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History

Articles pertaining to political and economic history.

History/Politics

Obama Shamefully Invokes Godwin’s Law While Whining About Democracy

Changes to the presidency in recent memory have often meant a shift in ideology. Former President Bill Clinton was a liberal Democrat, but George W. Bush was a neoconservative. The most recent member of the ex-presidents’ club, Barack Obama, began as a progressive Democrat before finding his way to the establishment. While initially staying quiet, he has recently become more vocal in criticizing his successor. Like many Democrats, Obama seems to believe we’re living in the apocalypse. While President Donald Trump is no limited government politician, he is far from the satanist dictator his opponents make him sound like. Are… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

The US Constitution Was Never Necessary For Military Defense

Before the US Constitution of 1787 was ratified, its proponents had claimed a centralized and powerful American state was necessary for the purposes of military defense. But, as the Anti-Federalists of the time pointed out, the older constitution (known as the Articles of Confederation) had already been sufficient enough to allow the colonies to defeat what was the most powerful state on earth — the British Empire. By the time the Federalists were advocating for a new, stronger, more costly constitution, the US was, as Richard Henry Lee put it, “in no immediate danger of any commotions; we are in a state of perfect peace, and… Keep Reading

History

Two Portraits From The American Civil War

Here are the portraits of famous figures from the Civil War: The first is a Democrat. Politically, he was the polar opposite of Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party. He was ardently pro-slavery. He supported the Lecompton Constitution that sought to make Kansas a slave state, and favored the Dred Scott decision that threw out the Missouri Compromise and opened even Northern territories to slavery. In 1860, this person attended the Democratic Convention. Before the party split and produced two rival nominees for president, he supported Jefferson Davis. After the split between the Northern and Southern democrats, he supported the Southern candidate,… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Why James Madison Hated Democracy

Why was James Madison so critical of democracies? Moreover, why was he so concerned about them when, according to the definition he provided, “democracies” basically don’t exist anywhere, either in his time or in our own. Today, many conservatives like to claim that “the Founding Fathers” opposed democracy and supported less majoritarian republics. However, as is nearly always the case whenever “the Founding Fathers” are involved, a more accurate statement would be “some Founding Fathers” condemned democracy. Indeed, many of the Founding Fathers — especially among the Anti-Federalists, openly described themselves as being in favor of “democracy” and “the democratical… Keep Reading

History/World

Why All Three South-African Presidents Supported Robert Mugabe

On November 21, after 37 years in power, Zimbabwe’s dictator, Robert Mugabe, resigned in infamy. By contrast, the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, was revered in the West. His successor, Thabo Mbeki, was well-respected. Yet over the decades, both Mandela and Mbeki lent their unqualified support to Mugabe. When the baton was passed from Mbeki to the populist polygamist Jacob Zuma, the current leader of South Africa’s dominant-party state, little changed in the country’s relationship with Zimbabwe. Why? And what is the significance of the support Zuma and his predecessors, Mandela and Mbeki, have lent the Zimbabwean dictator over… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Roe V. Wade—Nullification Is The “Rightful Remedy”

Being “pro-life” means a person opposes abortion. But while the pro-life movement seeks to change hearts and minds about abortion, the ultimate goal of the movement is to make abortion illegal. Abortion doctors murder babies, and they should be prosecuted for the crime. How can the pro-life movement bring about the legal prohibition of abortion? The most common hope today is that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade (1973), which would return the issue of legality to the states. This is certainly something to hope for. However, it has been over 44 years since Roe, and the Court… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Morley: Destructive Paranoia In The CIA During The Cold War

Among the Grassy Knoll Left, the CIA has always been the prime suspect in the JFK assassination. In their scenario, the Agency had good reason to kill the president as his supposed attempts to end the Cold War threatened the justification for their existence and the source of their sinister power. With the president who represented the “last best hope” in checking this American version of the SS murdered, the CIA continued unchecked its shadowy control of the United States government. Despite being a conspiracy theorist himself, Jefferson Morley, nevertheless keeps his head about the Agency in this good but… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Diana Trilling: Guerrilla Feminist

When female biographers examine subjects of the same gender via traditionalist institutions (marriage, motherhood), feminists are quick to blast them for affirming the male stereotype of women writers as being unable to write about anything unconnected to a man. But such a view is a-historical when one is dealing with a subject that did not come of age in the Feminist Movement of the 1960s, and deprives the reader of a kind of guerrilla feminism going on beneath traditional roles. Natalie Robins in this good but often frustrating biography manages to rescue Diana Trilling, Nation reviewer, essayist and one of… Keep Reading

