The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Maurice Barrès and the Recovery of National Identity, II

In his novel Les déracinés (1897), Barrès chronicled the adventures of a group of boys at his own lycée in Nancy.  Their philosophy teacher, brilliant and ruthless, instills in them vast, almost Napoleonic ambitions to put their talents into the service of the ongoing revolutionary liberal tradition.  This is a late reflection of the tradition of Romantic heroism that usually ends disastrously in fiction.  Remember Julien Sorel?  Raskolnikov?   What happens to the boys in Paris is the subject of the novel.  Some become dissolute; others are reduced to poverty; but all begin to collaborate on a journal of the...

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Wednesday’s Child: Locusts and Wild Honey

I hate to sound like the sort of monomaniacal bore at a cocktail party who will only talk to you about the regrettable slump in hedgehog hospital funding, but really, this is important.  The other week, in a post entitled “Anti-Homestead Acts,” I touched on the news that the ogres in the Kremlin are using tax law to alienate an already starving populace from the tiny kitchen garden plots of land on which the subsistence of millions of Russians, particularly the elderly, had been depending since the 1990’s.  Now, as if such a thing were possible, there comes yet more...

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The Jaundiced Eye, #2

White people in Detroit got angry when they discovered that, if they wanted to attend a rap concert, they would be charged more than persons of any other color.  Why am I not outraged?  I think any reasonable person would think the poor chumps should be fined and jailed for buying a ticket. The US Women’s Soccer Team is demanding Equal Pay.  I thought they were feminists.  Shouldn’t it be Equal Pay for Equal Play, in which case they should be playing against men’s teams.  Anyone remember Hank Junior’s line, “I’m not a soccer man, I’m an Oilers’ fan.”?  A...

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Born Out of Due Time, Part II, Chapter 23, Conclusion

Religion is a good thing for most people, and religious people used to support us.  But with all of this concentration on ancient Greece and Italy and all that, we’re just treading water.  We are beginning to attract grant money—and that’s largely the result of Doc Freeman’s work and his connections—but they spend it as soon as they get it.  I guess the plan is just circle the wagons and eat the seed corn.”

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Independence Day 2019: Just Say No to Monarchy

If you’ve been in the conservative game even a short time, you know some comrades who want to return to monarchy. Even some libertarians. Maybe the best reasoning comes from Hans-Herman Hoppe, the anarcho-libertarian and disciple of Murray Rothbard. His argument was made at length in “Democracy: The God that Failed.” There’s an 11-minute YouTube of him explaining his theory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUzkZaD1xDs The problem with these arguments is we don’t live in the colonies of 1776 or the Habsburg Empire of 1900. We live in a time when the regnant form of government is not democracy, republicanism or monarchy, but...

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Wednesday’s Child: Plus ça change

A hundred years from now historians will doubtless scratch their heads over the news that the West’s only audible rebuttal to Moscow’s mendacity in Osaka has come from a notorious invert.  Sir Elton John has found Vladimir Putin’s argument against Western “liberalism” unconvincing, because to him the word means, above all, open practice of homosexuality. Most other people, however – those, as it were, without an axe to grind – cheered the father of Slavic nations from Oslo to Timbuktu, which was understandable in that it was them, rather than Sir Elton and his niche audience of degenerates, that his...

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President Tulsi?

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is my favorite Democratic presidential candidate. Ironically, she would have a much better chance of gaining the Dem nomination if President Trump ignored her advice and invaded Iran. But he’s not going to do that. At most, he might bomb a couple installations. He’s negotiating with the Ayatollah. If these presidential campaigns made any sense, most of the discussions would be about foreign policy. That’s because a new president, upon taking the Oath of Office, immediately is given the Nuclear Football – actually a black briefcase – containing the nuclear launch codes. And he is...