Tag Archives: Liberty and Tyranny

The best book on government is Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny”

Here’s an excellent review of Liberty and Tyranny in the American Spectator. (H/T Ensign Taiga)

Excerpt:

It’s the book that changed America.

And it isn’t often that a book — any book, even a popular, bestselling book like Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto — can be said to have changed the course of American politics and history. The phenomenon is rare, extremely rare, usually taking both the country and even the author by surprise.

Yet Levin’s book has done just that, saluted by Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in an exclusive talk with The American Spectator as “providing [the] intellectual balance and foundation” of the Tea Party movement. A movement that stands triumphant this week in the wake of the conservative landslide that Levin himself believes can revitalize the conservative cause that Ronald Reagan once led to the White House.

The results of the 2010 revolt against the Obama Era are staggering. The success of the Tea Party; the defeat of over 60 of Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats; the election of a half dozen U.S. senators, ten governors and almost 700 state legislators. What startles even more is that one campaign after another focused on the issues Levin featured in his book — the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, statism, the dangers of a powerful central government.

Campaigns “motivated and inspired” specifically, says Bachmann, by Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny.

[…]Liberty and Tyranny‘s red, white, and blue flag-and-flame cover bearing Levin’s bearded visage was waved aloft at Tea Party rallies. Bachmann marvels that “it’s difficult to educate a nation” but says Tea Partiers made a point to “take copies of the book to town hall meetings” to grill House and Senate members on their knowledge of the Constitution they had taken an oath to obey. The book’s cover itself appeared in poster form. One memorable photo captured former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at a rally seated next to a soldier, the Levin book clearly visible in her lap. While the Palin photo was both real and un-staged, there was the inevitable humorous photo shopping. North Korea’s Communist dictator Kim Jong Il — aka “The Great Leader” — was pictured brandishing a copy of the book written by the man his friends and fans call “The Great One.” Another Liberty and Tyranny fan went to work mocking Obama’s famous 2008 campaign poster, replacing Obama’s image with an iconic rendering of Levin, the caption changed from “Hope and Change” to read simply: “The Great One.”

Why do people trust Levin so much?

LEVIN IS, FAMOUSLY, a considerable talk radio star, ranked number four in the nation with eight and a half million listeners. He is as well the longtime head of the conservative Landmark Legal Foundation. A former Reagan aide, Justice Department lawyer (serving as chief of staff to Reagan attorney general Edwin Meese III, among other positions in the government) and conservative activist who began his march on liberalism as a precocious 13-year old, Levin is no recent entry into discussions of law, politics, or conservative principles. His friend Rush Limbaugh calls him “F. Lee Levin” in humorous reference to the great trial lawyer, but the humor alludes to Levin’s significant legal abilities that doubtless played a role in his ability to write a book that has stirred such consequence.

Skipping 12th grade to move on to Temple University, Levin graduated — at 19 — Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with membership in the university’s political science and history honor societies. By 22 he was already a lawyer, having graduated from Temple Law School — finding time along the way to get elected at 19 to his local suburban school board, making him the youngest elected school board member in the history of the state.

Says Bachmann simply: “Mark Levin is an intellectual powerhouse.”

How popular was the the book and what caused people to buy it?

Clearly, as with Paine, Stowe and Goldwater before him, Levin had struck a very American nerve. While the book manifested all the usual best seller symptoms (it was #1 on the New York Times list for three months, #1 on Amazon for all books for several months as well as #2 for all of 2009 on the Amazon hardcover non-fiction list etc.), there was obviously something else going on.

A very, very big something else.

IT’S REASONABLE TO ASK after all of this — why all the fuss over a book that defends the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence? What is it that drives over 1.2 million books to sell like glasses of cold lemonade in the Sahara Desert? What kind of book gets over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, the book rated with five stars by all but a handful of readers? What kind of book sends Americans into the streets waving copies as if they’d uncovered the Holy Grail?

Congresswoman Bachmann thinks she knows the answer. The book, she says simply, was a “gift to our nation.”

In a manner that Levin could not possibly have foreseen, his arguments defending individual freedoms and liberty from what Alexis de Tocqueville called “soft tyranny” — the supremacy of the state suddenly took on a vivid, personal meaning for Americans. As the new Obama administration and its allies on Capitol Hill began rapidly expanding the size and scope of the federal government almost exponentially, jamming a government takeover of health care through a Congress besieged by constituents shouting — sometimes literally — not to do this, millions of Americans were provoked from stunned amazement to outrage. On top of a staggering so-called stimulus plan that cost almost $1 trillion plus government takeovers and bailouts of everything from car companies to financial institutions, the realization dawned on many Americans that Levin was right: the long march of collectivism had suddenly turned into a sprint.

Here’s a video showing how popular the book was:

Really highly recommended, along with the Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert Murphy and Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

Salvo Mag reviews Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny

Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” is my favorite book on the vision of American government.

Here’s a review from Salvo, a Christian magazine.

