commentary: Mightier Than the Sword (Part Nine)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 25-Jul-15; Sermon #1278c; 13 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, while agreeing that philosophers may not be as well-known as movie stars, rock stars, or athletes, asserts that philosophers in academia have had a greater influence on our thoughts, as well as on the precarious turns our culture has taken. When the works of academic philosophers come in contact with political movers and shakers, they wreak havoc on liberty and morality, exalting the state over the family, removing God from the equation altogether. Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, following in the self-centered, sociopathic teachings of Rousseau, ushered in the radically, politically left-wing progressives (called the Jacobins), bringing in a reign of terror using the guillotine and vindictively slaughtering all 'dissidents.' Rousseau's and Robespierre's philosophies encouraged abortion, the destruction of the family, and the ascendancy of the state. Even though mass abortion is higher in Russia and China, American leftist liberal secular 'progressives' have murdered (in the name of 'women's' rights) 60 million children, far outstripping the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin and Pol Pat combined.
I want to remind you of what I am doing in these commentaries because they tend to be dry compared to a movie, a concert, or a game. I am giving you an ever so brief overview of information the overwhelming majority of you have never been introduced to.
I am certain I am introducing you to men whose thoughts have touched very heavily on your life, even though in some cases you've never even heard of them. They were not entertainers who seem to attract our attention very easily because they provide us with fun. Entertainers, though, contribute virtually nothing of up-building character and well-being of this or any other nation. At the most, all they do is reflect what is already there.
By way of very vivid contrast, the men whose names I have given you have been used to shape the world that you live in. Not merely we in the United States of America, but at the very least, the entire Western world, consisting of around 500 million people at this present time. And perhaps several times that figure if one factors in the over 500-600 years or so I am lightly covering.
These men were all academics and called by the world by the title, "philosopher." A philosopher is an academic who studies into the causes and laws underlying our reality. They then produce treatises, advising us on the ways we should live to achieve the most in our little slice of reality.
A treatise is a systematic and usually extensive discourse on a topic. Regarding philosophers, we are all at least somewhat familiar with the names of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, and perhaps others as well. But what of modern philosophers? Are we familiar with any of them?
Philosophers are never really popular figures like an entertainer because what they think and write on is of little interest to most people. But all that must occur is that some small number among the leadership of a nation do tune in and make use of what those men say.
Philosophers have left us records of their thoughts. When a philosopher writes, he is hoping to first attract the attention and admiration of other philosophers. He wants to be a mover and shaker in the academic world by stirring fellow academics' minds. Sometime they accomplish that. At other times, they stir anger in other philosophers, who then challenge their conclusions.
But all too often, their writing attracts the attention of movers and shakers in entirely different occupations. And those movers and shakers devise what they would consider as practical applications to what they hope to achieve in their field of endeavor.
This is what happened with Jean-Jacques Rousseau in spades. His concepts found a home with civic leaders and revolutionaries who desired changes in government, to other social arrangements that afforded them far greater power to control the masses. In fact, these leaders ultimately sought to control virtually everything in community life.
You may not be familiar with Maximillien de Robsespierre. But he will serve as an example of the fruits of Rousseau’s thoughts. Robespierre was fervently devoted to Rousseau’s ideas. He was intrigued by Rousseau’s idea regarding a virtuous man who stands alone accompanied only by his own conscience. The virtuous person does not have to answer to God because there is none (according to Rousseau), and he doesn’t have to answer to other persons because they, too, stand alone.
Rousseau died in 1785. By that time, Robespierre, who was much younger, was already involved in civic life and beginning to rise in influence. When Rousseau died, Robespierre was a middle-level administrator in a political party called the Jacobins. Then the French Revolution began in 1789.
The Jacobin’s were described in one biography of Robespierre as (you ought to be familiar with this) a radical, politically active left-wing organization. They were also described as “Progressives.” As the revolution progressed, Robespierre began a rapid rise in his influence in Jacobin party matters. He became a member of the Jacobin’s ruling clique and it wasn’t long before he was recognized as that clique’s major influence concerning party policies. The Jacobins were a strong influence in that period of the French Revolution given the name, “The Reign of Terror.” This is that period that serves as the central setting in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Monsieur Guillotine was operating publicly on a daily basis as the masses of revolutionaries were taking their vengeance on those they considered overbearing elitists.
Robespierre was heavily influencing this murderous activity. But he was not admired by all, even within the Jacobin organization, for his rigid, aggressively vindictive ways, and turmoil ensued at their Board of Director’s meetings. Robespierre was violently dismissed and imprisoned, but escaped with the help of an admiring jailer. However, he was quickly recaptured, tried, and sentenced to death by his own former Jacobin members. He was publicly put to death by Monsieur Guillotine’s blade in the summer of 1794. His power had expended itself, even using Rousseau's methods.
Ironically, Robespierre’s activity played a major influencing role in Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power less than a decade later, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen caught in Napoleon’s aggressive military expansionism. Napoleon, too, followed the same general pattern Rousseau outlined in his writings. He made it abundantly clear he didn’t have to answer to God. When he was about to be crowned emperor by the pope, he snatched the crown from the pope’s hands and crowned himself emperor, a la Rousseau. He, the virtuous man (Napoleon), stood alone, not answering to anyone.
This is what the fruits Rousseau’s concepts make clear. If followed, regardless of where and by whom they are used, they invariably produce an enslaved populous held so by a murderous Satanic leadership.
Listen carefully: Mass abortion is a direct result of Rousseau’s thinking. Did you hear what I said? It is a direct result of Rousseau’s thinking. Even as Rousseau abandoned his newborn children on the orphanage's steps, abortion on demand is now a mother's "right." That is exactly the way Rousseau thought. Rousseau’s concepts eventually filter down to the man on the street. Even as the governmental leader doesn’t have to answer for the deaths of the citizenry (like Napoleon), neither does the mother have to answer for the baby’s abortion. She stands alone, separated, not responsible for the life growing within her.
I just read this week the abortion total in the United States of America is now over 60 million murdered children by people who "stand alone" and [deem themselves] not responsible. It is far higher in Russia and China, two more socialist nations. Rousseau’s concepts destroy the family while they enlarge the concepts of governmental control.
In socialism, life belongs to the State, not to God, not to the family, nor even to the individual.