The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.
P R A E S I D I U M
A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis
15.2 (Spring 2015)
A Quarterly Publication of the Center for Literate Values
All contents of this journal are copyrighted by The Center for Literate Values of Tyler, Texas (2015), and may not be cited at length or reproduced without The Center’s express permission.
John R. Harris, Ph.D.
University of Texas, Tyler
Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.
Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.
Michael H. Lythgoe
Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)
Contents of This Issue
Academe in Decay
The great work of literature has enjoyed a faintly “angelic” status in Western culture—a recognition that it delivers a high message with a mood of urgency. Now the professoriate has effectively degraded the canon’s study to an assembly line for conference papers and jargon-ridden articles aimed at securing promotion and tenure.
The Polis vs. Progress
Based on a conference paper, this essay examines the complex collision of values in our shrinking world that renders the word “freedom” almost indefinable. Options for coherent societies in the future are reviewed and assessed in terms of probability.
Building upon Mr. Wegierski’s paper, Professor Harris makes a rather pragmatic case for why, with the steady erosion of representative government and the imminent collapse of governmental competence across the board, futuristic communities should be encouraged to stabilize around moral and cultural values embraced by local populations.
Our anonymous professor explains why a tactical technology so often deployed by the Left and applauded by the Right ought to be deplored both by champions of basic human rights and by friends of cultural tradition. No principled stand is in sight on either side of the aisle.
Free Speech in Crisis
Are Both America and Canada Currently in Decline? Mark Wegierski
Unfortunately, the answer to the title’s question must be a resounding “yes”, inasmuch as Mr. Wegierski’s very balanced and dispassionate discussion of a third way for Canadian politics—first published in 2008 and republished here—recently disappeared from Web archive without explanation. The mere mention of a conservative strain in Canadian political and cultural life must now be suppressed, apparently.
Faith & Cultural Meltdown
The Word, the Truth, and the Light John R. Harris
This off-beat essay combines anthropology with spirituality and reaches a stunning conclusion: namely, that any being possessed of the power of speech must also be regarded as possessing a soul.
Elysium Liberated (novel excerpt) J. S. Moseby
The author offers this visionary glimpse into the next life as a short story, though he confides that it may become the first chapter of a novel. Notice how eternity, in this view, picks up seamlessly with all we do and have been doing here and now—for better or for worse!
Yearning (poem) trans. David Z. Crookes
The original short poem was composed by Joseph von Eichendorff. Included on this page are a couple of artistic works that the translator has recently completed in very different media. Though they suffer from reduction to jpeg files, these latter and the Caspar David Friedrich painting atop the page collaborate with the poem to create a few moments of restful escape from a dull-witted world.
Education vs. Mass-Formatting
A Gifted Student’s Letter and a Jaded Teacher’s Postscript Taylor Welles and John R. Harris
A young undergraduate shares a letter he addressed to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan… but his teacher worries that we may not be investing enough effort in holding onto good things acquired through centuries of cultivation as we chase after “progress”.