The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Autodidact: Sophocles’ Antigone

Autodidact: Sophocles’ Antigone I by Thomas Fleming Sophocles is among the most misunderstood writers of antiquity.  In liberal interpretations, he has been made into a kind of rational and liberal humanist.  In fact, he was a political and religious reactionary.  Religious and skeptical of sophistry, Sophocles was both a profound writer and an Athenian citizen who served his city in war and peace.  His works are a warning against intellectual and political arrogance, and if Pericles (whom he seems not to have liked) had listened, Athens would never have hurled itself into a campaign of imperialism and war that proved...

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America: Not a Christian Nation by Thomas Fleming

This piece slipped by the censors at The Spectator in August 2005 America Is Not a Christian Nation by Thomas Fleming President Bush’s remark the other day that the theory of ‘intelligent design’ should be taught alongside the theory of evolution brought howls of derision from his detractors in Europe and the United States. It was, they said, one more piece of evidence that America is populated by fundamentalist zombies who are potentially as dangerous as bin Laden’s boys. Intelligent design, it goes without saying, is a boneheaded piece of pseudo-science, almost as simplistic as the naive materialism that Darwinists...

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From Under the Rubble: South Carolina Secedes From History by Thomas Fleming

South Carolina Secedes From History by Thomas Fleming Now that South Carolina legislators have voted to take down the Confederate flag from the state capitol, what is the next move in the war against all things Southern, American, and Christian?  One might think that the Stars and Stripes are  the most likely target.  After all, as Minister Farrakhan has already argued, the US flag flew over the segregated South for a century, and and for almost a century it was the flag of a nation that permitted slavery. Nonetheless,  Old Inglorious has got many years ahead before the hate-fillled children...

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The Greek Crisis and the EU Leviathan, by Marco Bassani

The Greek Crisis in Context: An Interview with Marco Bassani Thomas Fleming:  Prof. Bassani, as an expert on regional and autonomous movements in Europe, how do you read the situation in Greece?   Marco Bassani:  The Greek farce is in its essentials so simple that anyone with the slightest political sophistication should be able to follow the story, even as it is presented in the news accounts. It is a well-known story of “political parasitism” that has its climax in Italy.  Greece is a Southern Italy in miniature, but without either Lombardy or Veneto to support it. The only reason...

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The Annals of Trebizond, I by Thomas Fleming

The Annals of Trebizond  By Thomas Fleming “Trebizond,” I exclaimed,  “Why the very word spells romance.” “That’s funny,” she replied.  “I always thought romance began with an ‘r’.” Preface Once upon a time, long long ago and far away on the coast of the Black Sea, flourished the might Empire of Trebizond.   This statement is true enough for the WikiBritannica entry, but it needs a few minor adjustments.  To be accurate, the 15th century, when Trebizond fell to the Turks, was not so long ago, at least when viewed in the context of the three thousand years our civilization has...

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Revisions: Four Faces West

Revisions:   Four Faces West,  based on Pasó Por Aquí by Eugene Manlove Rhodes Ray Olson and Thomas Fleming I had intended to begin the discussion almost a week ago, but the film arrived late and I wanted to show it to our friend Mark Kennedy, who does not even possess the primitive television set I have for watching films.  Ray Olson A variant of the brilliant western short novel, Paso por aqui, by Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Four Faces West retains the characters’ names and approximate roles but sets up a new set of relationships. Ross McEwan (Joel McCrae) and Jay (in the...

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Getting Marriage Straight II

Defending Marriage,  a Speech delivered (and revised) by Thomas Fleming, June 13 2013 Let us begin by finding out where we stand on the subject of marriage.  I am going to list a series of propositions.  If you are willing, please raise your hand for as long as you agree with the statement.  Marriage is: 1) a binding relationship between one man and one woman.  To include Muslims and Middle-Eastern Jews, let us even say—one or more women. 2)for the primary though not necessarily exclusive purpose of begetting and rearing children; 3) a life-long commitment entered into voluntarily by people...

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Getting Marriage Straight: Prolegomenon…

Getting Marriage Straight, an essential prolegomenon to any future discussion of marriage… Thomas Fleming   “All’s over then, does truth sound bitter as was at first believed?” My first response to the Supreme Court’s decision to give legal sanction to the fantasy of same-sex marriage is to say, “I told you so.”  For over two decades, I have been arguing both in print and in lectures, first, that the modern state, which  declared war on marriage since the late 18th century, has no business involving itself in a human institution that is rooted in nature and confirmed by Revelation; and, second, that in...

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Autodidact 6: Homer and the Political

Autodidact 6: Homer and the Political Thomas Fleming In speaking about the institutions that regulate revenge, we have entered into the realm of law and politics.  On the shield of Achilles, the city at peace was disturbed by a dispute over blood-money in the agora, the market and meeting-place.  Each party had his backers, and the kerukes—the heralds, who function as officers of the court—keep order as the gerontes, the elders, deliberate, and each one states his opinion.  Here we have the rudiments of the Greek polis.  The people, divided into factions, assemble in the agora or marketplace, where the...

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From Under the Rubble: Put Out More Flags by Thomas Fleming

From Under the Rubble Put Out More Flags by Thomas Fleming The only good thing to come out of the controversy over the flag is that I cannot turn on radio or television, much less look at Google News.  It’s not so much that the chant of “Take it Down, Take it Down!” is particularly offensive.  Viewed from the right perspective, it is almost amusing.  Imagine a happily married man dragged to a strip show.  He is not interested in the homely painted hussies, but, if he is cruel enough, the spectacle of his buddies shouting “Take it off, Take...