tv Os Guinness Last Call for Liberty CSPAN November 11, 2018 4:39pm-6:05pm EST
obama received and responded to while in office. then on booktv's afterwards program at 9:00 p.m., republican senator penn of nebraska, argues that the country elects lacks unity. he offers his thoughts on how to repair it. at 10:00 p.m., a former federal reserve examiner, goldman sachs, talks about her efforts to develop the close relationship between the federal reserve and the banks that it regulates. we wrap up our primetime program at 11:00 p.m. eastern, with winning historian joseph ellis. the political thinking of thomas jefferson, john adams, james madison and george washington and how they would assess current social and political issues. that all happens tonight on
c-span2 booktv. forty-eight hours of nonfiction authors and books, every weekend. television for serious readers. a reminder that this weekends. is available on our website, booktv.org. >> it's quieted down so nicely. good evening. trinity forum conversation featuring ozzie guinness, speaking on the idea of his new book, "last call for liberty". how america's genius for freedom has become its greatest threat. the president of the trinity forum. on the behalf of all of us involved, we are so delighted that you are here. we are also grateful to the anonymous yet very generous, donor who made tonight's event possible. we know this, hard to find a
space, if there are any of you still looking, perhaps no avail for a place to sit, there is plenty of sitting up on the docketing. if you just walk out the door, we have a whole army of interns who are eager to take you to the elevators to find a comfortable and spare seat in the balcony. do avail yourself of the opportunity. i would also like to welcome a few special guests who are here tonight with us. we have two trustees who come in from out of state and we are delighted to have them here. mike brennan who came in from columbia, sacramento. george clark, from houston, texas. thanks for doing us. we know there are a large number of people here tonight who are involved, the founding of the trinity forum. i will call you all by name but just wanted to give a shout out, thank you for coming back. we also have a large contingent from north carolina. if you are from north carolina, raise your hand. we are so glad to have you here. [applause] >> we've been delighted by the enthusiasm for tonight's event. we know there are many people who wanted to be here tonight and could not get in for one
reason or the other. if you are friends with those folks, let them know they can follow along via lifestream. it is going on even as we speak. they can access either by the trinity forum on youtube page, or our facebook page. they had their choice of social media there. i will also be hosting video within the next couple of days. c-span is covering as well. we'll have photos on our facebook page, tune in tomorrow, take your friends, i'd your comments. those of you who cannot tear yourself away from your twitter feed, we will -- we have two different high-stakes going on. # ptf tonight. # last call for the ready. for free to add your comments and opinions there. i also know there is a number of people where tonight is the first trinity forum event. if that is my view, and you are not familiar with the trinity forum, a little bit of background.
we exist to provide a space and resource for the discussion of lights -- life's greatest questions. we do this both by providing reading and publications which draw upon classic works of literature and letters that explore the enduring questions of life. and connect the timeless wisdom of the humanities with a timely issue of the day. as well programs such as this one tonight, which connects eating thinkers with thinking leaders. and engaging those big questions of life. ultimately, coming to better know the author of the answers. obviously, one of the great questions of life is how to order a just and free society. how such a system of ordered liberty can be sustained, protected and transmitted to a new generation. it's a question that has occupied our speaker tonight for many decades and been a focus of his life's work. it's a question that seems
particular urgent and even poignant to a time of curious them is a rise around the world. when a consensus about what freedom is and requires, it rapidly eroding. when the civic and relational bonds that have connected citizens across differences are rapidly dissolving. when the character traits and habits that were historically understood, to sustain and preserve freedom, are dismissed as pretentious or obstacle to action. when efforts to divide and antagonize, confuse or demonize seems to be rewarded with clicks, retweets, votes, likes, funding or celebrity status. in his new work, "last call for liberty", for which serves as his national book launch, our speaker tonight will argue there are two rival in irreconcilable
ideas of freedom that are increasingly pulling our country apart. they are headed for short on. he argues that in the midst of our growing political polarization, personal isolation and tribalism, in his words, the deepest division, is rooted in the differences between two world changing and opposing revolutions. the mark and revolution of 1776 and the french revolution of 1789. there rival views of freedom and the american experiment. understanding the differences between these views of humanist freedom is vital. as a necessary first step toward evaluating, safeguarding and transmitting a freedom that not only saves us from despotism but offers a common vision for the common good. and for human flourishing. it is by any measure, a fascinating and provocative argument. there are few who can make it the eloquent, energy or
expertise much less the elegant english accent. [laughter] as our speaker tonight, guinne guinness. [applause] os guinness. >> thank you, sherry. it's a real honor and i'm to larry to be back in this form. i speak as most of you know, as an englishman and as a visitor to this country, but a very strong admirer. i speak tonight out of a deep concern as i watch your country at the present moment. often been said that there are times when history in human decisions meet at a single point to dive the nation's fortunes. it was like that for rome and
caesar cross the river con. was like that for england, and they feel that to face the armada. it was like that for you when the first shots were fired at lexington. others would argue the accumulated consequences of many decades that really shaped the course of the nation. one could argue that today. i'm not sure which side to take. as i look at this country, i believe america is suffering its gravest crisis the civil war. as a deeply divided as any time, since just before the civil war. all this at a moment, when we can see the challenges globally. our western world and evident decline. the search for a new world
order, faltering. now people are talking global tinderbox. the world agenda, overwhelmed with problems. some of them unprecedented. if you look to us the future, we see what cs lewis called the master generation. the generation through genetic engineering and social engineering could have put a stamp on the whole human future without the consent of the future generations. through, as we now discuss, singularity, friends, humans and so on. at this very moment for the world, america so deeply divided. but what is the deepest cause of the division? why does it matter? as you know, we have many suggested, excavations. and how the round of left against right. the globalist, against the nationalist.
