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Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

1 rating: 5.0
2012 nonfiction book by Mark Levin

Mark R. Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny made the most persuasive case for conservatism and against statism in a generation. In this most crucial time, this leading conservative thinker explores the psychology, motivations, and history of the utopian … see full wiki

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1 review about Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

The intense ideological battle for the heart and soul of America is really nothing new...

  • Apr 9, 2012
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+5
Take a look around at the sad state of our nation. In the 100 years since the self-proclaimed "progessive" Woodrow Wilson was President of these United States Americans have slowly but surely been ceding their rights and liberties to the state. The "masterminds" in our government, those who are so cock-sure that they know what is best for the rest of us, have been systemically consolidating their power and building a mammoth bureaucracy designed to control nearly every aspect of our lives. Then in 2008 the American people elected Barack Obama who promised to "fundamentally change America". Obama has taken the "statist" agenda to a whole new level and most Americans have become increasingly alarmed at the direction this country is headed in. The battle lines have been drawn and the 2012 election will no doubt prove pivotal in the ultimate direction our nation will take. Those of us who favor the traditional American values of hard work, freedom of speech and free enterprise are going to have to articulate our case in the best possible way to a wider audience of our fellow Americans in order to win the day. Lawyer, author and syndicated radio talk show host Mark R. Levin has given us all a huge assist in this regard with the release of his powerful new book "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America". Drawing on the writings of the great philosophers on both ends of the political spectrum Levin provides his readers with a plethora of devastating arguments against the direction Obama and the progressives in both political parties are taking this nation. It is a truly compelling read!

I think that it is fair to say that most Americans have only a passing knowledge of the writings of philosophers such as Plato, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu and Alexis de Toqueville. Some would attribute this to the "dumbing down of America" that has been inexorably taking place in our schools over the past half-century or so. But the truth is that all of these individuals as well as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have exerted a great deal of influence over American political thought in the 235 years of our nation's existence. Plato, More, Hobbes and of course Karl Max all come down on the side of "collectivist" or "utopian" states whereby individuals must necessarily become subservient to the interests of the state. In such an environment individuals "must be managed and suppressed by masterminds for the greater good." There is no tolerance for individual self-interest or even self-preservation. A person's labor and property belong to the state or are controlled by the state. Citing lengthy excerpts from the extensive writings of each of these individuals, Levin points out the obvious flaws in this line of thinking. Mr. Levin succeeds in arming his readers with the ammunition they will need to refute the arguments offered by the leftists and statists in this country on a wide variety of issues like universal health care, the progressive income tax and an ever-expanding and intrusive federal government. To paraphrase an old boxing expression "in this corner" we have the Barack Obama's, Nancy Pelosi's, Lincoln Chafee's and Chuck Schumer's of the world.

Part Two of "Ameritopia" hones in on the writings of John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Alexis de Toqueville who all champion a much smaller, less intrusive government. John Locke in particular had an enormous influence on our Founding Fathers as they went about the rough and tumble business of fashioning the Constitution. It is an indisputable fact that for most of the history of the world mankind has been ruled by despots and repressive governments. The Founding Fathers wanted something much different. John Locke wrote that "laws made by men and governments without the consent of the government are illegitimate and no man is bound to them." Regarding personal property rights Locke explained that there is always going to be an unequal distribution of property resulting from the manner in which a man applies his labor. This is just plain common sense. "As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates and can use the product of, so much is his property. He by his labor does, as it were, enclose it from the common. He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational; not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious." Amen! Meanwhile, another major influence on the thinking of the Founding Fathers was the French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu. Montesquieu warned of "the dangers of a republican government attempting to transform a civil society--including superceding the effects of religion, family, commerce, traditions, customs, mores etc. through legal coercion." Sounds like a page from the Saul Alinsky handbook does it not? Finally, Montesquieu goes on to observe that "There are two sorts of tyranny: a real one, which consists of the violence of the government, and one of opinion, which is felt when those who govern establish things that run counter to a nation's way of thinking." Many of us would argue that this is precisely what has been going on for the past three years.

In the final section of "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America" Mark Levin explains how the statists have advanced their agenda over the past eight decades and why the 2012 elections stand as a watershed in American history. The choices we face have never been more clear. If you are one of those people still sitting on the fence I urge you to read "Ameritopia". Meanwhile, if you are someone who is largely in agreement with the principles espoused by our Founding Fathers I would wholeheartedly encourage you to pick up a copy of "Ameritopia" as well. Mark Levin's compelling book will help to crystallize the arguments in your mind as your attempt to educate your friends, relatives and neighbors in the coming months leading up to the election. Kudos to Mark Levin for an extremely well thought-out and well-executed project. Very highly recommended!

