case, Christianity had saints that were exemplars of how you ought to live. Right? Also, because it is soteriological. That’s a fancy word, meaning it offered salvation. But whatever that means, right? Okay. For Christians, it’s a happy afterlife. Heck, you could do it as a Buddhist but and then that case, it’s a happy non life. I mean, it’s happy nothingness at the end, but it offers something. And because it offers something more than just being well adjusted, through the ages, it can pop up with great energy. So you will have the degeneracy of the the 12th century and then you have Francis and Dominic pop up in the Roman church. And soon, you know, all the young people want to become friars. Is it because they were becoming well adjusted? No, Francis was not well adjusted. Francis would throw himself into thorn bushes when he was feeling tempted, solid. But what Francis talked about was salvation. And so that was inspirational to people. And that’s why he was able to save the Catholic Church in the West, for good or for ill, I think for good in the 12th century.
Scott Hambrick 42:31
So, you require a something with a soteriological character at a yes, humorist process. In order to get What was that word, you keep saying, Your humorist EU h e m e r i s t, you require that in order to get this imaginary pendulum to swing back to the right, like all the Conservatives are waiting on, right.
Karl Schudt 42:58
Okay, so imagine Francis, I don’t know which page you’re on anyway. What? PAGE 12 Oh, there it is.
Scott Hambrick 43:05
That you hit this a little bit you himer RISM Carl, interpretation of Miss as traditional accounts of historical persons and events.
Karl Schudt 43:15
Okay, so everybody knows Francis of Assisi. You might have statues of around your neighborhood for the birds to Poupon imagine that he came and instead of preaching pretty standard Christian Gospel stuff, he preached Freudianism. Calm and, and and get your hangups removed. Just come sit on this couch and talk with me for a while and we’ll remove your hang up. So be St. Francis of Freud,
Scott Hambrick 43:46
come here and sit by me comedies.
Karl Schudt 43:50
So, he makes me laugh. And so Francis does this. And it might work for one generation. Okay, so maybe he’s got that one generation all these people who would have been Franciscans are now well adjusted Freudians. But in doing so he would destroy the conditions of his own success for the next generation. Because it would evacuate all of that soteriological character, that salvation stuff. And so the next generation would say, I’m already well adjusted, everything’s already permitted. I don’t need you. So therapy could last maybe a generation. But after that, you know, why, why am I doing this? What is the point of my life? So therapy leads to nihilism. This is my reading of it. And so my my hypothetical St. Francis would not have a Franciscan order that’s lasted 800 years he would have like 20 years and then everybody would just kind of drift away and then wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.
Scott Hambrick 44:57
You think that you think reefs saying that all of this leads to nihilism. Yeah,
Karl Schudt 45:09
I think so. I I don’t know that he’s got a way out.
Scott Hambrick 45:13
I read that he thinks that comes to a radical like self worship where the self is the highest ideal.
Karl Schudt 45:21
Yeah, but is that a good thing? I don’t think he’s no no, no saying that’s a good thing. This is the thing that Slouching Towards Bethlehem to be born but it’s not right. Nice.
Scott Hambrick 45:29
Yeah, but it’s but it’s not Niall ism is all I’m saying.
Karl Schudt 45:34
Oh, well, tomato tomato.
Scott Hambrick 45:36
Well, I hear you. I hear you. Yeah, I mean, look at all the selfies, like, what are people doing? They’re like, No, seriously, they’re like their own golden calf,
Karl Schudt 45:46
desperately trying to convince themselves that they are self. Let me get out here could Guardian on you. Or Walker person
Scott Hambrick 45:57
13. Our culture has shifted towards a predicate of impulse release. difficult as the modern cultural condition may be I doubt that western man could be persuaded, again to the Greek opinion that the secret of happiness is to have as few needs as possible. I think the veil slips right there. I think that’s what reef is on this. He doesn’t then turn around and do so on that idea. He’s not one to spare words. If he feels like there’s something needs to be said about it. He would have said it. Well, that
Karl Schudt 46:23
fits into what I know of is very little I know of his biography. he retreats, doesn’t really write much. Doesn’t make much of the fame that he could have had.
