The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Aristotle, Politics II.4-7

These four chapters of Book II take up consideration of four model commonwealths, two of them fictional and two based on the reality of Sparta and Crete.  Readers should be warned at the outset, though, that since Greeks typically idealized or demonized Sparta (and to a lesser extent the cities of Crete), these two constitutions have to be viewed partly as historical reality and partly as representatives of a political ideology, in much the same way that Fascist Italy or Communist Russia have been treated. The first system under review  was drawn up by Phaleas of Chalcedon, of whom next to...

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1999 Travel Diary of a Peripheral Male, Part One of Three

An On The House Reprint from 1999 Midtlantic It has been a long day for this straight white European male.  O’Hare Airport is a sort of decompression chamber between Middle America and the rest of the world: rude United clerks who act as if they own the airline, the gauntlet of guards at the x-ray machines none of whom is able to speak English, and everywhere the stench of the Disneyworld cuisine: pizza, hotdogs, and every few feet a McDonald’s, whose unique blend of grease, sugar, and msg is the olfactory signature tune of the New World Order. If they...

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The Disneyland Primary

  California is a crazy state, a kind of Venezuela attached to the Mainland USA and with the world’s top high-tech companies running things instead of Hugo Chavez’s heirs. Like Venezuela, California has massive shortages of local things, in particular housing, which costs more than $650,000 for buying a shotgun shack along the coast, with rents for one-bedroom garrets at more than $1,850 a month. Even if you can afford a house, or bought one before about 2000 when prices almost were reasonable, chances are your children won’t be able to afford to live here until they inherit your manse,...

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A Chump for Trump: The Renegade Party’s Underwhelming #FrenchRevolution

Over the Memorial Day weekend, prominent #NeverTrump leader Bill Kristol tweeted that they had an “impressive” candidate with a “real chance” poised to launch a movement conservative approved independent challenge to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the general election. The NeverTrumpers have taken to calling their efforts the Renegade Party, although they are less a party in the political sense than they are in the sense of being a faction. Kristol has now confirmed that that potential candidate is National Review writer David French. Despite some happy face NeverTrump cheerleading, the response to this news has been, shall we...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter From Oxford

  Life under a Kafkaesque socialist bureaucracy may have its good points, but clarity of mind is not among them.  Opposite the main entrance to New College, where in spite of having no visible moth damage to my sweater and coat I’d been mistaken for an academic and given a few nights’ shelter, is a Japanese restaurant. I was perusing the menu in the window to while away the time before my son arrived, and this read as follows: “(P) indicates suitable for pescatorians (fish eating vegetarians); (V) indicates suitable for vegetarians (no meat, no fish); please note that many...

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Properties of Blood I:8, Spouses and Heirs Part D

In Celtic and Anglo-Saxon England, inheritance rules were fairly loose, and fathers could and did divide their property among their children.  The Norman Conquest changed the situation and first sons came to be privileged, not because the invading Normans had a long tradition of primogeniture: In much of Normandy, they did not.  It was largely the circumstances of the Conquest itself and William’s policy that caused the feudal revolution in England.  (On the continent, at almost the same time, longstanding feudal traditions were being stiffened and organized by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.)  To oversimplify a complicated legal evolution, the Normans in...

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Triumph of Democracy, the Movie

It is a warm morning, that July 4, 1826, in Charlottesville.   As the opening credits roll, we hear the soft strains of “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” which are transformed, as the camera closes in on the face of the sleeping statesman, to “Hail to the Chief” in a minor key.  Thomas Jefferson is feverish: The ex-President had a bad night, tormented by frightening visions of the future, and he wants to share the revelations with his old friend and nemesis, John Adams.  There are no telephone or telegraph lines, but the clever Jefferson had recently invented the...

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Wednesday’s Child: Invitation to a Beheading

Readers may recall how, in a post at the beginning of March, I unveiled before them a portrait of absolute evil in the shape of a voluble blonde.  My model for the portrait was Russian, which is hardly surprising, as ours is the land of the Great Purge and, years before that, of atrocities against humankind that make present-day savagery in Syria and Iraq seem like postprandial deliberations in the House of Lords.  Beheading is execution; stuffing mouths with shards of broken glass, as the Bolsheviks liked doing in the Crimea in 1919, is gratuitous cruelty; and between the two...

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From Under the Rubble, Episode 5: Libertarianism

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In today’s episode of From Under the Rubble Dr. Fleming takes a hard look at Libertarianism – its theories, its adherents, and its positive – and negative aspects. Is there such a thing as a Christian Libertarian? What were the lessons learned from the Buchanan insurgency? What is the future of libertarian/conservative working groups? Host Stephen Heiner also questions Dr. Fleming about the characters in and around the Libertarian movement over the last half century, like Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Lew Rockwell, and the like. Original Air Date: May 25, 2016 Show Run Time: 55 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr....

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A Chump for Trump: What’s Really Behind #NeverTrump

I predicted that Donald Trump was going to win the GOP nomination before the Iowa caucus. I even predicted that he might run the table. While he didn’t run the table as I overly enthusiastically suggested at one point, he came closer to running the table than he did to imploding as all the smarts were predicting. The reason I was confident Trump was going to win the nomination was because he had been leading in the primary polls since shortly after he announced, and that support, while it trended up and down somewhat, was relatively stable and seemingly impervious...