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Review: Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism and The Tyranny of Progressivism

Review: Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism and The Tyranny of Progressivism

Another history-rich volume on preserving individual liberty

I just finished reading Mark Levin’s new book, Rediscovering Americanism and The Tyranny of Progressivism. The book debuted at No 1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

This is the third of Levin’s books I’ve read and reviewed. There definitely is a theme: The necessity of stopping the march of progressivism in order to preserve individual liberty.

From my review of The Liberty Amendments – Mark Levin’s Constitutional Sequester (2013):

The sense I get from reading the entirety of Levin’s Amendments is that they effectively are constitutional sequesters meant to restrain the runaway extra-constitutional expansion of the federal government without deferring to human nature.  Fundamentally, the proposed amendments are a firm check on the well-documented inclination of those with federal power to expand federal power.

From my review of Plunder and Deceit (2015), Mark Levin’s tough medicine for the plundered generations:

If The Liberty Amendments framed one answer, Plunder and Deceit clarifies and documents the problem.

The problem is a problem Levin has been focused on for years — Progressive Plunder. In this audio addressing teachers’ unions opposition to Scott Walker’s public sector union reforms, Levin is blunt: “It’s plunder! Plunder! That’s what progressivism is.”

Like I said, Levin doesn’t waste time. The very first sentence of Plunder and Deceit asks:

Can we simultaneously love our children but betray their generation and generations yet born?

In that seemingly simple question, Levin hits on the essence of what is happening to our country….

As with my prior reviews, I’m not going to try to catalog the book. If you want to read the book, read the book.

I can tell you that it contains voluminous discussion and historical documentation of the Founders and drafters of the Constitution. The focus is on how they understood natural law, the inherent rights of the individual, and why the Constitution was structured through the separation of powers and the Bill of Rights to protect against government tyranny. This is the essence of Americanism.

The book is something of a course not only on history, but also the political philosophy behind the concept of Americanism. So the book is much more than the macro-level points I quote below.

It’s the commitment to the sanctity of the individual and guarding against tyranny which are the great takeaways for me.  Levin provides extensive discussion of progressive ideology and how it has marched its way through American institutions, as a way of demonstrating how progressivism stands against the values of Americanism.

The initial chapters lead to the conclusion that progressivism is the enemy of individual liberty:

“They revile the Constitution’s limits on unified, centralized power and its separation-of-powers formula….

The progressive’s deliberate effort to denude the individual of his free will and uniqueness; to organize mankind by a growing and ubiquitous centralized authority and collective command into a conforming, uniform mass; and to reject right reason and sober circumspection about true reform of the progressive project despite its manifest failures and dangerous boundlessness, presents all the markings of a nihilistic, autocratic mentality — unsurprising considering its ideological roots. But the disastrous consequences for the individual cannot be overstated.” (pp. 129-130)

Those consequences, as we have documented here many times, are clear to Levin:

“The future is always said to be better than the present, but only if the individual surrenders more of his liberty and property to the state and conforms to the demands of the state. Ultimately, if persuasion by exploitation and propaganda is ineffective, the citizenry must be forced to bend to the progressive’s plans by the might of government’s extraconstitutional administrative means. “(p. 230)

The book is over 200 pages, but if I had to reduce it to Tweet-size, it would be this sentence from page 236:

“It is one thing for the individual to be all he can be, but it is quite another thing for the government to be all it can be.”

That’s such a great formulation.

And it’s the essence of Levin’s writings in all three books.


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Even if progressivism was capable to delivering a Utopia, it is still wrong for the United States. The USA was created to be different from the rest of the world. When the rest of the world is a progressive paradise, the United States should be a haven for those who find the socialist paradise stifling and lacking challenge (and therefore lacking spiritual gratification through struggle and success, or wisdom from struggle and failure). If the United States joins the rest of the world in the march towards socialism and the progressive paradise, where will the disaffected go? Off-planet, maybe. But I’d prefer that the United States reserve to itself its uniqueness, and continue to offer haven to those yearning to be free.

Unfortunately, the prevailing political myth is that progressivism is responsible for civil rights, human rights, and the kitchen sink, too.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to n.n. | June 30, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Don’t let slip from memory that the hard left began using ‘progressive’ in the days when their Popular Front tactics were set up to conceal the mailed fist under all those fuzzy one-for-all-and-all-for-one sentiments, their big-tent collectivism with their cadres guiding all.

re: progressivism, liberalism

I think we can reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives and realize something better than [class] diversity, selective child, congruence (“=”), and conflation of logical domains. We can do better than the Pro-Choice religious/moral/legal/scientific philosophy.

I can’t even remember all the books my husband has read…Jonah Goldberg, Mark Levin, and many more…but his big takeaway today is that they (conservative authors) haven’t sold it (conservatism)!

Years of books, blog posts, tweets, YouTubes, or any other form of communication has NOT changed the minds of half the country and the other half is The Choir.

My opinion is that it’s because the most professors are leftists and they get the rids right at the age where they’ll fall for the progressive crap–the age of idealism and wishful utopianism.

All those words which didn’t even get to fall on deaf ears, just preached to The Choir.

So we’ve got Trump for 4-8 years (I’m a supporter) and Republicans may just neutralize his efforts (starting with healthcare)…and then we’re back in the crapper and the 100-year march continues.

Gd help us all.

For too much of the country, this book pearls before pigs (or bigot dykes on bikes)

But perhaps the vacuum Hurricane Trump is leaving in its wake will filled with the thoughts of Levin.

kenoshamarge | June 30, 2017 at 9:55 am

Although I am not a Levin radio fan I read all his books and love them. I simply don’t care for his radio personality and his yelling makes my head ache.

Levin’s books and other great books, Sharyl Attkisson has written several won’t do any good if people won’t read them.

They are not easy reads. But the information is essential if you wish to be informed and educated.

I doubt many of the lazy tribal voters will bother. Willful ignorance is as addictive as opioids. Perhaps not a great analogy but it is, after all, JMO>