Category: FF

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Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist, Part C

To understand what Johnson was doing in his moral essays, we have to know something of the revolution he was opposing: the philosophies of abstraction that were taking hold in his lifetime.  Since the 18th century at least, we have been asked to identify ourselves and our duty with all of humanity and its needs, and to take a dim view of any lesser loyalties to kith and kin, religion and country.  Although these ideas of universal charity and duty are usually identified with Christianity, they derive not from the Bible directly or from Christian theology, but from the attempts...

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Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist,Part B

In recent times, Samuel Johnson is remembered primarily for his quips, retorts, and for Boswell’s portrayal of his ferocious character.  Johnson’s prose style and flashes of brilliance are enough to win over most readers who take any pleasure in English literature.  My own particular interest, however, is in this moral philosophy, which can be traced in essays that appeared in The Rambler, The Idler, his review of Soame Jennyings, and in his one novel, Rasselas.  To anticipate my general conclusion, I should say at the beginning that, although he developed his ethical thought in occasional essays and fiction,  he was...

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Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist, Part A

The modern tradition of thought–whether expressed in verse or history or philosophy–has been essentially liberal and anti-Christian.  So much so that we take it for granted and are grateful when we can find some particle of decency and sense in writers like Hemingway or John Updike.  Anti-Christian liberalism was not always so dominant.  England and France were largely Christian nations down to early 18th century, and the Enlightenment only reached its position of supremacy, in the years leading up to the French Revolution, in the works of Diderot, Rousseau, and above all Voltaire.  But it is not difficult to find...

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Wednesday’s Child: A Magic Mountain (Free)

Our precious Mount Etna, which happens to be the tallest volcano in Europe, has been exploding, with streams of molten lava descending into the Valle del Bove from elevations of some three kilometers at the crater’s rim.  A BBC team of reporters nearly didn’t make it down, which showed them that nature could be as violent as the teenage drug lords and tattooed single mothers they had been used to interviewing in their line of duty. ‘“a Muntagna,” the locals call it in dialect – the Mountain with a capital M – as attested by a man named Gaetano Perricone,...

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Season 1, From Under the Rubble, Episode 10: I Hate the Constitution

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In this episode of From Under the Rubble, Dr. Fleming examines the idea of “Hating the Constitution” via the well-known song, “I’m a good ol’ Rebel.” What does it mean to love and worship and protect the Constitution? Is this something that traditionalists and conservatives should be engaged in? Original Air Date: March 22, 2017 Show Run Time: 37 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All Rights are Reserved.

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The Modern Constitution–Blueprint for Revolution

I hates the Constitution, This Great Republic too “That’s unconstitutional!”  Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear some proposal of the Trump administration denounced as a violation of the Constitution.  It is beginning to appear that NPR and other organs of the revolutionary left cannot invoke Trump’s name without throwing in “unconstitutional,” something in the way that “swift-footed” always precedes Achilles. A good example of this rhetorical tactic is the headline Unamericans for Disunity (or is it Americans United ?) put on their latest propaganda screed: “AU Continues The Legal Fight Against President Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban.”  Counting...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London (Free)

Persons unfamiliar with Anthony Powell’s twelve-volume cycle of novels, A Dance to the Music of Time, ought to bear in mind that, socially, cocaine may well be a less problematic alternative. Certainly the book is more addictive, but the real trouble is that it makes one eschew all human contact for the duration.  I remember sinking into it some ten years ago.  For three weeks I did not open the shutters or answer the telephone, waking up every morning with the same terrifying thought that one day it would end. Spanning roughly half of the twentieth century, Powell’s novel revolves...

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Properties of Blood II.1: The Family Castle, Part B

The Independent Household Thousands of volumes have been published on every aspect of family and household, and, for a work on the history of these institutions, there may be hundreds of books worth consulting.  This is not, I hasten to assure you my readers, a work of family history, though I shall have to burrow into some of the  details—not at too tedious  length, I hope—of the several cultural traditions that have formed our own:  Greek, Roman, Jewish, Medieval European, and early American. However, before digging into the details of history and law, let us try to form a “big...

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Season 1, Surely, You Must Be Joking Dr. Fleming?, Episode 1: Slavery

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In the first episode of this new series Dr. Fleming takes on the issue of slavery. Is it a “moral issue?” How do we look at slavery both historically and within the context of “slavery” that most Americans think about, which is to say what existed prior to 1860? Is there a value to paternalism, to hierarchy, to obedience? What did St. Paul say? What about modern day wage slavery? Dr. Fleming discusses all this and more to help you possibly have a more productive conversation with friends should you dare to broach this topic sometime. Original Air Date: February...

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Season 1, Islam: The Real Truth About the “Religion of Peace”, Episode 0: Introduction

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In this zero episode of Islam: The Real Truth About the “Religion of Peace” Dr. Srdja Trifkovic discusses the writing of his 2002 book The Sword of the Prophet: his motivations, how he went about writing the book, how it was received, and its importance today, 15 years later. We will be using Dr. Trifkovic’s book this season, so if you’d like to follow along or prepare better for the episodes, you can order the book here. Original Air Date: February 17, 2017 Show Run Time: 35 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Srdja Trifkovic Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   Islam: The...