The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

4

The Apogee of Imbecility

The European ruling class likes to tell its subjects that the massive influx of migrants from the Middle East is harmless.  These are people just Europeans, they say, but unlike the privileged people of the West, the migrants have have had the bd luck to be living in a war zone.  We are morally obliged to accept as many of them as would like to come, because we can never say no to a refugee from anywhere, lest we be like the cold-hearted Christians who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust. The narrative is wrong on many levels.  Perhaps...

1

Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

  From London, though I’m yet to arrive there, with stops at Vienna and Paris, but what’s a little topographic imprecision among friends?  Vienna, because the eccentric diva who, as the reader may recall from my New Year missive, wore three different wigs in a single night, has invited us there; Paris, because a benevolent friend there gives my wife sound advice with regard to her concert career; and finally London, because there Irina has just had published a monograph on her collection of paintings, a massive tome entitled Flying in the Wake of Light.  Irina Stolyarova – such is...

1

Properties of Blood I.3: The Disappearing Individual, Part G

The Pernicious Myth of the Individual The term individual is derived from individuum, a Medieval Latin word, meaning “undivided being.”  In applying it to human beings, we run into two difficulties.  The first and easiest to grasp is that “undivided” implies a single nature, whether material or spiritual.  A materialist would have no trouble in agreeing that man is a purely material being, that soul and consciousness are epiphenomenal, that is, accidental byproducts of biological processes that give us illusions like free will and the human mind.  Most non-materialists will hesitate to go down this road, though mystics or even...

5

Every Man a President

The word is out from the highest bully pulpit in the land:  Donald Trump will not be President.  Why, because being President “is a serious job.”   President Obama went on,  by way of the via negativa,  to define the presidency by saying: “It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show, it’s not promotion, it’s not marketing… It’s not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get you in the news on a given day.” It is pretty obvious that the President has been spending a lot of time looking at his image in the mirror, and...

5

Sickness and Technology

Dear Readers Technology is supposed to be a tool we use.  If it’s reliable, sometimes we can be shocked at its letting us down.  Last week Dr. Fleming and I spent 45 minutes trying to get him properly and digitally into our virtual studio so we could record a podcast.  We had performed the exact same actions just a few days earlier with absolutely zero trouble.  Ah, the idiosyncrasies of our digital masters. Dr. Fleming showed remarkable patience throughout and while we could have persevered on that afternoon to try for a makeshift solution, he wisely relented, and planned a...

1

The Media Masseurs, Part I

Here in Rome I read Midwestern news stories many hours late or, if the events took place at night, seven hours early.   In the morning, while my distant neighbors were still asleep, I read about the machete-wielding maniac in Columbus, Ohio, who attacked the diners in a Middle Eastern restaurant.  It was hard to get any hard facts.  The one fact that stuck out was the image of the Israeli flag in the window of a restaurant named Nazareth, along with other symbols and words in Arabic.  Some report did either report or conjecture that the owner had tried...

10

Wednesday’s Child: The Way to Malibu

“Centuries after Great Schism”–well, some ten of them, to be more precise–“Pope and Patriarch are to Meet.”  So a headline in the Financial Times.  It makes me wonder if, in their editors’ and reporters’ view, all news with only a remote historical precedent is ipso facto grounds for optimism.  Now, seeing as God isn’t really these people’s beat, let’s poke around for an example closer to their hearts to illustrate my misgivings.  What about “Corporate Tax in France without Parallel at 99%”?  Or “Germany: Banks Nationalized Overnight”?  Or “All Private Property Abolished in Britain”? “Ah,” I may be told, “but...

0

Properties of Blood, I.3: The Disappearing Individual, Part F

Socrates and Christ Greek ethical conceptions underwent a transformation, it goes without saying, between the time of Homer and the writings of Plato and Aristotle.  One important development that affected this evolution was the rise of the polis, which challenged the ethical primacy of kinship and friendship.  As Gabriel Herman summarized this development: “…the ancient world was criss-crossed with an extensive network of personal alliances linking together all sorts of apolitical bodies (households, tribes, bands, etc.).  The city’s framework superposed itself upon this existing network—superimposed itself upon it, yet did not dissolve it.” Tensions between one’s loyalty to family and...

3

On the House: The End of the American Century

About On the House.  From time to time I am posting free pieces, many of this old (this one dates back to 1999), partly to remind people that the truth has been “out there” for more than a two years and partly to entice casual readers into subscribing.  A Silver level subscription costs nothing per month–two packs of cigarettes, a bottle of cheap wine, a month of Netflix.  This is a non-profit operation, believe me, but I am no longer convinced of the wisdom of giving things away.  I recall hearing something about casting pearls before swine.  Then, come on, do not...

10

Cruz Unchained

I used to try to understand Italian politics.  This meant I had to read the newspapers, no easy task back in the primitive times before anyone had heard of the Internet.    By the late 90’s I could keep up by looking at La Repubblica online, watching RAI television broadcasts, and checking up on the new faces entering the arena in the aftermath of the communist coup known as the “Mani Pulite” (Clean Hands) investigation of “Tangentopoli” (bribe city). After a while, it got to be more trouble than it was worth.  Who could really care which lying scoundrel beat...