History/World

Kim Philby In Moscow: Not What He Wished For

A retired CIA agent was once asked what he would say to Kim Philby, an MI5 agent who spied for Joseph Stalin, if he encountered the defector in Moscow. Rather than angrily confront Philby, the American stated he would ask with considerable satisfaction, “How do you like Moscow now, Kim?” If for once Philby was honest with a Western intelligence agent, the answer would have been not much. For Philby’s Moscow years, from the time of his defection in 1963 to his death almost 30 years ago, in 1988, were marked with a heavy disillusionment he couldn’t drink away. But… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Conservative Turf War: Chambers Vs. Rand

There’s an old saying that has a kernel of truth to it: “That it takes a maniac to defeat a maniac.” There are exceptions to this rule as in the case of the calm and empirical Joseph Welch destroying the fanatical Joseph McCarthy with one phrase (“Have you no sense of decency?”).  But more often than not, fanatics are outmanned by their counterparts. An example is how then-Congressman Richard Nixon, already malformed with self-pity and paranoia, sensed early and correctly that the New Deal darling, Alger Hiss was a sociopathic liar who against all accumulating and damaging evidence denied his… Keep Reading

Culture/History

The Friendship Of Jimmy Stewart And Henry Fonda Shows That Partisanship Can Be Overcome

Uber-liberal Orson Welles once offered as a reason for his friendship with the equally conservative John Wayne was that the latter had “better manners” than the director’s liberal friends. There is certainly a kernel of truth in this when viewed from our vantage point. There are of course some instances where conservatives go into the gutter—and if one considers Trump a conservative then “bad manners” are expressed from the highest office in the land. But by and large it is celebrity liberals today who are the most hateful. A prime example is when liberal actor George Clooney mocked the Alzheimer… Keep Reading

History/Politics/World

Letter From England 3: The Puritan Hypothesis In British Politics

Charlie Elphicke is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Dover and Deal. This makes him my Member of Parliament. On Friday the 3rd November 2017, he discovered – via the media, he says, not from any official notification – that he was suspended from the Conservative Party, and that the Police had been asked to investigate him. No reason for this was given. However, Mr Elphicke’s name was on a confidential list, compiled by Central Office, and immediately leaked on social media, of politicians said to be unable to keep their hands to themselves. Nothing more has been said about… Keep Reading

treason
History/Politics

Hang The Bastards

Do you know who Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were? Do you know what they did? Do you know what happened to them? I’ll save you a trip to Wikipedia: They sold us out to the Rooskies and when we caught them, we sent them to the chair. Those were the days. Professional bullsh-t artists like Alan Dershowitz will peddle all manner of oxymoronic excuses for the Rosenbergs, such as the ludicrous notion that they were both guilty and framed simultaneously. But the bottom line is this: They betrayed the United States of America, and they received exactly what they had… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Declassified JFK Files And The Assassination Blame Game

History is always changing over time. As perspectives shift and fresh minds assess old information, events are judged from varying points of view. Sometimes history is even lucky enough to benefit from new information and these nuggets can fill in the blanks. But sometimes, we get remarkable insight and a treasure trove of information. This is shown by the recently declassified files relating to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. While there was no bombshell about government involvement, additional shooters or confirmation of some other conspiracy theory, history has been updated and expanded a bit. An interesting tidbit… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Is The Supreme Court Really The Ultimate Arbiter Of The Constitution?

Americans today consider the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of the Constitution. Politicians and voters alike will fight tooth and nail over legal questions facing the judicial system, even criticizing Supreme Court rulings when initially handed down. But give a Supreme Court decision enough time and Americans eventually acquiesce. The question becomes “settled.” From the banning of prayer and Bible reading in public schools in the 1960s to the recent forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” in all 50 States, the Court’s decisions reign supreme. However, the Supreme Court’s rulings do not enforce themselves. They carry weight because State… Keep Reading

History/News

BREAKING: President Donald Trump Will Allow Final JFK Pages To Be Declassified

Speculation has been mounting with less than a week remaining before the deadline for the final Warren Commission pages to be released. The public has been eagerly awaiting and there has been bipartisan support for the declassification. But the President had yet to offer any public indication as to whether he would allow the documents to be released. Roger Stone had previously claimed that according to his sources, the Central Intelligence Agency was attempting to persuade him not to release the documents. President Trump has made his decision however. He made his announcement this morning with a Tweet: “Subject to… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Roger Stone Claims CIA Is Trying To Stop JFK Document Dump

