Thomas Fleming

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

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Ideology: Unreason, Antifaith, Part Two

When people vote their pocketbooks, as they often do, they are giving some color to Marx’s more down-to-earth definition of ideology as a set of ideas concocted to advance the interests of a social class.  The creed of classical liberalism—low taxes, free trade, individual liberty–is the ideology of the well-to-do bourgeoisie, while socialism is the ideology of those who expect to be dependent upon government largesse: schoolteachers, promiscuous young women, and the politicians and public servants, who have so nobly given up brilliant careers in the private sector because they wished to serve the people.  No one claims the ideal...

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Ideology: Unreason and Anti-Faith, Part One

What the GOP needs, “Conservatives” tell us, is a sharper ideological focus that will give greater prominence to the vast reservoir of “Conservative”  “ideas.”  If only the “Conservatives” were simply joking, if only they were entirely cynical about the war of words between the two parties, one might have some hope for a restoration of political sanity in this poor country.

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Interview With Anthony V. Bukoski, Part Two

TJF: I’ve mentioned to you my Uncle Dan who once lived in New Orleans and was a leading expert on port facilities. You’ve been to New Orleans and have spent time in Louisiana. On the one hand, no two places could be more different than Northern Wisconsin and Southern Louisiana. On the other hand, your Southern experiences seem to have been fruitful. . . AVB: I’ve set stories in Superior and Natchitoches, Louisiana, where my wife and I lived when I taught at Northwestern State. One Superior-Natchitoches story appeared in the South Carolina Review, one in New Orleans Review. The...

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Governor Northam and His Critics

I posted this brief comment on Facebook: I have read some “conservatives” on FB calling for support or sympathy for Gov. Northam. This is almost as pathetic as the conservatives who are denouncing him for racism. Red Phillips strikes the right balance–Northam is not worthy either of defense or offense. Since when does an advocate of infanticide deserve sympathy or support from normal human beings? Of course no one in his right mind would join the pile-on (and isn’t it interesting how few conservatives these days are in their right minds!), but imagine Pol Pot or Mao were attacked for...

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Born Out of Due Time, Chapter Seventeen

“Believe me, for some of these people—and I don’t think I have to spell it out—the two words “government contract” make the sound of a ringing cash register.  That’s why there is more concrete poured per capita in Sicily than anywhere in the world.  At this point, they don’t know how they’ll do it, but they do know they will.”

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Born Out of Due Time, Chapter 16 Expanded, Revised, Cut

This chapter has been cut in two and considerably expanded, filling in crucial details of Smith’s visit to the Icehole     The beauty of a flock of white doves is better enhanced by a black crow than by a pure white swan.    Boccaccio As Anterus Smith slowly made his way to the surface, he wondered how much of the Sleepdown dream was recovered memory and how much was an implant concocted for the sole purpose of leading  him astray.  The invented story the doctor had told him about Jane rang a bell, and so did his plan to...

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Interview With Anthony V. Bukoski, Part One

TJF: You are a fictional chronicler of the Polish-American experience, but you have chosen to localize your stories, most of which either take place in Superior, Wisconsin, or have a character from Superior’s East End. Tell me a little about the Superior you grew up in. AVB: I was born in a port city at the western terminus of the Great Lakes. When I was in grade school and high school in the 1950’s and early ’60s, Superior had the world’s largest ore docks, huge grain terminals, shipyards, mills, railroad yards, and a stinking oil refinery, still the only one...

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Is the Pope Catholic?

Once upon a time, the Yankees “always” won the American League pennant.  Halfway through the season, if someone foolishly asked if the Yankees were going to do it again, some wise guy would answer the foolish question by asking another, “Is the Pope Italian?”  In later years, during the unending pontificate of John Paul II, the Yankees were no longer dominating the American League, and, if anyone asked some foolish question such as, “You think Sammy Sosa is taking steroids?,”  the responding question was, “Is the Pope Catholic?”  Today, I wonder how the wise guy would respond to a question...