128: Voegelin on Cosmological Representation

A continuation of our series on Eric Voegelin’s seminal work. The New Science of Politics. In this episode we talk about the concept of cosmological representation in societies.

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Please note, transcript is auto-generated and is provided unedited.

00:00:07    You are listening to the Currency. Welcome. I'm your host. I'm Mike Gastin. Glad to have you guys along. This is episode number one twenty eight, one hundred and twenty eight of the podcast. Uh, I'm recording this on the 4th of July, 2023. It's been, uh, quite a few months, quite a few months since I published the last episode. I think that was back in late January, early February. And, uh, uh, yeah, glad to be back and looking forward to being more regular on the show. Before I get too deep in today's show, and this one will be relatively quick, I'm gonna pick up on the, on the series I started last time, uh, talking about Eric Vogel's work, the New Science Politics. Before I get into that, a quick thank you to Jen Buchanan, uh, also known as Dame Jennifer from the No Agenda Podcast. Um, Jennifer's one of the producers of that podcast, and she and I met through that.  
00:01:05    She's, uh, also a resident here in Charleston. When Lydia and I moved into town, she befriended us and kind of introduced us to a, to a bunch of people and helped us find our way around town. But anyway, I've been wanting to move the podcast over to what is called, uh, podcasting 2.0, compliant host. Um, podcasting 2.0 is being spearheaded by Adam Curry, who pretty much invented podcasting, is one of the co-hosts and founders of the No Agenda Show, the podcast I just mentioned a moment ago that, uh, uh, that Jennifer is a producer of. And, um, podcasting 2.0 provides a lot of, a lot of opportunities for podcasters and, and for the listeners and the current host I was with, the, the previous host, didn't, didn't really support the 2.0 kind of functionalities and features. The, the long and short of it is the RSS feed in a 2.0, uh, platform allows for a lot more data to be embedded.  
00:02:04    Meaning, like I can include transcripts in the show, uh, makes it searchable. I can include things like a crypto wallet if you wanted to say, Hey, I get a lot of value out of what you do. I wanna give you a little bit of a coin to the realm here. That's not a plug, by the way. There's no wallet set up right now, but it just, it gives a lot of functionality that the, that the kind of traditional podcasting, uh, RSS feeds don't provide for. And so Jen did a ton of research, tried, tried to help me navigate, which she did, made some recommendations. Here's how you move the show over you. You know, here's how you change hosts. Here's how you update, you know, iTunes and Spotify so your feed doesn't break, et cetera. And so she gave, like, did a bunch of research, guided me through it.  
00:02:45    I went through last week and got that all set up. So very indebted to Jennifer. Thank you, Jen. Huge help and excited to be back behind the mic. There are things I wanted to get done so that I could start putting some energy into this podcast. I really, over the years, have enjoyed doing it and, and have been figuring out like, well, what am I trying to do with this? And that's a lot more clear. So having this kind of foundation sort out is big. And one of the things that Jen recommended, which I went ahead and did, is she recommended I set up a dedicated website for the show, and I went ahead and did that. So right now, you can go to the Currency Show, the Currency Show, and you'll find every episode I ever published. Um, you'll find the feeds, et cetera, that you can listen to the stream.  
00:03:29    Uh, and going forward this episode going forward, they will have transcripts. You can get in there and get a transcript. I'm not gonna kind of backfill all the old ones with transcripts, but a new episode from this one forward should have a transcript, uh, included. The other thing that I'm gonna be doing with the show is I'm going to be doing interviews. Not every single episode will be an interview, but I've got some friends, people who have been on the show before, like Myron Weber, Mike Ko, uh, Dave Dangles, who's never been on the show, but these are some friends of mine. They're gonna pull in. We'll start doing some interviews, and I might reach out to other folks and just say, Hey, uh, maybe there's an author or someone's written an interesting article, or, uh, someone's got some content out there that I find, you know, provocative.  
