Author: Samuel Francis (Samuel Francis)

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Tax-Supported Amphibious Landings

Until the discovery in the spring of 1989 that the National Endowment for the Arts was conducting tax-supported amphibious landings on the farther shores of anatomy, physiology, and abnormal psychology, probably few Americans had ever heard of the relatively obscure agency that presides over the floating wreckage of the American arts. Founded in 1965 and...

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The Bogeyman Is Still Out There

“And the bogeyman will get ya, if ya don’t watch out,” sang James Whitcomb Riley in one of his most popular and most insipid poems. The bogeyman is still out there, it seems. Sometimes he’s Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi; sometimes Syria’s Hafez Assad, or Idi Amin, Yassir Arafat, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Abu Nidal, or any of...

The Secret of the Twentieth Century
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The Secret of the Twentieth Century

“In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.” —S.T. Coleridge When Kevin Phillips’s The Politics of Rich and Poor hit the best-seller list last summer, the Gipperites began to squeal like a worn-out fan belt in a used Toyota. “Anti-Reagan sophistry,” sneered David Brock of the Heritage Foundation in the Wall Street Journal....

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A Twinkle in the Brain

Two years after George Bush moved downtown to the White House, the suspicion is beginning to twinkle in the brains of his conservative followers that the President is not one of them after all. What tipped them off to this shattering truth was their leader’s nonchalant decision last summer to support a tax increase. But...

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Desperate Pretense

After two years of desperate pretense that the Bush administration is but the long afternoon of the Reagan era, many of Mr. Bush’s conservative supporters now begin to suspect that morning in America is fast lurching toward chaos and old night. The President’s apparent willingness to consider tax increases, despite his best-known campaign promise, and...

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A New Civilization

One of the unmistakable signs that a new civilization is about to leap forth from the crumbling cocoon of an old is the transformation in the meaning of traditional holidays. When a rising Christian elite seized political and cultural power in the late Roman Empire, it lost no time in turning the old Roman Saturnalia...

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Ounces of Flesh

On the same day last year that the Supreme Court sliced a few ounces of flesh out of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, it also carved up an American tradition governing the public observance of Christmas. In the case of Allegheny v. ACLU, the Court held that Allegheny County in Pennsylvania could...

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February, Otherwise Known As “Black History Month”

“Black History Month,” sometimes called “February,” used to be about as exciting as National Jogging Week, but this year it stood up and pranced. First, executives at CBS gave the bounce to commentator Andy Rooney to punish him for unkind remarks he may or may not have uttered about the African-American gene pool. Then, Senator...

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Disintegrating

In the space of a few months in 1989, the Soviet imperium in Eastern Europe began to disintegrate like a soda cracker in salt water, and even within the U.S.S.R. itself, long dormant national, ethnic, and religious passions began to sputter and whine. The Beriin Wall was turned into a collection of pet rocks, and...

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An Endless Quest

The Dept. of Education, in its seemingly endless quest to discover new ways for students and teachers to waste their time, has approved a high-school course on the holocaust. Centered around a 400-page textbook called “Facing History and Ourselves,” the course is a semester-long exercise in intellectual and psychological nosepicking, an extended submersion into irrationalism...

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Winding Up

Manuel Antonio Noriega, Panama’s crater-faced ex-dictator, may or may not wind up in a gringo calaboose for the rest of his life. After the first blush of the US victory over Gen. Noriega’s Panamanian Defense Force began to wear a bit gray, legal authorities in the United States suddenly realized they might not have much...

Rouge on a Corpse’s Lips
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Rouge on a Corpse’s Lips

“The history of the world is the judge of the world.” —Hermann Ullmann Two ironies attend the life and career of Whittaker Chambers. The first is that the one-time Communist spy, foreign editor of Time, and witness against Soviet espionage became notable during his life and afterwards only because of the Hiss Case, which brought...