the coast lenders against the outlanders and many other explanations like that. one of our previous speakers here, speaks of a rich, white civil war. our next speaker here, talks about loneliness is the root problem in the country. i would argue that if you listen to the debates, as we look at the movements that are through america in the last 50 years, postmodernism, multiculturalism, tribal politics, social construction is him, sexual revolution, and on and on and on. you can see that these ideas have very little to do with 1776. everything to do with ideas that come from 1789 and its errors. i mean the french enlightenment behind 1789. and descendents of it.
from the 1920s antonio, writing from jail in italy. more recently, in new york in the 1960s. even more recently, the show. if we understand the ideas that they belong to our culture, you can see how many of the movements are closer. postmodernism, truth is dead. god is dead. all that is left is power. raw, naked power. you can see in many of the movements but also the incidents. the motion of persistence. the effects of kavanaugh hearing. one could go on. i believe the problem is best understood in the light of seeing the difference between those two views of the american republic and of freedom in particular. why is that important?
freedom is central for a very simple reason. nations are best understood, not by the size of the population but the strength of the army always would say today, the gmb or the missiles, they are best understood by what is called, love supremely. i've seen that, there is no question that both americans the central part of america is freedom. freedom. 1000 reasons supporting that and very obvious to you who are americans. but why has that gone so wrong? the haves and have-nots, conflict. sitting in jail, said marx was wrong.
we need to sharpen the analysis. the problem is not really a conflict of class but a conflict of culture. the real revolution would come by winning cultural hegemony. the hearts and minds of gatekeepers, the ruling class and then you can control the country. you can see the rise of new marxism, call it what you like. many times since then, they came in powerfully in the 1960s. many ways, martin luther king was the last to refer to the declaration as a promise promissory note. many move to, vietnam war movement, the rise of feminism. you see a very different view. somewhere around 1968, noting is exactly, that was the year when twitter, the leader of the germany, called for in the light
of risky, a long march through the institutions. fifty years later, precisely this year, you can see how much of the colleges and universiti universities, much of the press and media, much of the world of entertainment has actually been one to views that come from that side. of course, i mentioned the deepest divide since just before the civil war. that creates a very obvious difference from where we are today. in that time, you had a lincoln. he knew the evils that were facing the country and he fought for years against the modern evil and slavery. yet he fought against it in the light of his belief in the declaration and a better of the american nature.
i was in philadelphia couple of weeks ago and reminded of his two speeches there on his way to washington. elected president, he comes to philadelphia, the speech was prepared, off-the-cuff. he says in both of them, all these ideas came from the document that came from that building. the declaration. one of them, he finishes 137. may i not forget you jerusalem. he refers that love of the juice for the city to his love of the declaration and he picks up the sun and he says, may my right hand forget it's coming and my tongue cleave to the rest of my mouth. if i'm unfaithful, to the idea that came from this building. he even said as he hopes to turn the country around, if you feel, and is assassinated, it would be something worth drying up as we
know, was only a few years later, he was there again when his body lay. in philadelphia. if i may say so, we've put crisis we've seen during of the last of the years, i have really rarely ever heard an american leader today addressing the present crisis in the light of the founding vision. addressing the bettering angels of the american nature in the light of liberty and justice for all, that comes from the declaration. in other words, there is at the moment, nobody can like a visi vision, courage and leadership. no one will make america great again unless they ask what made it great in the first place. go far deeper than issues such as the economy, such as the
military. america is a nation by intention, and by ideas. unless there, they are restored in their understanding, you can see the inroads of ideas that come from the very different resolution. in other words, america today, is that a rubicon moment. when caesar stood there in front of that narrow rushing current in northern italy, the home roman fate stood on the hinge. when he crossed it, he was the first to use the word rhino, rome was now a republic in name only. for better or worse, caesar shifted to rome and the empire of the caesars. america is at that moment. the christian -- the question is, with a founding vision, the founding principles and all aiming for freedom, whether they
be restored or will they slowly be replaced as their eroded? that i believe, is the issue before the country. i call americans to a national conversation. a national town hall meeting which way do you want to go? 1776, restored? or 1789 and it says, replacement? a national conversation. i wrote earlier on freedom. in the debate to follow that, it was clear that while americans were interested in sustainable freedom, many never really asked what freedom actually is. so this book is a checklist, as an admiring visitor, a checklist of questions, ten of them, for americans to ask as to how they, on these basic questions all of
which touch on freedom. come out with a deeper understanding of what they were trying to do with their claws. when one comes out, going in the very different way. i would argue that the other w way, the other revolution is to -- disastrous for freedom. if we look at the major revolutions of the world, the english revolution, a field. the american revolution succeeded. then, the attorney, french in 1789, the russian 1917 and the chinese in 1949, which i was for most of the small boy, ten, to witness. the first two have a very distinctively different view of freedom. in fact, they go back to the scriptures.
