byGlenn Harlan Reynolds
Click here to watch on PJTV. And don’t miss “Progressivism, the Oldest Evil,” David Steinberg’s review of Levin’s new book, Ameritopia.
“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” Thomas Paine
“…what is this force that lures millions and millions of people, thinking people, with these false promises and yet lures them into their demise (?)…” M. Levin
This ‘force’ that ‘lures’ seems to be an integral part of the human psyche: the attempt to create what we want in defiance of what we know can be. Witness one of the oldest descriptions of (and warnings about) this tendency in Genesis 11:1-8.
This sort of wishful, utopian thinking is a double edged sword of the human psyche. It has, as most human traits, a positive and negative. If used correctly it can push us to further advancements or lead us down a path of folly. Our search for a ‘perfect world’ can lead us to the Moon or to Auschwitz.
Appreciate your comment greatly. I struggle with why a view of a better world must only be framed in the negative. Didn’t our founding fathers have a unique vision. A vision for America unlike anything that had ever come before in the history of mankind? Perhaps the difference is that “utopianism” is striving for an “ideal,” something perfect. I, for one, despite the path we are currently on, but I would hate to sully the notion that striving for something better, for something never done before, never achieved, something that only existed in a dream, is automatically bad. As you say, it can lead us to the moon or to Aushwitz.
Thanks for your kind reply as well.
I think that you certainly hit upon a key point about the philosophy of America that I think Mr. Levin may have missed (disclaimer: I have not read this recent work, nor do I really intend to, but…): America is a nation with deep “utopian” notions. Your post made me reflect on that fact.
The idea of blacks being free or women voting could, at one time, have been dismissed as utopian ideals. The very idea that “All men are created equal” is a very utopian concept when viewed in historical context. Despite being “utopian” these dreams eventually led to a better reality.
Perhaps Levin is simply attacking the perversion of utopianism that comes from the extreme application? Maybe he paints with too broad a brush? (ahhhh… I may have to read the damn book after all…)
Oops. Proofread too quickly. Meant to say “despise” not “despite.”
This guy is basically a phony – he talks all about how the constitution is so important, but then he attacks Libertarianism for wanting to end the ridiculous Drug War that has left the so called Land of the Free with more people in prison than any country in the world (and per capita, it’s more than Russia and China combined).
And let’s not get started on foreign policy – basically it seems to be attack any country he doesn’t like. After all these disastrous wars in the Middle East, why are we rushing to start another one with Iran?
Blah blah, somehow losing Iraq and Afghanistan is all Obama’s fault or something. That’s his answer to everything – it’s Obama’s fault because he’s a socialist.
Obama is a crony capitalist, he’s not a socialist. Forcing people to buy insurance from private companies is not socialism; it’s corporatism, and the Republicans came up with it. Yes, his energy policy is insane, but again, it’s crony capitalism, sending money to his friends in “green” energy.
Levin is one of the best minds around for elucidating the ideas and principles at the basis of the construction of America’s Constitution.
His stand on legalization of drugs (with which I’m not familiar and don’t particularly care) has absolutely no bearing on his superior brain and his fervent desire to teach Americans what their education over decades has sorely lacked.
Which lack (aka “dumbing down”) it can be argued, has been intentional.
Giving Obama some label like “crony capitalist” as opposed to “socialist” is, essentially, meaningless.
Your reply to JeremyR seems somewhat inconsistent and in fact contradictory.
How can someone educate us on the proper application of Constitutional principles when he doesn’t see a problem with federal drug laws? Where is it written in the Constitution – or even implied – that the federal government can arrest and imprison you for possessing any drug? Furthermore, where is it written that the federal government can override a state law that specifically provides that you can?
If Mr. Levin is so adamant about educating us as regards the Constitution he would understand the Libertarian viewpoint that almost everything the federal government does now is UN-Constitutional.
I’ve never heard Mark Levin expound on the subject of federal drug laws.
When I do, I’ll get back to you.
I find federal interference in (for example) California’s marijuana laws reprehensible.
As I find all such federal attempts to extend and exert influence and to subvert the principles of federalism and the 10th amendment. See especially this DOJ which attempts to to insert itself and override state law, such as the law passed in South Carolina requiring voter ID or in Alabama relative to illegals within its borders.
Not to mention suing the state of Arizona for attempting to enforce immigration laws that the federal government won’t.
I would imagine that Mark Levin agrees with me.
JeremyR doesn’t know what he’s talking about to glibly label Levin a “phony”.
Fair enough reply. Well taken, thank you.
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