While the official story has largely remained in tact for decades, questions and theories have still loomed regarding JFK’s assassination. The Warren Commission report concluded a long investigation, but countless pages remain classified. Under a 1992 law, the deadline to release the remaining documents is this month. The only person who can stop this release is President Donald Trump, who can intervene under the law to stop the disclosure. To this point, the President has not publicly indicated which way he is leaning on the issue of the document dump. Given the magnitude of the revelations and amount of documents,… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Trump, IQ Tests, And Me

In honor of last week’s Trump/Tillerson IQ Test kerfuffle, I decided to do a very politically relevant anthropology article. Well, even more politically relevant than the other times I talk anthropology, a topic that is literally  the most important thing that nobody is talking about. So a few days ago, the president got into a bit of a spat with Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, over his perceived stupidity, allegedly challenging him to take an IQ test simultaneously with him. This led to several articles claiming that this very challenge just makes Trump seem even stupider, because “everyone knows” that… Keep Reading

History

Clarence Thomas: A Man Who Endured The Full Wrath Of The Fake News

On July 1, 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall, America’s first black justice. For compensation, President Bush decided to nominate a second black justice, but this time one with conservative views, which turned out to be extraordinarily controversial. Thomas’ nomination was already fairly controversial even before Anita Hill came out accusing him of sexual harassment. Ultimately, due to the fact that Thomas’ nomination was shrouded in controversy, the media was allowed to play a big opposition role against Clarence Thomas. They did everything in their power to ruin the career of… Keep Reading

History/News/Politics

Is America Ready For The Shocking Release Of The Final JFK Assassination Documents?

For decades, the assassination of former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been subject to numerous conspiracy theories. While the official story states one man, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone, many offer different explanations for what really happened continue to persist. The theories range from foreign actors and communist plots to more sinister ideas such as our own government taking him out. Whatever the case may be, the final revelations will be explosive. When the Warren Commission concluded its investigation of the Kennedy investigation, a great deal of information remained classified. The purpose of this was generally to protect named individuals… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Columbus, The West, And The Myth Of The Noble Savage

Well, it’s Christopher Columbus Day again. And this, of course, means that it is but another occasion for leftists everywhere to repudiate their own civilization. For a few decades now, the 15th century European explorer’s face has been held up as that of Western civilization, i.e. the face of all that is evil in the world. Columbus is the proverbial poster child for the White, Christian, Heterosexual Male, i.e. the contemporary left’s version of Public Enemy Number One. Columbus Day assumes a new significance this year, however, for monuments to Columbus are no longer alone in being targeted for destruction… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

DACA And The Dream Act, Part 3

In the final outcome, we must temper the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients with the rule of law. It was Obama who unconstitutionally allowed them to stay, an illegal action that President Trump is trying to bring back to the rule of law that this country is based upon. The children involved in DACA, through no fault of their own, have been placed in an unsustainable position. If President Donald Trump had not stepped in, the courts would have found DACA to be unconstitutional, and it would have been stopped immediately. President Trump has given the Congress six… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Lysander Spooner: Freedom Trumps The Rule Of Law

On May 22, 1856, South Carolina Representatives Preston Brooks and Laurence Keitt, along with Virginia Representative Henry Edmundson, made a visit to the Senate chamber. When they arrived, the balcony above the chamber still contained some straggling observers, mostly wives of senators. Since Brooks and Keitt were southern gentlemen, they respectfully waited for the ladies to leave. Once the galleries were clear and only men remained in the chamber, Brooks and his allies approached Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, who was writing at his desk. Their reason for approaching Sumner was to respond to a speech Sumner had recently given, called… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

What I Like About Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon (1737-94) was born into an old and moderately wealthy family that had its origins in Kent. Sickly as a child, he was educated at home, and sent while still a boy to Oxford. There, an illegal conversion to Roman Catholicism ruined his prospects of a career in the professions or the City. His father sent him off to Lausanne to be reconverted to the Protestant Faith. He came back an atheist and with the beginnings of what would become a stock of immense erudition. He served part of the Seven Years War in the Hampshire Militia. He sat… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Will President Trump Allow Release Of The Final JFK Assassination Documents?

