This is an illustration of C.S Lewis’ introductory talk of the third radio series called ‘Christian Behaviour’. This became Chapter 1 of Book 3, in the book called ‘Mere Christianity’…
You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christiani…
(0:01) This series was not aired on ‘The Home Service” frequency as the previous ten talks, but the “For the [Armed] Forced” frequency, so it encompassed a lot more soldiers, sailors and airmen (although civilian listened to this station also) and Lewis deliberately uses more military themes to help his audience.
(4:48) This broadcast was made during the height of the Battle of the Atlantic (July 1942 – May 1943). Individual cargo ships were being attacked by Nazi submarines and needed to travel in guarded convoys to enable Britain’s survival. At this time convoys were carrying food and military supplies to Britain from the U.S., which enabled Britain to continue to fight the war. Churchill would later write: “…the only thing that ever frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”. Lewis’ use of a convoy illustration was particularly pertinent to listeners at that time.
(1:03) Huge numbers of workers were involved in engineering during the war, so this was a particularly apt example for the vast majority of people.
(8:28) “Crazy old [bath]tubs”. In September 1940 the British, militarily unprepared, under blockade from the Nazis and desperate to maintain supplies, had to run the gantlet of the Atlantic ocean, but did so in large conveys protected by submarine destroyers. Britain signed a bases deal with the U.S. for 50 incorrectly mothballed WW1 Destroyers, only 9 of which were functional by year end (the U.S. military kindly packed them full of essential military supplies which was usually illegal under neutrality legislation). Not that Britain was ungrateful for the rather unfavourable deal – this was the crucial first deal that would lead to the Anglo-American Pact that supported Britain financially and militarily, and enabled the waging of war (although the U.S. public and military were strongly supportive of the U.K, the U.S. Government lagged behind and were ‘remote and indifferent’ or downright skeptical of British survival). The U.S. would overtake Britain militarily for the first time during WW2, and became the world’s foremost superpower.
(8:01) You can find international examples of the same Moral Law in numerous cultures and times in the appendix to the booklet ‘The Abolition of Man’. The examples are broken down as follows:
1. The moral duties to humanity in general. a) Negative (do not’s) b) Positive (do’s)
2. The moral duties owed to fellow citizens.
3. The moral duties owed to parents, elders and ancestors.
4. The moral duties to children and posterity.
5. The moral duty of justice.
6. The moral duty of good faith and honesty.
7. The moral duty of compassion.
8. The moral duty of courage.
(12:03) Totalitarianism is based on the assumption that the state has supremacy over the individual, whereas Democracy has the opposite assumption, that the state is a servant to the individual.
Screwtape: “That invaluable man Rousseau [‘the father of the totalitarians’] first revealed it. In his perfect democracy, you remember, only the state religion is permitted, slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn’t know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. From that starting point, via Hegel (another indispensable propagandist on our [demonic] side) we easily contrived both the Nazi and the Communist state.” (Screwtape Proposes a Toast, C.S. Lewis)
“The Nation State is spirit in its actuality… it is therefore the absolute power on earth.” (From G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Law, § 331)
“What is life? Life is the Nation. The individual must die anyway. Beyond the life of the individual is the Nation.” (Adolf Hitler, On the Nazi defeat in Stalingrad).
(Music: “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the #1 dance hit on 7 December 1941, the same day as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The introductory BBC music features a patriotic song of the Royal Navy. “Rule, Britannia! rule the waves: Britons never will be slaves.” The closing credits is the closing scene from the movie, “The Guns of Navarone”.)