00:04:09    Then maybe we'll get them on the show and have a great conversation. I'm not gonna turn this into a straight interview podcast, but I would like to have conversations with folks from time to time. I think that adds some dimension and can kind of spark some interesting thinking and so on. And so I'll be doing that as well. So, very excited about the potential for this show. Glad to have some of that foundational stuff laid. Thank you, Jennifer. Glad to have the, the website set up. Uh, so for instance, this episode, you would just go to the currency, the currency.com/episode 1 2 8, and you'll find the show notes, et cetera. Alright, guys, let's jump into the, uh, to the content for today. I wanna talk about Eric Vogan and his book, the New Science of Politics. Over the next handful of episodes, we'll be kind of unpacking this book.  
00:04:56    I started it way back in January, if you remember. Uh, this was in episode 1 27, and if you haven't heard that, go to the currency show slash episode 1 27 <laugh> to, to get up to speed on that. But, um, I wanna spend a little bit of time unpacking this book. I mentioned in the last episode that it was really stunning. I, I had to read the book twice, which is rare. I'm, I'm, I'm no brain. But like most stuff is relatively accessible. You're reading it like, okay, I, I get what this person's, uh, this person's trying to say. Vogan is very dense. He's a German academic, know he was German-American. He fled Nazi Germany, uh, spent time in the US German-American academic. He writes in a very kind of dense, almost obtuse style, which I think is typical of, of, of German academics from his generation.  
00:05:46    On top of that, uh, the area of political science that, that he writes on, you know, I'm not an expert in political science. So there are technical terms specific to that discipline that you have to kinda learn. These would be words vocabulary that you and I use day in and day out. But, but they have very specific meanings in that discipline, which is true of any academic discipline. All these disciplines have vocabulary that they use very specifically, very technically. There are words that you and I would use. So you would just assume, oh, it means this. It's like, not actually, it's not necessarily true. You have to make sure you understand how they're using those terms. And then on top of that, Volland has concepts that don't have technical terms associated with them. So he then has to kind of make up terms, and he doesn't make up words.  
00:06:34    He doesn't make up these strange words that don't exist. But then he'll go out looking into, looking into the, you know, the, the various lexicons of different languages to find a word that approximates. So then there's this other layer of vocabulary that you have to learn with Vogul and to understand what he's trying to communicate. So it's almost like you have to have this, you know, decoder, uh, ring with you as you're reading his book. So it's dense and it's not always clear. So I had to spend the first read just kind of trying to get my arms around his general, uh, argument, and then the second read to really start to understand it better. Now, this book, um, is really written from a series of speeches. He gave a handful of speeches back in the 19, I wanna say 1951, but I could be wrong.  
00:07:20    The book is published in 1952, so I think it was the previous year. It could have been a year or two before. But he gives a series of lectures, I wanna say five or six. Those lectures are transcribed and turned into this book. I think Vogan added a little bit of material to the front and the back end, maybe to kind of tie it together in a book format and then publish this book. Um, really interesting work, and I think it, it provides, it doesn't provide the answer or the answers that we need to fix society, but it starts to provide a sort of framework for understanding where we're at right now, at which, which also kind of sets you up to say, well, how can we engage in ways that are meaningful going forward? So I'm gonna spend the next handful of podcast episodes.  
00:08:02    I dunno if it's gonna be one more, two more, five more. I mean, I don't want to drag this thing out, but I wanna unpack these ideas, uh, as we go forward. And, and just keep in mind as a listener that, that where we're going with this is to get to a place that we can have a better kind of framework for engaging society. If you're, if you're conservative like me, if you're a Christian like me, you don't have to be, but if you are, you look at this world and you say to yourself, what do we do? And there, and there's all this, these kind of conflicting positions, like, you know, some Christians are like, look, you ought to just, uh, uh, just pray, you know, disengage from society, pray and wait for the, wait for the, the, the promise kingdom. There are other people are like, screw that.  
00:08:42    You gotta get in there, get your guns, and like, you know, go to war. There are other people that are like, Hey, you know, it's our job to kind of bring into fruition, into reality, this heaven on earth, this kind of, um, this kind of, uh, you know, utopia, if you will. You know, God's not gonna do it. We gotta figure out through science and medicine and all these things, how we can make the world perfect and beautiful and better. There's all these ways, and I think what what Volland does is he really sets up this framework to help us look and go, okay, if this is true what he is saying, then I think we have a better understanding of how we might move forward. So I find this really encouraging. You know, it's suspect when you have one book that answers all the questions and gives you an exact, here's what you ought to do.  
