Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America Info

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In his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller, Mark R.
Levin explores the psychology, motivations, and history of the utopian
movement, its architects—the Founding Fathers, and its modern-day
disciples—and how the individual and American society are being
devoured by it.

Levin asks, what is this utopian force that both
allures a free people and destroys them? Levin digs deep into the past
and draws astoundingly relevant parallels to contemporary America from
Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Thomas
Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Karl Marx’s Communist
Manifesto
, as well as from the critical works of John Locke, Charles
Montesquieu, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other philosophical pioneers
who brilliantly diagnosed the nature of man and government. As Levin
meticulously pursues his subject, the reader joins him in an
enlightening and compelling journey. And in the end, Levin’s
message is clear: the American republic is in great peril. The people
must now choose between utopianism or liberty.

President Ronald
Reagan warned, “freedom is never more than one generation away
from extinction.” Levin agrees, and with Ameritopia,
delivers another modern political classic, an indispensable guide for
America in our time and in the future.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America:

5

Feb 14, 2012

I fully realize that many will look at this book and immediately decide they don't want to read it. This is a free country (for a while yet anyway) and that's cool. I do (believe it or not) understand. I'm going to make a request, that's all just a request.

Give this book a chance. Even if you know you're from the other side of the political spectrum give it a chance and think about it, that's all I ask, think about it. This book is not written tongue in cheek, it's not sarcastic, it's factual, I fully realize that many will look at this book and immediately decide they don't want to read it. This is a free country (for a while yet anyway) and that's cool. I do (believe it or not) understand. I'm going to make a request, that's all just a request.

Give this book a chance. Even if you know you're from the other side of the political spectrum give it a chance and think about it, that's all I ask, think about it. This book is not written tongue in cheek, it's not sarcastic, it's factual, well researched, thoughtful and coherent. If you disagree at least you'll have taken the time to consider both sides.

I'm saying up front the book is, as noted laid out well and thoughtfully, but it's not an easy read. From early ideas of Utopianism to the present a look at what Utopian thinking is and what it implies centers the book. From Plato's essay The Republic through John Locke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Marx and forward you'll get excerpts and ideas. While it will take a little thought to follow Locke's English and other writer's translations...it's worth it.

I was already familiar with much of the source material and have been,concerned over the subject of this book for a while also. Here the ideas are laid out clearly and thoughtfully.

I recommend this book, highly. ...more
5

Mar 01, 2012

The good news is: the American government is working tirelessly around the clock and running great deficits in order to create a perfect society just for you. The bad news is: if you have any work ethic, any ambition, any sense of worth as an individual, or if your idea of a good time is going to the store and deciding which type of lightbulb you will buy, then you are going to really REALLY hate it there.

Mark Levin is one of the most intellectual voices in the heated political arguments, and The good news is: the American government is working tirelessly around the clock and running great deficits in order to create a perfect society just for you. The bad news is: if you have any work ethic, any ambition, any sense of worth as an individual, or if your idea of a good time is going to the store and deciding which type of lightbulb you will buy, then you are going to really REALLY hate it there.

Mark Levin is one of the most intellectual voices in the heated political arguments, and in Ameritopia, he does a great job of explaining the socialist agenda, and why it is poison to a free society.

Everyone says they like freedom, but "freedom to live as you see fit" and "freedom from responsibility" are opposing ideals. Everyone also wants equality, but "equality of opportunity" and "equality of results" are also opposite ideals.

I love that this book has remained the #1 New York Times best-seller since it came out, and not just because it keeps forcing that liberal rag to say it. This is a very important book for this very important point in America's history. ...more
3

Feb 29, 2012

Although I learned a lot from this book, I found it hard to read. There were too many quotes and not enough exposition from the author, especially in the first half. It took a long time for me to grasp what point Levin was trying to make. Ultimately, it was clear but it seemed he was trying to prove a point by quoting and comparing political philosophers. I don't think that approach proves anything, but it does give background that helps one's understanding of political concepts. He could have Although I learned a lot from this book, I found it hard to read. There were too many quotes and not enough exposition from the author, especially in the first half. It took a long time for me to grasp what point Levin was trying to make. Ultimately, it was clear but it seemed he was trying to prove a point by quoting and comparing political philosophers. I don't think that approach proves anything, but it does give background that helps one's understanding of political concepts. He could have made a better case if he had gone into more detail about failed societies like the Soviet Union, oppressive societies like China, and despotic ones like North Korean, Iran, Syria etc. He could have compared them in greater detail to successful ones like Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc. Many of the tedious quotes were from philosophers prior to the 20th Century, and therefore written in a style of English that we modern folk find laborious and dense. Often, the transition from a philosopher's quote to Levin's exposition about that quote was difficult to notice because they ran together without the use of a separate paragraph. Despite these shortcomings, Levin explains the origins and motives of the Progressive political movement and makes a convincing case about why it has severely weakened the U.S. Constitution. Levin explains how the Progressive Movement has reduced individual freedom in America in favor of the flawed philosophy of egalitarianism. He further explains how egalitarianism leads to Utopian tyranny from an overly powerful federal government that tramples on States rights and invades our private lives with a plethora of regulations that threaten us with fines and imprisonment. "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America" is recommended for anyone concerned about individual freedom and the ever more powerful and expansive U.S. federal government. ...more
5

