Quicklet on Mark R. Levin's Ameritopia
What's in the book?
Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!
- About the Book
- Introducing the Author
- Overall Summary
- Discussion and Analysis
- Character List
- Notable Terms & Definitions
- Interesting Related Facts
- Additional Reading
ABOUT THE BOOK
“I can’t sit down long enough to write a book, and now I don’t have to ‘cause my buddy Mark Levin new book is out called Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America. I don’t have to write another book, at least not now.” - Rush Limbaugh
Three years since the publication of his book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, best-selling author and conservative radio talk show host, Mark R. Levin published Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America. In the book’s introduction, Levin explains his reasoning for writing the book as a desire to answer certain questions regarding a utopian ideology he saw that “both attracts a free people and destroys them.” He noted that great leaders and thinkers, such as Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Story, and the Founding Fathers, “feared” such an ideology and recognized its “threat” and “destructiveness.”
His desire to pen Ameritopia spurred largely from the recent shift to incorporate said ideology of utopianism into the American life. Said shift added to an ever-widening gap between ideologies in American political parties.
By the end of President George W. Bush’s second term in office, there was a great deal of outrage from the liberal left and portions of the conservative right regarding various policies and actions. During the 2008 election season, a relatively unknown African-American Senator from Illinois named Barack Hussein Obama burst onto the scene as a challenger to Democratic presidential candidate, New York Senator, and former First Lady, Hillary Clinton.
The possibility of the first African-American to be elected president was touted as a “historical moment,” and many claimed to support him for just that reason -- to be part of history. Members of the audience fainted in more than one instance during Obama’s campaign.
What happened next sent ripples of shock through the nation. Not only did Obama win the Democratic nomination, but with virtually no vetting, he won the election for President on the promise of “Hope and Change.”
In 2009, Levin published his book Liberty and Tyranny, which compared the conservative and liberal viewpoints. Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator claimed that the book was a “major political player” in the 2010 elections, which created sweeping changes in power across the country. A number of traditionally Democratic offices were defeated and won by Republicans. Lord also posited that Levin’s Ameritopia would make an “explosive impact in 2012” following its predecessor, Liberty and Tyranny.
In his review of Ameritopia, Author David Limbaugh (brother to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh) explained why the Utopian ideal is dangerous for America, perhaps stating better than Lord why the book could have an impact in the 2012 elections:
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
3: Thomas More’s Utopia and Radical Egalitarianism
“[...] in Utopia, More creates the outline of a representative government structure. However, it is largely irrelevant, given the established dictates affecting minute details of daily life.”
A Utopian society is created, with every conceivable problem addressed as those in charge strip away rights and emotional attachments from the people. Servants exist in this paradise and the kingdom itself is isolated from the rest of the world in order to protect itself from unwanted outside influences that could disrupt the ideal society. Families are routinely split up, because the state knows better than parents where children should live, what occupation they should pursue and how best, overall, to raise and educate them. Travel is controlled because papers (passports) are required by law in order for any travel, even inside the kingdom, to be permitted.
Thomas More also utilized conversation between characters to convey his message; his characters being himself, the fictional character of Raphael Hythloday, Cardinal Morton of Antwerp and More’s friend Peter Giles of Antwerp.
In this utopia, a great leader is established to rule over the others, this time a king named Utopos. The island of Utopia was named after the king who was also its conqueror, which seems to run contrary to some basic Utopic philosophies.
4: Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan and The All-Powerful State
“Hobbes argued that as men live in a constant state of fear, anxiety, and conflict, they could not be trusted to govern themselves.”
Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan explains, at great length, why there must be a Sovereign power overseeing all, in order to ensure the welfare of all. In his great benevolence, the Sovereign would protect the individual from himself and from outsiders,
He posits that by his very nature, man lives in a state of war, thereby needing some form of control exercised over him. He fails to recognize the control he promotes is that of man over man, which cannot work if all are “equal” in their failings.
Leviathan is an exceedingly long work, filled with many long, run-on sentences. Mercifully, Levin bypasses directly quoting much of the work, instead opting to use only a few small excerpts and fill in the rest of the chapter with explanations, information from others and his own opinion. He does publish some of The Rights of Sovereigns, including the rule (Rule V) that the Sovereign is essentially above the law, or rules, that others must adhere to, though the Subject is to be blamed for any misdeeds committed by the Sovereign. This is yet another example of how some are more “equal” than others, even in “equal” societies.
5: Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto and the Class Struggle
Levin noted, “Marx and Engels write, “Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie [capitalists] and Proletariat [laborers].”
Classic class warfare is the heart of The Communist Manifesto, pitting the worker against boss, as if somehow the one who creates the job and pays the wages is the bad guy simply by being the one who created the job and pays the wages.
Drawing upon words from his earlier book, Liberty and Tyranny, Levin writes, “[W]ho populates this [working class]? Is the twenty-five-year-old female paralegal who graduated from college, works at a large law firm, earns $85,000 a year, is unmarried and without children, lives in an apartment in Manhattan, and rarely attends church in the same [working class] as the fifty-seven-year-old male auto mechanic who did not graduate from high school, works at Pep Boys, earns $55,000 a year, lives in a row home in northeast Philadelphia, is married with four children, and attends church every Sunday?”
Little of the manifesto is quoted directly, with most of the discussion explaining the concept and rules established by Marx and Engels.
Part II: On Americanism
“It is my hope that, in some small way, this book will contribute to a broader awakening of the citizenry and the reaffirmation and reestablishment of the principles that secure and nurture individual liberty, inalienable rights, the civil society, and constitutional republicanism.”
This section explores the counters to the Utopian model with works from John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Alexis de Tocqueville. It also explores how our founders were influenced by some of these works.
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