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April 16, 2012
I listen to Levin's talk show often and wanted to read Liberty and Tyranny but have never gotten around to it. I find him very knowledgeable though he is often rude to callers and never gives credit to politicos with opposing views (O"Reilly does at times). He has a lot of good ideas and maybe they come through better in a book than in a radio show where he can go on tirades from his "hidden bunker." Nice review!
 
April 16, 2012
What you fail to understand is, most of the things you like best about the USA were proposed by "liberals" and damned as "socialist" when first proposed.

During and after the cold war, "communism" was equated with "socialism" because dictators co-opted the terms to hide what they were really doing. Communism has never existed on a national scale anywhere on the planet – ever.

The truth is, the most socialist countries in the world right now are places like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and perhaps Canada. All have democratically-elected governments, a happier population, better-educated citizens, a better standard of living, and better health care than the USA.

Again, most of what you like about the USA was damned as "socialist" when liberals first proposed it. Tell us, which of these are you willing to give up because they're "socialist"? Free paved roads, free public schools, police and fire protection, free public parks, clean and safe water food, and medicines, regulated workplace safety, mandated overtime pay, social security, medicare, child labor laws, and anything else where everyone contributes to for the benefit of all? An example would be sports stadiums. They are often partially paid for by tax money even though only about 15% of any nearby population will ever enter them even though 100% help pay for them. Socialist!  Again, which of these will you gladly give up?  I'll await your answer.
April 17, 2012
First of all there is no such thing as FREE. I don't know what it's like in Brazil but here in the United States our esteemed President is working very hard to see to it that there are more people in the wagon than those who are pulling it. This is clearly unacceptable and unsustainable. Here in the U.S. we have slowly been ceding our freedoms to the government for the past 100 years. Obamacare is the last straw for many of us. MOST AMERICANS DO NOT WANT IT! I am not someone who believes there is no place for government in our lives. But here in the United States the federal government is grabbing more and more power. Many functions now being usurped by the feds rightly belong with state and local governments. Meanwhile our public schools continue to churn out largely uneducated students who sure know their rights but haven't a clue about their responsibilities.
April 17, 2012
"Meanwhile our public schools continue to churn out largely uneducated students who sure know their rights but haven't a clue about their responsibilities."

Might be worth mentioning that our public schools are controlled by local school boards. Most of the money to pay for our schools comes from local taxing districts (usually through property taxes, which guarantees inequity between the education kids receive in poorer tax districts compared to those from higher tax districts. But I digress.)  The educational direction comes from the states' departments of education.The amount of money funneled by the federal Dept .of Education is quite small in comparison. As for your latter point in that sentence -- and as much as our schools need to improve -- it sounds to me that you have spent little time reading widely on the subject; and not just  those with whom you agree. I'd suggest starting with the four books in Theodore Sizer's Horace series. Very readable. I can suggest a few more or some subject names you could Google. Just because things need to be improved urgently and as quickly as we can doesn't mean the situation is abysmal. I wish you could talk to seniors of different backgrounds from a number of high schools. Most of them might not meet your expectations, but I think you'd find the experience enlightening and even hopeful. 

I take issue with your seriously capitalized sentence about Obamacare. It all depends on how the question is phrased and how well the services and protections are understood. If the latter is out there, most Americans do want the health plan. But I guess this is for another day.
April 17, 2012
@ drifter 51 First, I notice you carefully ignored everything I said and have not answered my question. Next, I notice you have not offered a shred of proof of your statements. Instead, you only want to lecture and express your hate of Obama. You also ignore that "Obamacare" is entirely based upon "Romneycare". That's one of my objections to it. Not enough effort was put into examining other plans from other countries.

Brazil, for example, has a viable health care plan for all of its legal residents. It also has inexpensive private insurance plans for anyone that wants it. Medical care, especially in chronic conditions is better here than in the USA. Even more serious conditions are better treated here. For example, several years ago I had a bulging disk that was pressing upon the sciatic nerve. They had a procedure available invented in Brazil called Nuceloplasty that was not available in the USA. It was non-invasive and took 20 minutes to perform in the hospital. 12 hours later, I was home in my own bed.

Brazil nor any other country with health care for all has not had to bankrupt future generations to provide this. You can see my video about health care at: http://vimeo.com/6799683

Your uninformed opinions about education, which I agree is in pitiful condition in the USA, ignores that the problem has nothing to do with Obama but started long before he took office. You also ignore the fact that BHO could be the chosen successor to "W". He has changed very little. We're still in two counter-productive wars, the prison at Guantanamo Bay is still operating, the "Patriot" Act has not been repealed, and BHO did not stop the bail-out ( nee robbery) planned during the Bush administration.