00:09:29    What I like about this is he's not trying to do that. He's trying to help us see, you know, where we're at, the reality of where we're at, how we got there, why we're here, and where this is going. And then say, well, this is a, a different way. Here's a, here's a more, here's a, here's a better way, uh, a more true way to think about this going forward. I think that's really good. And then you combine that with some other things and you start to see a pathway forward. Okay, so last time we talked about the concept of representation, just as a matter of quick review. Uh, I want to touch on that. I wouldn't do that if it were not for the fact that it's been, you know, half a year practically since, uh, I last talked about this. But Vogan asked the question like, what is a representative government?  
00:10:15    You have to kind of get your arms around this idea of representation to really appreciate what it is he's trying to lay out for us. And as Americans, those of you listening in America, you think, well, I know what representative government is. Representative government is a government that represents the will of the people. I go and I vote, and when I vote, uh, I, I get my representatives, they go to Washington or my state capital, and they represent me. They, they represent my best interests, they represent my desires, they represent, you know, what I want. So, hey, I want lower taxes. I want, I want more freedom. I want more social programs. I want free healthcare. I want prescription medicine paid for whatever these things are that I want. I vote. And then people go and represent me, uh, in the halls, uh, uh, of, of leadership.  
00:11:08    And then they get stuff done. And, and there's a sense right now actually of frustration and disillusionment, because these representatives are not representing us necessarily. They're representing something, but we don't know what it is. But we're all angry because none of us feel represented. I remember when, you know, I'm, as I say, I'm a conservative. I remember when Obama was elected. I mean, it was historic. First black man ever, first black woman, man, anything, just black person, um, to hold that office. I mean, it was just, it was momentous. And yeah, I knew he was a lefty. I didn't vote for him either time. I knew he was a progressive. Like I wasn't on board with his agenda, but I had to stop for a minute and say, Hey, this is actually a moment in, in American history. Now, whether it's a good or bad moment, uh, remains to be seen, meaning will he lead the country to a good place or a bad place?  
00:11:56    I think he, I think he was horrible, horrible. But what was funny about that is you would think that the left, like the progressives, now these people, you know, that I knew people that worked for me, people that I associated with, that I would think they would just be thrilled. And very quickly, very quickly into his, uh, term. They were just disappointed, discouraged, frustrated, angry. Like, this guy isn't doing what he said he was gonna do. They were like, you know, we, we, it was funny. Obama was sold to the country as the centrist guy. And constitutional, you know, he professor would teach constitutional law. Like he's just right down the middle. He's just good old fashioned American fellow who's made good, you know, and he happens to be a Democrat. Don't worry people, it'll be fine. And like, meanwhile, he was a total leftist, progressive Prague.  
00:12:42    I mean, he, he, I mean, gull Lee Obama was like something else. Anyway, um, but the real lefties were not happy that he wasn't taking the country far enough, hard enough, fast enough to the left, you know? And he, they passed, I'll call it historic. I don't mean that in a good way, but I mean, legislation passed. I mean the, the, the government grabbing healthcare the way it has and the outcomes of that. I mean, we look at what happened during covid 19 and the way the state, the government was able to lock and clamp down. Well, part of the reason is because they controlled law, the healthcare. I mean, they were in a position because of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act that allowed them to cla clamp down in ways that they couldn't before. And, uh, you look at like the race relationship. I mean, race relations took a nose dive under Obama.  
00:13:31    A lot of people my age, gen Xers, I would say people older, I don't know, but I can't speak for the boomers in the room. But, you know, a lot of us grew up like, Hey, I don't really care what skin color you are. I just want, like, I want everyone to be good. I want, if you work hard, you ought to get ahead. If you're lazy, white, black, green, blue, whatever color you, you really shouldn't benefit. Like, I don't wanna judge people based on their race. And we were good with that. Gen X was good with that. There's something about the boomers and the millennials, like that's not, that didn't work for them. And, you know, under Obama, like, race relations got worse. I thought they were gonna get better. I thought people would be like, Hey, we're moving forward. Like the things that we've been teaching our kids, meaning people like me growing up, that you shouldn't judge someone on their skin color.  