January 26, 2013

If anything history has a way of repeating it's self with people who forget about it. Mark's book backs up that logic and then some. Hehas got a good foundational background. It's pretty hard to argue this fact especially after reading this book. Over all, It's a must have, no matter the political l...Full Review
5

Jan 19, 2012

Ameritopia is a brilliant book tracing the origins of utopian ideology and its influence on modern society. I wanted to read it again after I finished it knowing the knowledge one can obtain is timeless. Levin eloquently describes how despite thousands of years of human experience man will never create a perfect utopian society as it defied the nature of mankind. All attempts thus far have led to tyranny and human misery. Citing the writings of Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Hobbes's Ameritopia is a brilliant book tracing the origins of utopian ideology and its influence on modern society. I wanted to read it again after I finished it knowing the knowledge one can obtain is timeless. Levin eloquently describes how despite thousands of years of human experience man will never create a perfect utopian society as it defied the nature of mankind. All attempts thus far have led to tyranny and human misery. Citing the writings of Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Hobbes's Leviathan, and Marx's Communist Manifesto, Levin notes that a utopian society requires the surrender of individuality and personal liberty to an insatiable central authority in the name of the collective good.

Levin then flips the coin on utopian ideology to explain who the Founders and Framers turned to as a model to base the American experiment on, mainly Locke and Montesquieu followed by impressions of de Tocqueville upon its implementation.

Just an amazing and informative book, but don't think this another political book that will expire on the next election. Intellectual but accessible, Mark Levin once again delivers another public service with Ameritopia.
...more
4

Feb 14, 2012

Mr. Levin gives an excellent overview of the political/philosophical thinkings of (in this order): Plato, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Alexis de Tocqueville. If you have ever wanted to compare and contrast the philosophy underlying totalitarianism (society is supreme) to that underlying individual sovereignty (individual is supreme) then this is a good book with which to start.

Mr. Levin is, of course, on the side of individual sovereignty, and Mr. Levin gives an excellent overview of the political/philosophical thinkings of (in this order): Plato, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Alexis de Tocqueville. If you have ever wanted to compare and contrast the philosophy underlying totalitarianism (society is supreme) to that underlying individual sovereignty (individual is supreme) then this is a good book with which to start.

Mr. Levin is, of course, on the side of individual sovereignty, and his analysis of each philosopher is biased to the conclusion he is trying to draw in the book, which is that while the United States was founded on the principals of individualism (for reasons best explained by Locke) it is slowly moving towards citizens as 'cogs'.

Nevertheless, one can read this book and, regardless of political sympathies, get a better understanding of the reasons why some believe a system based on individual sovereignty leads to a self-balancing and productive society while others believe the individual is inadequate and must be managed by the rare person better suited for such decisions; well, at least a better understanding than is available in any of our high schools.

I highly recommend this book, whether you come away more convinced of the importance of the Individual, as I am, or if you think we should appoint a King to rule the United States.

4 stars, 1 less than I would have liked, primarily because many of the quotes used in earlier sections were repeated in full in Part III causing me to skim and potentially miss important observations. ...more
5

Sep 17, 2012

This is a difficult book to read for anyone who loves America as originally designed by our Founding Fathers. It is not an easy read because Levin also delves heavily into philosophers who greatly influenced our Founding Fathers as well as philosophers who continue to influence the current progressive/liberal political party. Philosophy is not a "quick read" but so necessary to understand the "deconstruction" of the American dream.
The writings of such philosophical pioneers as John Locke and This is a difficult book to read for anyone who loves America as originally designed by our Founding Fathers. It is not an easy read because Levin also delves heavily into philosophers who greatly influenced our Founding Fathers as well as philosophers who continue to influence the current progressive/liberal political party. Philosophy is not a "quick read" but so necessary to understand the "deconstruction" of the American dream.
The writings of such philosophical pioneers as John Locke and Charles de Montisquieu gave the Founding Fathers the framework for our Constitutional Republic. These philosophers greatly influenced our Founders who were committed to "respect for human dignity and life through the acknowledging of inalienable individual rights and liberties, to free enterprise and private property rights,, where those who work hard enhance not only their own lives but contribute to the wellbeing of society at large, to a representative govt. of divided authority and limited powers directed at preserving and protecting the individual's inalienable rights and liberties, and to a just law applied impartially to all individuals."
Levin looks, in detail, into the polar opposite philosophies of Plato in Plato's Republic, Thomas More in his book Utopia, Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan, and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. Common to all is this idea of "utopianism" which promotes the idea of a "paradisiacal" existence, the concepts of pseudo "ideal" societies in which a heroic despot, a benevolent sovereign, or an enlightened oligarchy claims the ability and authority to provide for all the needs and fulfill all the wants and needs of the individual in exchange for his abject servitude. In the utopian model outlined by all four of these philosophers, the individual exists to serve the state and to be reshaped and molded by the state and the state exists to serve the "mastermind's" cause.
Mark Levin chronicles the erosion of American liberties over a century of incremental inroads that have been creeping into our government ... going back as far as Pres. Wilson and Pres. FDR, as well as Pres. Johnson up to the current politicians. He gives a fascinating look at the introduction of Social Security and Medicare and Medicade as government programs aimed at making all Americans dependent on the government for their future health and well being ... enter the current debate over universal health care.
Levin ends his book by asking these questions,"Have too many among us already surrendered or been conquered? Can the people overcome the constant and relentless influences of ideological indoctrination, economic manipulation, and administrative coerciveness, or have they become hopelessly entangled in and dependent on a ubiquitous federal government? ... Is it accepted as legitimate and routine that the government has sufficient license to act whenever it claims to do so for the good of the people and against the selfishness of the individual?"
Abraham Lincoln said in 1838, " ... If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide." I pray that we are not yet at the point of complete national suicide. ...more
4

