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Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America (Anglais) Broché – 18 septembre 2012

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Description du produit

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EPILOGUE

MY PREMISE, IN THE first sentence of the first chapter of this book, is this: “Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology.”

Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia, Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Marx’s workers’ paradise are utopias that are anti-individual and anti-individualism. For the utopians, modern and olden, the individual is one-dimensional—selfish. On his own, he has little moral value. Contrarily, authoritarianism is defended as altruistic and masterminds as socially conscious. Thus endless interventions in the individual’s life and manipulation of his conditions are justified as not only necessary and desirable but noble governmental pursuits. This false dialectic is at the heart of the problem we face today.

In truth, man is naturally independent and self-reliant, which are attributes that contribute to his own well-being and survival, and the well-being and survival of a civil society. He is also a social being who is charitable and compassionate. History abounds with examples, as do the daily lives of individuals. To condemn individualism as the utopians do is to condemn the very foundation of the civil society and the American founding and endorse, wittingly or unwittingly, oppression. Karl Popper saw it as an attack on Western civilization. “The emancipation of the individual was indeed the great spiritual revolution which had led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy.”1 Moreover, Judaism and Christianity, among other religions, teach the altruism of the individual.

Of course, this is not to defend anarchy. Quite the opposite. It is to endorse the magnificence of the American founding. The American founding was an exceptional exercise in collective human virtue and wisdom—a culmination of thousands of years of experience, knowledge, reason, and faith. The Declaration of Independence is a remarkable societal proclamation of human rights, brilliant in its insight, clarity, and conciseness. The Constitution of the United States is an extraordinary matrix of governmental limits, checks, balances, and divisions, intended to secure for posterity the individual’s sovereignty as proclaimed in the Declaration.

This is the grand heritage to which every American citizen is born. It has been characterized as “the American Dream,” “the American experiment,” and “American exceptionalism.” The country has been called “the Land of Opportunity,” “the Land of Milk and Honey,” and “a Shining City on a Hill.” It seems unimaginable that a people so endowed by Providence, and the beneficiaries of such unparalleled human excellence, would choose or tolerate a course that ensures their own decline and enslavement, for a government unleashed on the civil society is a government that destroys the nature of man.

On September 17, 1787, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Delegate James Wilson, on behalf of his ailing colleague from Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin, read aloud Franklin’s speech to the convention in favor of adopting the Constitution. Among other things, Franklin said that the Constitution “is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become corrupt as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.…”2

Have we “become corrupt”? Are we in need of “despotic government”? It appears that some modern-day “leading lights” think so, as they press their fanatical utopianism. For example, Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, considers the Constitution a utopian expedient. He wrote, “If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.… The framers weren’t afraid of a little messiness. Which is another reason we shouldn’t be so delicate about changing the Constitution or reinterpreting it.”3 It is beyond dispute that the Framers sought to limit the scope of federal power and that the Constitution does so. Moreover, constitutional change was not left to the masterminds but deliberately made difficult to ensure the broad participation and consent of the body politic.

Richard Cohen, a columnist for the Washington Post, explained that the Constitution is an amazing document, as long as it is mostly ignored, particularly the limits it imposes on the federal government. He wrote, “This fatuous infatuation with the Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment, is clearly the work of witches, wiccans, and wackos. It has nothing to do with America’s real problems and, if taken too seriously, would cause an economic and political calamity. The Constitution is a wonderful document, quite miraculous actually, but only because it has been wisely adapted to changing times. To adhere to the very word of its every clause hardly is respectful to the Founding Fathers. They were revolutionaries who embraced change. That’s how we got here.”4 Of course, without the promise of the Tenth Amendment, the Constitution would not have been ratified, since the states insisted on retaining most of their sovereignty. Furthermore, the Framers clearly did not embrace the utopian change demanded by its modern adherents.

Lest we ignore history, the no-less-eminent American revolutionary and founder Thomas Jefferson explained, “On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”5

Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times and three-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, is even more forthright in his dismissal of constitutional republicanism and advocacy for utopian tyranny. Complaining of the slowness of American society in adopting sweeping utopian policies, he wrote, “There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”6 Of course, China remains a police state, where civil liberties are nonexistent, despite its experiment with government-managed pseudo-capitalism. Friedman’s declaration underscores not only the necessary intolerance utopians have for constitutionalism, but their infatuation with totalitarianism.

