cultural analysis 16-4

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.


A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

16.4 (Fall 2016)


A Quarterly Publication of the Center for Literate Values

1515-5436 (c)

All contents of this journal are copyrighted by The Center for Literate Values of Tyler, Texas (2016), and may not be cited at length or reproduced without The Center’s express permission.

View the previous edition of Praesidium.


John R. Harris, Ph.D.

University of Texas, Tyler


Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.

SUNY Oswego


Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY


Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)



Contents of This Issue

             History, Reminiscence, & Speculation

Historic Storefronts Can Be Preserved: Gentile Manners Melt in Electrons     John R. Harris 
The tastefully restored historic storefronts of semi-rural Rome, Georgia, offer hope that our towns may still be built on a human scale—but architecture cannot save manners, even in the heart of the gentile South.

On the 200th Anniversary of the Founding of the University of Warsaw (November 19, 1816)     Mark Wegierski
The author looks at post-secondary education in Poland generally, and the University of Warsaw’s history in particular, with some assistance from personal experiences.

            The Polis and Pop Culture

The Gender-Confused Era’s Paradigm of the Manly Man     Peter T. Singleton
There can be little wonder that some people in our time seem to be very confused about whether they’re male or female when the essential notion of a “manly man” has fused with that of a an adolescent punk.

The Gotham Regime: Examining Human Nature From Al-Farabi to Batman     Josiah Shipley & Alexander Free
The renewed attraction of Batman, American pop-culture’s most enigmatic superhero, suggests a general awareness of various political dysfunctions identified by the medieval philosopher, Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi. One important lesson here is that human nature has not really shifted in the millennial flow of times and customs.

War on a Rainy Afternoon: Boardgames and Myth-Making (Appendix One)     Mark Wegierski
Historical boardgames have declined in popularity lately, and have e en drawn charges of being the preserve of militaristic right-wing fascists; yet the keen sense of history and the logic and concentration they demand likely has much more to do with their fall from the consumer’s favor.

            The Polis vs. Progress

The Pernicious Contradiction Within Political Compromise of Basic Values     John R. Harris
If our freedoms are indeed inalienable as the logical consequence of human nature, then any political compromise of basic values reflecting these freedoms demands both that we distort our nature and that we accept such distortion as a stable, enduring solution.

               Faith & Cultural Meltdown

Pensées (Thoughts on Pseudo-Science and Neo-Heathenry)        John R. Harris
The self-styled “realism” of the educated atheist often rests upon the myths of pseudo-science; in fact, our progressive beliefs bear more than a passing resemblance to the tribal superstition of yesteryear.

               Fiction & Poetry

El Moreno, Vendetta di Dio (excerpt)      J.S. Moseby
The first third of this novel-in-progress was published in Praesidium 13.4. The author has contributed a few intermediate chapters of his just-finished project: a highly stylized, quasi-mythic journey to Hell during which the traveler discovers himself while learning that wickedness does not pass unpunished.

Selected Verse Memorializing Thirty-Five Years Since the Declaration of Martial Law in Poland     Mark Wegierski
The author composed these poems, among others, as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto to decry and lament the Communist declaration of martial law in Poland. Dusting them off several decades later, he recalls the indifference of multiculturalist academe, both in Canada and neighboring America, to the assault on his mother-nation’s culture.