Scott Hambrick 46:36
You know, I love me some thorough. Yes. And I think that thorough, thorough is an old Roundhead. Like he’s a Puritan, even though he’s not a heavy duty Protestant, like you would might think, you know, he’s, he’s not the guy running the dunking stool. I think he is a sort of Puritan Roundhead aesthetic in he when he says, the man who owns little as little owned. And there is sort of a Yankee frugality that comes out of that, you know, is that Greek you think? Or is that rooted in the body as base and the sort of, you know, sensual pleasures that come from, you know, rich food, and, you know, sumptuous upholstery and all that corrupt? Because it serves the body? I think putting it
Karl Schudt 47:25
in terms of being little owned is Greek. I think a Christian reading of that would be a little bit different. If we ever read the rule of Saint Benedict. Try to do at some point. Yeah, I agree. Just even as a management manual. Yeah, the reason you give up everything is to obey better, it’s for your salvation. So and I don’t think Thoreau puts it in that way. But throw puts it more like Epicurus would have put it. Be wary of your pleasures, yeah, pleasures, the highest good, but be careful of them. Yes, it’s more pragmatic. It’s not promising you if you get rid of everything, you know, then you’ll be first in heaven. Right? That’s a different a different way of saying the problem.
Scott Hambrick 48:11
Yeah, the secret of happiness, the Greek opinion that the secret of happiness is to have as few needs as possible. So my mind immediately goes to new automobiles or something, you know, sort of material things. But before that, though, he says that individuality in the Christian culture was hedged round by the discipline of sexuality. So I think for reef here, it’s it’s not necessarily material needs, it’s, you know, you want to you want to hedge around all of those needs. Or he sees that pre Freudian Christian culture hedged around all of those needs. And I made a note here in the margin, it says, Does absence increase the ability to resist all impulses? I think so. That’s a big theme for reef here is that that Christianity, Chief control was over sexuality. And then from that rate, it radiated all other controls that were in fact beneficial.
Karl Schudt 49:09
Yeah, I would need to see more of his argument on that. This is one of those throwaway lines in the book. McIntyre said something about this, you know that. Yeah, on the back cover. This is one of incidental remarks that MacIntyre says we’re not only eliminating and eliminating in themselves suggest whole new areas of inquiry.
Scott Hambrick 49:29
Which is, it was just his very kindly way of saying you didn’t you didn’t put a bow on this by law.
Karl Schudt 49:38
I met Alistair McIntyre is very nice. Shorter than I thought. From reading his books. I thought he was taller. Right, so it makes sense.
Scott Hambrick 49:48
He’s a giant of a man. Five. Yeah. QUESTION asceticism at least so far as it was not influenced by decadent Hellenistic philosophy had as its purpose, not to suppression or even extra patience. have natural drives but rather than control and complete spiritualization. It has positive asceticism and fundamentally at liberation of the highest powers of personality from blockage by the automatism of the lower drives. That’s actually a quote from Max Schiller,
Karl Schudt 50:18
when we all read for something else on our infinity stack when we read Genealogy of Morals, at least the first essay, yeah, I want to, you know, this is an argument that nature makes. It’s actually he doesn’t like it, but it’s a great achievement of Christianity was the turning in of the urges upon the self, to allow you to do greater things.
Scott Hambrick 50:42
Yeah, well, yeah. And even Freud tries to do that too, like he Freud. Freud has a little German idealism, as well. But you know, he wants you to sublimate these urges, into other energies that can then you know, propel your industriousness or whatever, or
Karl Schudt 51:02
do whatever be well adjusted. For what though? Sigmund? Devere. See. What is it Bill and Ted?
Scott Hambrick 51:10
What is the name of that movie? Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Yeah,
Karl Schudt 51:14
yeah. And they pick up Sigmund Freud and he’s sitting in the mall eating a corndog Yes. I love that movie.
Scott Hambrick 51:24
The elites of the emergent culture if they do not destroy themselves in all culture with a dynamism, they appear unable to control or being trained in terminologies that have only the most tenuous relation to any historic culture, and its incorporated self interpretations. You know, why use a few words when a whole lot we’ll do right. Right, Phillip. So Hambrick handbrakes paraphrase there is that critical theory and Cultural Marxism will devour itself?
Karl Schudt 51:56
Yeah, it might. But what comes after?
Scott Hambrick 52:00
a smoking hot?
Karl Schudt 52:02
Yeah, look at top of 19 I’m gonna move this on like three pages. This in this 250 page book.