It is neither prudential nor virtuous to downplay or dismiss the obvious—that America has already transformed into Ameritopia. The centralization and consolidation of power in a political class that insulates its agenda in entrenched experts and administrators, whose authority is also self-perpetuating, is apparent all around us and growing more formidable. The issue is whether the ongoing transformation can be restrained and then reversed, or whether it will continue with increasing zeal, passing from a soft tyranny to something more oppressive. Hayek observed that “priding itself on having built its world as if it had designed it, and blaming itself for not having designed it better, humankind is now to set out to do just that. The aim … is no less than to effect a complete redesigning of our traditional morals, law, and language, and on this basis to stamp out the older order and supposedly inexorable, unjustifiable conditions that prevent the institution of reason, fulfillment, true freedom, and justice.”7 But the outcome of this adventurism, if not effectively stunted, is not in doubt.

In the end, can mankind stave off the powerful and dark forces of utopian tyranny? While John Locke was surely right about man’s nature and the civil society, he was also right about that which threatens them. Locke, Montesquieu, many of the philosophers of the European Enlightenment, and the Founders, among others, knew that the history of organized government is mostly a history of a relative few and perfidious men co-opting, coercing, and eventually repressing the many through the centralization and consolidation of authority.

Ironically and tragically, it seems that liberty and the constitution established to preserve it are not only essential to the individual’s well-being and happiness, but also an opportunity for the devious to exploit them and connive against them. Man has yet to devise a lasting institutional answer to this puzzle. The best that can be said is that all that really stands between the individual and tyranny is a resolute and sober people. It is the people, after all, around whom the civil society has grown and governmental institutions have been established. At last, the people are responsible for upholding the civil society and republican government, to which their fate is moored.

The essential question is whether, in America, the people’s psychology has been so successfully warped, the individual’s spirit so thoroughly trounced, and the civil society’s institutions so effectively overwhelmed that revival is possible. Have too many among us already surrendered or been conquered? Can the people overcome the constant and relentless influences of ideological indoctrination, economic manipulation, and administrative coerciveness, or have they become hopelessly entangled in and dependent on a ubiquitous federal government? Have the Pavlovian appeals to radical egalitarianism, and the fomenting of jealousy and faction through class warfare and collectivism, conditioned the people to accept or even demand compulsory uniformity as just and righteous? Is it accepted as legitimate and routine that the government has sufficient license to act whenever it claims to do so for the good of the people and against the selfishness of the individual?

No society is guaranteed perpetual existence. But I have to believe that the American people are not ready for servitude, for if this is our destiny, and the destiny of our children, I cannot conceive that any people, now or in the future, will successfully resist it for long. I have to believe that this generation of Americans will not condemn future generations to centuries of misery and darkness.

The Tea Party movement is a hopeful sign. Its members come from all walks of life and every corner of the country. These citizens have the spirit and enthusiasm of the Founding Fathers, proclaim the principles of individual liberty and rights in the Declaration, and insist on the federal government’s compliance with the Constitution’s limits. This explains the utopian fury against them. They are astutely aware of the peril of the moment. But there are also the Pollyannas and blissfully indifferent citizens who must be roused and enlisted lest the civil society continue to unravel and eventually dissolve, and the despotism long feared take firm hold.

Upon taking the oath of office on January 20, 1981, in his first inaugural address President Ronald Reagan told the American people:

If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.

So, my fellow countrymen, which do we choose—Ameritopia or America?

© 2012 Mark R. Levin --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

“The companion book to Liberty and Tyranny. . . . Levin’s analysis is deadly to liberalism. . . . Ameritopia is historical X-ray vision in book form.”
—Jeffrey Lord, The American Spectator

“A must-read for Americans of all political persuasions. . . . An honest discussion of the dangers presently facing our country. . . . Levin does a fantastic job.”

—Jedediah Bila, Newsmax

“Mark Levin has a unique ability to take complex subjects and boil them down to their essentials.”

—Erick Erickson, Red State

“That Levin wrote this book now demonstrates not only his passion for the United States, but his awareness that he is a statesman defending natural law at a pivotal moment in human history. . . . Mark Levin [does] the lion’s share of our shouting—eloquently—with Ameritopia.”

PJ Media --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5 2.400 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Must Read - Should be required reading in all high schools and colleges. 8 février 2012
Par Mtiques - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Levin has weaved a thought process through the ages of philosophers' writings and demonstrated how these have influenced the various political forces that exist today. He shows how the progressives have been systematically embedding their philosophy in the nations leadership in ways that move control of activities to a centralized government and continually denegrating individual independence and self reliance.
This book is a must read and can provide insights into the issues facing America today. It requires thoughtful reading as it reviews philosophical thought that shaped civilization. Levin clearly shows the impact of government over-reaching and impacting each citizen's life with a plethora of regulations that significantly inhibit individual freedoms and those very things that made the USA an exceptional nation. He shows how the tyrannical activity can creep into a society and destroy it from within.
The logic and arguments are exceptional and should be must reading by all thoughtful people.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The great one ...a great book 3 avril 2015
Par jay pister - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Few persons of the modern age speak and write with such fluid clarity as the great Mark Levin. He sounds angry when he speaks. He writes with force and authenticity . His description of what ails America is well defined .