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Hardly an Accident

It is hardly an accident that the decomposition of the American nation and its culture is paralleled by the decomposition of the American middle class. In the 19th century, nationality and the middle classes were born together as Siamese twins, and their enemies understood their linkage and tried their best to strangle them in their...

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A Threat to Integrity

Like Satan in Dante’s Inferno, the forces threatening the integrity of the American nation and its culture have three faces. The “global economy” and political one-world.ism jeopardize the historic character, independence, and the very sovereignty of the United States. The third threat, the mass immigration that this country has endured for the last fifteen years...

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A Major Threat to American Identity

Economic globalism, beloved of many on the contemporary right, may be the major threat to the national and cultural identity of American civilization in the coming decades, but its logical counterpart is the political globalism, long beloved of the left, that marches under the banner of “one world.” As the economic dependence of the United...

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Zippity-Doo-Dah Rhetoric

Despite the zippity-doo-dah rhetoric that many conservatives have spouted for the last decade, the United States in the 1990’s will encounter challenges that neither the “right” nor the “left” is prepared to recognize, much less meet. The challenges go far beyond the “relative decline” that Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers...

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Nationalism Looking Pretty Good

If conservatives carried revolvers, they’d probably reach for them at the sound of the word “nationalism.” Perhaps it’s just as well they don’t carry revolvers, since nationalism usually makes its appearance armed with considerably bigger guns. In the Europe of Metternich and Castlereagh, nationalism was the vehicle for the revolutionary destruction of dynastic and aristocratic...

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80th Annual Convention

When the 80th annual convention of the NAACP gathered in solemn conclave in Detroit last July, the delegates listened approvingly to Executive Director Benjamin Hooks’ call for “civil disobedience on a mass scale that has never been seen in this country before.” Mr. Hooks was upset that the Supreme Court recently delivered itself of some...

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An Illusion of the Future

Barely a week after, the Tiananmen Square massacre, Ronald Reagan showed up in London to deliver himself of some post-presidential opinions. As the nation’s newest elder statesman, Mr. Reagan received international headlines for his speech, which turned out to be a long variation on his best-known line from Death Valley Days: progress is our most...

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Left, Right, Up, Down

Since the time of the French Revolution, the labels “left” and “right” have served as universal symbols on the road atlas of modern politics. The exact meaning of the symbols has never been clear, especially when they are applied outside the narrow streets of practical politics and extended to the broader ranges of philosophy, religion,...

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As We Go Marching

” . . . Your tragic quality Required the huge delusion of some major purpose to produce it. What, that the God of the stars needed your help?” —Robinson Jeffers, “Woodrow Wilson” “When a term has become so universally sanctified as ‘democracy’ now is,” wrote T.S. Eliot in 1939, “I begin to wonder whether it...

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Yuppie Cons

In the 1950’s, American conservatives, subscribing to what Clinton Rossiter called the “thankless persuasion,” were a hard-shelled, pig-eyed lot who took no prisoners and asked no quarter. National Review, in a once-famous but now largely forgotten editorial in its premier issue, vowed that its mission was to stand athwart history and cry stop. Admittedly, this...

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A Zeitgeist of Another Color

Among the many questions about the new presidency of George. Bush with which the lips of Washington were afroth this spring was whether Lee Atwater is for real. The thirty-seven-year-old head of the Republican National Committee who made the name of Willie Horton as familiar to American households as the Domino’s Pizza gremlin is one...

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Our Nation, Your Money

Ever since 1914, when the unity of European socialism was virtually shattered by the decision of some share-the-wealthers to support their own nations over the claims of the international class struggle, a furtive little thought has been gnawing at the progressivist mind like a mouse chewing on a rafter. That thought is the suspicion that...

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The Drugged War

When President-elect George Bush announced a week before his inauguration that his new “drug czar” would be former Education Secretary William Bennett, the air began to seep out of the tires of his new presidency before it even got on the road. Had Mr. Bennett ever participated in a drug arrest, had he ever worked...

