Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America by Mark R. Levin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to the audio version, replaying a number of sections because there is so much information to digest. My liberal arts education at Manhattan College exposed me to more of these thinkers than many contemporaries. I have the impression that the younger generations' educations have omitted this type of learning. In the last century Ayn Rand seemed to burst on the scene with what many perceived as a radical new philosophy focused on "the individual versus 'society.'" Mark Levin gives sufficient quotes to demonstrate that these ideas were powerfully articulated by Locke and Montesquieu, who were frequently quoted by the founding fathers as they crafted our Constitution. Before that, he gives many more quotes from Plato, More, Hobbes, and Marx and shows how their "bend-the-individual-for-the-collective's-benefit" (my words, not Levin's) Utopian blueprints have supplanted the worldly-wise and human-centric philosophy of the founders, who would scarcely recognize America. A week after finishing it, I read an article in Hillsdale College's "Imprimis," written by Arkansas Senator (and Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran) Tom Cotton, "Foreign Policy and the Constitution." His contrast of the founders' conception of how America's foreign relations would be conducted to recent practices by our "leaders" moved me to share both his message and Levin's.
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