Mar 12, 2012

A very insightful analysis of the American Republic as designed by the founders and of the current progressive America as it has veered away from the original model which had made America exceptional.

Mr. Levin quotes and interprets Locke and Montesquieu whose philosophy greatly influenced the founders, and also quotes Plato, More, Hobbes, and Marx and shows how their philosophy appears to be the foundation of the modern American political system.

A key difference between the two philosophical A very insightful analysis of the American Republic as designed by the founders and of the current progressive America as it has veered away from the original model which had made America exceptional.

Mr. Levin quotes and interprets Locke and Montesquieu whose philosophy greatly influenced the founders, and also quotes Plato, More, Hobbes, and Marx and shows how their philosophy appears to be the foundation of the modern American political system.

A key difference between the two philosophical schools is that the former values the individual and is based on the nature of man as he was created while the latter values the collective (as declared by the elites) and is based on impossible fantasies and deceptions.

Locke argued that knowledge is founded on experience. The natural state of man is perfect freedom and equality: “God gave the world to men in common, but since He gave it them for their benefit and the greatest conveniences of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed He meant it should always remain common and uncultivated. He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational..."

Charles de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748) argued for the separation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial and that republican government does not work well over large regions and thus it is best to govern by a collection of smaller republican states.

The name Utopia comes from Sir Thomas More's novel of the same name in 1516. Utopia was a fictional island nation that featured plentiful goods to meet the needs of its people, every person (except rulers) being the same, houses all the same, everyone dressing the same, each family having a trade, to change trades one had to change families, farm harvest by compelling laborers from the cities, every city alike, no private property, no money, no poverty, 6 hour work day, each family with between 10 and 16 children, everything produced turned over to a central warehouse where each family takes only what they need, sick cared for in wonderful hospitals, but the chronically ill encouraged to commit suicide.

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan in 1651 argued that men live in a constant state of conflict and thus can not be trusted to govern themselves. “The state of man … is a condition of war of everyone against everyone...” The answer is to turn over all his rights to a Sovereign and every other man also turning over his rights.

To contrast the founder's American Republic to today's Ameritopia, Mr. Levin first quotes Alexis de Tocqueville who, observing the new American republic in 1835, commented “Nothing is more striking to a European traveler in the United States than the absence of what we term government, or the administration. Written laws exist in America, and one sees the daily exercise of them; but although everything moves regularly, the mover can nowhere be discovered. The hand that directs the social machine is invisible... The administrative power in the United States presents nothing either centralized or hierarchical in its constitution; this accounts for its passing unperceived.” Then he quotes Tocqueville on the danger of what America could become if it pursues equality of outcome rather than sticking with liberty and equality of opportunity: "I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind... Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things; it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits."

Then Mr. Levin describes present-day America: "The federal government has become the nation's largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. Its size and reach are vast.” In 2010 the federal government spent 24% of GDP, in 2008 private sector regulatory compliance costs consumed 11.9% of GDP. Total unfunded obligations totals $61.6 trillion, $528,000 per household. Congress has established a massive administrative bureaucracy that unconstitutionally exercises legislative, executive, and judicial powers. The 2010 Federal Register totaled 81,405 pages. The number of criminal offenses is not actually known, but probably numbers in the tens of thousands.

How did we get from the America that Tocqueville observed in 1835 to the present? A major influence was the philosophy of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. In 1908 Woodrow Wilson argued the president is to be as powerful as he can, the courts are to rewrite the Constitution at will, and the Congress is to rule over state legislatures without limits. Franklin Roosevelt in 1944 proposed his Second Bill of Rights which included the right to a job, a decent living, decent home, adequate medical care, a good education, and protection from economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment. Levin argues “These are not rights. These are tyranny's disguise. By dominating the individual's property, the utopian dominates the individual's labor, by dominating the individual's labor, he dominates the individual. There is little space between Roosevelt's premise and the distorted historical views of Marx and Engels... Indeed, Roosevelt's worldview harks back to Thomas More's Utopia, a precursor to Marx's workers' paradise, where the individual's labor and property are ultimately possessions of the masterminds and subject to their egalitarian designs.”