The assassination of former President John F. Kennedy is known as one of the most tragic moments in United States history. A popular, young President was riding along in a motorcade in Dallas when he was shot dead sitting next to his wife, Jackie. The assassin would later be caught and then killed before he could tell his side of the story. Since, many questions have lingered. Was Lee Harvey Oswald indeed the shooter, or was he just a lowly patsy? If he was indeed the assassin, did he act alone? The basic premise of the story is known through… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

The Value Of The Greek & Roman Classics

When a member of the House of Commons rises to speak on a subject in which he has a pecuniary interest, both the rules of the House and plain decency require him to declare that interest. It is a just requirement, and I propose to follow it here. My agreed title for this morning is “The Value of the Greek and Roman Classics.” I run the Centre for Ancient Studies, which provides tuition in Greek and Latin and Classics in general. I am also the author of twelve novels set in the early Byzantine Empire. Give or take the inevitable… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy/Politics

The Marxist Archipelago

“Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the Universe.”  Albert Einstein In the political struggle for man’s superiority over the state (the Right), and supporters of the state’s superiority over man (the Left), we naturally arrive at a final crisis. Why final?  Because the Left seems to have exhausted all of its ammunition, and they have nothing left. From the very beginning, it was clear that Leftist ideas were a dead-end in the development of mankind, although in some cases everything looked quite the opposite on the surface. One of the most dismal… Keep Reading

History

The Radical Republicans: The Antifa Of 1865

“Anybody who would trash Lee and laud Lincoln is either stupid as a post or just plain evil…” This applies in spades to anyone who would laud the Radical Republicans of 1865, as one TV GOP blonde has recently, and asininely, done. The Radical Republicans, if you can believe it, considered Abraham Lincoln a moderate (a bad thing, in their book). Lincoln successor Andrew Johnson these fanatics branded a reactionary (punishable by obstruction and impeachment). Praised these days by the blonde-ambition faction of the Republican Party, the Radicals were stars of America’s own Reign of Terror over the South, at… Keep Reading

History/Politics

50 Shades Of American Fascism

Hitler was a very good student. Those who read Mein Kampf will find therein many good words about America. More precisely, not about the whole of America, but about the numerous attempts of the American socialists to change the foundations of the American way of life. The ideas of forced sterilization and forced abortion were adopted by Hitler from the founder of feminism, American socialist Margaret Sanger. Madame Sanger even founded a special clinic to promote mass abortions of black people to reduce their number with the aim of completely eradicating blacks in America. This organization still exists–it is called… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Mead, Brannon, And Sexual Misery

Last week we delved into Coming of Age in Samoa, and now we’ll deal with its repercussions. As a casual glance around would inform you, much of the discussion of masculinity that goes on in this day and age is roughly “why don’t we just…change it? After all, there’s nothing inherent about it, it’s all just social constructs, right?” As was discussed in the last article, Mead and Boas were two of the biggest propagators of this train of thought. But the question remains, what is the link? How did Margaret Mead’s theories go from a popular anthropological text to one… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?

“Some crazy person just compared President Abraham Lincoln to Hitler. Yes, this just happened on CNN and Brooke Baldwin’s reaction was perfect.” So scribbled one Ricky Davila on social media. Indeed, an elderly Southern gentleman had ventured that President Lincoln, not General Lee, murdered civilians, a point even a Court historian and a Lincoln idolater like Doris Kearns Goodwin would concede. While the Argument From Hitler is seldom a good one, Ms. Baldwin’s response was way worse. Were she an honest purveyor of news and knowledge; anchor-activist Baldwin would have sought the facts. Instead, she pulled faces, so the viewer… Keep Reading

Economics/History/Politics

Southern Secession Was One Thing — And The War To Prevent It Was Another

There’s an old saying that “he who distinguishes well teaches well.” In other words, if one’s going to talk about an important subject, one should be able to define his terms and tell the difference between two things that are not the same. This wisdom, unfortunately, is rarely embraced by modern pundits arguing about the causes of the American Civil War. A typical example can be found in this article at the Huffington Post in which the author opines: “This discussion [over the causes of the war] has led some people to question if the Confederacy, and therefore the Civil… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Why Decentralized Militias Matter

In 1852, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Springfield, Illinois in which he talked about the attempts at required militia training. He described how much of a joke the citizens made of any attempt at mandatory militia training. “No man,” Lincoln said, citing the rules, “is to wear more than five pounds of cod-fish for epaulets, or more than thirty yards of bologna sausages for a sash; and no two men are to dress alike, and if any two should dress alike the one that dresses most alike is to be fined.” He also described the militia figure of “our… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

