Category: Free Content


Rights to Public Education?

The discussion of human rights limps along on the Forum: Political theories are often too abstract–too etherial to stand fast in the high winds of everyday life.  Let us turn to some everyday topics where human rights might be invoked.  I’ll put a simple one on the table, and others, I hope, will up the ante.  Once upon a time it was assumed that parents were obligated to provide for their children’s education, either by teaching them at home, paying for the private schools they sent them to, or, by the later 19th century in some parts of the US,...


Photios, the Franks, and the Filioque, Part I

The Balkans: by fate the cross-roads between Greek East and Latin West.  In the fourth century, the line dividing the Western from the Eastern Roman Empire had been drawn through the northern and westerly reaches of these lands denominated by the Romans as “Illyricum.” As far as sacred jurisdiction was concerned, Illyricum was, by the eighth century, disputed territory. Against the ancient claims of Rome and because of her obnoxious refusal to fall in line with the imperial proscription of images, Emperor Leo III (717-741), “the Saracen-minded,” had removed even western Illyricum from Rome’s theoretical jurisdiction and placed it directly...


Nationalism–the Wrong Right Turn

According to nationalists, the will of the nation, as defined as an historic community of blood and tongue, had to find expression in a common and unified state.  Hence, the Italian nationalist Mazzini, whose political lineage goes back to the Revolution, spoke always of the twin principles of unity and nationality.


Poem: John Dryden’s Prologue to Cesare Borgia

In this prologue, Dryden takes up the conventional topics of the audience’s lack of appreciation and gratitude.  His clever and self-serving abuse is even more applicable today, to readers who spend hours every day reading what they imagine to be news,.while ignoring the fiction, poetry, and essays that might do them a little good–if only by raising their standards.


Capitalist Globalism

“Citizen of the world,” as I have explained, was a phrase picked up from the Stoics and adopted by intellectuals like Voltaire and Adam Smith.  The coupling of Adam Smith with Voltaire is bound to annoy “conservative” defenders of capitalist ideology, but a few words on his globalist tendencies may help to explain why Republicans were so quick to condemn any attempt to defend the American people from predatory multi-national corporations. Smith is frequently invoked as the godfather of the free-trade globalism advocated by both American political parties today, and although this is hardly fair to a man who wrote...


Trump-Putin Summit on Elbe Day 2020?

I don’t know if any Trump administration people read Fleming.Foundation. But if so, a great idea would be for the president to hold three summits with Putin in the next year: first in Washington, then in Moscow, then the culmination on the Elbe River on April 25, 2020, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Elbe Day. That’s when American and Soviet/Russian forces met on the Elbe River. It was five days before Hitler blew his Nazi brains out in the Berlin bunker. Here’s the iconic photo: Trump and Putin meeting practically over Shicklgruber’s ashes also would taunt those who continue...


Back on the Road from Damascus: Finding Our Bearings

Greetings once again, fellow travelers. It is my distinct pleasure to be in your company once more. Your humble guide to the history of the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches has been long absent: I’ve been finishing a dissertation, defending it, and submitting it. Now that I’ve left behind me the unenviable existence of a graduate student in the 21st century, I return to you so that we may continue on our way through the sad history of division in the Body of Christ. But before we break a new path, we ought to pause and get our...


The Enlightenment Against Nations and Peoples

When a French intellectual looked in the mirror in 1600, he saw a Frenchman and a Christian where he would have liked to have seen a Greek pagan.  Since the Church was still powerful, few intellectuals were as mad as Giordano Bruno, who was justly burned at the stake in 1600, for his neopagan notions.  Instead, the intellectuals became sly and ironic.  From Montaigne on, intellectuals began subjecting Catholic France to imaginary visitors from Latin America, Persia, and China, all of whom expressed astonishment at the silly religion, false reverence to the king, and loyalty to the great nation.