Levin concludes, “It is is neither prudential nor virtuous to downplay or dismiss the obvious --- that America has already transformed into Ameritopia. The centralization and consolidation of power in a political class that insulates its agenda in entrenched experts and administrators, whose authority is also self-perpetuating, is apparent all around us and growing more formidable. The issue is whether the ongoing transformation can be restrained and then reversed, or whether it will continue with increasing zeal, passing from a soft tyranny to something more repressive... Have too many among us already surrendered or been conquered? Can the people overcome the constant and relentless influences of ideological indoctrination, economic manipulation, and administrative coerciveness, or have they become hopelessly entangled in and dependent on a ubiquitous federal government?”

All in all I found this to be a very worthwhile book. At times it is a difficult slog. I found myself having to reread pages and think about what is said. In the end, it is very clear to me that the Founders of the American Republic designed a precious and effective system that has gradually been torn down and replaced by an unsustainable utopian dream state that in the end crushes its citizens. ...more
4

Oct 04, 2016

A tough read to slog through, but very informative and each chapter builds on the last one. All the great philosophers visions of Utopian states are met head on with the reality of what is truly at work - the take over of society by oligarchs and government officials. Reading this interspersed with real life politics is frighteningly insightful and paints a picture of society reaching a tipping point of the government strangling us and getting deeper and deeper int our lives - all for the worst.
5

Jan 18, 2012

An amazing book. A must read for any who consider themselves American. A lot of history regarding the philosophical underpinnings of the founding of the United States of America, as well as the thoughts of the founders. And then on to the undoing of this great country, beginning with the Utopian Woodrow Wilson, on through F.D.R., Johnson and finally Barack Obama.

This book details, through their own writings, how those Presidents and many others, have sought to subvert the intent of the founders, An amazing book. A must read for any who consider themselves American. A lot of history regarding the philosophical underpinnings of the founding of the United States of America, as well as the thoughts of the founders. And then on to the undoing of this great country, beginning with the Utopian Woodrow Wilson, on through F.D.R., Johnson and finally Barack Obama.

This book details, through their own writings, how those Presidents and many others, have sought to subvert the intent of the founders, and to marginalize the Constitution.

This book, unless you are an elitist who believes that our Constitution should be subverted, will turn your stomach. You will fear for the immediate future of our country.

Anyone who considers themselves an American, in the original, Constitutional meaning of that label, should read this book.

Sadly, the vast majority of people will not.... And that is exactly the problem. ...more
5

Sep 05, 2013

Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. I do not listen to Levin's show. I never have--even when it was on the air here, which now it is not. But I have been familiar with him for some time because my mother listened to him. I follow him on social media and have been impressed by his genuine small government stance on important issues. That, along with the blockbuster success of The Liberty Amendments, inspired me to read Ameritopia.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone but especially to Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. I do not listen to Levin's show. I never have--even when it was on the air here, which now it is not. But I have been familiar with him for some time because my mother listened to him. I follow him on social media and have been impressed by his genuine small government stance on important issues. That, along with the blockbuster success of The Liberty Amendments, inspired me to read Ameritopia.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone but especially to Americans my age (born in 1970 or after). We grew up in a world of entitlement programs--Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid--and because we were raised with these programs we tend not to question them. Levin takes us back to the beginning and shows us what a genuinely special concept the Constitutional Republic given us by our Founding Fathers truly was and how that concept of government has been eroded for the last one hundred years.

I have a master's degree in history and I taught U.S. history for four years at El Paso Community College, but I still learned a lot from Levin's book. I was particularly fascinated with what he had to say about Woodrow Wilson and his progressive view of the Constitution as a "living document" that has shaped our country for the past century.

The book was well worth my time; it has helped me to sharpen my perspective of what it really means to be a conservative. ...more
5

Mar 15, 2012

Much more intellectual than I expected

Published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster Audio.
Read by Adam Grupper and the author, Mark R. Levin.
Duration: Approximately 8 hours.

Over the years I have listened to Levin's radio show from time to time (he used to be carried in my city) and what I always remember from that show is Levin's frequent bombastic outbursts, a kind of manufactured rage that was meant to punctuate his points but lost their punch as I realized that he wasn't just getting angry over Much more intellectual than I expected

Published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster Audio.
Read by Adam Grupper and the author, Mark R. Levin.
Duration: Approximately 8 hours.

Over the years I have listened to Levin's radio show from time to time (he used to be carried in my city) and what I always remember from that show is Levin's frequent bombastic outbursts, a kind of manufactured rage that was meant to punctuate his points but lost their punch as I realized that he wasn't just getting angry over some particularly egregious issue, but he was angry over all of them.