Thoughts On Charlottesville

I’m not going to bother going over the gory details of the national disgrace that unfolded in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday. It’s been hashed out over and over again, and there’s nothing to be gained by putting it under a microscope here. But I do have some observations that I’d like to share. First, there are a lot of people out there who want to punch Nazis. Fair enough, I’ve wanted to do the same thing since I first watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. My zeal for crushing National Socialists only grew with my first play-through of Wolfenstein 3D… Keep Reading

History

Joseph Goebbels: Hitler’s PHD

From its beginnings, academics abroad, and for a time within Germany, attacked the Nazi regime’s appeal to the uneducated, ignorant, and mindless as a reflection of those who peopled Hitler’s dictatorship in general and his inner circle in particular. This had a basis in reality, for among Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Herman Goering, it was only the former who had some type of post-secondary education. But Himmler’s was the equivalent of what is called today “a trade school,” as his chief focus was on agronomy, which he did not receive a degree for. Apart from Albert Speer, who attended graduate… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Anti-Federalists Were Right

On the eve of the federal convention, and following its adjournment in September of 1787, the Anti-Federalists made the case that the Constitution makers in Philadelphia had exceeded the mandate they were given to amend the Articles of Confederation, and nothing more. The Federal Constitution augured ill for freedom, argued the Anti-Federalists. These unsung heroes had warned early Americans of the “ropes and chains of consolidation,” in Patrick Henry’s magnificent words, inherent in the new dispensation. At the very least, and after 230 years of just such “consolidation,” it’s safe to say that the original Constitution is a dead letter.… Keep Reading

History/World

Spain At The Brink

Time has not been kind to the Spanish Civil War, which, among the Left at least, ranks up there with World War II as “the good war.” Russian declassified documents show that Stalin was trying to import his horrific Purge Trials into Loyalist Spain by attempting to execute en masse his Spanish opposition in the form of non-Stalinist but authentically anti-fascist frontline military units on trumped-up charges of being “fascist spies.” On his orders, his plaything, the Stalinist-dominated Loyalist government used their secret police to hunt down and execute these “fascists.” Unfortunately for those who defended the necessity of these… Keep Reading

Culture/History

George Orwell: More Astute Than Edmund Wilson

Biographers of literary critic Edmund Wilson have asserted that the writer who bears the closest resemblance to Wilson, who reigned as America’s premier man of letters from the 1920s—1960s, is George Orwell. Writing of his subject, Lewis Dabney sought to validate this trans-Atlantic connection by stating that, like Wilson, Orwell was “a social critic who’d digested Marxism, a satirist and autobiographer until 1984 better known as a man of letters than for his fiction.” Dabney noted that both men, rarely praiseworthy of their contemporaries (although Orwell inexplicably lauded Henry Miller), were so toward each other. Orwell lauded Wilson’s essay on… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Helen Gahagan Douglas: The Hillary Clinton Of The 1940s

As Hillary Clinton continues her “excuse” tour regarding her decisive loss to Trump, ranging from the now well-worn Russian collusion thesis to weak support from Obama during the campaign to an ineffective and shattered DNC, many Democrats have sought to acquaint her with the painful reality that she was simply a bad candidate. Such frankness, however, has not attached itself to a cherished liberal history lesson regarding an eerily similar 1950 California Senate race between Republican Congressman Richard Nixon and Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas. For liberals then and now, Nixon’s victory was achieved by his métier of red-baiting and… Keep Reading

History

Robert Merriman Was Brave, But Apologized For Soviet Tyranny

It is said, cold-bloodedly, that JFK died in the most romantic and, based on what was to come for the remainder of the 1960s, fortunate way possible. For his death bathed his image in golden lights that did not cling to him while he lived, and allowed him to miss the consequences of many of his actions, particularly with regard to his hawkish stance on Vietnam. Had Oswald missed or Kennedy dodged the fatal head shot, it could have been JFK who was the subject of the New Left chant directed toward his successor–“Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

The Rise Of Trump From An “Elite” Perspective

As we are well into the first year of the Trump administration, and leftists are still walking around in a dim haze of incredulity, I’d like to reflect a little on why the man was elected. As some of you have probably inferred from the title, I am (on paper) a “coastal elitist.” I was born and raised in New Jersey, I am college educated (holding both two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree), and being that I read, exercise, and listen to classical music, I suppose my tastes run to the fairly “highbrow.” In practice, some of my other… Keep Reading