00:14:15    Like that's starting to bear fruit. Look, we've got a black president, we get good things are happening, and it, it got worse. I mean, the ranker and the hostility and the violence between the races very disheartening. So anyway, all I'm saying with all that, besides just dunking on Obama and how terrible he was, uh, you lefties, is to say that this idea of representation is not necessarily I send somebody to Washington to represent what I want. That's kind of the American idea. At least that's what it's become. But that is not necessarily what it means to have a representative government. And, and, and Volland knows this. I mean, he, he brings up in the book, it's like, Hey, look, you've got, uh, monarchists that say that's a representative government. You've got Marxists that say no, their form is a representative government. Why do you think, like, you know, you get the people's Democratic Republic of China, like the p you know, like it just like, or, or North Korea or, you know, the, the, the Soviet Union was like the, it was the people's gov, you know, democratic government, like all these Marxist governments always have this democratic, the people's, everything's the people's army.  
00:15:25    They're, they're telling you that they're also representative. And if you ask them, say, yes, yes, of course we're representative, we're a representative government. We represent the will of the people. The people want Marxism. So VUL says, well, gee, if all these different kinds of governments that are, that are really diametrically opposed, they're not the same. He's not saying, well, they're all the representative, cuz they're really under the hood. They're the same thing. They're not necessarily the same, but they're all representative governments, then none of them are representative governments. So, so we have to kind of go up a level. It's not necessarily which model is the most representative e which, which is the most representative. Um, you have to go up inti. Well, what is the theory, what's the kind of an existential idea around representation? And what he gets at is a very interesting thing.  
00:16:11    He looks through history, he looks back into ancient history, comes forward, you know, through the classical period and into modern history. And he says, A representative government is a government that represents the founding truth of a society. Now, don't quote me, I am not a Volin scholar here. Uh, and I'm not trying to be. So if, if you're listening to him, well, that's not exactly what he says, Mike. I mean, I'm just trying to give you the ideas as I understand them. There's my little qualifier. I mean, I'm pretty much right all the time. I mean, let's face it, we all know it. Um, and if you don't agree, then you should have your own podcast <laugh>. If you don't agree, send me an email, tell me, I'd love to hear it, mike@mikegaston.com. Um, I'm all up for it. Uh, anyway, a representative government is a government that, that represents the truth of a society.  
00:16:59    But what do I mean by that? Essentially, societies come together there, there's this kind of explosive moment. You have these, these movements of people coming, you know, forming into families, families expanding into, you know, a, a, a larger family, not just a husband, wife and kids. But you think of, think of extended families, and these families become tribes. They join together as tribes. These tribes, you know, join together in larger groups. Eventually you have a city, you know, people identify themselves with their city. And it over time becomes a society. You, you, it's not just that a bunch of people get together and go, Hey, let's create a society. All right, Bob, that's a great idea. Uh, I'll be the street sweeper and you can be the post man. And, but these, these groups of people coalesce over time. And there's this kind of explosive moment. Uh, you know, it's not a, it's not a society bomb, but there's this explosive moment where the society kind of emerges from this coalescing of people. And those societies co kind of coalesce around a truth.  
00:18:09    There's a way that these people see the world, the way they understand it. There's a, there's a thing that they organize around. You know, what, what is it that, that Christians organize around? They organize around this idea that Christ is the son of God, come to earth, died for the sins of mankind, rose from the dead, defeating sin and death, and provides the way he is the salvation. He is the life, he is the truth. And that his kingdom will be eternal. That he is God, that he sits the right hand of the Father. That that's, that's Christ is this kind of organizing truth for all Christians. They can believe all kinds of different things, and they can have different ways of worshiping and speak different languages and eat different foods. But at the end of the day, to truly be a Christian, you have to look to Christ as you are God, your Savior.  
