The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist,Part B

In recent times, Samuel Johnson is remembered primarily for his quips, retorts, and for Boswell’s portrayal of his ferocious character.  Johnson’s prose style and flashes of brilliance are enough to win over most readers who take any pleasure in English literature.  My own particular interest, however, is in this moral philosophy, which can be traced in essays that appeared in The Rambler, The Idler, his review of Soame Jennyings, and in his one novel, Rasselas.  To anticipate my general conclusion, I should say at the beginning that, although he developed his ethical thought in occasional essays and fiction,  he was...


Samuel Johnson, Our Greatest Moralist, Part A

The modern tradition of thought–whether expressed in verse or history or philosophy–has been essentially liberal and anti-Christian.  So much so that we take it for granted and are grateful when we can find some particle of decency and sense in writers like Hemingway or John Updike.  Anti-Christian liberalism was not always so dominant.  England and France were largely Christian nations down to early 18th century, and the Enlightenment only reached its position of supremacy, in the years leading up to the French Revolution, in the works of Diderot, Rousseau, and above all Voltaire.  But it is not difficult to find...


Wednesday’s Child: A Magic Mountain

Our precious Mount Etna, which happens to be the tallest volcano in Europe, has been exploding, with streams of molten lava descending into the Valle del Bove from elevations of some three kilometers at the crater’s rim.  A BBC team of reporters nearly didn’t make it down, which showed them that nature could be as violent as the teenage drug lords and tattooed single mothers they had been used to interviewing in their line of duty. ‘“a Muntagna,” the locals call it in dialect – the Mountain with a capital M – as attested by a man named Gaetano Perricone,...


Season 1, From Under the Rubble, Episode 10: I Hate the Constitution


In this episode of From Under the Rubble, Dr. Fleming examines the idea of “Hating the Constitution” via the well-known song, “I’m a good ol’ Rebel.” What does it mean to love and worship and protect the Constitution? Is this something that traditionalists and conservatives should be engaged in? Original Air Date: March 22, 2017 Show Run Time: 37 minutes Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner   From Under the Rubble℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All Rights are Reserved.


The Shaming of Shame, Conclusion

I can already hear the catcalls from the feminist bleachers: Propriety, indeed! Propriety would have us back in menstrual huts for a week out of every month. Propriety is just a polite taboo. I am woman! I bleed. Get used to it…. So the chant resounds. But propriety is more than “keeping up appearances.” It is, as Edmund Burke once said, “the soft collar of social esteem” – a necessary act of repression that makes civilized life possible; it is the expression – often hypocritical, no doubt – of a moral and aesthetic order which we discard at our peril....


Down With “the Arts”!

Art is a noble human attempt to make beauty and sense out of human experience.  “The Arts” are an ignoble scam by which no-talent bums force the taxpayers to subsidize their indolence.  I received an email today from a friend who has done good work in one of the more popular arts.  He is an enthusiastic Trump supporter, but he was calling upon his friends to “do what we can to reverse this ill advised decision before it is too late.” My distinguished friend’s argument is that the Trump administration will be “throwing away an opportunity to move the culture and...


The Modern Constitution–Blueprint for Revolution

I hates the Constitution, This Great Republic too “That’s unconstitutional!”  Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear some proposal of the Trump administration denounced as a violation of the Constitution.  It is beginning to appear that NPR and other organs of the revolutionary left cannot invoke Trump’s name without throwing in “unconstitutional,” something in the way that “swift-footed” always precedes Achilles. A good example of this rhetorical tactic is the headline Unamericans for Disunity (or is it Americans United ?) put on their latest propaganda screed: “AU Continues The Legal Fight Against President Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban.”  Counting...


Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

Persons unfamiliar with Anthony Powell’s twelve-volume cycle of novels, A Dance to the Music of Time, ought to bear in mind that, socially, cocaine may well be a less problematic alternative. Certainly the book is more addictive, but the real trouble is that it makes one eschew all human contact for the duration.  I remember sinking into it some ten years ago.  For three weeks I did not open the shutters or answer the telephone, waking up every morning with the same terrifying thought that one day it would end. Spanning roughly half of the twentieth century, Powell’s novel revolves...


The Shaming of Shame, Part A by Jack Trotter

Warning:  This in a brilliant and original essay on a difficult and unpleasant subject that goes to the evil and perverse heart of contemporary feminism.  Of necessity it includes precise  references to the female anatomy, questions of hygiene, as well as obscene quotations from feminist writers.    It is not recommended for children or adolescents or for any reader who visits this website in order to escape from, not wallow in, the muck of the world around us.   When I first became an editor, I should never have dreamed of publishing such a piece, but as times change, and...


Properties of Blood II.1: The Family Castle, Part B

The Independent Household Thousands of volumes have been published on every aspect of family and household, and, for a work on the history of these institutions, there may be hundreds of books worth consulting.  This is not, I hasten to assure you my readers, a work of family history, though I shall have to burrow into some of the  details—not at too tedious  length, I hope—of the several cultural traditions that have formed our own:  Greek, Roman, Jewish, Medieval European, and early American. However, before digging into the details of history and law, let us try to form a “big...