The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Are You Ready for Ameritopia?

Posted on | January 17, 2012 | 13 Comments

Mark Levin, author of Liberty and Tyranny, is back with a new book, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America, and it’s sure to be one another bestseller.

What Levin offers is a philosophical contrast between starkly different visions of government: The utopian view of “heaven on earth” schemes and the vision of ordered liberty that inspired the American Revolution. Levin provides what is in essence a graduate school seminar on political philosophy, examining four influential utopian works — Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto — and three authors who extoll the vision of limited government: John Locke, Charles Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville.

Levin shows how the utopian vision threatens the American tradition of law and liberty, a threat that leads toward what he calls “Post-Constitutional America.” Levin writes:

Utopianism is irrational in theory and practice, for it ignores or attempts to control the planned and unplanned complexity of the individual, his nature, and mankind generally. It ignores, rejects, or perverts the teachings  and knowledge that have come before  — that is, man’s historical, cultural, and social experience and development. . . .
Utopianism substitutes glorious predictions and unachievable promises for knowledge, science, and reason, while laying claim to them all. Yet there is nothing new in deception disguised as hope and nothing original in abstraction framed as progress.

My American Spectator colleague Jeffrey Lord has a lengthy review today of Ameritopia, and writes:

If you want to understand what’s really at work with the mentality that has produced everything from Obamacare to the EPA, campaign finance reform, Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, the controversy over Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, the New Deal, the Great Society and Fannie Mae — to name a small handful of historical political programs and controversies — Ameritopia is the “must read” of 2012. And beyond.

Indeed, Levin’s book is both timely and timeless, a work of enduring value that is also directly relevant to the current crisis caused by Obama’s utopian worldview. I strongly recommend Ameritopia not only as a thoughtful treatise for adults interested in the philosophical basis of our political struggles, but also as an excellent primer for young people who wish to understand the dangerous ideas that define what we nowadays call the “liberal” or “progressive” movement.

Levin is a lawyer and former Reagan administration Justice Department official who founded the Landmark Legal Foundation. Those who know Levin chiefly as a caustic talk-radio host — “Shut up, you dummie!” — may be surprised at the depth and subtlety of his writing. Liberals cherish the flattering conceit that they have a monopoly on all things intellectual, but it would be amusing to see some of these allegedly clever young “Occupy” protesters attempt to read Ameritopia. It might teach them much, if only they could understand all those big words.

Robert Stacy McCain


13 Responses to “Are You Ready for Ameritopia?”

  1. Mike G.
    January 17th, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    Reckon I’ll have to buy this book. It can go on the shelf next to my copy of Donkey Cons. 😉 After I read it , of course.

  2. Liberty At'Stake
    January 17th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Just as Liberty and Tyranny was the most important read of 2009, Ameritopia looks like the most important read of 2012.  Now, if I can only muster the attention span to read an actual book again after frying my brain with this damned blogging thing ….

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  3. ThePaganTemple
    January 17th, 2012 @ 1:08 pm


    Maybe Romney didn’t win Iowa after all.

    Iowa Certification Expected To Show Santorum Won  Iowa By Eighty Votes

  4. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    The only Levin book I’ve read is Liberty and Tyranny.

    To be brutally honest, it felt to me like Levin had dashed off that book in eight days or something. It is verbose; consists of non-stop assertions (as opposed to well-supported arguments); uses more two-dimensional, cartoon-like dichotomies (“slaves/tyrants versus free men”) than a David Brooks column, etc.

    Is this book better than that one (for example, did he spend more than eight days writing it)?

  5. Paul Zummo
    January 17th, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

    I actually kinda feel that way too about Liberty and Tyranny, but Men in Black is a much more well-researched and thought out book.  My sense is that this one is more like Men in Black.

  6. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Thanks, Paul. I’ll have to check out Men in Black. I was a little skeptical about Lord’s positive review of (or plug for) Ameritopia because of his rave review of Liberty and Tyranny.  

  7. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    A tale of two works…

    Yes I read Andrew Sullivan so you do not have to.  A comparison of Andrew “Glenn Close” Sullivan vs. Mark “The Great One” Levin.  

  8. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    Another example why government needs to be reined in.  Out of control prosecutors and federal agencies.  

  9. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    Forget neo-con Mark Levin and his boring re-tread book Ameritopia (with its
    fake controversy). Instead read a real banned book “America Deceived II” by a
    real outlaw author.

    Last link of “America Deceived II” before it is completely censored:

  10. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
  11. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

    I’m afraid to click your link.

  12. Mike G.
    January 17th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    I have Liberty and Tyranny, but haven’t read it yet. It’s on the list, though.

  13. Proof
    January 17th, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    Got my copy of Ameritopia this afternoon. Can’t wait to start reading it.