Few books come along that I actually believe everyone should read. There simply are not that many good books in the world today, much less ones that most people could possibly get something out of. But, our friend Mark Levin has written such a book – and I recommend that we conservatives should either give, or promote, the book to literally everyone we know.
Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto manages to take a number of complex legal, historical, and philosophical concepts and distill them into a well-constructed but easy-to-read snapshot of our current state of affairs. That is not an easy thing to do.
We live in a strange time. As Mark points out in his book, “[s]o distant is America today from its founding principles that it is difficult to precisely describe the nature of American government.” He notes that we are hardly a constitutional republic, federalist republic and/or representative republic – rather, we are instead a “society steadily transitioning toward statism.”
Indeed, “Statist” is the term he uses artfully to more accurately define the Modern Liberal as one who “believes in the supremacy of the state.” This concept is a constant theme throughout his book – and offers an important and necessary shift in thinking for conservatives toward a firm recognition that those who oppose us are committed to the state rather than liberty.
In the closing of his introductory chapter, Mark points out the following:
The Conservative is alarmed by the ascent of a soft tyranny and its cheery acceptance by the neo-Statist. He knows that liberty once lost is rarely recovered. He knows of the decline and eventual failure of past republics. And he knows that the best prescription for addressing society’s real and perceived ailments to is not to further empower an already enormous federal government beyond its constitutional limits, but to return to the founding principles. A free people living in a civil society, working in self-interested cooperation, and a government operating within the limits of its authority promote more opportunity, prosperity and opportunity than any alternative. Conservatism is the antidote to tyranny because its principles are the founding principles.
Well said – and instructive during a time when Republicans, as we’ve discussed before, need to get back to basics and stand for something meaningful – something beyond thoughtless, supposedly politically-expedient efforts to buy votes and to “appeal” to certain demographics.
Getting back into power is not reason enough to stand on our basic conservative principles even though it may be the result. We need more than power-seeking – we need to stand on principle to fight the Statist… to inspire new generations of Americans to look to themselves rather than the State for progress… and to band together in the most noble of earthly causes – to preserve and protect liberty against tyranny. Thanks, Mark. Well done.