But, I have listened to three of his audiobooks and find them to be much better than his radio show. The first one I listened to (Men in Black) was just for a goof and I was surprised to find that it was pretty solid and the next one (Liberty and Tyranny) was even better. This one was an intellectually robust look at the major philosophers who have espoused tyrannical forms of governments disguised as perfect societies (utopias) and the major philosophers who have countered those arguments by advocating freedom. This is not an attack book (you know the type - this politician said this outrageous thing, this one said that). Rather, it is firmly rooted in these classic works and generally lets the reader do the job of making those connections.

The works that promise a perfect society but actually advocate tyranny (the people are only given a perfect society by giving all of their rights to the state) are...

Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2012/... ...more
2

Jul 15, 2015

Levin is at his best when he presents a non-partisan look at the ideas of the founding fathers versus today's reality. It is fascinating (and incredibly discouraging) to see by just how many benchmarks the writers of the constitution would measure today's America as a tyranny. There is the government not trusting its people (e.g., blanket NSA surveillance of everyone). There is the government pushing forward policies it won't allow the public to see (e.g., the text of the Trans Pacific Levin is at his best when he presents a non-partisan look at the ideas of the founding fathers versus today's reality. It is fascinating (and incredibly discouraging) to see by just how many benchmarks the writers of the constitution would measure today's America as a tyranny. There is the government not trusting its people (e.g., blanket NSA surveillance of everyone). There is the government pushing forward policies it won't allow the public to see (e.g., the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)). There is government policy that does not have the best interest of the people in mind (e.g., too many to list). The book would have been excellent if he continued this high-level critique.

Where he fails, and fails big, is with a string of faulty conclusions based on false logic. He tries to exchange liberty--utopianism for conservative--liberal without establishing a direct connection. He finds one issue with historic thinkers he doesn't agree with in order to pick apart their ideas, but then says of Thomas Paine: "You don't need to agree with all of his points in order to see he is a great genius." After picking apart other philosophers for just this point, Levin loses credibility. He further loses credibility by railing against current standards for gas and energy companies without noting that his two largest financial contributors are both oil companies. He says that no one should think highly of 'Leviathan' because of its constant state of change, which is anarchy (it's not; anarchy is a lack of any laws), then uses this incorrect definition to say that's why the entire work should be discounted. The book is filled with misguided and incorrect jumps in logic. ...more
3

Jul 18, 2012

Little did I know that Dystopian novels such as The Giver, The Hunger Games, 1984, etc., had inspiration from such philosophers as Plato, More, Hobbes, and Marx! However, each of these influential thinkers and philosophers invented or imagined Utopian societies with several common features to those imagined by Lois Lowry, Susanne Collins and George Orwell. The most noticeable feature is what Dave likes to call "Plan B" (or what we refer to in LDS doctrine as Satan's plan), which is the sacrifice Little did I know that Dystopian novels such as The Giver, The Hunger Games, 1984, etc., had inspiration from such philosophers as Plato, More, Hobbes, and Marx! However, each of these influential thinkers and philosophers invented or imagined Utopian societies with several common features to those imagined by Lois Lowry, Susanne Collins and George Orwell. The most noticeable feature is what Dave likes to call "Plan B" (or what we refer to in LDS doctrine as Satan's plan), which is the sacrifice of free will and individualism for "the common good," as determined by a leader (or group of leaders) who possesses absolute power. Another striking similarity in each of these Utopian blueprints is the abolition of the family--children are separated from parents, husbands separated from wives, brothers from sisters--in order to better serve this "benevolent dictator". In order to achieve peace and harmony in these respective societies, everyone is entitled to free health care (except for the weak and the old, who, unable to make valuable contributions to the community, are generally euthanized), and free public education (with subjects limited to those which will promote the good of the state); but no one is allowed to own property.

In contrast are the ideas of John Locke and others from whom America's founding fathers gained inspiration. These men made strong cases respecting individualism, private property, the free market, and how to prevent the expansion of central government.

Overall, the book is a fascinating look at the ideas men have had in response to problems of their own times, and how these ideas have influenced us in the present day. ...more
4

Feb 06, 2012

Mark is a very intelligent and educated man. This comes across more strongly in his books than on the radio, as the angry ranting does not carry over to the printed page. Don't get me wrong, he has every reason to be angry; unfortunately, telling half the population that they are idiots and to get off the phone is not a mature, convincing form of argument. This country has to be fixed via dialogue where we convince our deluded Liberal Utopians that their schemes are unworkable even if their Mark is a very intelligent and educated man. This comes across more strongly in his books than on the radio, as the angry ranting does not carry over to the printed page. Don't get me wrong, he has every reason to be angry; unfortunately, telling half the population that they are idiots and to get off the phone is not a mature, convincing form of argument. This country has to be fixed via dialogue where we convince our deluded Liberal Utopians that their schemes are unworkable even if their intentions are pure.

Anyway, back to the book... Mark spends a good portion of it reviewing Utopian writings that were known to our founding fathers, as well as Karl Marx's later version. He demolishes their assumptions in a logical and thorough manner, both using analysis as well as pointing out historical examples (where possible) when these delusions were attempted and failed miserably.

