Category: Fleming

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St. Thomas and the Defense of Liberty

Many libertarians and classical liberals regard St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the enemies of liberty, of economic liberty in particular.  According to these critics (and to some self-described Thomists), Thomas is supposed to have devised an abstract and systematic theory of an ideal state, which would have the power to regulate the marketplace by establishing a quasi-Marxian “just price” for all goods and by prohibiting all interest on investments.  This opinion of Thomas’s economic views is substantially wrong, both in the details and in its overall point of view.  Although Thomas was far from being a classical liberal, his moral and political philosophy, once properly understood, gives no support to statism in any form.

4

“Which Clash, What Civilization?” Conclusion

This is the meaning behind Herodotus’ still famous tale of Solon and Croesus.  The Greek philosopher was visiting the fabulously wealthy Lydian king, who asked him to name the happiest man on earth.  Solon tells him of an Athenian who lived well, produced a good family, and died fighting for his people.  When Croesus, a little crest-fallen, asks him if there is a close second, Solon tells him the true story of Cleobis and Biton, who, when they could not find the oxen to yoke to the cart, died after pulling their mother to a festival of Argive Hera.  “Well,...

18

Ransom Notes, May 15 2008

Hollywood and Congress are free to make up any reality they like, but anyone who has lived on the ground in the real American knows perfectly well that the welfare-consuming classes are living off the sweat of American workers, whose only reward is to be insulted and attacked. 

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Website Renovation

We are very grateful for the continuing loyalty of our subscribers in the face of delays, irregularities, and lapses.   I do want to alert you all to an upcoming renovation of the site.   …While the basic form will be retained, including the featured articles on the front page, we are making a number of  changes that should enrich the experience and facilitate use.

1

Properties of Blood II.2: Ancient Marriage

This revised text is still a work in progress, but it is time to go on to clean up the chapters on husbands and wives, household defense, and parents and children before doing a final revision.   For decades we have been reading stories in the media about the crisis of the family: the decline in the number of young people getting married, the rise of illegitimacy, the increase in the rates of divorce, popular acceptance of adultery, and, most recently, leftist proposals to legitimate marriage between members of the same sex or the Republican alternative, which amounts to the...

1

Eating With Sinners, Conclusion

I think I first began to appreciate the problem presented by American individualism, when I had Thanksgiving dinner with a family of eccentrics.  They had little or no connection to the small community where their house was located–they had picked the town, decades earlier, by throwing a dart at the map, and most of them had long since scattered across the country.  They had picked their religions with almost the same insouciance: one was a Buddhist, another an atheist humanist, another (the only apparently sane member of the tribe) an Episcopalian, and another–a girl I had known in graduate school–a...

18

To Marry or To Burn: The Question of Celibacy

Although the revolution did not take place all at once, the Christian doctrine of “one flesh” influenced virtually every aspect of marriage.  Celibacy remained the highest ideal in the Middle Ages, but marriage was an institution created by God for the procreation of the human race, though the pursuit of sexual pleasure for its own sake was condemned even in marriage.