If groups are allying to take away the foundations of this one great nation or as Ronald Reagan had put it "the shining light on a hill" and we have a personality that sees right through the liberal hypocrisy and the destruction that liberal policies are set to destroy the foundations of our great nation, then the one to put it into perspective is Mark Levin.

I do not go through a single day without thinking of the suggestion of Mark Levin for a constitutional convention where the states can authorize a representative to express the interest of his own state and we can re-write the basics of the agreement by which we live by. The states and the people overwhelming want a return to the constitution . Mark Levin has given us an understanding and an outline for how this could be achieved.

The great one is also the good one. If we could rally around such an inspirational speaker and writer and embrace his very knowledgeable ideas, we could save the nation. from the liberal quagmire into which we are being led. It is not too late and the great one gives us the road map for that achievement.
The you Professor Mark Levin
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book will involve you in a philosophy course led by Professor Levin analyzing utopian vs. republican forms of government. 11 septembre 2014
Par The_Ally_of_Orderly_Procedure - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In "Ameritopia," Mr. Levin outlines the existential threat to our Constitution and our republican form of government. He says in the book "...the heart of the problem is, in fact, utopianism,...which is the ideological and doctrinal foundation for statism."

Levin respects his readers and has a great way with words that will keep you wide awake and thinking as you read the book. In the book Mr. Levin notes: "Although the mastermind's incompetence and vision plague the society, responsibility must be diverted elsewhere--to those assigned to carry them out, or to the people's lack of sacrifice, or to the enemies of the state who have conspired to thwart the Utopian cause--for the mastermind is inextricably linked to the fantasy. If he is fallible then who is to usher in paradise?"

If you read this book, you will get involved in a combination philosophy and history course led by Professor Levin and you will learn about the literature (Plato's Republic, Thomas Moore's Utopia, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Alexis de Tocqueville and others), giving the reader the background support and discussion for the aforementioned quote. You will also get Mr. Levin's analysis and comparison of the philosophical reasoning behind republican vs. utopian forms of government, and you will get Mr. Levin's additional comments, analysis and opinion relative to the above. When Mr. Levin quotes, explains and summarizes De Tocqueville's thoughts in Chapter 10, he gives warnings that the American Republic is currently experiencing a "soft tyranny" brought about by an overbearing and controlling administrative state. With attribution to De Tocqueville, Levin notes that the degradation of our liberties is being brought about by a "miscomprehension of equality, resulting in the descent into centralized tyranny." In addition, Mr. Levin, in summarizing and further explaining De Tocqueville notes: "Rather than embracing equality as a condition of natural law and inalienable rights, which underlie a free and diverse society, equality may be misapplied politically in the form of radical egalitarianism and to promote equal social and economic outcomes."

As President Calvin Coolidge once said: "To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race." Coolidge also said: "We review the past not in order that we may return to it but that we may find in what direction, straight and clear, it points into the future." In addition to his keen intellect and writing ability, what is also great about Mark Levin is that he is like-minded with Coolidge on these issues.

What I love about Mr. Levin and President Coolidge is that they, like President Reagan are very significant and substantial men. Meticulous and methodical in their approach, what they write is substantive and is supported whenever possible by source documents and supporting literature. Like President Coolidge, Levin doesn't sugar coat anything; he talks to you as a father would talk to his son or daughter, he always tells you the truth, and he never lets you down.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you value your freedom, please inform yourself with this authors words 4 juin 2017
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Highly recommend any books by this author. If you are tired of the liberal mantra seen and heard on the public airwaves & social media, this man will offer you another view that will enlightened the uninformed minds of millions of democrat voters. If people really knew the true actions and history of the democrat party, they would never vote democrat again.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Great points, difficult book 19 octobre 2014
Par HG - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Great points, difficult book. I agree with most of the points. I'm a conservative who believes the country is in real trouble because of the 'utopian' attitude and the 'let the government take care of me trend.' The problem is this book is SO slow and difficult to read. I like the general idea of introducing all these past philosophers and their ideas and discussing how these things relate to America, how it all plays out in history, etc. but, Levin fills WAY too much of the book with direct quotes, some quite lengthy, from original works that are very difficult to follow. I'm an intelligent, well-educated person, but I am not used to reading these styles/types of writings, and the archaic language can be hard to follow. It's sort of like reading the Bible or a foreign document. I gave up trying to read this at bedtime, which is my usual 'big' reading time, because it kept putting me to sleep. I had to read only when I could find time to have coffee and really focus intently on the text. It's too bad he didn't make this more accessible to everyone--the points are valid and very important, but lost in the book.
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