The only bail out started by Obama was for GM. That one was repaid early with interest, resulting in a profit for the government. Those are all facts. Perhaps you should present one for your case if you want it to be taken seriously.
April 17, 2012
I don't think Brazil has 20 million undocumented aliens feeding off the health care system and all of the other public services are we do here in America. One of the major problems we face here in America as the result of the fact that our government steadfastly refuses to protect our borders is the ridiculously high cost of education. Bi-lingual education is incredibly expensive and so are many of the other federally-mandated programs that our local school boards are forced to adopt. You have made a number of points that I will try to respond to as time permits.  As to your point about publicly-financed sports stadiums and arenas I am strongly opposed.  Too many so-called capitalists are all too happy to accept government money to build their facilities.  I say let them sink or swim on their own.  
April 17, 2012
I don't think the USA has 20 million undocumented aliens on the health care system either. Perhaps you would like to give citations for that number?

Bi-lingual education is expensive? I wonder how countries like Denmark, Holland, and even Brazil can afford it then? Exactly what federally-mandated programs are local school boards forced to adopt?

I agree completely with you about the capitalists accepting government welfare. If their businesses were such great investments why aren't private funds available? Maybe the tax money is cheaper so we're subsidizing them twice?  Sink or swim?  I had always thought that was what capitalism was about.  Have a product people want at a price they are willing to pay, and you succeed.  Fall away from that and you fail.  Was I wrong?
April 18, 2012
That is definitely the way it is supposed to work. From where I sit altogether too many so-called capitalists want to reap the profits when times are good and they make the right decisions but want the rest of us to bail them out when things go awry. As for the bailout of the auto companies, I was steadfastly opposed to it. I would have let both Chrysler and GM fail. Out of the ashes at least one new company would have emerged that would have been able to compete without all of the baggage of the bloated union contracts. Add $1500 to the price of each GM car for union benefits. Ridiculous!  In Barack Obama's America if you do not work for the government or are a client of the government or a member of a favored union you lose.  it's just that simple!   BTW, most of the big unions who support Obama have been exempted from Obamacare>  I wonder why? 
April 18, 2012
Again, your hatred of Obama is coloring your thinking. If you cannot prove your statements, how do you expect them to be taken seriously? The reason some unions, and other organizations are exempt from the Obama health care plan is they already have adequate programs of their own. Remember, no individual is going to be forced into this plan. It is there to provide decent health care for those with no coverage. I have a video about this at: http://vimeo.com/6799683 You might also remember that the Obama plan is based upon the Romney plan in Massachusetts. That's a major problem with it, other, better plans were not considered.
 
April 16, 2012
Hmmm. One of Levin's critic's has said "... the tantalizing beauty of a Mark Levin's text resides precisely in this ability to attribute any crisis of State to its nefarious indulgences. The current economic meltdown, for instance, should not be blamed on the psychotic greed of Wall Street, but on the State's deranged need to throw money at the poor and undeserving."
April 18, 2012
Talk about psychotic greed! How about all of the vacations Obama and Michelle have taken? And what about all of the billions of our hard-earned tax dollars showered on phony-baloney entities like Solyndra and other so-called "green energy" companies. Where did all of that money disappear to? And how about the unions many of whom have been exempted from Obamacare like so many of the President's buddies.
April 18, 2012
You really have a bee in your bonnet about President Obama, don't you? My theory is that so many ultra-conservatives go rabid about him is not because he is black (as he has described himself) or because he is fairly liberal, but that to them he represents the changing demography of this nation.

In the Nineteenth Century it was the Irish and the Jews. Now it's the Hispanics and the Asians. Does this make ultra-conservatives racist? Not exactly. It makes them frightened that their world is changing and they fear that change. When a person is frightened, one reaction is to strike out, to see threats everywhere, to attempt to demonize those they disagree with and to be comfortable only with people who think the same way they do..

I feel badly that so many ultra-conservatives seem to have so little historical knowledge of our country and so little faith in our nation's wonderful and proven ability to make Americans of us all.
 
April 09, 2012
Gosplan had its negations in implementation with regard to Soviet economics. The main problem areas were excessive centralization, stultification of initiative, corruption and the highly decentralized nature of the Russian Republics. It's difficult to have too much centralization in a country with 11 time zones and such diversity in the population from European Russians to the Tatar peoples and even Mongolian influences. There was a time when bread was very cheap but that didn't apply to all consumer goods and services. Mikhail Gorbachev marveled at how Canada could be so prosperous with a comparable climate to the Soviet Union. The challenge was to duplicate Canada's success in the Soviet Union. Emulating Canada would be difficult in the former Soviet Republics because the political infrastructure would have to share power in a country used to so much political control.
 
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