Right-wing commentator Levin (Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, 2009, etc.) charges that America is in danger of losing itself to soul-crushing collectivism.
Many non-conservative readers may instinctively think that efforts to “level the playing field” will make America great again. Not so, writes the author, who’s leery of “radical egalitarianism” and fears it’s just another stab at utopianism, a system, no matter how well intentioned, that concentrates power in a central authority. “Like all other failed forms of utopianism in the past, Levin argues that the new utopianism will ultimately lead to tyranny and the enslavement of its citizens. Utopianism,” writes Levin, “is tyranny born of intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty. The proof is seen every day in the words and actions of politicians, judges, bureaucrats, and the media.” The author frequently cites the works of Plato, Hobbes More and other noted thinkers in an effort to bolster his argument. In fact, Levin rarely goes a paragraph without importing huge tracts of texts from other writers. Ultimately, the book never rises above partisanship and is not likely to win any converts. It seems a stretch to claim that there is any movement currently afoot in the United States today that is even remotely comparable to the societal changes implemented in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Simply invoking the words of Ronald Reagan might appease some, but it is hardly sufficient for constructing a convincing argument.
A polemic for like-minded readers.