That Levin wrote this book now demonstrates not his passion for the United States, but his awareness that he is a statesman defending natural law at a pivotal moment in human history: the United States in decline represents a far different thing than the failure of Europe’s utopianism. The key lies in recognizing John Locke’s accomplishment for what it objectively is, which Levin does with Part Two of Ameritopia. John Locke’s Second Treatise is properly understood as the “black monolith” moment for human history.
Utopian thinking has never represented brilliance or historical greatness; if it did, there wouldn’t be utopians in every age and nation and we wouldn’t be littered with the evidence of their perfect failure rate. Utopianism instead represents the simplest of philosophical thinking: trying to make survival easier not with innovation but with brute force. Indeed, a defining characteristic of utopian thought is neglect of the math and economics of the idea — details for the philosopher class to hammer out later while the leader poses for portraits.
But Locke is different — there is only one Locke. His recognition of natural law did not occur soon after man had the time to think, but 9700 years later; much trial and error of society came before his discovery. Which is: man feels violated if he is to lose his life to another, or if he has his liberty or property taken, and no system of laws can prevent that emotion or halt actions taken because of it. Therefore laws cannot be arbitrarily chosen by men, but must exist only to defend the rights of the individual. Under this we necessarily thrive, otherwise we are doomed.
Utopians have always otherwise been in the position of trying to replace a tyrannical system. But now, post-Locke and de Montesquieu and the Founders, the utopians are in a position of destroying that pivotal discovery, which presently exists nowhere else on Earth or in time but in the U.S. Constitution. Levin, with Ameritopia, shows that he recognizes this urgency: he is criticized for his “anger” on the air — how do you keep your voice down once you understand what is presently being threatened?
If you’re going to purchase the book, I hope you’ll do it here.