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John R. Smith
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If there is one statement that defines Mark R. Levin's work, it is that America's success is based in liberty and that we must not allow ourselves to fall into tyranny. Of course, no one supports tyranny blatantly and so defending liberty is thought to be easy. But the people who support tyranny don't always do so blatantly. In this book, Levin shows how people throughout the ages have supported tyranny through an ideology called utopianism, and thus ushered in tyranny through "intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty."
In the first part of AMERITOPIA, Levin examines the work of four historical figures, Plato, Thomas More, Hobbes, and Marx. In this treatment, Levin shows how each one promoted what was considered an ideal society and how each one of these ideals is no more than tyranny. In each case, the ideal society contains a highly centralized government which controls the masses through various means--persuasion, deceit, coercion, eugenics, euthanasia--and therefore tears apart the family, community, and faith.
In the second part, Levin counters this with a survey of three thinkers that helped introduce liberty to the Western mindset and establish what he calls Americanism--John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Alexis de Tocqueville. Levin shows how each one viewed human beings as autonomous individuals with God-given abilities and rights. With lawyerly precision, Levin details the many examples of how both Locke and Montesquieu influenced the founders of the United States and how Tocqueville spread Americanism to the European culture of the 19th century.
Finally, Levin explains how the America built upon Locke, Montesquieu, and Tocqueville is at risk of being taken over by the utopian ideology in the 21st century, showing how the various modern movements of liberalism and modern socialism disseminate their intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty.
The argument is bound to cause a stir, and Levin's penetrating commentary is grounded well by quotes from the original texts. If there is a major flaw in the work, it is in the unforgiving denunciation of the utopian literary genre. While it is clear that most of the works technically classed utopia did include tyrannical elements, the genre is not aimed at building political systems. It is aimed at exploring new possibilities. And while I cannot deny that some pro-liberty works refute the idea of utopianism, Levin cannot deny the fact that some elements of pro-liberty and American texts include visions of the perfect society. Everyone has a vision of what would be ideal--some are made of tyranny, and others can be seen as the "shining city on the hill" and are made of freedom. This says to me that it is not utopia that is at fault, but rather tyranny. Indeed, if utopias are promotions of the ideal society, then it must be said that all active minds engage in the exercise.
Altogether, the point of this book is absolutely correct. America's success is based on liberty and allowing ourselves to fall into tyranny would be catastrophic for humanity. Everyone who is interested in this very important theme and is compelled to do something about it should also consider an excellent book which offers a grand summary of modern economics, how we got to where we are, and what to do about it--Juggernaut: Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save It by Eric Robert Morse.