Ameritopia (Mark Levin): a review by Andrew McCarthy

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
Ameritopia (Mark Levin): a review by Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy has written a review of Mark Levin's new bestseller, Ameritopia.

New Criterion- Dystopia in America

It's a succinct primer in the evolution of political philosophy that made America possible, as well as a warning that it may be too late to save ourselves from dystopia.

A telling quote from Levin, regarding the progressive utopian state:
The will of man is not shattered but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people

Is resistance futile?

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Is resistance

Is resistance futile?

Fortunately, no one can know.

The reference to Whitaker Chambers reminded me that America has passed through periods of justified pessimism. Maybe it's my faulty memory, but I can remember our prospects as a lot worse during the younger years of my life.

Even in its death throes, the welfare state still threatens to stifle American dynamism. Our danger is that the Left will complete the Greekification of American society, piling on regulations, taxes, corruption, and debt. What is certain, however, is that the trajectory leads to the unknown. We will have either a declining Eurosclerotic dystopia - with unemployment, rationing, social rigidity - or we will have what we can't yet know.

The crisis isn't just in America. In a way, the looming American crisis of an unsustainable fiscal track - with all of its possibities for a malignant role of government - is a global crisis, a storm of demographics and economics as well as politics.

These are not my ideas. [url=http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2012/02/28/20742/]In the period between the collapse of an era but before the birth of a new one comes a peculiar phase which Winston Churchill called The Hinge of Fate. It is a curious, shockingly rapid period. Before the Hinge things run predominantly in one direction and afterwards they run entirely in another.[/url]

The changes sweeping the world are not so much a retreat as a loss of certitude. The strongmen of the Middle East are falling as fast the European economy and as precipitously as the strength of the dollar. The curious thing about the new collapse is that relative to the decline of everyone else the United States may actually be gaining in relative potential power; but it is a power held in check by its own institutional dysfunction.

Even the most intransigent ideologues will release their embrace of the welfare state when its corpse starts to stink. The shrinkage of government is a matter of arithmetic. I believe hopefully that "what we can't know" will be better than now.

mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
Maybe I'm too pessimistic,

Maybe I'm too pessimistic, but when the mob seems to think "equal under the law" means people getting free stuff (eg - the contraceptive mandate on the Catholic Church is quite popular), I say the culture has lost its orientation toward freedom.

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
For what little it's worth, I

For what little it's worth, I think it's tempting to idealize the America of the past, which has produced many ugly varieties of mob.

Even so, American culture remains exceptional.

Gaffer
Offline
Joined: 12/11/1999 - 1:01am
You haven't seen anything

You haven't seen anything like the mob that will appear when there is no more money for the welfare loafers. It will be a mob of utter chaos and many will die on both sides of the issue.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
Very interesting review, I

Very interesting review, I haven't had time yet to read the whole of it but what I have read really hits home.

I never think resistance is futile, in fact I know it is not. I think it is important to resist it at the local level because that is where one has more ability to do so and because if people do not resist at the local level then who will? foreign imports? And what would their motivation be?

This sentence is one of the many gems in the review: "—which is to say, to subjugate people into serving the engineers’ conception of the good."- This is exactly what is taking place in Maine, with the social engineering that our legislature has come to believe is its job which is justified as "for social benefit". Pledges of allegiances to "social and economic justice" are showing up all over the totalitarian network of quasi government organizations,agencies and corporations

I find it very frustrating to see so many posts at this forum that argue that it is hopeless, that Obama will win because people want freebies, and to question whether there is any point to resistance. When you accept the notion that there is no point in resisting and no point in fighting for what you believe is right, then you are defeated. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other countries resisters are being killed, In our country we have the laws in place that we can use to reclaim our freedoms but people don't use them and so lawmakers come to believe that they are laws unto themselves- the ultimate power , who can do what ever it pleases since there is no one there to stop them.

That's why I write my blog and post comments on websites such as Maine Biz, which I once thought was a good publication but now is just the maid servant of our government managed economy. There is no questioning or real discussion- just reporting on who are the latest beneficiaries of our government's redistribution of wealth. Pathetic but at least they do not delete my comments.

It may not seem like much to write blogs and comments and to participate in discussions such as this one but it lets people know that there are more points of view in this state than what is reported in our state media. I don't think there is an act of resistance that is too small to have an effect even if we are never aware of what effect we are having. I think it is important to resist no matter how small the act may seem compared to the forces that one resists. You have heard what happens when the butterfly flaps its wings?

mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
Well, I needed to hear from

Well, I needed to hear from Economike that it's not as bleak as it seems and from MacKenzie that we all need to fight the good fight.
Yes, MacKenzie, it's easiest to have an effect on the local level, and it's true that local tyrants do affect real people's lives.
Nevertheless we can escape the local tyrannies by moving - unless and until a more centralized layer of government comes at you with authoritarian nonsense in service of the "greater good."
We need to turn our state around, but what good will it do to fend off progressive dystopia in Maine if we fail to fend it off in DC?
Take buying health insurance across state lines.
What difference will it make when one-size-fits-all regulations are imposed from DC?
Will a policy in South Dakota really look any different from a policy in Maine?
Won't buying across state lines be a phony freedom, given the federalized nature of health insurance regulation?

