The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Cultural Conservatism

A few years back, when the air was fresh and the world was new, some of us thought that the election of Ronald Reagan was only the beginning of the beginning of “morning in America.” It is a common mistake. Some decades have an identity for those who set their mark upon them. In periods like the 1890’s, the 1920’s, and the 1960’s, while most people went about their business of working, living, and dying, if you were a decadent poet in London, a stockbroker or novelist in New York, a student at Berkeley, Madison, or Columbia, it was an age of gold.

This is the 1987 piece cited by Jerry Salyer.


WFB, JR: De Sociis Mortuis, nihil nisi bonum

A FB friend of mind sent me a link to an exchange he had with a movement conservative type on the subject of William Buckley. I was never close to WFB and, while I wrote for NR on several occasions, I was never an admirer of the shallowness and partisan bullying of much of what was written there, though I did respect many NR’s editors and writers, e.g., James Burnham, Ralph Toledano, Ernest Van den Haag, Thomas Molnar, Jeffrey Hart, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Mel Bradford, and Clyde Wilson, most of whom I published as NR began to be less receptive to their points of view.


Wednesday’s Child: The Leibniz Barbie

When the mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, a pioneer in the field of differential and integral calculus among his other accomplishments, stuck his impressively large nose into metaphysics, we all remember what a ridiculous result this produced.  He assured his contemporaries that the world approaches – tends is the term used by his fellow mathematicians and designated in calculus with a horizontal arrow – perfection, a state that, logically enough, the world’s first optimist named the optimum.