english revolution failed but what was the losing cause in england, the loss caused they put it, between the winning clause and viewing it. each of those two, very, very different. from the other two, french, russian and chinese. yet, many of the ideas, particularly, the intelligence today, many of them unwitting. a closer to the ideas that come from outside, rather than from the american. the first question i race, the one i spoke master at the trinity forum. where does freedom come from? i put that in early because with the attacks on in the 60s another attacks in white privilege, there is no suggestion on what used to be historical, and place, much of the liberties were the ancient liberties of the english. and the history scene would be interested in that today. but the average american freedom come democracy.
but it didn't. it comes through the recogniti recognition, back to mount sinai. i think we need to explore how sinai and the exodus and the covenant made such a difference through the reservation and shaping the early understanding of this country. you have a very, very different view say that democracy. ..: : :
the history down parent is much subtler and more challenging a complex than not. and you can see the different views of freedom come out in very different places appeared in 1850s abraham lincoln that everyone talks about freedom but a main different things in the north and south and today there is other profound differences for now here in the greatest historian of freedom argues that the basic differences between those who see freedom as punishment to do what you like. and those who see freedom as the power to do what you would do many subtleties come out in our arguments in my styles today. i would stay to the discussion earlier. arguing about the differences freedom and positive freedom.
no one is free if they're under the constraint of the coercion of any external person or floors. whether it's colonial power or a bully or alcohol or appeared negative freedom is the beginning of freedom. that is certainly the preliminary and nearly half of freedom as argued is is, but it is also positive. it is freedom to be come a freedom for. that's more challenging because you need truth. you need to know the truth of who you are in order to be free to be who you are and of course that's where the differences come in and did a terrific else's turn out of of the window and the poster of world that freedom is never negative only and yet american freedom, much
of libertarian freedom is fairly negative. get the gunmen off my bank balance, off my body different sides say the purely a negative freedom and you can see the problems. negative freedom is unsustainable and runs into the license impulsiveness and never lasts. americans really need to look at the challenge of freedom, what it actually means and how it could be cultivated. the third question is have americans really faced up to the paradox of freedom? i'm sure all of us in town have been to the korean memorial, pondered the words freedom is not free. the brief, inspiring and poignant. obviously referring to the last full measure of devotion as lincoln called it for those who gave their lives for the freedom of the country.
the paradox of freedom is much more than i did not so memorable and simple. the greatest enemy of freedom is freedom. the greatest enemy of freedom is freedom. the whole history of civilizations into one hour from a free society is only come last five minutes. freedom is rare. freedom is fleeting. freedom is very rarely sustained. sometimes freedom becomes permissiveness becomes license becomes energy and rebounds one side into authoritarianism. sometimes freedom loving people solo freedom they want to be safe and secure and have so much security and surveillance, one nation under surveillance they are not free.
freedom loving people solo freedom will do anything to fight for freedom, including things that contradict freedom. you can go on down the line and see the ways that freedom undermines the gulf. freedom requires some restraint and you have to have change on appetite and desires. the only appropriate form of freedom is self-restraint. and you self-restraint when freedom flourishes and once again it becomes license and we can go on. or again in the great pointed out, freedom requires two things that people only think of one. freedom requires structures of freedom, the constitution, the law. you can lay those down for decades if not centuries. but that's only half of freedom. freedom requires the structures
of freedom. freedom requires this rewrite of freedom. and that has to be cultivated in every generation and passed down from generation to generation. if any fails and you don't have the spirit of freedom, eventually the structures of freedom will mean nothing. but the deepest part of the paradox is actually spiritual and psychological. there is a certain freedom in tierney in a certain tyranny and freedom. why? freedom requires responsibility. free people are responsible, but responsibility is tough, challenging and demanding it easier to be dependent on others, the government, whomever. you can see again and again that people give over their freedom for entitlements and various other forms of dependency and freedom. as the rabbis put it simply, liberation is not liberty.
arrest they put it otherwise, it took one day to get israel out of egypt. but it took 40 years and counting to get each of out of israel. and you can see they are grumbling. their desire to go back. their hunger for other gods rather than the lord. liberation was one thing. liberty was another liberty rather like the 10,000 other principal demands discipline in the long obedience in the same direction and you can see the paradox that simply. america is the land of the free. but from europe people say why do you have more addiction, the opioid crisis, more recovery groups than any other land in the modern world? clearly you're freedom area to area has become obsessions, addictions, bondage is.
americans are not as free as they say they are. and one could go on. one of the issues i raised in sunday and no i would do this one is the whole question of freedom and diversity. i had the privilege of watching my first ideas under the wonderful leadership with us tonight. religious freedom, freedom of religion and conscience. i was involved in later the global charter of conscience in europe and in a few weeks you'll see the american charter of freedom of religion conscience launched here at the national archives. but 30 years ago this year for the freedom restoration act come you had extraordinary consensus. it is sad to say that there's been a bigger sea change on religious freedom in the last 20 years than in all the previous
300 years in america put together. i call them the three dark hours. the reducers. those who now talk of religious freedom, which james madison called free exercise in the universal declaration of human rights described as the right to adopt and practice and share and change your views if you start thinking of each of those. incredible implications. all sorts of things. but now it is reduced to freedom of worship and even the previous president in one of the secretaries of state for a year talked only of freedom of worship. any of you know the world, every self-respecting dictator has freedom to worship. whatever you think between your two years you have to firmly shut and stay in your home become freedom of worship.
