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Liberty is a situation whereby human beings govern themselves to exercise what they perceive to be good and hence take responsibilities of their actions (Levin 25). Liberty therefore is reflected through the relationship that exists between an individual and society or the state. On the other hand, tyranny refers to the oppressive execution of authority by either possessing too much power or abuse of authority. Mark Levin asserts that the powers owned by the government are derived from the governed and that they have the right to remove the power of any government whose objective is not to meet the fundamentals of the governed. These fundamentals include safety and security. He starts with the conservative concept based on his observation on decades. This concept recognizes the benefits accrued to the society due to cooperation and experiences. The synergy developed as a result of collective reasoning that always leaves the society a better. This gives a rise to a civil society where an individual is accepted not as a faceless member of a group but as a unique being with conscience. An individual has a room to unlock his potential and exploit it given that he observes the moral order that governs the society (Alvarado 45).
He is against the relativism which fails to give a clear distinction between what is right and wrong, good and bad or even just and unjustified. An individual as a member of the society has a duty to observe and respect the rights, customs, values and tradition of others as established to form a cultural identity over time (Dunbar 17). He is, on the same note, entitled to the right to attend to his own well-being, that of his society and family. In a civil society, liberty goes hand in hand with the private property based on the fact that the right to happiness involves right to own and possess property as a result of one’s labor or intellect. The illegitimate obstruction to an individual to his private property puts him to slavery and we can no more say that he has liberty. He further explains that the rule of law is a major tool of harmonizing the society among its members and also the government. The rule of law should be just, predictable and applied uniformly and should provide a framework capable of raising a civil society while providing a benchmark against abuse of authority and power (Newberry 23).
The modern liberal emphasizes on the state supremacy hence ignoring the order of a civil society partly or as a whole. By obscuring individuals from pursuing their objective, the state turns to be a tyranny and consequently becomes oppressive. An all-power central government was viewed to be a greater threat by those who advocated for liberty, however, mob’s rule would result into anarchy and eventually despotism. He notes the economic and social difficulties experienced by the states in America after the revolutionary war before the constitution replaced the articles that governed the operation of states and central government. He asserts that the authority given to the government was to promote and secure liberty for prosperity but not to destroy it. He notes that the statist always demands extra authority and squeezes out the imperfections of human existence. They are not constrained by the prohibitions of constitution but are persistently rationalizing their quest for more and more authority. He, however, argues that the conservative does not despise the government but tyranny. Therefore the constitution demands adherence to the change. Conservative is aware that the liberty lost its hard to recover it. Additionally, the conservative is aware that the solution to the society’s problem is not by further empowering the powerful government above the constitution restrictions, but to embark on the basic principles.
Mark Levin is keen to note that conservative is solution to tyranny because its ideologies are consistent with the founding principles. Free citizens in a civil society, government operating within its limit and people who can cooperate based on their personal interest result in greater opportunities, happiness and prosperity. However, some people has refuted the idea that conservative guarantees happiness and prosperity, instead, it only provides an environment where happiness and prosperity can survive. He explores the history of America to get support of his thought that any politics that fail to agree perfectly with his outline is tyrannical. He, however, ignores the part of history that would reflect the shortcomings of liberty and hence does not include liberty’s abuse in the past.
Critiques of his work are based on the fact that he tries to associate any problem of humankind with a certain group of people. He, for example, thinks global warming to be resultant of human being. However, there are many experts who criticize the human-made global warming and global cooling. The critics made argue that there are experts who understand some aspect of life based on their specialization than Levin does.
It is also noted that the founding also appreciated the conservatism which Levin does not give attention. He, however, demonstrates how conservatism can prevent liberal decay that affects life in different ways including global warming and healthcare among others. He claims that the conservative should be determined and comprehend that the nation was not based on tyranny’s ideology. He points out that conservative should be able to identify the deceptive views and opinion of his opposition so as to get back his country (Cain 67).
There, however, exists difference between conservative, a civil society which places a lot of emphasis on improvement and preservation, and modern liberals who are always struggling for superiority of the state. The liberal uses the authority of the state to force people to accept his ideologies and this leads to a soft tyranny. Statists are constantly looking for more and more control and are rarely contented with what they have. With regard to constitution, conservatives are viewed to be originalists as opposed to statists who are always advocating for constitution change so as to suit their needs as opposed to the intention of the founders who wanted it to be interpreted as written. His critique of tyranny on the constitutional basis is that constant changes give room to a statist to pursue personal fantasy with restriction of the law. In any case, the law is rendered meaningless because it can always be manipulated to accommodate political and other goals of those in power. This way, Levin fails to recognize anything good that may result from statists. He clearly states that the move by President Franklin Delano to introduce a second bill of right was just a tyranny in disguise.
The statists and conservatives do not share similar ideas with respect to immigration. Conservatives advocate for legal migration with a proper absorption of the immigrant. This is so as to avoid divisions in the country based on language and culture of the people. The statists, on the other hand, make no effort to differentiate the legal status of the immigrant but just advocate for unlimited number of immigrants. Levin holds strong belief with respect to power sharing and execution of foreign policies by the use of coalitions and organizations in the world. Additionally, the power shared between the sate and federal government is perceived to be a ground for better serving a civil society. He notes that it is the state and not the federal government that understands the needs of a society.
In the conclusion of his book Levis elaborates the means by which the America’s statist bias can be reversed to uphold the principle of the founders. The criticism on the foundation of America is that on faith, where critics provide that other economic and social factor also forms an equally strong basis for America.