The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Interview with Misa Djurkovic, Part III

The Bigger Picture 8.  Why is this happening.  Is this a case of historical accident?  Do you agree with American and European who say it is all the fault of President Assad or does US support for the rebels—only the “moderate and democratic” rebels, of course—play a part? The roots of this problem spread deep into neoconservative (neotrotskyite) schemes and are behind the agenda of “democratizing” the Muslim world. It started with Afghanistan and reaches a climax with Arab Spring. There is now massive instability all around MENA (the Middle East and North Africa): the slaughter of Christians, outbursts of...

11

Wednesday’s Child: Repentance

A fascinating document is circulating in cyberspace. As it is in my mother tongue, there’s little point in directing my readers to a specific link, but those among them who read Russian can easily find it by using Yandex or any other search engine that accepts Cyrillic. The author’s name is Sergei Grigoryants. I had already left Russia when, in 1975, the dissident was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to five years in prison for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda,” under Article 70 of the Khrushchev-era Soviet Penal Code which took up where Article 58 of the Stalin-era Penal Code...

15

Misa Djurkovic Interview, Part II

Part II:  The European Context 5. The Germans seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth, with Merkel saying early on that this had to be treated as a humanitarian crisis but later blaming Hungary and Croatia for letting so many migrants into the EU.  What do you think she and other EU leaders have in mind? I just published a book called The Illusion of European Union. One big chapter deala with immigration politics in the EU. It is a mess, that basically comes down to a strong internal fight between ordinary people–which includes even statesmen...

6

Properties of Blood, Chapter I, K

Doing the Lord’s Work Philosophically, Augustine was a Platonist and, like Plato and Thomas More (a Renaissance Neoplatonist), he was inclined to extremes in his speculations on human moral and social perfectibility. While I agree entirely that the great philosophical tradition is that of Plat and Aristotle, there are subjects o which one or the other great master may be a more useful guide. Idealists, it sometimes seems, are too often in a rush to erect the lofty and towering kingdom of God on earth, even before they have properly surveyed the ground or laid the foundations. The results of...

6

Cicero, Part II: Enter Cicero, Stage Left.

The most notable event of the consulship of Pompey and Crassus, however, was the political trial of Gaius Verres. As governor of Sicily (73-71) Verres had outdone all his predecessors and rivals in corruption and theft, and he could afford to retain the greatest legal and political talent of the day, the former consul and arch-conservative, Q. Hortensius Hortalus. The desperate Sicilians turned to M. Tullius Cicero, a young orator with great political ambitions. Cicero was a well-to-do novus homo (a new man, that is, someone with no ancestors who had reached high office) from the sticks, Arpinum, in fact,...

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An Interview With Misa Djurkovic: Serbia–and Europe–Under Siege

An Interview with Misa Djurkovic, a writer and political analyst with the Institute of European Studies, Belgrade. Part I:  Τhe Immigration Crisis and Serbia 1. How has the Inundation of Islamic refugees affected Serbia?   How many have actually crossed into Serbia?  Do many stay or are they just passing through on the way to Hungary. For the time being more than 200, 000 of immigrants, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have entered Serbia. Not all of them should be regarded as refugees or asylum seekers. Huge number of them are economic immigrants. At this point, all of them...

13

Back to the Past, Part I: Athens

International travel has always been a chore, but in recent decades that chore has begun to equal one of the labors of Hercules. The blame lies in part to pointless security regulations and the TSA goons culled from the prisons, asylums, and housing projects from which they were recruited, in part to the airlines who, in packing fatter and fatter Americans into tighter and tighter places, have defied the laws of solid geometry, but in larger part to the travelers themselves. What people! Unwashed bodies bulging out of unwashed jeans, aging fat ladies whose decibels rise with the alcohol content...

3

Wednesday’s Child: Convertible Malarkey

In the commotion, here and elsewhere, caused by my “Putin’s Hitler” last month, some words of doubt got misplaced – chiefly I mean readers questioning my contention, with which I had prefaced this post a week earlier, that Russia’s got money enough to burn, to say nothing of buying Crimea, if not Kiev.  I admit to certain capriciousness in my choice of Exhibit A, namely, a bill for 107,524 Euros paid by a party of young Russians lunching at a seaside restaurant in France; in the past few weeks, however, somewhat less fanciful proof has been adduced, and this I...

6

Properties of Blood, I: J

Light Unto the Nations Christians and Jews have always believed that the Jews of the Old Testament were an instrument by which salvation came to the human race.  This does not mean that gentiles and all their works were uniformly despised even in the Old Testament.  Throughout the Old Testament we meet with many decent or righteous gentiles: the pharaoh who befriended Joseph, the benevolent Persian king (Cyrus) whom some rabbis regarded as the Messiah, because he returned the Jews to the Holy Land, and Job, the man of Uz.  The gentile Job is the most righteous man of the...

12

Preface to Cicero

Part I Some years ago, at a weekend meeting of The Rockford Institute’s executives, Richard Neuhaus chattered endlessly about what he called “Public Philosophy” and recommended that the Institute draw up a public philosophy of its own.  He had borrowed the phrase from  Walter Lippmann, a columnist who had spent a long career trivializing important questions.  After the meeting, John Howard asked me if I would have a crack at drawing up the TRI Public Philosophy.  This is exactly the sort of thing I hate, but I accepted the task, albeit grudgingly, and explained to John that the most successful...