He follows this by reviewing and analyzing the writings on which the Founding Fathers and framers of our Constitution based their philosophies and plans when creating our great nation. He clearly explains why the three branches of government must be separate and independent, and why the Federal government was limited in power in comparison to the States' governments.

He wraps up by moving forward in time and discussing when our country started going down the wrong path (Woodrow Wilson's presidency, in case you were wondering) and how we've continued stumbling down it thanks to Utopians trampling over the Constitution in a deliberate, willful manner.

He really doesn't offer much hope, or a solution, other than go back to the way things were. And admittedly, that is the cleanest possible solution. But as others have said before, once you let the people vote themselves free pie, they ain't giving up their free slices. Social Security and Medicare are examples of this. People think they are paying into these programs when in fact they are actually paying for the people that came before them. Both programs will run out of money in the near future, but who will man up and say this is where it ends, and those of you who have paid into them but not collected benefits yet are shit out of luck?

Mark paints a clear picture, and I learned a few things I didn't know, while being very much entertained by his clear prose and no holds barred style. My one complaint is that he has a habit of repeating many of the quotes from historical sources. Some repeated 3 and 4 times. It gets to be annoying after a while, but thankfully there weren't many of these.

All in all a great book and should be required reading. The fact, which he points out, that more people in this country vote in American Idol than they do in the primaries proves that the idiots have won. Maybe if they're forced to read books like Mark's, we can start recovering them from the idiocy they've fallen into. ...more
5

Feb 24, 2012

Authors Epilogue:
MY PREMISE, IN THE first sentence of the first chapter of this book, is this: “Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology.”

Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia, Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Marx’s workers’ paradise are utopias that are anti-individual and anti-individualism. For the utopians, modern and olden, the Authors Epilogue:
MY PREMISE, IN THE first sentence of the first chapter of this book, is this: “Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology.”

Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia, Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Marx’s workers’ paradise are utopias that are anti-individual and anti-individualism. For the utopians, modern and olden, the individual is one-dimensional—selfish. On his own, he has little moral value. Contrarily, authoritarianism is defended as altruistic and masterminds as socially conscious. Thus endless interventions in the individual’s life and manipulation of his conditions are justified as not only necessary and desirable but noble governmental pursuits. This false dialectic is at the heart of the problem we face today.

In truth, man is naturally independent and self-reliant, which are attributes that contribute to his own well-being and survival, and the well-being and survival of a civil society. He is also a social being who is charitable and compassionate. History abounds with examples, as do the daily lives of individuals. To condemn individualism as the utopians do is to condemn the very foundation of the civil society and the American founding and endorse, wittingly or unwittingly, oppression. Karl Popper saw it as an attack on Western civilization. “The emancipation of the individual was indeed the great spiritual revolution which had led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy.”1 Moreover, Judaism and Christianity, among other religions, teach the altruism of the individual.

Of course, this is not to defend anarchy. Quite the opposite. It is to endorse the magnificence of the American founding. The American founding was an exceptional exercise in collective human virtue and wisdom—a culmination of thousands of years of experience, knowledge, reason, and faith. The Declaration of Independence is a remarkable societal proclamation of human rights, brilliant in its insight, clarity, and conciseness. The Constitution of the United States is an extraordinary matrix of governmental limits, checks, balances, and divisions, intended to secure for posterity the individual’s sovereignty as proclaimed in the Declaration.

This is the grand heritage to which every American citizen is born. It has been characterized as “the American Dream,” “the American experiment,” and “American exceptionalism.” The country has been called “the Land of Opportunity,” “the Land of Milk and Honey,” and “a Shining City on a Hill.” It seems unimaginable that a people so endowed by Providence, and the beneficiaries of such unparalleled human excellence, would choose or tolerate a course that ensures their own decline and enslavement, for a government unleashed on the civil society is a government that destroys the nature of man.

On September 17, 1787, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Delegate James Wilson, on behalf of his ailing colleague from Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin, read aloud Franklin’s speech to the convention in favor of adopting the Constitution. Among other things, Franklin said that the Constitution “is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become corrupt as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.…”2

Have we “become corrupt”? Are we in need of “despotic government”? It appears that some modern-day “leading lights” think so, as they press their fanatical utopianism. For example, Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, considers the Constitution a utopian expedient. He wrote, “If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.… The framers weren’t afraid of a little messiness. Which is another reason we shouldn’t be so delicate about changing the Constitution or reinterpreting it.”3 It is beyond dispute that the Framers sought to limit the scope of federal power and that the Constitution does so. Moreover, constitutional change was not left to the masterminds but deliberately made difficult to ensure the broad participation and consent of the body politic.