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Tabula Rasa

If George Bush accomplishes nothing else in his lifetime, he has at least earned a secure niche in future editions of Trivial Pursuit. Not since Martin Van Buren trounced the Whigs in 1836 has an incumbent Vice President been elected to the White House. The lackluster record of Andrew Jackson’s successor perhaps does not inspire...

The Cult of Dr. King
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The Cult of Dr. King

The third annual observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. passed happily enough in the nation’s capital, with the local merchants unloading their assorted junk into the hands of an eager public. It is hardly surprising that “King Day,” observed as a federal legal public holiday since 1986, has already become part of...

Ages in Chaos
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Ages in Chaos

“In history the way of annihilation is invariably prepared by inward degeneration. . . . Only then can a shock from the outside put an end to the whole.” —Burkhardt Discussion of treason has become almost impossible without quoting Sir John Harington’s famous couplet, “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? / For if it...

Who’s In Charge Here?
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Who’s In Charge Here?

America, in case you haven’t noticed, is lost in the throes of celebrating the writing of its Constitution, which is now two centuries old. The somewhat labored efforts to fix public attention on the historic document are largely the work of former Chief Justice Warren Burger and his own private bureaucracy in the Commission on...

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Past and Present

“The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery.” —Ralph Hodgson A steady flow of scholarly works on the intellectual roots of modern conservatism has appeared since the 1950’s. Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind was and remains the best and the best-known of such books, but similar studies by Peter Viereck, Clinton Rossiter, and others...

The Bureaucrat and the Shoe Salesman
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The Bureaucrat and the Shoe Salesman

“Among the many priests of Jove . . . all passed muster that could hide Their sloth, avarice, and pride.” —Bernard Mandeville Bruno Rizzi’s La Bureaucratisation du Monde, first published in Paris in 1939 and Part I of which is here translated by Adam Westoby into English for the first time, is the obscure work...

The Evil That Men Don’t Do: Joe McCarthy and the American Right
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The Evil That Men Don’t Do: Joe McCarthy and the American Right

His is probably the most hated name in American history. Other villains—Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, Alger Hiss, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg—today evoke merely the esoteric passions of the antiquarian or the interminable controversies of partisans. Only Joe McCarthy has given his name to an enduring term of political abuse, and in American politics today there...

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To the Pretoria Station

Governments, Lenin once wrote, never fall unless they are first pushed. Whatever his faults, the old Bolshevik must have known something about how to get rid of unwanted regimes. In the Revolution of 1917, it was the Imperial German government that helped to push over what was left of the Russian state by dispatching Lenin...

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Revolution on the Right: The End of Bourgeois Conservatism?

In the early months of 1985, national headlines recounted lurid tales of an impending right-wing bloodbath in the United States. In New York City Bernhard Goetz admitted to the shooting of four Blacks who he believed were about to assault him on a subway car, and he promptly became a national hero. In the Washington...

Twentieth Century Fox
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Twentieth Century Fox

Every century must appear to those who live through it as the most important in history. In the case of the 20th century, an argument can be made that it represents a turning point comparable to the great transitional periods of human history and that, unlike these other periods, it affects directly and immediately most...

Accidents & Ignorance
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Accidents & Ignorance

A. J. P. Taylor: A Personal History; Atheneum; New York.   With the exception of Edward Gibbon, there have been few great historians who have written their autobiographies. The reason for this should be fairly clear. While some historians, such as Macaulay or Mommsen, led interesting lives, and some, such as Lewis Namier, are interesting...

Americans, Operatives & Apparatchiks
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Americans, Operatives & Apparatchiks

Rael Jean Isaac and Erich Isaac: The Coercive Utopians: Social Deception by America’s Power Players; Regnery Gateway; Chicago. For about the past 15 years it has gradually been dawning on an increasing number of Americans that the people who rule their country are not entirely under their control. Bureaucracies en­force regulations no legislature ever passed;...