Scott Hambrick 52:08
We’re in the introduction. We haven’t got paid chapter one yet.
Karl Schudt 52:11
Yeah, it’s already in our in. Just a nice summary here. The whole paragraph is good. But the top of 19 Religious Man was born to be saved psychological man is born to be pleased. What the difference was established long ago when I believe the cry of the ascetic lost precedents to one feels the caveat of the therapeutic. So this is where he thinks we were in 1966. And we were for a long time. I don’t know that we’re still there.
Scott Hambrick 52:42
Oh, listen. I had this underlined as well. I mean, this this is a crucial passage, I think in the book, psychological man is born to be pleased therapeutic culture seeks to to serve that purpose to please the philosophic the psychological man. One feels we talk about all the time people talk about all the time the fields. It’s uncanny like I never nobody had even had a vocabulary for anything like the fields.
Karl Schudt 53:13
I can’t imagine my grandfather ever saying the word feel
Scott Hambrick 53:16
the fields. And here’s why it’s bad. John Wayne, I’m sure had Val had things that he held in high value in high esteem, that would move him to a emotional display from time to time. And that emotional display would be as a result of experiencing these things that he valued a great deal. Right, like the emotional outbursts or the emotional display had a direct relationship with what the man held to be high or low. Right, the murder of a child might make him cry, or to see a champion in take a victory lap after enormous effort and struggle, like maybe those things could make me cry. It’s not the fields, the fields is amorphous and doesn’t mean anything, these emotional outpourings when you talk about an utterance of the feels, it’s just an experiential thing. Like it’s just, it’s just emotional vomit law.
Karl Schudt 54:23
Imagine asking Julius Caesar. How do you feel?
Scott Hambrick 54:26
All these knives on my back feel like shit? No, I
Karl Schudt 54:30
mean before that, but Oh, there he is conquering Gaul, and you say So Julius, how do you feel? He would probably answer you. He would say we did really well against that tribe yesterday. Oh, can we accomplish this goal? I have a camp being built over there. And we’re building a bridge over there. Yeah, but how do you feel?
Scott Hambrick 54:51
Now see, I proposed just now that John Wayne would have emotional reactions to certain things. that he held an either very high or very low value. You just said. So what you’re saying, Carl, is that is that Cesar would not maybe would not have had the those reactions.
Karl Schudt 55:17
Well, he wouldn’t have, he might have, but he wouldn’t have, he wouldn’t have ever stopped. I don’t think he never did in the writing that I’ve read and say, Well, I feel, I don’t think the internal would be much of a direction for him.
Scott Hambrick 55:29
I agree. And I wonder, I wonder if the modern period that starts at, you know, I don’t know, the 1540s or something like that. started to change the way change people’s internal monologues like to change people’s own experience of themselves. I’ve heard and it might have been you who argued it, I think it Shakespeare’s fault. Yeah, like, his people would get up in front of the Groundlings at the Globe Theater, and model neuroticism for those fucking people. I mean, that’s what it is, To be or not to be on this hand wringing, like there’s virtuous action to be had or not had in front of you. And like, they get up there and model neuroticism for these people. And then they, you know, yeah, so you’re on the stage, there on the stage in front of all these people, which is like a social proof. And then you get any is the star of the show. And he just models neuroticism for all these people in in, in in London. And then the author of all this neuroticism is like, held in high regard. He’s famous. I mean, he’s, I mean, he’s the Shakespeare for crying out loud. I mean, it became a steam bubble to do that. And I think that Freud in his work changed the way the person experienced him or herself. He gave them a vocabulary that maybe we shouldn’t have ever had.
Karl Schudt 56:55
Fine, but But what Shakespeare would not have been, but Shakespeare would not have been esteemed as he was. Had the soil not been ready for it.
Scott Hambrick 57:12
Right, if the soil hadn’t been ready, though, his entire project would have seemed like schizophrenic babbling.
Karl Schudt 57:19
Yet you compare his stuff to the mystery place from 200 years before it’s completely different, right? You couldn’t put on Shakespeare in 1380.
Scott Hambrick 57:27
Right. Yeah, be read Chaucer. It’s not nothing at all the same. So you know, maybe didn’t cause it. Maybe didn’t cause it, but he legitimize it and modeled it. Stupid enlightenment