Richard Cohen, a columnist for the Washington Post, explained that the Constitution is an amazing document, as long as it is mostly ignored, particularly the limits it imposes on the federal government. He wrote, “This fatuous infatuation with the Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment, is clearly the work of witches, wiccans, and wackos. It has nothing to do with America’s real problems and, if taken too seriously, would cause an economic and political calamity. The Constitution is a wonderful document, quite miraculous actually, but only because it has been wisely adapted to changing times. To adhere to the very word of its every clause hardly is respectful to the Founding Fathers. They were revolutionaries who embraced change. That’s how we got here.”4 Of course, without the promise of the Tenth Amendment, the Constitution would not have been ratified, since the states insisted on retaining most of their sovereignty. Furthermore, the Framers clearly did not embrace the utopian change demanded by its modern adherents.

Lest we ignore history, the no-less-eminent American revolutionary and founder Thomas Jefferson explained, “On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”5

Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times and three-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, is even more forthright in his dismissal of constitutional republicanism and advocacy for utopian tyranny. Complaining of the slowness of American society in adopting sweeping utopian policies, he wrote, “There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”6 Of course, China remains a police state, where civil liberties are nonexistent, despite its experiment with government-managed pseudo-capitalism. Friedman’s declaration underscores not only the necessary intolerance utopians have for constitutionalism, but their infatuation with totalitarianism.

It is neither prudential nor virtuous to downplay or dismiss the obvious—that America has already transformed into Ameritopia. The centralization and consolidation of power in a political class that insulates its agenda in entrenched experts and administrators, whose authority is also self-perpetuating, is apparent all around us and growing more formidable. The issue is whether the ongoing transformation can be restrained and then reversed, or whether it will continue with increasing zeal, passing from a soft tyranny to something more oppressive. Hayek observed that “priding itself on having built its world as if it had designed it, and blaming itself for not having designed it better, humankind is now to set out to do just that. The aim … is no less than to effect a complete redesigning of our traditional morals, law, and language, and on this basis to stamp out the older order and supposedly inexorable, unjustifiable conditions that prevent the institution of reason, fulfillment, true freedom, and justice.”7 But the outcome of this adventurism, if not effectively stunted, is not in doubt.

In the end, can mankind stave off the powerful and dark forces of utopian tyranny? While John Locke was surely right about man’s nature and the civil society, he was also right about that which threatens them. Locke, Montesquieu, many of the philosophers of the European Enlightenment, and the Founders, among others, knew that the history of organized government is mostly a history of a relative few and perfidious men co-opting, coercing, and eventually repressing the many through the centralization and consolidation of authority.

Ironically and tragically, it seems that liberty and the constitution established to preserve it are not only essential to the individual’s well-being and happiness, but also an opportunity for the devious to exploit them and connive against them. Man has yet to devise a lasting institutional answer to this puzzle. The best that can be said is that all that really stands between the individual and tyranny is a resolute and sober people. It is the people, after all, around whom the civil society has grown and governmental institutions have been established. At last, the people are responsible for upholding the civil society and republican government, to which their fate is moored.

The essential question is whether, in America, the people’s psychology has been so successfully warped, the individual’s spirit so thoroughly trounced, and the civil society’s institutions so effectively overwhelmed that revival is possible. Have too many among us already surrendered or been conquered? ...more
3

Jun 13, 2012

“Ameritopia” is well written, interesting and very informative. The author does a very good job, without getting bogged down, of evaluating and summarizing foundational works that have heavily influenced politics and politicians down through the ages. He looks at Plato’s “Republic”, Thomas Moore’s “Utopia”, Thomas Hobbes Leviathan” and Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” . In each of these the author helps the reader to see the philosophy of man that each of the writers possess and shows how it is “Ameritopia” is well written, interesting and very informative. The author does a very good job, without getting bogged down, of evaluating and summarizing foundational works that have heavily influenced politics and politicians down through the ages. He looks at Plato’s “Republic”, Thomas Moore’s “Utopia”, Thomas Hobbes Leviathan” and Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” . In each of these the author helps the reader to see the philosophy of man that each of the writers possess and shows how it is detrimental to both the individual and society. He then evaluates the writings of John Locke and Charles de Montesquieu and shows how they influenced our founding fathers and explains why their philosophy is so beneficial to both the individual and society, & ultimately beneficial in the shaping of our great country. Then as expected he shows how we are moving in a very definite way away from freedom, economic success and the tearing apart of the foundational truths that this country was founded on. Let me end with this quote from the book, “Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual & delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable & even paradisiacal governing ideology.”

I would highly recommend that our high schoolers be required to read this to help them understand our country, its politics’, and prepare them for the garbage they will hear in college.
...more
4

