The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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New From the Forum

A paragraph from an irresponsible rant on the murder of a Saudi journalist. …. It is quite possible that the murder took place exactly as the press, claiming the CIA as the ultimate source, has described it.  On the other hand, there is no reason to believe anyone in the media, whether Jim Acosta or Sean Hannity,  and after the past few years it is pretty clear we have no reason to believe the FBI, and if the FBI is specializing in political propaganda, can the CIA–the agency that appears to have engaged in massive drug smuggling in order to...

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Wednesday’s Child: A London Postscript

 While I was in London, an old friend of mine and I had what can be described as an emotional misunderstanding, and since then I’ve thought of little else. Particularly in view of the fact that had it not been for this friend’s nearly infinite kindness to me over the years, I probably wouldn’t be here now writing about it, or about anything else for that matter. So I could do worse, I figured, than to extrapolate the misunderstanding and extract a moral out of its reflective depths. The moral is that modern civilization has compromised sentiment. In about the...

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New in the Forum

Suppose someone like Mike Pence or Donald Trump or Rush Limbaugh were to say–as a transparent comment on the effeminate and race obsessed Barack Obama–that he could not grapple with serious issues because people of his sort are “confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues,” all Hell would break loose.  And rightly so, because it is quite wrong to reduce political issues to amateur psychologizing or to find base irrational motives for other people’s arguments.  Only children–the word Vladimir Putin used to describe Obama and Ms Clinton–talk this way. But when Obama uses the same words in a transparent...

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The Decline of the American Empire: Recessional, Part II

First, a Digression on What The Greeks Mean To Us The ancient Greeks are among are most significant ancestors or, at least, godfathers.  They are one of those mirrors we hold up in order to contemplate our own faces, which we inevitably confuse with theirs.  Christians have often read their own darkest impulses into Greek mythology and “idolatry.” (A passing thought:  Did St. Paul or St. Jerome really believe educated Greeks worshipped statues made by human hands?)  Romantic poets found the dynamic imagination they were trying to cultivate, and since Nietzsche some have found justification for their own chaotic passions...

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The Early Church: Heretics and Puritans

In the time of Christ and his Apostles, it was enough to accept Christ–that is, the promised Messiah–and Him crucified, but it is a thoroughly human trait to draw conclusions, which are then treated as first principles.  In the Golden Age of the American republic, many, perhaps most Americans believed in liberty, both in the sense of political independence and in the sense of moral and social freedom.  If a man had a skill by which he could earn money, then–subject to legal, moral and social constraints–he could expect to practice that trade.  Then wise guys came long and raised...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

Like those time-lapse nature photographs that show the flower bud opening into a full-blown blossom only to shed the petals one by one in a matter of seconds, each successive visit to London reveals an acceleration of its decomposition. We may be horrified by the ravages of time on the features of an old friend when we meet a him after many years on different continents, but should his face have the same effect on us after a mere month’s absence, then either we need better glasses or else we’re looking at a picture of Dorian Gray. The scandal upon...

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The Decline of the American Empire: Recessional I

I am revising a series of articles and lectures I wrote on American Imperialism.  In some places I have deleted political references that have lost their significance, in others I have expanded and developed an argument in light of later events and more serious consideration.   The first version of this was written in (so far as I can tell) 2002.  While the Trump administration may, viewed in retrospect, represent a lull in the imperialists’ Grand Design to wipe the old America from the face of the earth, no President willing to hire John Bolton or Nikki Haley can be regarded as a defender of the American Republic.

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Born Out of Due Time, by Ched P. Rayson, I: The Think Tank Murders, Chapter Thirteen

Listen, Smith.  Cut the crap.  I heard some things.  You bin talkin to Mario and crazy Cheech, ’n so?  They’re nothin but trouble.  For Mr. Wright’s sake and the folks over at Veritas, I’m gonna pretend you weren’t assin aroun with me.  They’re doing important work there, it could put this town on the map. We don’t need a smart-mouthed stranger comin in to mess things up.  Capish?