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June 17, 2013 - 11:00 am

The Beholden State: California’s Lost Promise and How to Recapture It is now officially published and available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and all the rest. This is a collection of writings on California’s troubles from my friends at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal and includes excellent essays by the great Victor Davis Hanson, Steven Malanga, Joel Kotkin, Heather Mac Donald and others. Among those others is me, (or I), with my essay on the movies, “The Lost Art of War.”

But while I’m delighted to be included in the book, the thing I really love about City Journal is that the writers and thinkers there are not concerned with party politics, but only with what works. They’ll support Democrats or Republicans, as long as they come up with real solutions to problems — and solutions that don’t compromise American principles of freedom. Also, they’re really good writers and thinkers.

Take a look at the book — and take a look at the journal itself too. Both provide unique takes on issues that are too often obscured by emotion and rhetoric.


Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

image courtesy shutterstock / Nicku

Andrew Klavan’s newest novel is Nightmare City.

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All Comments   (8)
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Wasn't there once upon a time a catchword: "As California goes so goes the nation"?

Serviceable as model for the social manipulations/engineering desired by New Age "liberals" . Despite which name decidedly il-liberal iin virtually all their manipulations of the nation.

Abrogating rights American citizens took for granted and accepted without attention to possible dangers.

Abrogated using words designed to disguise the true nature of their actions. Furthering their designs by pitting citizens against citizens each success escalating to more and more reasons for intra-necine conflict. Qui bono by such tactics? "Fundamental transformation indeed in undermining, deconstructing, the pillars of the City.

For example that now institutionalised abrogation of First Amendment protections of free speech, opinion and thought with what they prettied up as political correctness. And then there was that other abrogation, no doubt well-meaning but without formal/procedur4al consent of the citizens' rights of equality before the law. With the pretty and sympathethic sounding affirmative action.

These only the most obvious and egregious of the withdrawal of rights of which we know.

Is this commentary then a warning klaxon for what is in store for America/Americans. That California with their propagandists of Hollywood as flagbearers, drum beaters and pipers of the band, allowed their best and brightest to induce Americans to want, plan and accept?

American citizens permitting their "representatives of self governance" in Congress, Judiciary and Executive to accept perquisites and immunities of royalty from any injuries done to the populations?

So long as SOME in the population favour and encourage their actions and intrusions into the lives of ALL others.

With the always serviceable, and effective intention/promise "For the Good the the People", or "For the Common Good".

Should we now accept that "as California goes so goes the nation"?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What the hell good is a book like this if it isn't written in Spanish? We do need to reach Democrats too, don't we? Too very little too very late. The writing is on the wall and it isn't in English. Thank you Democrats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

First all, slippery slope theories are just about the only thing I can count on in life. Experience counts. Things tend to go bad unless an awful lot of effort is put into holding things together. Things do repeat. And things do get wose.

And too often I hear of clearly associated problems, or more actually some clear direction of movement whether social, political, cultural or personal, and someone says, Ohhhh, but that's a slippery slope fallacy.

So, any negative act with more negative consequences, is poo-pooed as illogical. Oh, say like giving Gardisil to 9-year-olds. It only makes sense, but then too it does give the girl (or boy) the impression that, no matter what your words say, you expect her to have premature sex early in life. This is a slippery slope -- the self-fulfilling prophecy kind.

And so not only must one look at historical slippery slopes, but also yield to thereality of the inexorable "gravity" of agendas, world views, loyalties and rewards.

In short: slippery sopes are the way of the world -- and never trust a liberal: he's only getting started.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"They’ll support Democrats or Republicans, as long as they come up with real solutions to problems — and solutions that don’t compromise American principles of freedom. "

Sorry, that doesn't pass the smell test. Oh, as a theory, it's great. Non-judgmental, non-partisan and all that Blue Sky hooey.

But the fact is, Democrats have proven themselves to be the enemies of American principles of freedom.

We are at war. Choose sides.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I admit that I consider it doomed, and that the best news I got Father's Day was that my oldest daughter and family had moved from California back to America. Not that it is going to be easy or safe here, but there is a chance for survival.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When you have so many anesthetized into believing all is well, when it isn't, selective vision comes with a brutally high price.

Just because credit rating agencies say what they say, that doesn't mean what they say is true.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Andrew, being a long time reader of City Journal it was with pleasure I reread your excellent article. I would also point out Battle for Los Angeles as another example like War of the Worlds, but with much better warrior ethos character developement. I of course still remember my drill sgt. vividly after 35 years. As a combat vet of the 82nd Abn., thanks again for a great piece and all the rest of the work you do. BTW, now you know 2 obnoxious Gator fans. Bill W. being the other.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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