Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thomas Fleming is no longer with Rockford Institute. Founder of the League of the South now runs Fleming Foundation. Institution dedicated to wailing "All is Lost."

Thomas Fleming is no longer with the Rockford Institute. He is now running the Fleming Foundation which seems to consist of himself as he pointed out.

Link to the Fleming Foundation:

This is his Facebook page.

It seems he left in March 2015 which he announced on his Facebook page.

He was the editor at Chronicles magazine of the Rockford Institute since 1984.

The person who founded the Rockford Institute and probably provided a good deal of the money, John Addison Howard, has passed way in August 2015.

I don't know if Howard's passing is related to Fleming's exit from the Rockford Institute. It could be that Howard was incapacitated and didn't have influence on the running of the Rockford Institute at the time of Fleming's exit, or it could be that Howard faced with the end of his life decided that he needed to finally act to preserve the Rockford Institute. I doubt I will ever find out.

Howard is most remembered in Rockford, Illinois for his attempt, as president of Rockford College, to make the college  a right wing college with purges of those who he didn't like.

The first change of Fleming's status at the Rockford Institute was that he was no longer its president but he was to remain Editor of Chronicles magazine as announced in the March 2015 issue of Chronicles.  There was some comment about his replacement able to get donors interested in the institute. In the March, April, May and June issues, articles by Fleming were run in his usual place in the magazine. Then he is not there.

As his America changed towards greater democracy and inclusion of minorities of all types and with immigration Fleming saw that his hope for a reactionary restoration was not going to happen. However, I don't think you can get support for a magazine or an institution if your message is that things are hopeless and that your goal is to save some cultural items for the future as if a new dark ages is coming.

Fleming mentally existed in the ancient classical world of the Greeks and Romans, including the Byzantines and has never really left it, if anything he has more and more existed mentally within that world.

Having read 30 years of Fleming's essays, I can tell you they often had a theme, but he would start out in the classical world (Ancient Rome and Greece) and work his way through the medieval world and thorough modern times and then get to his subject which the history he related was supposed to illustrate.

The Fleming Foundation has chosen Boethius to identify with. Boethius lived at the end of the  Western Roman Empire and represents the idea of the Fleming Foundation that they are repeating the work of Boethius for a coming dark ages.

Thomas Fleming is now no longer with the Rockford Institute where he had at least the comradeship of his fellow reactionaries, though he probably has supporters in Rockford, Illinois who will go to his activities of the Fleming Foundation.

I don't have any sympathy with Fleming's plight. He hoped to break up the United States of America, he hoped to reverse all the accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement. He was hostile to every movement giving social justice to any minority and women. In the June 1987 Chronicles magazine, page 37, Jane Greer is gleeful that the jury supported a gay basher.

Fleming was quite adamant about reactionaries consider the need for violence at some point.

Instead of achieving these goals he lives in a world with gay marriage and an African American president.

To Fleming it is a dark ages since he doesn't see a future where a reactionary regime with the subordination and persecution of many groups can be accomplished. Where even Tea Party elements think he is fringe. His agenda has no hope.  When he founded the Southern Partisan in 1979, and even when he started being the editor of Chronicles in 1984 there was still the possibility that the election of Reagan might be the start of a long trek to the right in politics with the reversing the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, with the defeat of the gay rights movement and feminism.

The counter-revolution never came. Fleming can see with immigration and the changing attitudes of Americans that his counter-revolution will not happen in his life time and not in any future  visible to the present.

Fleming probably feels his world is coming to end also because he can see the declining interest in classical studies. (studies of the Romans and Greeks). When I was young knowing about the Romans and Greeks was essential to be considered educated and I read a great deal. I even purchased Theodore Mommsen's "Provinces of the Roman Empire," two volumes. Maybe someday I will read it.

In the early and mid-twentieth century the fall of Rome was a topic of popular interest, reasons given usually were related to someones political agenda.

However, in the 1960s Latin was being dropped from the high schools. Interest has declined steadily. Now it is a specialist topic in history like others.

I doubt that there will be much interest in the Fleming Foundation.

And for Fleming, he goes raging, frothing, into the night. 

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