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About Stephen Masty

Stephen Masty (1954-2015) was a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative. He was a journalist, a development expert, and a speechwriter for three US presidents, British royalty and heads of government in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. He spent most of his adulthood working in South Asia including Afghanistan, and he was a writer, poet and artist in Kathmandu.

The 21st Century’s Great Renaissance Inventor

By |2015-06-02T09:01:32-05:00May 19th, 2015|Categories: Featured, History, Music, Stephen Masty|

Who would think that a great Renaissance invention was born five hundred years after the Renaissance? Yet it happened recently. Using old technology neglected for nearly half a millennium, a new, authentic and affordable Renaissance musical instrument is improving how professional and amateur musicians play and spread delight. But first some background. Renaissance music [...]

Ad Forum Infestum: Against the Dangerous Market

By |2015-05-22T08:44:59-05:00May 12th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Stephen Masty, Technology|

Wondering about human height led me to more unfashionable thoughts. We seem to be getting taller. My virtually six-foot college sweetheart was exceptionally tall for young women in the 1970s, but that seems close to average among today’s co-eds. The anecdote seems accurate—American men around age twenty who enlisted in the Great War were [...]

Ten Reasons NOT to be a Conservative

By |2015-05-08T14:56:33-05:00May 5th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Stephen Masty|

You may not be able to choose whether you are a conservative. To read Russell Kirk, who analyzed it as profoundly as Edmund Burke espoused it, conservatism is halfway between an IQ test and a prudent cast of mind. Prudence suspects untested change, while intelligence and education identify the wisdom hidden within tradition. This may [...]

I Shot an Elephant in My Pajamas….

By |2015-04-28T01:16:42-05:00April 28th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Stephen Masty|

“…how he got in my pajamas, I’ll never know,” quipped Groucho in Animal Crackers.* Curiously, I was once invited to shoot an elephant but did not take up the offer (nor went to work with anti-communist guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi in Angola, the required first step). I am glad, and rather hope that “my” [...]

Imagination & Creativity: A User’s Guide

By |2015-04-27T00:25:56-05:00April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Imagination, Russell Kirk|

In a recent essay here, I discussed modern scientific discoveries, which suggest that a feeling for the past enhances creativity and imagination. Two helpful comments advanced the topic. Cat, a young mother, looks forward to introducing her two-year-old to “myth, mystery and creativity.” Meanwhile one of this journal’s best authors, the Vienna-based Miss Marcia [...]

The Pope, Turks & Armenians: A Lesson for America

By |2015-04-18T01:45:15-05:00April 15th, 2015|Categories: Featured, Foreign Affairs, Government, Politics, Western Civilization|

Pope Francis, recently referring to horrific slaughter of Armenians a century ago, set off a diplomatic incident with Turkey when he used the word genocide.* Considering that the Vatican lobbies the Turkish Government for better treatment of its small Christian minority, this is a brave and perhaps costly decision. The controversy holds an unexpected [...]

Academic Freedom & Testing the Limits

By |2015-04-09T11:54:30-05:00April 6th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Freedom, Justice, Stephen Masty|

Recently reprinted on these pages, a Notre Dame professor wrote a reasoned and well-crafted response to a controversial essay, in which a Harvard student wished to replace academic freedom with “academic justice,” or censorship silencing conservative views at odds with what she termed her “university community.” After discussing the recent history of academic freedom, [...]

Science Narrows in on Imagination

By |2015-04-04T10:52:34-05:00March 24th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Imagination, Science, Stephen Masty|

It will hardly surprise readers of this journal, the members of our Imaginative Conservative parish, but scientists are cottoning onto the fact that creativity is heightened by awareness of the past. The Times newspaper reported findings in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, that: “Psychologists at the University of Southampton split 175 Irish undergraduates [...]

Nit-Picking “Blessed” Adam Smith

By |2019-05-30T11:10:36-05:00February 20th, 2015|Categories: Adam Smith, Books, Edmund Burke, Stephen Masty|

How often can writers pretend to discover some well-known thing for “the first time ever?” With poor Adam Smith it has happened again, but commercial promotion inadvertently raises an important matter that only begins with the great First Economist’s religion or lack thereof. A prominent newspaper starts its book review by insulting its audience: [...]

Of Art, Forgery, & Misperception

By |2015-02-10T17:06:04-05:00February 10th, 2015|Categories: Art, Stephen Masty|

The proverb “seeing is believing” implies truth but merely describes one justification for belief, however shaky. Want to see me pull a rabbit from my hat? A short, fascinating article reports controversy surrounding the painting Old Man in an Armchair, created in 1652 by Rembrandt—or not. Besides a fascinating glimpse into the scholarship of art, [...]

A Liberal Hymn

By |2015-01-30T12:01:12-05:00February 8th, 2015|Categories: Liberalism, Poetry, Stephen Masty|

I love Humanity in all Its misery and need; I love those suffering in thrall, Resenting others’ greed; I love the spiritual link, Uniting all who breathe and think, Together standing on the brink, Until I give the call. I love the Populace throughout Its genders and its races; I love Diversity about In [...]

Churchill’s Funeral, 50 Years On

By |2016-08-03T10:36:37-05:00January 28th, 2015|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christendom, Christianity, Death, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Winston Churchill|

Who would true valour see, Let him come hither; One here will constant be, Come wind, come weather; There’s no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim.      — Anglican hymn by John Bunyan, 1684 Fifty years ago, on the 28th of January, 1965, a hymn by [...]