00:19:05    And so societies are similar, not necessarily that they're all about salvation, but they have this idea that they organize around, I'm recording this on the 4th of July, the American founders, or organize their society around this idea that, that, uh, all men are created equal and that they have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are kind of famous three things. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That you have a right to your life. No one should take it from you. You have the right to be free liberty. You, you should not be constricted. And it's not licensed. It just means that you have liberty, which there's this other side of the coin there of responsibility, that they understood the founders. And you have the right for the to, to pursue your happiness. You have a right to happiness, but you have the right to pursue it.  
00:19:50    Meaning, I think I'd like to buy this piece of land. I think I'd like to farm it. I think I'd like to build a home here, and Martha and I can raise a family and I can sell my, um, agricultural goods in the town center and, you know, buy nice cloth from England and wear nice clothing. And there's all these d you know, you can pursue your happiness. One wants to be a musician, the other one wants to be, uh, a professor. The other one wants to be our street sweeper. I mean, it just like that you have the right to pursue your happiness. And some guy wants to have a cold beer and watch the soccer game while another guy wants to run for office. And th these are fine. This is the, this is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So they believe that as an idea, and the society, uh, coalesced around that idea to the point where they were willing to go to war, uh, against the King of England to win their, uh, autonomy.  
00:20:45    But every society has a truth that it orients around. And they're not all the same truths. But, but to be a representative government means that the government, the leadership, whatever the political entity, the, the, the kind of head, whether it's a king, whether it's a, a despot, uh, uh, a dictator of sorts, whether it's a, a democratically elected body, whether it's some type of classical republic, whatever this type of government is, it represents the truth of that society. And to the degree that a government represents a society's truth is the degree that that government is legitimate, meaning that people will submit to it. If there is a king that rules a nation. But he is not true to the organizing truth of that society. Very quickly that king becomes an illegitimate leader. The people bristle against his authority. They wanna overthrow that authority, they undermine it, and over time he will lose power.  
00:21:49    So that's kind of the idea of representation. Representation isn't in Vogue's kind of par lands. And his kind of way of seeing and defining government is not, I get to vote for a guy or Gail that goes up to the capitol to fight for what I want. Sometimes I win and get my guy or Gail in there. Sometimes I lose and the other guys get their guy or Gail in there and I gotta live under it and I hate it. And, you know, I can't wait till the next election so I can get my guy in there.  
00:22:18    That's not necessarily representation, at least not as Bogland is trying to explain it. So once we have this concept of representation, uh, and again, that's review. I want, there are three kind of representative truths, if you will. There are three ways that societies can organize themselves, uh, around a truth that is cosmological. Uh, societies orient themselves around the truth of the cosmos. What is true about the cosmos and how do we orient our society around that? Or, and sometimes it's or, and or it can be anthropological, meaning societies will organize themselves around the truth of mankind. How do we understand ourselves? And we'll cover that in the next episode. Or soteriological, meaning what do we believe about how man can be saved? And societies will organize themselves around this idea of saving mankind. Now, there can be some overlap. It's not one or the other, but typically it tends to be one or the other.  
00:23:26    It's cosmological, anthropological or soteriological. I wanna spend a little bit of time talking about the cosmological kind of organization of society. You tend to see that more in your ancient societies. Think of ancient famous ancient societies, meaning, uh, and I'm talking ancient like, um, like, uh, you know, Alexander the great, uh, genus Khan, uh, Darius or Darria, I dunno how you say, you know, Cyrus, the great Xerxes. These different, these different great societies, you know, Babylon that were organized around a view of the cosmos. They understood the cosmos to be a certain way, and typically they would often see themselves, their government as a representation of their god, like their God reigns. And they are the society of his choosing. And he's all powerful. And so they go forth into the world kind of bringing the world into submission to his truth. And there's a confidence, like I, and, and you know, these great men, these ancient days, you know, they saw themselves either as the god, the repre, the manifestation of God, or as his special kind of, you know, prophet, I don't wanna say prophet's not the right word, he's the king, but kind of like he's, he is chosen by God and he is a great, you know, he's conquering the lands.  
