cultural analysis 17-3

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

17.3 (Summer 2017)

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

            Literature vs. the Academy

Last Mohicans and Lost Worlds: How the Contemporary Academy Disfigures Our Literary Heritage     Peter T. Singleton

After examining the reception given to celebrated authors of yesteryear like James Fenimore Cooper and Arthur Conan-Doyle, a professor concludes that our literary heritage merely offers a pretext for a hypocritical academy to laud its own superior moral consciousness.

In Search of a Voice for the Polish-Canadian Community     Mark Wegierski

The author describes the diffident and fading presence of an attenuated fragment-culture on the contemporary Canadian literary scene.

One Small Step for Incoherence, One Giant Leap for Anarchy: Three Specific Cases Where Abuse of Grammar Is Reshaping Culture     John R. Harris

Abuse of grammar is a feature of casual and conversational speech, where it can indeed add color to exchanges; but for some time now it has been formally taught as “correct” by academics who are unwittingly (or intentionally) nourishing degenerative habits of thought.

            Political Correctness

Attention-Deficit Narcissism: A Crippling Malaise of the Socio-Economic Elite     John R. Harris, Peter Singleton, and “Pancratistes”

Western society’s socio-economic elite appears to be suffering from a paradoxical kind of self-absorption (or narcissism) that finds expression in elaborate displays of concern about the less fortunate, none of which bestows any real-world benefit upon the victims.

            The Campus in Crisis

Why Speech in a Free Society Must Never Be Silenced: A Position Paper      Staff

Speech in a free society must be allowed to run in all directions in the confidence that men and women of good will can identify foolish or wicked ideas simply by hearing them expressed. The only other option is the dictatorship of the Wise Overseer who treats us like permanent children.

            The Polis vs. Progress

On the 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of Canadian Confederation: The Decline of the Tory Tradition in Canada Since the 1980s     Mark Wegierski

The decline of the Tory tradition in Canada in many ways parallels the degeneration of Western society generally.  Small windows of hope and opportunity may also suggest broader scenarios for renewal.

               Faith vs. Cultural Meltdown

Goodness, Weakness, and Evil in the Contemporary Community        John R. Harris

Basic moral reason will insist that no act has any moral value which is not freely chosen; yet evil agents in the contemporary community typically erode our freedom by arguing that certain “kinds” of person are incapable of surviving without paternal assistance.

               Fiction & Poetry

The Praesidium Sales Pitch Falls on Dead Ears (poem)      George Shirley

This poetic satire wrings many a smile from a situation that has sealed our quarterly journal’s doom and continues to threaten our civilization.