that is not what the first amendment demands and those who are shrinking in this way are doing so is a monstrous injustice to the greatness of american history. the second dark art are the removers. particularly in the light of 9/11, so many of those who are atheist and now we see the ugly face of religion we could remove it from public life altogether. there had been even earlier strip separationists. some of the aclu, some american united and so on. the american revolution is very different from the first amendment from the french revolution, but increasingly for many people now, freedom has become freedom from religion, not religious freedom as freedom for religion including acs. it's the third dark r that is
the problematic one and i call to rebrand errors. back to the revolution, again and again the framers top of civil liberty and religious liberty between government. now it's being reprinted from being america's first liberty which the framers called it to being a code word for bigotry and discrimination. the logic of this doesn't just undermine religious freedom, which is bad enough. it undermines the right to dissent and it undermines the right to conscientious objection. many profound things in this new idea. the removers comer reversers the removers comer reversers and rebrand her spirit and 20 short years, this country which had a better record than any country in history on religious freedom is now in the same turmoil that much of the rest of the world is
to me profoundly sad and sometimes outrageous whether it's sorrow or anger of some of the appalling arguments that i see. where does this leave us? on one hand -- excuse me, i've been fighting a chest infection no week. on the one hand, certain things are obviously required. i would argue we need a leader on the level of the lincoln with courage, with a sense of historical perspective who is able to address the current problems which are here. but in the light of the better angels of the american nature. my wife and i pray daily that god will raise up such a person. at another level, we need a
restoration of civic education, of transmission, so that all the first things of the american experiment are alive and vibrant in every generation. and of course you can see how the influence of multiculturalism from 1905 chorus: originally rather despised and attacked by people like john dewey and walter lippman didn't really flourish until the 1970s but then became the reigning ideology of an under its influence in things like tribal politics, civic education went out the window. but then of course the public schools which were not just free universal education, the free universal education that taught the first things that the american experiment no longer did. but in terms of the original motto, e pluribus unum.
all you had left was the poor bess in the balkanization bonobo gnome. people given a scrap of paper could write maybe 10 or 121st principles of all americans whatever their background or religious, linguistic, cultural whatever would agree of. i've actually tested some ceos today in some college students and very few except in the good colleges can get much beyond one or two. it is no longer there. i listen to the immigration debate for 30 years. now people are talking walls and sanctuary cities. hardly anyone talks about civic education and what it means for every new generation every new immigrant to learn what it is to be american peace in the hunting used to say it's relatively easy to become an american.
increasingly to know what it is to be american in those first principles are increasingly gone. at a third level altogether, we need a new openness for freedom in public life. whether it's freedom of speech, think of the campuses where freedom of religion as i was saying. without that, the very vitality of freedom will eventually wither. the great scholar daniel allis art who put the notion of covenant and constitution on the map. in one of his later reflections, he pointed out that covenants come from the middle east and the culture of what he called oecd's. and then he said, and what makes hanaway says luxuriant, large and lasting. one thing only. the wellspring of his heart.
and if the wellsprings of faith and freedom go, no talk of freedom and no amount of the constitution will eventually keep freedom flourishing. so certain things are relatively obvious that need to be done as part of this restoration. at the same time as we look at this rubicon moment in the light of history, and you can see the incredible warnings of history. caesar addressed us thought that he created a permanent republic, imperial republic there was. that is why rome has got the title the eternal city. was the system eternal? no. we look at the genius of the american founders. they believe across the board you could create a free society
that could stay free forever. never been done, but they believe they have the way. very few americans today could even tell you the system they created to keep it sustainable. and while they neglected it attack to come in no one's tried to put something better in its place, which means freedom is unlikely to last in the warnings of history with corrupted freedom are sobering. you know the old classical singing, the worst is the corruption of the best. it's a matter of profound soberness to europeans that it was her best educated, most cultured, most tightly civilized country with philosophers and musicians like beethoven produced the holocaust.
the worst is the corruption of the best. i would just say to you there are things happening your country today which for those who love this country, is this the america we've known? these things are unrecognizable and were just seeing the beginning of some of these ideas working out to. and if you know the history of the polyp and you should war come out one of the side issues as the state of the little city state on the island of koh feel. you can see that some of the things happening this very decade are the things that happened fair, for example, when people didn't accept democratic elections, undermine legitimacy in reaction people criminalize the little differences and others fought back with fire against fire and eventually the little city state was reduced to
nothing. you can see how much of our liberal left today are following patterns which have brought distraction on previous countries and civilization. so let me finish with a plea to you. a personal plea. as i said, i'm not american. i love my american wife and i have a son who's heart in half. [laughter] i love this country very deeply. my concern is that just for freedom today for you. yes, but your experiment is a titanic significance in history. this is the longest running public tutorial of freedom in all human history. countries and civilizations rise
and prosper through the ingenuity of their freedom. and at the same time, countries and civilizations decline and fall through the and corruption of their freedom. and america is facing this question, will it restore the realism and the balance of the original freedom, understanding the flaws that have to be recognized and addressed or will it go another way and destroy that freedom altogether. i had no idea what was going to happen. such is the very nature of freedom that you can never plumb people's motives for why they act or the wonderful thing about the biblical view of freedom which incidentally is unique to jewish and christian spirit you don't find freedom in egyptians or the babylonians.