00:24:58    He can have whatever he wants. Like he's, he's all powerful. He's all successful. He's the victor. As an example of this, I wanna read to you, um, a letter, uh, from the 12 hundreds that, uh, uh, descendant of genus cons to the French King at the time. And Pope, what is it? Pope Innocent the fourth, I wanna say, hold on, let me just check real quick. My notes here. Yeah. Uh, innocent, innocent four, innocent the four. So around the 12 hundreds, the, the Mongols were increasing in power. They were, were, you know, kind of, you know, flowing into Europe and they've been attacking Eastern Europe and subduing it. And in subduing it, they were, you know, taking over Christian lands. They were killing Christians and, you know, slaughtering, uh, because they wouldn't submit, et cetera. And so the King of France and the Pope, the Pope being the Holy Roman em, emperor over all of you know, Christian Christendom as you were, you know, Western Christendom. Don't tell the, don't tell the Greek Orthodox or the <laugh>, you know, the Eastern Orthodox. But they wrote a letter to this descendant of kh, uh, and I don't even know if, if Genus was even alive at that point, but, um, they sent it to Ku Khan, k u y u k, Kuku K.  
00:26:30    And they were essentially saying to him, they were trying to feel him out. They saw he was coming into Europe, they were concerned he was coming into Western Europe. They sent a letter with their ambassadors, emissaries and so on, interpreters so that it could be read verbally to the con. But they said, Hey, look, we see you coming in. We kind of wanna know what your intentions are. What is it that you, that you want? What are you up to? They're trying to feel him out. We have to deal with this. Also, they wanna see, could we maybe make a deal with this guy? Can we somehow work together? Uh, and they were also complaining too, saying, Hey, you know, you've come into Eastern Europe, you've killed Christians like you shouldn't do that. These are, you know, these are god's people. Like, you're, you're treading on God here.  
00:27:12    And, and they even make the recommendation. What you ought to do is get baptized and submit yourself to Lord, and then we can work together. Well be a team, we'll team up. This is what Khan said in response, which I think is very telling about this cosmological, uh, uh, perspective that you've, that he's ordered. He sees his, his rule and his society and his, his people's success as ordered around a cosmological reality. He says, you have said it would be good if I received baptism. You have informed me of it, and you have sent me the request. This is your request. We do not understand it. Another point, you have sent me these words, quote, you have taken all the realms of the magars and the Christians altogether.  
00:28:02    I am surprised at that. Tell us what has been the fault of these end. Quote these your words. We do not understand them in order to avoid. However, any appearance that we pass over this point in silence, we speak and answer to you. Thus, the order of God, both Genus Khan and Kaha Khan have sent it to make it known. But the order of God, they did not believe those whom you speak did even meet in a great counsel. They showed them themselves arrogant and have killed our envoy ambassadors. The internal God has killed and destroyed the men in those realms, saved by order of God, anybody by his own fors. How could he kill? How could he take? And if you say, I'm a Christian, I adore God, I despise the others, how shall you know whom God forgives and whom he grants his mercy?  
00:28:54    How do you know that you speak such words by the virtue of God, from the rising of the sun to its setting, all realms have been granted to us without the order of God. How could any anyone do anything? Now you ought to save from a sincere heart. We shall be your subjects. We shall give unto you our strength. You in person at the head of the kings, altogether without exception. Come and offer us service and homage, then shall we recognize your submission? And if you do not observe the order of God and disobey our orders, we shall know you to be our enemies. This is what we make known to you. If you disobey, what shall we know? Then God will know it. Then he goes on a little further, there's a little closing, and he says, by the order of the living God, genus Khan, the sweet and vulnerable son of God, says, God is high above all, he himself the immortal God.  
