Just a quick note to congratulate Mark Levin for the release of his newest book, Ameritopia, the Unmaking of America. I wanted to try to write a review of it before it came out, but, alas, I have been trying to read too many books at once, and have only made it through the first 40 pages of Levin’s book. But I can already tell it’ll be a winner. In short, the book is a erudite, well-researched, well-explained extended essay against utopianism. He corrects the common misimpression that the search for earthly utopia is a highly moral pursuit even if it’s impractical. Instead, Levin argues, quite rightly, that utopianism is itself a horridly immoral ideal from start to finish. The problem is that utopia by necessity emphasizes the collective rather than the individual. In a utopia, he writes:
The individual is inconsequential as a person and useful only as an insignificant part of an agglomeration of insignificant parts…. Utopianism is immoral per se. On what basis does utopianism make such a thorough claim on the individual’s existence? On a mastermind’s dogma!…. There is also no morality in utopian deception and distortion to promote an abstraction, forcing the individual to behave in ways that are congtrary to his best interests and destructive of hsi nature; attacking the civil society’s ethical norms and social arrangements; and making commonplace dependency and coercion. Rather than cultivating a moral society and individual virtuousness, whether through faith, education, or sociability, and building on the accumulated experience and wisdom of earlier generations, utpopianism breeds dishonesty not good character; it encoruages ideology not reason; it rewards rashness not reflection; it attracts fanatics not statesmen; and it is transformative not reformative.
Really good stuff. Read the book!