Mar 07, 2013

Ameritopia by Mark Levin is simply a classic for Conservatism and for defending freedom itself. This book describes the statist agenda and how it can easily slip into a dystopian society. Mr. Levin begins to make his case by explaining certain Utopia’s presented by philosophers of the past such as Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Thomas Hobbe’s Leviathan and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Mark Levin delves deep into their faults and how they crash unavoidably. Then he goes on to explain Ameritopia by Mark Levin is simply a classic for Conservatism and for defending freedom itself. This book describes the statist agenda and how it can easily slip into a dystopian society. Mr. Levin begins to make his case by explaining certain Utopia’s presented by philosophers of the past such as Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Thomas Hobbe’s Leviathan and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Mark Levin delves deep into their faults and how they crash unavoidably. Then he goes on to explain principles from philosophers of freedom such as John Locke and Charles de Montesquieu and how they were the bases for the American Constitution. He ties it all together with how America has changed since the inception of our constitution and asking the reader was is America’s goal now as a society and how we should consider our freedoms.
A reason I really liked this book is because how it makes you really see the power of our government and how freedoms can be taken subconsciously. It makes you see that the common good isn’t always the best answer.
Another reason I enjoyed this book is because Mr. Levin really presents information thoroughly and with thought while still leaving you in your own opinion and without complete bias. He guides you in seeing relationships between dystopian societies and America’s present and future agenda. ...more
5

Apr 23, 2012

More Essential Reading from Mark Levin

Ameritopia, like Levin's other books, condenses several years of deep reading and contemplation into an easily understood narrative. Ameritopia provides an outline of thought and philosophy since the ancient Greeks. Ameritopia covers Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Hobbes's Leviathan and Marx's Communist Manifesto and explains why the utopian fantasy of the left has never and can never be achieved, leading usually to horrible tyranny. Levin then covers the More Essential Reading from Mark Levin

Ameritopia, like Levin's other books, condenses several years of deep reading and contemplation into an easily understood narrative. Ameritopia provides an outline of thought and philosophy since the ancient Greeks. Ameritopia covers Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Hobbes's Leviathan and Marx's Communist Manifesto and explains why the utopian fantasy of the left has never and can never be achieved, leading usually to horrible tyranny. Levin then covers the influences of Locke and Montesquieu on the founders of the United States and the observations of Alexis de Tocqueville on his visit to the U.S. in the early 19th century. Levin provides an overview of the left's attempt to circumvent the Constitution and attempt to create their "Ameritopia." Levin further explains why this attempt at utopia has already made us less free. Another great book from Levin that makes deep thought available to everyone.
...more
1

Feb 11, 2012

I was predisposed to like this book: a defense of liberty and individualism with serious emphasis placed on primary sources of original utopian thought. Unfortunately the author chooses only tiny fragments of his opponents' writings, so the chapter on Plato, for instance, contains only 5% Plato himself and 95% Levin saying and arguing against what he thought Plato meant. So even if Levin ends up on the right side, he's hardly convincing. And there are serious numerical flaws in later chapters on I was predisposed to like this book: a defense of liberty and individualism with serious emphasis placed on primary sources of original utopian thought. Unfortunately the author chooses only tiny fragments of his opponents' writings, so the chapter on Plato, for instance, contains only 5% Plato himself and 95% Levin saying and arguing against what he thought Plato meant. So even if Levin ends up on the right side, he's hardly convincing. And there are serious numerical flaws in later chapters on current policy and tax structure, where Levin compares very different statistics in a way calculated to make his side seem more appealing. I can't take this book seriously. He's a passionate writer but this text isn't meant for anything more than an extension of talk radio. ...more
5

July 2, 2013

Simply brilliant. If you are concerned about the direction that this country is headed then this is a must read. Our constitution and government explained only as Mark could, this book will show you the mistakes and blunders of our current government and explain the way it was meant to be. I also highly recommend his radio show and apps.
5

August 18, 2016

If anything history has a way of repeating it's self with people who forget about it. Mark's book backs up that logic and then some. Hehas got a good foundational background. It's pretty hard to argue this fact especially after reading this book. Over all, It's a must have, no matter the political lean.
5

Jan 21, 2012

This is the second book I’ve read by this author. I was not disappointed, his last book was great and so is this one. “Ameritopia” is simply the best book I’ve ever read for insightful information on the impending challenges we face from blind sighted uninformed liberals and especially the media. This book also shows why defending and upholding the Constitution is so crucial in defending and preserving our liberty and freedoms. The book is very easy to read and understand. Congratulations to This is the second book I’ve read by this author. I was not disappointed, his last book was great and so is this one. “Ameritopia” is simply the best book I’ve ever read for insightful information on the impending challenges we face from blind sighted uninformed liberals and especially the media. This book also shows why defending and upholding the Constitution is so crucial in defending and preserving our liberty and freedoms. The book is very easy to read and understand. Congratulations to Mark Levin for his great contribution in his effort to encourage those who love this country and all that it stands for. This book should be read and taught in every school in the country. ...more
2

Jan 03, 2012

This is just me, but I didn't care to read detailed descriptions and many quotations from books about utopias. That could all have been covered in one chapter. The same material was written about already by Thomas Sowell in, "A Conflict of Visions" and "Vision of the Anointed." "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin is a superior book to this one, imo. Landmark Legal Foundation's amicus brief on Obamacare was also a great read!
4

Jun 15, 2012

I really liked this work because Mr. Levin obviously did his homework before forming his opinion, or at least went to the trouble to find legit support for his already-held opinion. Too many in politics don't even bother to research an issue (let's read a bill before we pass it, shall we?) before they start pontificating.

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