Time is running out, but there is still time to sign up for our special program on the roots of the revolutionary tradition.    In addition to the lecturers we have already announced we hope to have two old friends with us:  Christopher Check, my former second-in-command, who will be speaking on the Mexican Revolution and the persecution of Christians, and Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, who will share his thoughts on recent developments in Russia.  If you are still hesitating, about coming, then read the letter below one more time.


Dear Friend and Fellow-Reader:
“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark was inspired by the outbreak of World War I, the European civil war that was the beginning of the end of our civilization.  Now that we are closer to the end than to the beginning of our descent into the abyss, it is more vitally important than ever to understand what has happened, or rather, what we have done to ourselves.At our first Summer School, we studied the greatest external threat to Christendom, the 13 centuries of Islamic Jihad that has aimed at nothing less than the destruction of the Christian religion and culture and the subjugation of the  peoples of the West.  This year we are offering the first in a series of programs devoted to the internal threat—the revolutionary tradition, which in less than five centuries has plunged us into barbarism.

We have not yet worked out the entire program, but our subject is the roots of the revolutionary tradition, and confirmed speakers now include (in addition to myself) Prof. Frank Brownlow, Prof. E. Christian Kopff, and Doctor James Patrick.

Many conservatives—if that term has any meaning these days—have been content to oppose the Russian Revolution or, if they have studied more history, the Lincolnian Revolution or the French Revolution, but these historical events, while devastating in their impact on the lives both of the people who endured them and on subsequent generations, were only momentary outbreaks of a revolutionary fervor that can be traced back to at least the Italian Renaissance, when the weeds of neopagan magic began to spring up in the garden of Christendom.

While this Great Revolution has always changed its face as it changed its targets, it has been first and foremost an attack on the Incarnation: The object was to wipe out, as Voltaire put it, “the Consubstantial” (namely the God who became man) and to reconstruct human nature on terms entirely alien to the human nature made in the image of God and found worthy to be the form assumed by his Son.

Secondarily, the Revolution has aimed at destroying the Christian social order and the distinctions that sustained European civilization.  As the centuries went by, monarchy and aristocracy, the moral authority of churches, social status and wealth, moral decency, distinctions of sex and gender—all were targeted for destruction.  At the same time, as classical and Christian ideals were being undermined, new models were borrowed from alien cultures:  A steady stream of exotic heroes has flowed through our literature and intellectual life: wise Turks and Persians, Chinese and Japanese sages, noble African and American savages, until the extinction of European Christians is being called for in the bastions of respectable mediocrity—American universities.  Multi-culturalism and the cult of “diversity” did not begin in the 20th but in the 16th century!

The aims of the Revolution, then, were to replace the Christian religion with a mixture of Neoplatonism and Black magic, to denigrate the civilization of Christendom and exalt the alien and the primitive, to destroy the hierarchy of monarchy, aristocracy, and Church and set up a new hierarchy of managers, technocrats, and intellectuals, to establish ever larger and more powerful governments that would exercise monopoly control over wealth and property, to “liberate” wives and children from husbands and fathers, and, ultimately, to set human individuals free to invent their own genders, separate sexual activity from procreation and transcend the limits of their inherited sexual natures.

These are only the main points of a Revolution that also lies behind the cult of Gaia and the mass delusion known as Global Climate Change, and we could not possibly give comprehensive treatment to even one of these themes.  What we intend to do is to look at a few key conflicts, particularly the attack on all things European and Christian, and to focus on a few of the most brilliant proponents on both sides: Shakespeare versus Montaigne, Dr. Johnson versus Voltaire, Hume (and Burke) versus Rousseau.  To sharpen the discussion, we are going to keep the focus on the early stages of the disease, when the pathogens were vital, original, and creative.  There is literally nothing in political correctness and multiculturalism that had not been articulated generations ago with greater originality and brilliance.

The Summer Symposium is being held once again in Rockford at The Cliffbreakers Resort this July 18th thru the 23rd.  Packages include all lectures, five hotel nights with continetal breakfasts and five group evening meals. Tuition starts at $1,225 for singles, $1,050 each for doubles, $725 for Commuters without meals and $950 with meals.
All prices increase $200 May 15th.

If you have attended any of the programs we have directed in the past, you will know that they are occasions for fine lectures, spirited conversation, and warm conviviality.  If this program will be your first exposure, I am sure you will find it as entertaining as it is enlightening.  We may not be able to relight all the lamps in Christendom, but we  can start with our friends and students.

With every good wish, I am

Faithfully yours,

Thomas J. Fleming
PS Whether you can make it or not, please consider making a donation to support students on scholarship.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina