The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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The Religion of Sodom, Conclusion

In Genoa I spent several hours talking with the philosopher Pier Luigi Zampetti.  In his book His book La Sfida Del Duemila (1988), Zampetti blames our spiritual malaise as well as environmental catastrophe on modern consumerism.      Materialism has become the dominant philosophy both in the West and in the East…. Capitalism, as we know, is the economic system of the entire contemporary world.  East and West are worlds bound by capitalistic systems, even if of different types.  But, how is man considered in these systems?  Can he express himself, his free and responsible choices; in other words is...

5

The Religion of Sodom, Part I

This is the revised first part of an essay I published in 2000 in a magazine I used to edit. I cannot remember a time when I was not what would be called an environmentalist.  I spent much of my childhood walking on an earth unconstricted by concrete streets and unburdened by the weight of buildings.  I was never happier than when I was out fishing with my father or picking berries with my sister, or helping friends with their traps.  Until we moved near Charleston, I had never seen a city that did not deface the landscape, and to...

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Wednesday’s Child: Colonialism Blues

  My son is in his last year at Oxford – drinking, mostly, as far as I understand from his sporadic communications–and so, when I see a news story with the university’s name in it, I take note.  There was one just the other day. “Serial Killer Uses European Human Rights Law to Sue for Compensation Because Prison Makes her Tearful and Upset.”  Oh no, sorry, wrong headline. The right one was no less absurd, and the gist of it was that a bunch of students… We pretty much know who they are, because for the last fifty years, in...

7

Properties of Blood I.4: Friends, Part C

Aristotle—the Philosopher of Friendship The burdens of friendship are still perceived by men and women who have not been influenced by philosophers (from Plato to Sartre) who have rejected the opinions of ordinary people.  By contrast, Aristotle based his ethical and political analysis on the popular traditions and everyday life of the people he knew and observed.  A keen naturalist and a physician’s son, Aristotle, even in his works on ethical subjects—moral, political, and aesthetic questions—began his studies with observation of how people lived and what had been said by earlier generations of respected men, To gain a little appreciation...

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Ransom Notes: Who Asked You?

Although nobody asked for my opinion on these bits of news, I have a few things to say. First.  Finally, the head of a major Christian denomination with a grain of sense!  The bleeding-heart-liberal Archbishop of Canterbury has informed the world that it is not racist to oppose mass migration. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35781613.  While calling upon England to do more than it is doing to help so-called Syrian so-called refugees, he said that it was “outrageous” to describe fears about the migrant crisis as racism.  Archbishop Welby is as leftwing as most English and North American bishops and ministers of the Anglican communion, but unlike too many...

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The Left’s Jihad Against the South, Conclusion On the House

This multi-cultural hatred of the West was, of course, anticipated in the Communist Manifesto; indeed, it can be traced back through the Enlightenment all the way to Michel de Montaigne in his “Essay on the Cannibals.”  However, Western self-hatred reached a new level of coherence in France after WW I.  When Paul Claudel, Catholic poet, patriot, and diplomat, spoke of preserving the religious and cultural traditions of the West, a coalition of Communists and surrealists denounced him for defending a civilization which the surrealists derided as inferior to all the cultures of the world, high and low.  If the classical...

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The Left’s Jihad Against the South, Part III

The History of the Revolution in Three Easy Lessons Lesson One: The revolution began during the Renaissance.  The very name “Renaissance” (or Renascence) suggests that mankind had gone through a long dark age, beginning roughly with the triumph of Christianity in the Age of Constantine.  The early proponents of this movement—classical humanists such as Petrarch and Boccaccio—had honorable goals: They wanted to restore classical Latin, recover ancient manuscripts that lay buried in monastic libraries, and acquire a knowledge of Greek. Like every other movement, however, the Renascence rapidly acquired other objectives;  some of them worthy, such as the civic humanist’s...

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The Left’s Jihad Against the South, Part II

Radicalizing Anti-Southern Bigotry The Adamses and their ilk represented the conservative/Old Yankee view of the South.  There was a more radical position before the War, that slavery was a moral evil of so black a color that slaveholders and those who defended them had to be eliminated.   This was the view of John Brown, Wendell Phillips and other radical abolitionists, whose Old Testament ferocity was all the more intense among Unitarians and atheists who had lost every other shred of religion and clung only to their millenarian fantasies of a New Jerusalem, wiped clean of sin, history, and human...

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The Left’s Jihad Against the South, Part I On the House

This is the slightly revised and expanded text of a lecture given in March at the Abbeville Institute’s program in Charleston. I Preface My title may strike readers as a bit alarmist.  The word “Jihad” conjures up images of unwashed religious fanatics in a terrorist campaign to eliminate any religious or cultural tradition they find alien.  One thinks immediately of the Taliban wrecking Buddhist shrines, of ISIS strapping their victims to the columns of an ancient temple in Palmyra before blowing both temple and victims to  smithereens.  By contrast, the campaign to eliminate the Southern Identity is being waged by...

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Wednesday’s Child: The Hilarity of Evil

I loathe photography on principle, along with all the other abominations of the Edwardian era which presage the ethical phantasmagoria of our times – notably women in trousers and a music-hall view of everything east of Brighton – yet there are moments when I wish we could publish photographs here.  With today’s post, I would have the gentle reader scrutinizing a snapshot of a young lady by the name of Valeria Rytvina.  Blond, not bad looking, she’s the very picture of what most people would call a normal girl. Last year, a woman in Yekaterinburg – a city in the...