Category: Fleming


Heresies in the Mirror: The Genesis of Globalism

If family ties and local patriotism mean little, then the Stoic should regard all men as his fellow-citizens.  He should be a cosmopolites—a citizen of the world.  Like most of the harsher teachings of the Stoics, cosmopolitanism is easier to mouth than to practice.  So austere a Stoic as Cato the younger was able to hand off his wife to a friend, but he could not cease to be a Roman patriot who preferred death to living under a dictator who, among other sins, cultivated the friendship of foreigners.


Roger Scruton: Purged

I see Prof. Sir Roger Scruton has been sacked by the Conservative government for saying George Soros is bad, Islamophobia is an imaginary problem, the sky is blue, water freezes at O centigrade, and a host of other offense notions. I never met Scruton, though I used to have some dealings with the Salisbury Review. I read some of his essays and his book on Sexual Desire, which had some good things in it but comes out of a philosophical tradition that has done far more harm than good. In this sense he is a real conservative, clinging to rationalism...


Heresies in the Mirror: Globalism and Nationalism, Part II: One World, One Government, One Ruling Class

Christians ought to be deeply suspicious of both nationalism and globalism, which developed in the course of the 18th century and which were both advocated by the bloody-handed leaders of the French Revolution who killed each other over whether the Revolution represented the revival of the French nation or the dawning of the brotherhood of man.  In the end, the nationalists won, and while Napoleon pretended to be liberating the captive nations of the Holy Roman Empire, he was really only replacing Austria with France, Hapsburgs with Bonapartes.  Stalin and Trotsky played out the same homicidal farce in their struggle...


Heresies in the Mirror:  Globalism and Nationalism: Prologue

Globalism is one of many nightmares spawned by the French Revolution, which also generated equally pernicious counter-movements. If some Jacobins opposed war, others embraced it; if considerations of race and ethnicity were condemned by some as retrograde, they were also celebrated by others as as the ultimate reality, and, if the ultimate Jacobin dream is of a universal paradise without distinctions, the lesser alternative has been embraced by a long line of hard-headed pragmatists like Napoleon and Lincoln, Stalin and Hitler.


Pete Buttigieg–Man of Faith

Here’s a pretty-how-de-do!   Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend and leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, wonders if someone like Donald Trump–so wealthy, so unashamed of his wealth–could possibly be Christian.  He has also attacked Mike Pence for his concentration on sexual issues.   Like many people who read the headlines, I wondered what religion could inform the mind of a man who attacks one politician for being rich and another for being moralistic, when he pretends to have married another man.  (I forget which he pretends to be the wife and which the husband.) He can’t be a...


St. Thomas Economicus

Many libertarians and classical liberals regard St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the enemies of liberty, of economic liberty in particular.  According to these critics (and to some self-described Thomists, Thomas is supposed to have devised an abstract and systematic theory of an ideal state, which would have the power to regulate the marketplace by establishing a quasi-Marxian “just price” for all goods and by prohibiting all interest on investments.  This opinion of Thomas’s economic views is substantially wrong, both in the details and in its overall point of view.  Although Thomas was far from being a classical liberal, his...


Born Out of Due Time, by Ched P. Rayson: Chapter 20

Geltner slammed the table, with his open hand and shouted: “Think about?  In your shoes I wouldn’t waste time thinking. I’d be shaking the hand of the man who made the offer.  What do you have to lose?  I don’t mind telling you, I’m the one who asked Sottili to look into your background.  He thinks you’ve been up to something, but he can’t find any evidence and I don’t give a damn if he does.  Me, I think you’re just an old-fashioned American eccentric, a Bohemian with nice manners and a collar and tie.  I’ve knocked around myself, and while I’m all for old-fashioned family values, there are some places where the rules don’t apply.” 


Two Oinks for Democracy, Conclusion: Dealing with Muslims

Any honest evaluation of US foreign policy over the past 50 years would lead to one conclusion: Any effort to build a stable regime friendly to US interests will have to construct its programs on a population that has some understanding of the West and some institutions—religious or cultural—compatible with our own.  On this basis, we can appreciate at least one of the reasons why we have chosen Israel, for all the troubles this special relationship has cost us, to be the focus of our influence in the Middle East: Israel is a European colony in the Arab and Muslim...


Two Oinks for Democracy, Part I of II

Over the years, much of our critique of American imperialism was made on the level of principle: Preemptive wars, inherently wrong in themselves, would eventually justify the militarization of American life and the final destruction of our constitutional order.  Reconstruction abroad, we argued, would inevitably justify reconstruction at home.