Dr. Fleming’s book, The Morality of Everyday Life, presents seven essays that examine, in-depth and detail, the unraveling of our culture and government. What’s that, you ask? What do I mean, “unraveling of our culture and government? Well, okay, take a look around. We do know, for example, that the combined various levels of government costs us half our income, that our hard-earned wages that we use to feed, house, and clothe our families is being transferred, by government fiat, to people we don’t even know (not to mention the funding of certain, select corporations and fulminating academics), and countless other inane programs. Programs which are proven and utter failures, such as the $6 trillion war on poverty, environmental restrictions taken to an absurd level such as prohibiting oil exploration in a barren wasteland. Or how about the disintegration of the family and acceptance of degenerate sexual lifestyles? Or perhaps we could examine the countless times in our society when innocent people are convicted for simply protecting their homes and families.
These are just a sampling of the problems Dr. Fleming seeks to explore in his book. Dr. Fleming argues that since the birth of classical liberalism in the seventeenth century, a century that gave us “universality, rationality, individualism, objectivity, and abstract idealism,” Western Civilization has developed a flaw in its ethics, moral behavior, and thus in the construction of its state apparatus. He points out that the two primary political philosophies, liberalism and conservatism, have both embraced a “farsighted” or “long view” of human life. The problem, then, is that both political “positions (liberalism and conservatism)” in order to engage this farsighted, idealistic, perspective of mankind (modernity) have in the very act of “freeing themselves from the shackles of particular circumstances and traditions” introduced an ethical virus that eats away at the traditional duties and obligations of the individual while disenfranchising the very foundation of human society, the family.
This sort of “one size fits all” thinking that government and society are pushing us towards is at once, both dangerous and absurd. For example: a man murders a storekeeper during a robbery. In a one size fits all society, the woman who kills her abusive husband in self-defense would receive the same punishment.
In his essay “Hell and Other People”, Fleming describes the eighteenth century and the philosophies of “Voltaire, Kant, and (later) the New England transcendentalists” as the time when the concepts of “universal brotherhood, international law, and world government reemerged.” The twentieth century saw the idea of a “just state,” or government that is committed to “economic equality,” the idea that one is to “sacrifice private life to public good,” (can you say “eminant domain”?)not to mention the onslaught of self-righteous who are constantly interfering in the private lives of citizens. So the state has become the vehicle of moral certitude and each of us, through the wisdom of the state, is to take his place as “deputies” in providing for the necessary expansion in order that it might provide, among other things, largesse to the “underprivileged,” justice for all, and, of course, the ever elusive, equality.
Dr. Fleming does not, however, stop at just revealing the problems, but details how America, as a people, can reverse the trends he has cited. I will stop short of discussing Fleming’s outline and leave that to the reader to discover. This is an exceptional work from a brilliant author.