History/Politics/Religion

Graham Greene: Catholic Communist

One of the more transparently manipulative and hypocritical slogans used by Western Communist Parties in the mid 1930s to recruit allies for Stalin was specifically designed for Catholics: “You can still take Communion and love the Soviet Union.” Graham Greene, novelist, pundit, and above all, Catholic, embodied this slogan. Indeed, Greene’s attempts to link Catholicism with a Soviet Union that persecuted priests from the get-go predated this slogan. Since the 1920s, Greene had sought to merge his Catholic faith with his Communist one, which prompted George Orwell, a foe of both organized religion and communism, to label Green the first… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Claud Cockburn: Pioneer Of The Mainstream Media

Conservatives today locate the origins of the “mainstream media” in the Watergate and Vietnam era; when every reporter since has wanted to have the presidency-toppling effect of a Woodward and Bernstein. But from Watergate on, the presidencies that reporters have wanted toppled have been exclusively Republican ones. Much of this partisanship had to do with the inclusion of New Leftist ideologues, ironically once anti-establishment toward the press, burrowing into the profession and the academia that trains future journalists. Conservatives are certainly correct that the profession today is dominated by leftists who never left the late sixties, where objectivity was an… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Mother’s Little Helper?

A major part of the progressive mindset is the notion of a linear path of history (one might call it a “progression”). This is essentially the belief that all things today are better than all things in the past, and all things in the future will be better than all things today. Since things today are supposed to be good, this belief engenders a demonization of the past when problems inevitably arise in the present, as they tend to do in all ages. It’s not very difficult to find examples of this phenomenon in the cultures of various far-left regimes… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Napoleonic Touch

Some observers have smugly claimed that it is impossible to have a reactionary movement. They say it would be like piecing a ruined cobweb back together or trying to set Humpty Dumpty back on his wall. For them, it is one item on a long list of impossibilities. If one supposes that reactionaries want to return to some glittering past in every particular and detail, then the critics are right; it cannot be done. Fortunately, we are not focused on bringing back the poke bonnet or illuminated manuscripts; that is to say, nobody is trying to revive the little irrelevancies… Keep Reading

History

The Duchess Of Atholl: Nobility For Stalin

In the film version of George Orwell’s book Keep The Aspidistra Flying, the main character, a struggling writer, assumes correctly that because a benefactor of writers is wealthy, said benefactor is therefore a communist. This assumption was very much a reality in the upper class intellectual world of 1930s Britain. For it was not only the expensively educated like Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden–and on a more sinister level, Kim Philby–who were pro-Stalin, but also Nancy Cunard, the daughter of a shipping magnate. This zeitgeist was so pervasive, that this pampered faction had a titled conservative in their ranks; who,… Keep Reading

History/Politics/World

Letter From England 1: Setting The Scene

I have been asked to write a weekly column on British politics. Since I am writing for a largely American readership, and since Americans mostly know little of what happens outside their own country, I think it would be best if I were to begin with a brief overview not only of what is happening here, but also of what has been happening for quite some time. David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010 at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Conservatives had won more seats than any other party in the House of Commons, but fallen short… Keep Reading

Culture/History

The Struggle To Publish Animal Farm

George Orwell’s devastating satire on Stalinism, Animal Farm remains even 72 years later, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, the gold standard for totalitarian literature. But Orwell’s classic novel which established the phrase “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” nearly didn’t secure a publisher, who based their rejections not on the quality of the book, but because of its unwelcome politics. Written and submitted during the height of Soviet popularity in 1943-1945, who, as a war-time ally pushed Hitler all the way back to Berlin, the fable was rejected not only by pro-Stalinists and at least one KGB agent, but by… Keep Reading

History/Politics

“The Necessary Murder”

Omitted from leftist narratives as to why those of their own defected to the anti-Communist side is how a single murder provoked the defection. Instead pro-Communists and “anti-anti-Communists” assign base motives to these supposedly mentally unstable drunks such as a desire for the latter to line their pockets and for a new appreciation of fascism. Ernest Hemingway, who sought a relationship with the Soviet secret police, used the greed argument against his one-time friend John Dos Passos for publicly accusing Communists during the Spanish Civil War of murdering Dos Passos’ friend, Jose Robles. Hemingway with help from the Soviet-directed loyalist… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Advice On Learning Latin

Aside from my various books–more of which will come out this month and next–I get most of my living nowadays from teaching Greek and Latin. I do this as a private tutor, and sometimes as an informal staff member at various places of education. Because demand for my services in any one place is limited, there is no point in my becoming a formal member of staff. Instead, I go out to see students in their homes or in classrooms, or in university libraries, or sometimes I even hold court in the kitchen of my own house. I do the… Keep Reading

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