you don't even find freedom from the greeks. everything was finally fate. and then he put it very soberly today. you don't find freedom among the secularist philosophers. spinoza, marx, freud, jamie watson, bf skinner, bono and move right down to the new atheist such as sam harris. what is freedom he says? the very front cover of his book is of a puppet on strings. you cannot use naturalistic science alone to give a grounding for freedom. freedom is actually unique to the jewish and christian scriptures. freedom being what it is weak it is we can other plumb each other's motives and apartments in the forecasters will never, ever appeal to close the circle
with certainty and say what's going to happen. it depends on us. i would say to you in mind of where we are today, the choice is yours. will this great american story, this great american journey, this great american quest for a free, just society that can stay free p. finished in this generation because people gave up on the founding principles or will there be enough to have the courage to explore and stand against it with all the challenges we have in the universities and any other places today. the choice is yours and so also will be the consequences. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you for that. we'll have a brief moderated conversation here before turning it over to the most dynamic part of her evening conversation which is hearing from the audience. before we do that, flesh out a few of the points you made a little bit more and wanted to ask you about some of the solutions you propose. one of which was yearning for a lincoln like leader. of course, some of the challenges our leaders have now are structural and technological and different things are rewarded now than they were in lincoln's day. it is not that a politician no longer gives talks about civic education for the better angels of our nature, but more likely, none of them are ever covered in what seems to get more attention , more like, more press coverage is that which is either
trivial or pointed, argumentative and polarizing. what advice would you have for leaders who wish very much to rally americans for the better angels of our nature, but also face the very real constraints of needing to raise money coming to get attention and to get elected. >> i understand what you're saying and obviously that is why president trump uses twitter to leap over the media. i remember i had the privilege of being a member of white houses and went to camp david, president clinton saying he loved the state of the union because that was the only time in the air where he spoke directly to the people not mediated by the media and all the pundits and so on so i understand all that. i have to say have to say one of her wonderful talks on civic education, things like this,
churchill was seasoned with history. most every great speech he gave had an historical perspective to it. without mentioning names i can think of two people in her 30 years here who've had the sense of history as addressing the present problems. it's a rare thing and i don't think all of them are capable of it. we need a leader like that. >> one of the other in a dusty suggested was a restoration that involve civic education, but also an author you quicker be duping in your book is robert ella and the habits of the heart. [inaudible] >> yes, a book titled by that name. which of the habits of the heart do you believe are most important for sustaining freedom? and which would you most recommend to members of her audience thinking about practical ways we can help
sustain freedom in their own communities? >> i think a whole number -- the foundations have so deeply gone in the habits of the heart have got to go right down to the basics today. notions such as truth, integrity, what we mean by word, trusted them about the human dignity, freedom, justice, what do these things mean? many become clichés and many become very hollow clichés. i made a rather different number of things, the rule of law, freedom of conscience, separation of powers, things like that. so it should include an appreciation of those, and i'm thinking of things that are crucial to independence.
that is at the heart of the scripture. and the responsibility or irresponsibility so adam, the one you gave me working, and my brother's keeper, each of them is sliding off a responsibility. so to bring up children today to be responsible and know what that means, that's one of the habits of the higher. >> another one you mention in the book is the importance of making and keeping promises to freedom. i was hoping you could tell us a little bit more about why ordinary human commitments are so important to sustain freedom. >> if you think families depend on trust, business depends on trust, government depends on trust and all of them are doing badly. people make that rather vague. if you think i'll see you at
11:00 tomorrow or you say to let's have lunch next tuesday, if i don't turn up or you don't turn up three times in a row, you are not predictable. you are not trustworthy. and actually, the simplest things in life depend on trust and commitment and keeping promises. that's highly controversial. machiavelli threw it out the window, you know, yesterday absolutely unbinding and what it is today. think of politics now in the postmodern world where again and again i'm not going to mention names but you see people 20 years ago this, today something completely different. they just don't keep their word here how can you trust them? that is very important. nature is rather more torn. of course he believed in an autonomous individual. he said the human and animal entitled to keep promises, the trouble is we don't. that's a very biblical view of the notion of covenant is a
promise keeping. but the lord keeps his word. humans don't. that's the problem, weakness of constitutionalism and so on. i would argue even the kneeling controversy i don't get too political, but think of the difference in kaepernick and martin luther king. for martin luther king, the declaration was a promissory note symbolized the flag, enshrined in the pledge, et cetera comment letter, with any disrespect to that is actually disrespect to the promissory note. so i say what revolution are they looking to come and not to the american revolution if you disrespect it. they misunderstood what it is. we should be challenging them. yes, there is injustice. the injustice has to be remedied. if you believe in the declaration you have for douglas booker t. washington, they hated
slavery and all they were worth, but they believed in the declaration as the standard through which it could be finally remedy. that's the difference with much of the hard left today. >> you mentioned martin luther king junior and the promissory note in one of the tensions are book explores that at one point a key feature of the difference between the two types of revolutions was the insistence to change takes time and transformation requires patience. i believe was the same speech for martin luther king talks about the promissory note that he also talks about the fierce urgency of now and the fact that justice delayed is justice denied. how do you balance those two competing ideas the real change takes time with the recognition that there can be a body count to a lack of justice extended. >> if you look at the history of revolution, the other three, the french, russian, chinese were all utopian.
