I just finished reading Mark Levin’s Ameritopia and I must say it was absolutely fantastic. It’s a must read for all liberty loving Americans who have a desire to learn more about the ideological battle taking place in America between the forces of liberty and the forces of tyranny. Mr. Levin carefully takes the reader through the writings of John Locke and Charles Montesquieu and compares their liberty centered philosophies against the utopian writings of Plato’s Republic, Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Sir Thomas More’s Utopia. He does an outstanding job extracting and examining the key points of each philosophy. It was a very revealing experience to see the competing political philosophies that influenced the thinking of our founders.
Most people who have a basic understanding of our founders know how much John Locke and Charles Montesquieu influenced the mood of the day in the colonies. I’m going to single out Locke in this article because I found his views extremely enlightening. Locke asserted that we are all the property of God and the earth was created for us; therefore we are born with certain inalienable rights granted by God and those rights exists even before a government is instituted. These rights are called Natural Rights and the only reason government should be created is to secure these rights for everyone. Any infringement by a government on these rights is unacceptable. I found Locke’s belief in the sovereignty of the individual and that humanity in our natural state was more prone to be good to each other than bad very telling. What I took from this part of his writings was that he viewed a natural state as a society with minimal government controls and influences to pit man against man over things like land or national pride. This is why he believed so deeply we could self-govern ourselves as long as we maintained the moral high ground and as long as government was limited in their capacity to exert its influence over the individual.
The first 75 years of our nation’s history proves Locke’s point. From the time our constitution was ratified by the states up to the Civil War, not counting the first 10 amendment, we only amended our constitution twice. With the exception of War of 1812 and the war with Mexico in the 1840s America enjoyed a period of peace, prosperity and growth. John Locke was indeed correct; Americans could self govern their actions with minimal federal oversight or intervention. It was only after the Civil War that the federal government started to assert itself in a way it had not done up to that point. In the 147 years since the Civil War our constitution has been amended 15 times. Two of those amendments (16th and 17th) radically altered the framework of the constitution. One amendment (17th) greatly diminished the power of the states; while the other (16th) permitted federal government seize property in the form of an income tax. John Locke viewed property rights as an inalienable right and even though the founders didn’t specifically spell it out they also believed in the sacrosanct of property rights. For the first time in our nation’s history we now had a government infringing on the liberties they were suppose to secure for all. These were the first few steps the utopians (progressives) orchestrated in order to expand the role of government in our lives and usurp our liberties. So who are these people fundamentally transforming America?
Mark Levin calls these utopians “masterminds.” They conspire behind the scenes to steer our society towards a type of utopia where the individual and liberties have no place and the collective works for the betterment of the state. They believe that humanity is incapable of self-governance and need enlightened leaders to guild/regulate our lives. This is why we can’t be trusted to buy the correct light bulb or moderate our salt intake. They must limit our choices to guide us into making the most appropriate decisions or at least the decisions they believe are the most appropriate. The individual has no place in choosing how their children are educated or the kind of food they can eat because we need guidance and only government can provide the guidance we need. This is their mindset. This is a place that Mark Levin calls Ameritopia.
In Ameritopia the constitution is no longer the law of the land. It is ignored on a daily basis by our elected officials. Our lives our managed by either central planners or enlightened leaders. Our effort is for the benefit of the whole and the individual is cast aside. Mr. Levin puts it best when he says, we can choose this Ameritopia or we can choose America. And this is exactly why I believe Mr. Levin released this book when he did; he wants to provide us the information needed to make an informed decision this November when we cast our votes. He wants us to have a basic understanding of the two philosophies currently colliding into each other in America so we can better understand the difference between liberty and tyranny and be able recognize the plans of the masterminds when proposed. I’m in a better position now to recognize the plans of the masterminds than I was before I read the book; I want to thank Mr. Levin for this.
I highly recommend this book. It’s an essential tool for all liberty loving individuals.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!