00:29:53    And on earth, genus Khan is the only Lord. Now I take from that, I I I don't know my history when it comes to 12th, the 13th century, but, uh, I take it that maybe Genus Khan is alive and this Ku k is responding in his place, meaning that he's genus is probably too high to respond. You know, too important. But long and short of it, he's saying like the, the, the Pope is saying, Hey, you, you're killing Christians. He's like, first of all, God gave us all the power. Our God is immortal and all powerful. He's given us all authority. How is it that we could win without God's approval? We couldn't win these battles without God on our side. So clearly we have the truth and the right, and the approval of God and your people when we showed up, did not respect our God.  
00:30:41    They had their great counsel. They rejected everything. They didn't pay attention. They decided to fight us. And so God gave us the power to smite them down. So clearly, God is on our side. And rather than us getting baptized, you ought to recognize the truth of our society, the cosmological truth, that we are the instrument of God. You should come and bow before us and pay homage. And if you do that, you'll be fine. But if you don't, you're disobeying God. And if you disobey God, we will wipe you out. This is an example, you know, we think of, like, we think of, you know, the, the Mongols as like this, this hoard of like just, you know, animals. There's these people that have no refinement, no culture. They're just on horseback murdering and raping and pillaging or whatever it was that, you know, we think they do.  
00:31:27    But at the end of the day, they were a society organized around a cosmological truth. And the funny thing is, the King of France and the Pope, the Holy Roman emperor also had Western Europe and their kingdoms, the French kingdom and Spanish kingdom and so on, organized around their cosmological truth, which is there is a God in heaven and he's given us authority and we will take dominion and here's our kingdom established. And so, so you see these kind of ancient kingdoms organized around cosmological truth. This is true of Persia, this was true. Um, you know, Babylon, Persia, uh, phia, all these places where we had these great societies with great storied kings, they were organized around some cosmological truth. This is even what you see with Abraham when he's wandering in the desert. God makes us Abrahamic promise to him, which is, I will make you a great nation, a mighty people.  
00:32:28    It's, you know, it's like as many as the sands of the, you know, like uncountable, innumerable. And through you, I will bring to this world a great kingdom through your lineage will come a great king that all people will be, uh, will be under. So I, you know, there's this idea that the, that the cosmos is a certain way and God is a certain person personality with certain desires and characteristics. And that, for instance, Abraham is his servant. If he's faithful to God, God will create an earthly kingdom out of him. That from his seed, from his lineage will come this great king that all nations, all kings, all will bow before. This is a cosmological understanding of the world. And so you see with the cons, with, with Genus Khan in, in his, in, uh, Coya Khan, they are a representative government because they are representing the reality o of the cosmos as they understand it, this truth that their God, um, is immortal and that they are his faithful servants and that he has given them victory.  
00:33:39    He's given them power, authority, and victory, and they're bringing the world into submission. This wasn't just a group saying, Hey, you know, we're just trying to, we're just trying to like battle for this port cuz we don't, we're landlocked and we need a little bit of port action here so we can trade with other nations. This isn't some kind of tactical thing, you know, like you look at the news right now like Ukraine and Russia and you know, the news, they just love to talk about, oh my gosh, you know, Putin wants to take over the world and oh, we gotta stop. If we don't, he is gonna, you know, he'll be taking over all of Europe. It's like, well, I think it's a little bit more, I don't wanna say tactical, but I, I think that the best I can tell he's trying to buffer Russia from the west.  
00:34:19    There are aspects of Ukraine that historically have been, you know, contested. Sometimes they've been Russian, et cetera, a lot of Russians speakers, cultural Russians. Uh, you know, something that the news doesn't talk about is that, you know, the Ukrainian, um, government, I'm not saying necessarily the people, but you know, the, the Zelensky government and previous governments have actually been, um, waging internal kind of civil war against some of their own Russian population. So, you know, I know Putin uses this as an excuse, like, yeah, you look funny at a Russian, I'm gonna send troops in. But, but it's, there's no like lily white side here, you know, Zelensky rolls around looking for billions. He gets pissed off if you don't write him a check for 20 billion. He browbeats everybody. You stroke him a check for 20 billion and the next day he's angry that you haven't done enough.  