he was a pilot. he just had to break a few eggs to make the omelette and that sort of thing. the possibility of change was a gap between reality and the ideal and is always filled with coercion. and it leads to violence. of course that's where martin luther king was a pacifist. he would not take the violent than not is the difference between them and those who followed him who are impatient. you can say go back in the less controversial thing in a lloyd douglas. i'm sorry, william lloyd garrison. attack as an incrementalist. you had to do it step-by-step because change has to take place in the human heart. william lloyd garrison was all or nothing constitution with all of that. he actually inflamed the south even more by the extremism of
his rhetoric. as soon as people are utopian, got it all now, they would eventually take two extremists and violent means and not as disastrous. >> the paradoxical freedom you mentioned is an idea that has been echoed by some in talking about liberalism itself, liberal democracy that essentially contains the seed to the self-destruction. as you know there have been an increasing number of intellectuals and perhaps particularly conservative intellectuals who have predictive liberalism perhaps by extension freedom has already failed. do you agree with them? >> no. [laughter] >> thinking of some of our friends. and with a generally come out of the reformation background. they come out of a different one and they try and say that american freedom owes all of that to the in the medieval world.
it didn't. put it like this, undeclared room christian officially, historians say they copied greek ideas uncritically and they copied roman structures uncritically. the structures were from hierarchical and you had the pope and all that. lord acton the catholic was the one that all power tends to corrupt. in the context of that was a criticism of his own church because when heretical power is corrupted, it becomes corrupted. the reformation not immediately abandon not there is a very different view of freedom. so you look at burke's defense of the american columnist.
he called them the dissenters of dissent or the protestants of protestantism and the american freedom does almost everything and that's where i differ from some of those. the biblical view of freedom is tough. you have to follow a way of life to be free. lord chooses have neither there is no truth will set you free. postmodernism, there is no truth. he would table that a lot of freedom. we will produce chaos. follow the truth in the way of life to really be free. board molten freedom is obedience to the unenforceable. as soon as you need external restraint to let three. >> so for the last half-hour of her evening conversation will turn to the most dynamic part of this event, which is to hear from you all in the audience. those of you who have been to an
event before know that we have three guidelines for all audience questions and that we simply ask all questions be brief, all questions be civil and all questions be in the form of a question. you can set. that's fine, too. we will have two different microphones roaming around. which i've called on you. we've got a person right here. >> hi, carl garvin. a process to violate all your rules by laying the foundation for a question. may i.? >> i'm sorry? >> may violate labor rules by laying a foundation for a question? >> we would ask that you not. [laughter]
>> you mention the opioid crisis then i would ask in the mid-1800s the british made war upon china to compile the importation of opium to generate revenue for the crown. hong kong had freeport and i don't know when it ever announced but today the u.s. troops guard the poppies fields in afghanistan and all this air is traceable back to the corruption of the monetary unit. the bank of england of course inflated its currency beyond the amount of gold for economic activity and is persuaded to do the same for the federal reserve. which results in dishonest weights and measures and i would just. i digress.
do not need an honest unit of account in order to have peace among the nations. >> i think they open opium more impressed by the british is one of fire major national evils. my grandfather was one of the first surgeons in china penetrated the last emperor and so on. my grandfather's sister actually whacked her finger in the face of queen victoria and told the queen it was a sin. i'm proud and grateful to say her brother fought against king leopold of belgium where you had some of the most tremendous oppressions and european colonialism. so these things are evil and they are scandals and send them to real blot on the character of british history. i don't make any bones about it.
>> another question right over here. >> hello. i am jason turner. i've noticed that americans over the past decade or so have increasingly, rather than think of themselves as servants do anything about them, their country, their religion are increasingly self-confident that their own views and their own personality dominates external institutions. can you comment on that? >> i accept your comment. in other words, freedom can very easily become a good or a bad form of autonomy. i said it was obedience to the unprofitable. those who are truly free, are
self-governing, that can easily become autonomy that becomes arrogant, conceited and so on and that's often the overspill. where you look at the western civilization were generally. if you look at the last and surely century, there's all different type of humanism. the dominant 18th century con is sad, man is come of age. now directing our own evolution. but that failed. think of the book voltaire's. how many enlightenment that those were racist in their ideas produced moderate anti-summit says, et cetera, et cetera. you've got a reaction against that which is called post-humanism. that humanism was male chauvinist, two european, to whatever and people reputed it all. and then you have a reaction against that for so-called post-humanism in the direction of the animal world where we are
one with animals. and now, the future is holding out trans-humanism, which is humanism understood in all the enhancements of technology. humanism itself and is secular forms is a very and cable thing and christians would understand it. humans are made free, but we can over it, corrupt, misuse, abuse our freedom and all sorts of ways and americans have suddenly done that in times. >> look for a question over on the side. monday, if you could stand up on the microphone comes to you. that would be great. >> your comment as always are great and significant. thank you. you know what factories and believe that in the last 30 years the decline of character in our country and the ideals of liberty from 1776 has been of
this nature and yet we have an economic engine that has been of this nature. our stock market is at its highest level ever. can you help us understand how that part of our economy seems blind or uncaring of the character and liberty declined to which you speak. >> you can equally say the same about technology as well as economics. in other words, the enlightenment idea was the economy would flourish and moral progress would flourish. technology was advanced and moral progress would advance. most people would say today that they've become untethered. now, take the economy. obviously capitalism is the greatest engine of wealth creation in all history. what you see in the bible say in the covenantal system you have to reinsert, reinject notions of justice and equality of liberty ever so often are the
differences and inequalities get huge or in huge her. if you read the latest stuff in silicon valley or m.i.t., late three-point out argues when we are moving to artificial super intelligent, the gaps we think today between the poor and jeff bezos, which are pretty significant or the gaps between workers and ceos which in america are all proportion, when you move towards artificial super intelligent is going to be through the ceiling altogether. in other words, we are going to increase to this incredible progress technologically and economically, increased inequalities potential injustice and as soon as you have any quality have any qualities of a swing towards various ways of tackling injustice and you'll have a swing towards the left. unless there is a reinsertion and that's what you see in the bible.
