Consolations of Philosophy


Howard: World-Historical Individual

2004; 14pp

Howard and the Onset of Parousia (Proven Out of Schleiermacher)

2004; 18pp

by Lance Banbury; Galaxy Press, 71 Recreation St., Tweed Heads, NSW 2485, Australia.


The madness of George Bush I was answered by his ouster, but Bill Clinton taught the American voter to be philosophical. In America, unfortunately, philosophy is a dead art, like architecture and alligator breeding.

Not so in Australia, anyway. Lance Banbury understands the living art and applies it to circumstances. When the conservative firebrand Pauline Hanson arose in his country, he understood her in the light of Christ’s commandment to the young man full of riches, and he is not finished there. The same light exposes John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, in the gentle Part I of this work. Having established the primitive Church and its perceived failings as a guidepost, Banbury in Part II assails the PM with the specter of Christ’s return. Not since Belshazzar’s feast has the writing on the wall been so evident.

The world-historical individual is one who lifts himself out of parochialism onto the stage of history, and may be apperceived thereby. Consequently, the American or any other reader need not feel, as Alexander Woolcott said of Proust, that “one is bathing in someone else’s water.” Au contraire, as Banbury explains:

The best way of entering upon the pivotal part of this discourse has seemed to be by orientating the main stress. This consists of two representative keynotes in Howard’s televised interview on A Current Affair, 27th April this year. Two prevailing themes were announced: ‘...respect for democracy and true religious beliefs’ and ‘...we have got to understand we’re living in a new world order.’ These phrases made definite the principles by which the modus operandii of the thinking of the Redeemer, was in fact thought. The dilemma of separating the mode, communicability and quality substantiating this manner of thinking from the subjective thinker of it, has not been accidental: it resides in the noumenal nature of thought itself. It is the question Yeats asked in Among School Children, ‘How can we know the dancer from the dance?’ (64).

It will perhaps be objected that Australia has a parliamentary system. The American political convention, it might be pointed out, is no longer anything more than a show nowadays.