00:35:03    This guy, like he just, you know, and, and look, he's the president of that country. He's gotta fight for them. Uh, you know, so I, I do get that. Um, but, but there's no Lilly white here. There's no good guy, bad guy. This is the kind of, this is one of these more tactical strategic, it's not world domination, it's not global, you know, control. It's not like the communist trying to take over the world. This is, this is Russia, Ukraine, these are siblings in a sense, the, well kind of more master slave. I mean, Russia's always been the dominant partner, um, in the Russia, Ukraine relationship. But this is a bit of a battle of East West and I think there's someone in the East Putin trying to establish a bit of a buffer and into, and to establish a, a level of power in his region where, you know, to be fair, we've been meddling and we've been growing NATO and installing more, you know, <laugh>, uh, we call defense systems on the border could very easily be offense systems on the border.  
00:36:02    But regardless, I, I'm not trying to convince anybody that you know, hey, Russia is the good guy here, but there's certainly not the evil villain that everybody wants to make them out to be. But when you look at this conflict just drawback, forget the sides of this con uh, con conflict. This is not a global conflict. This isn't someone trying to take over the world. Now America and our allies, we will turn this into a global conflict. I mean, we are just stoking the fires, but this isn't because Putin wants to roll heavy metal on Washington DC or on London or on, you know, Ottawa. Uh, this is because, you know, we're gonna just insist on total victory, which democracies often do. Democracies don't know how to negotiate as, um, monarchies and other types of governments will, you know, you'll have a squabble between monarchies, they duke it out, they blood each other up a little bit.  
00:36:52    There's a bit of a negotiation. Everybody walks away, uh, with something but unhappy. But that's how these things have historically gone democracies wage, total war. And you can, uh, we could get into all that in another time. But democracies wage total war and they don't stop until they have, they have total victory. There's no kind of like, let's negotiate a piece. Alright? Uh, you can disagree with me, feel free to send me an email if you do. Feel free to agree as well, law of agreement. Um, but uh, much more used to disagreement. And uh, where I'm going, this is to say the ancient societies organized around these cosmological truths would then wage war for empire. They would just take over. And for them it was like, yeah, because I'm marching out the reality of the cosmos. We are the chosen people and our empire proves it, and our God is more powerful than your God.  
00:37:47    And our God will reign supreme, not just in the heavens, but on earth below. So that's that, that is kind of this idea of organizing a representation of a cosmological reality. Next time we're gonna talk about the anthropological, uh, organization of a society around the anthropological truth. And there's a couple interesting things about that. I'll just share a little bit of a teaser here. Uh, Plato said that the poli the polis, I dunno how to pronounce that because I read these words and never talk about 'em with actual human beings face-to-face. The polity, the political entity, society, the poll, uh, is man wr large. The poll is man writ large. Meaning when you look at a polity, a a society of people, a political group, not necessarily the Democrats, although you could say that in America or the Republicans, but a polity, a group of political kind of a society.  
00:38:45    That, that society is the man writ large. If you see values, behaviors, flaws, strengths in a society that is a large representation of the individuals that make that society up. And, uh, we're gonna unpack this whole anthropological orientation organization of a society around anthropological truth in the next episode. Uh, but I wanted to at least tease that concept of Plato's because that's gonna become important later as we start to evaluate societies. Uh, so we'll, we'll, we'll talk about that next time guys. So glad to back to be back behind this microphone. So glad, so glad to be back behind this microphone. Thank you so much. Love you guys. Make sure to, I don't know, I tell you to like and subscribe, but you can't do that to a podcast. But here's what you can do. Uh, if you go to this episode, go to the currency show slash episode 1 28.  
00:39:43    Uh, there you'll find the transcripts, et cetera, but there's also a signup for my weekly email newsletter called Broadside. It's free. There's no spam. I just try to share a little insight, a little thought here and there, uh, to help you think through your day. Anyway, sign up. That's the best thing you can do right now. Sign up, get on that email list and, uh, and I would be very grateful and I think you'll be grateful too. And the easy thing about is you can unsubscribe anytime. I don't, uh, ever sell your information. A hundred percent private sprint span, free ljs, guys, as I say. And as I have just said a moment ago, I love you all. Hope you have a great day, and we'll catch you in the next episode. Cheers.