the sabah in the seven years in the seven times seven years and so on you see what was intended to do in the midst of these things to stop inequalities. you've got to think through things like that. not enough redistribution of socialists and, but injecting justice and responsibility in generosity back into the system. i do want to harp on my family, but when the founder of our family came to faith, arthur guinness, he came to faith or john wesley, the great methodist preacher who makes such a difference here which is the american revolution. earn what you can, say what you can, give all you can. my ancestors built that into the brewery and for better or worse became ireland's most successful philanthropists and tell doing
it anonymously talking out your left hand in which a write-in doing and so on because in the early days they were completely committed christians doing now. whatever it is, you've got to rebalance the system because capitalism is so powerful that if we just let it run away without ethical boundaries, it will be ruinous to itself. >> in the back there. >> all i can see is a silhouette i'm afraid. >> it's your neighbor, dennis. >> your book puts a great story in accidents in the great definition. what is it duty or argument that most biblical scholars today, most historians, most archaeologists view the exodus
as a myth that it ever really happened? >> you and i have had many discussions in good glasses of wine. wednesday eight teen century, you can see in the christian church and somewhat in judaism, to, scholarship that's skeptical, under warning historical reliability and so on. at the same time today i would say the best scholarship is showing the reliability of, the historicity and the implications of it. i could give you great scholars who have a different view and good scholarship can show you
the historicity and reliability of attacks. that is the sort of thinking. jenny and i hadn't had the portage of being at oxford. my fellow stood and was anti-right. tom wright. he is the premier scholar in the world on first century in terms of the tax of the bible. he shown these things can be trusted in the point is that someone has a live-in examine faith. we are seeking our entire existence on not and i've been a follower of jesus for more than 50 years. i've grown up in the east of the buddhist culture being back to china many times and it's secular culture. i studied under a guru. i've know many of the great
atheist of this road including by the murray o'hare and russell. the deeper i go the more convinced i am not only of the truth of the christian faith but a profound adequacy when you look at the way it's deep foundational principles make all the difference where we are today. so i think we could give you stuff to show you the exodus are the gospels can be really understood after investigation is solidly reliable. but you're right, that is the key question. >> there's a question in the back row there. >> thank you for an absolutely fantastic presentation. i am always bowled over by your comments. i would like to give just one small suggestion for actualizing some of the brilliant ideas do
you have demonstrated today. every liberal asked a conservative for dinner one night and perhaps following your notion. >> cannibal style. >> with fava beans. and had perhaps a religious intermediary to just be there to moderate. that would go a long way to bringing the country together and healing. we think of that idea? >> terrific. in other words, all of us are small people and we start with their families and neighbors and communities, places we were. but at the end of the day most of us, extraordinarily powerful people and all were responsible for is to be the people we should be among the people that we meet.
and so i'm a writer, so occasionally read by some people, but were all responsible for our world. if you think of your world and wendy are standing for whatever it is you want to stand, intelligently and thoughtfully and so on. with many people hostile and indifferent. this is a matter of persuasion. the first task is not to be so explicit. i believe this and i'll make you understand -- no. it is to raise questions because ideas that are not good, ideas that are not true at the end of the day of problems in them as you push people to say what they believe and how problems, their heads hit the wall may start to rethink. in our culture you read camille paglia arguing in some of the crazies in the later way feminists. they are fighting among themselves because you can see
the implication of some of these things. some of the extremes of the world by producing a psychological confusion of many other things which will be a harvest in the future. but by raising questions come is this what you believe and what about that and so on, become great question oscars. i was the subversiveness of socrates. and of course that's the subversiveness of jesus when he was asking questions. and we should be question oscars, not just if you say we believe. by probing peoples ideas so they see the problems and what they're advocating. yes, we are all responsible only in the circles that we move in. your ideas a great one. >> there. jeannie dominic if you could stand for the microphone. >> the same as social media. we respect truth. we respect people.