And so on.

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
You haven't seen anything

You haven't seen anything like the mob that will appear when there is no more money for the welfare loafers.

What difference will it make when one-size-fits-all regulations are imposed from DC?

I think Gaffer is right. There is "no more money" to pay for DC's impositions. Anyone with a calculator, even a cunning liberal, can understand this.

Right now about forty-cents on the dollar of federal expenditure is borrowed cash. The liberal gamble has been that the voting middle-class would become hooked on federal transfers before the credit markets canceled Washington's credit card. Now it's too late.

The fraud is apparent. Middle-class taxpayers aren't about to pay themselves to be welfare loafers, and there's no one else to pay for them.

Mike_in_Maine
Offline
Joined: 05/11/2004 - 12:01am
Well said "Economike"

Well said "Economike"

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Thanks, other Mike. As a

Thanks, other Mike.

As a follow-up, here's an [url=http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2012/02/where-your-money-goes.html]int... blog post from John Cochrane[/url], with a couple of instructive graphs.

The main function of our government is to write checks to middle-class and wealthy voters. And that's the reason its finances are in the toilet.

The graphs show that the trend underlying the expansion of the welfare state has been to take money from taxpayers and send it back to taxpayers. The fraud worked just so long as government borrowing fostered the illusion that the benefits were "free" or at least paid with "other people's money." "Fairness" can't falsify arithmetic.

Is resistance futile? Resistance consists mostly of telling the truth.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
The other side to your

The other side to your question, Maine Mom is what good will it do if we win the fight at the federal level but all the state governments have instituted socialism?

I have often thought about moving but this is my home. I am sure that the people that are out to fundamentally transform Maine would like to see me leave along with our business which the Maine state master race does not recognize as having any value- economic, social or other wise.

However I don't see why the people whose roots are in this state should be the ones that are forced to leavel- And I am not sure if there is another state that is not following the same track that Maine is on, though I do believe Maine is in the swamp while others may just be on the slippery slope on their way to the swamp.

Also I like the weather here,

Mike G
Offline
Joined: 02/17/2000 - 1:01am
"Maybe I'm too pessimistic,

"Maybe I'm too pessimistic, but when the mob seems to think "equal under the law" means people getting free stuff (eg - the contraceptive mandate on the Catholic Church is quite popular), I say the culture has lost its orientation toward freedom."

Mainemom how can you be too pessimistic? :)

I don't consider all of these edicts as generated by the mob, but generated by the Beltway to keep themselves in power. It isn't as if the mob was wondering how they could afford contraceptives, it is that the Beltway said we will give you rubbers and better yet birth control pills that are free, everything is free, vote for me.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
How do you know the mob

How do you know the mob supports contraceptives over freedom of religion- or for that matter- take freedom of religion out of the equation- how do you know the mob supports free contraceptives which the Obama administration would have us believe it is a government mandate that the insurance companies give away for free? How can the government mandate that private companies give anything away for free?

How do you know that the mob supports any of it? By "mob", I am assuming you mean majority.

_Edit- I found the poll numbers. That is pretty discouraging but I don't know much about the actual polls and so there is still some hope that Americans are not that far off course. In addition to all the other issues, contraceptives are not that expensive. I thought the idea of insurance is to cover large expenses that would otherwise be unaffordable. Covering contraceptives isn't insurance - its just another entitlement. If it were insurance then why wouldn't the insurance companies respond by raising premiums to avoid having to give away massive amounts of contraceptives. That of course would then become the government's excuse to mandate the premiums that insurance companies can charge, if they don't already do so.

Edit - I found the Rasmussen Poll on contraceptives which places those who support it at 50% whereas other polls have it in the 60 + percent. Rasmussen has the best record on getting the elections right so I give them more credit than other polls.

On a more encouraging not just 27% of Americans think government management helps the economy, while 50% think it hurts according to a recent poll by Rasmussen.

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
How do you know that the mob

How do you know that the mob supports any of it?

An essential question. Whose narrative can you believe? whitehouse.gov? The New York Times? CNBC?

mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
If the Constitution still

If the Constitution still matters, the sentiment of the mob would be an academic question.

Log in to post comments