Excerpt.

In “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto”, Mark Levin identifies and analyzes two divergent, mutually exclusive philosophies of governance. Tracing the threads of each through American history, Levin discusses America’s founding, the Constitution, federalism, the free market, environmentalism, immigration, and the rise of the welfare state and shows how the conservative principles upon which America was founded have fostered opportunity, prosperity, and strength, and have preserved freedom.

Established on belief in divine providence and natural law, conservative principles recognize “a harmony of interests” and “rules of cooperation” that foster “ordered liberty” and a social contract, which brings about what Levin calls the civil society. In the civil society, the individual is recognized as “a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience.” Though civil society recognizes and sanctions a transcendent, objective moral order, which the citizen has a duty to respect, it acknowledges man’s imperfection and anticipates flawed observance.

In stark contrast to the civil society stands modern liberalism, which Levin says would be more accurately described as statism because it effectively abandons faith in divine providence for faith in the supremacy of the state. Consider this distinction concerning the origin of unalienable rights: “The Founders believed, and the Conservative agrees . . . that we, as human beings, have a right to live, live freely, and pursue that which motivates us not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights.” But statism replaces the recognition of unalienable rights as rights inherent to an individual because he is a human being created by God, with the perception that it is the state that is the grantor of rights.

Having dismissed divine providence, it follows that statism would abandon natural law as the objective basis for civil law and replace it with relativism, where truth is, in theory, a matter of opinion, but in effect, it becomes whatever those in power say it is. The combined shift works to change the understanding of a right as something inherent to an individual, which the state is obligated to respect, to pseudo-rights or benefits the state bestows (or promises to bestow), usually in return for popular support. Consider the “right” to health care or affordable housing.

Highly recommended read, in case you missed it. Sold well over a million copies.

Featured blog: Muddling Toward Maturity

I just discovered this blog “Muddling Toward Maturity“. The blog links to a lot of interesting stories I haven’t seen anywhere else!

Here are a couple:

A review of Mark Levin’s new book “Liberty and Tyranny” by Andrew C. McCarthy in the New Criterion

Excerpt from the review:

[Levin] is especially trenchant on the animating role of faith in the American founding, and, consequently, its place atop the statist hit-list. The Framers understood “that liberty and religious liberty are inseparable.” But Christianity, unapologetically, was and is America’s dominant religion and it is undeniable that Judeo-Christian values heavily influenced our founding law. The point of religious liberty was to forfend the establishment of a theocracy of the type Tocqueville discerned in the Islamic world, where the Qur’an imposed not merely religious tenets but control over every aspect of life. The Supreme Court’s fabrication of a “wall of separation” in its 1947 Everson decision (authored by one-time Klansman Hugo Black, the first justice appointed by FDR), installing official hostility to religion, was “a wretched betrayal of America’s founding.” As a result, “American courts sit today as supreme secular councils, which, like Islam’s supreme religious councils, dictate all manner of approved behavior respecting religion.”

A strong proponent of constitutional originalism, Levin particularly laments FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights,” the initiative Obama has thrown into high gear. These “positive rights”—economic and social welfare benefits, not rights but redistributions—are “tyranny’s disguise”: the statist’s “false promises of utopianism … to justify all trespasses on the individual’s private property.” Like freedom of conscience, property is part of liberty’s irreducible core, and is thus exalted in our founding law. So, like religion, it is forever in the statist’s cross-hairs as he seeks to micromanage every vestige of autonomy from employment to healthcare to the type of cars we drive.

Deep thinking on big ideas. That’s what we can expect from Mark Levin. And I love it when Jewish people are supportive Christians! My favorite three radio shows are Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Mark Levin. All three are Jewish!

Now the next link is special to me, because I have a copy of the book Rare Earth in my overhead shelf at work. It’s written by atheist Peter Ward and agnostic Donald Brownlee, and it documents all the characteristics that are needed to create a habitable planet. The book kicks butt.

Why We Need Earthquakes by Dinesh D’Souza, writing in Christianity Today.

Excerpt from the article:

Ward and Brownlee ask: Why do natural disasters such as earthquakes, seaquakes, and tsunamis occur? All three are the consequence of plate tectonics, the giant plates that move under the surface of the earth and the ocean floor. Apparently our planet is unique in having plate tectonics. Ward and Brownlee show that without this geological feature, there would be no large mountain ranges or continents.

While natural disasters occasionally wreak havoc, our planet needs plate tectonics to produce the biodiversity that enables complex life to flourish on earth. Without plate tectonics, earth’s land would be submerged to a depth of several thousand feet. Fish might survive in such an environment, but not humans.

Plate tectonics also help regulate the earth’s climate, preventing the onset of scorching or freezing temperatures that would make mammalian life impossible. In sum, plate tectonics are a necessary prerequisite to human survival on the only planet known to sustain life.

Muddling Toward Maturity also links to some other similar articles, that go into more detail.

Check them out!