we never defend to the name-calling, for example. one of the toughest thing is jesus of nazareth ever said was love your enemies. do that in the present-day climate is tough. we've got to do that. >> hi, i really appreciated your comments about how we need to be free to do what we ought. it is a motto of charlotte mason, who i really admired. i just wonder how you think the education them in the u.s. can contribute to that. i think it is kind of left undone and what are your thoughts about how our public system can contribute. >> i don't want to stray too far. it's on the world i'm an expert in any way. i went to an english school and was taught to think, to write, to appreciate the classics, to know greek and roman history and
things like that. when i was a boy, teenager, british empire was in it last gasp. one of the things is common to us where he was. we read five newspapers a day. we were interested in was happening in africa or malaysia, whatever it was. which is part of the way i was born not. i thought it was natural. now a social media i do want to speak on the younger generation at the social media and internet, many people don't read books which is a great repository of wisdom. i was earlier referring to the public schools in the very significant role they had in passing on the american and am. that's all i was referring to. but i equally know the public education in this country is a graveyard of many idealists. i'm not going to wander into that one. [laughter] >> we will take tumor questions. john gardner, if you could
stand. >> thank you. as you have said postmodernists deny the opportunity of truth. so a bit to the earlier question, what suggestions do you have for having this national conversation if it seems there is disagreement about first principles such as whether there is truth and what is the desirable outcome. >> truth and aspects are both controversial, but they're both absolutely irrepressible. you cannot think and argue for a very long without truth. a great discipline like journalism were moved truth. or something like science just collapses without truth, whether notions of whether the scientific investigation of touching the real world takes the difference between the west and hinduism over reality or
peer review. many of the things that are absolutely critical to our world assume and require truth. so even people who deny truth will sooner or later talk in ways that express truth. you can't get away from truth. nor can you get away from ethics and morality. some say you ought, you shouldn't, whatever within seconds. the grounding of what they're saying in the different views of that is the real issue today. not the slightest bit worried that truth itself will disappear. no one is hurt by postmodernism more than the postmodernists. everything is then power. in an earlier book i told a story of picasso. a monster of a man. one mistress said he would a yesterday was the devouring ego.
his friend called him the monster. and picasso predicted that when he died lots of those around him would go down as they were with the titanic and certainly several of them committed suicide after he left. if you look at the terrible story of all his relationships, there's one person who survived well. one of his mistress, françois julio younger than pablo, but she says every day living with pablo i had to put on like joan of arc, the honor of truth. if you have truth, not just power, you can't be manipulated. one word of truth outweighs the entire world. so i have no fear. but we who are people of the book have a solid view of church. and so against all the dangers of our postmodern world, we will not be manipulated.
we will will not give into power or whatever truth addresses power and without it for in the world, that at the end of the day, no one can live with the truth or moral values. it's literally impossible. truth is written into the universe. moral intuitions are written into our hearts. >> our last question of the evening. many hands are up. will go right over here. >> dennis ally. you mention that the structural part of our society and the spiritual part of our society in the virtual part is sometimes hard to debate or hard to discuss. and i think of collations i think of acts of the flash and the fruits of the spirit, self-control is one of those fruits. can you give me a couple examples in the const duchenne where our framers gave us the
structure to rely on that obedience at the unenforceable, which comes out of the spirit. >> the chapter in this book on sustainable freedom, how did the framers think you could create a free society that could stay free forever. in other words, the revolution one freedom. the constitution ordered freedom. the french won it, chinese run it. none of them ordered it. their revolution inspired down to demonic disorder. the third part, how you keep it, sustaining it. then franklin, if you can keep it. tocqueville calls that system the habits of the heart. he taught about structures in. not spiritual. spirit akin to freedom. the framers didn't give the word to their system.
so my word was the golden triangle of freedom. you can be right across the board whether george mason, anglican believer or say then franklin and so on the other side all believed in these things. there's a trio. freedom requires virtue. virtue requires faith of some sort and fate of any sort requires freedom. like the recycling triangle goes round and round. which requires virtue, better. you can unpack each of those only a virtuous people john adams says capable of freedom. today that's become good. for them and included honesty, loyalty, patriotism and above all character, because of those values.
character. i have a gun in front of me, but john adams loves words like inalienable, indefeasible, but there is one sentence where you put them all together. you read it and think of the movie have to freedom, right? nope. indefeasible right of the people to know the character of their leader. if you think character is the bridge between followers and leaders, followers will never know what a leader is making his or her decisions. if they can trust the character they trust the leader in the dark. equally, some leaders are so powerful virtually nothing except character. if you look at the history of american presidents, character is often the crucial flaw. take the nixon nixon presidency was nixon's insecurity, whatever, you start to see the problems they grow. it's always coming out of character. now that is rejected totally
today. you remember in the clinton impeachment of famous lesson in your times by various scholars say the character doesn't matter. for the modern president what matters is competence, not character. and you see if you undermine, of course the virtues undermine freedom of religions undermine, to. ..
for our university florist and they said america is like that and then go on to say what those things were and i think we can do that. that's what i meant by the first principles and they've got to be impacted and i'm a huge admirer of the real thing. of course but i didn't stress tonight, the declaration did give that and the constitution enshrined the three fifths clause. those that are yielding about freedom are the drivers of slaves.
being sexist, racist, militaristic and the hegemonic and all sorts of nasty things they no longer believe in the american experiment as the founders set it up and it's not only a tragedy for you today, it is a tragedy for human history and the uniqueness of what was attempted here. now it looks as if you are giving it up. [applause]
the woman with the gold truth was ingrained at a rally for obama in 2007. obama was looking out at the emptiness as if on cue, the people around her repeated her words and began to chant and in an instant it went from dismal to glorious. it shows you what one voice can do and that one voice can change your own said at a campaign rally recounting the story and if a voice can change a room it can change a city.