The Fractured Republic

Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093256

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 7604

Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans--and the politicians who represent them--are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems. In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century--as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society-families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets. Through them, we can achieve not a single solution to the problems of our age, but multiple and tailored answers fitted to the daunting range of challenges we face and suited to enable an American revival.

The Fractured Republic

Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465098606

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4081

21st century America is anxious and discontented. Our economy is sluggish, our culture is always at war with itself, our governing institutions are frequently paralyzed, and our politics seems incapable of rising to these challenges. The resulting frustration runs broad and deep: It fans populist anger while driving elites to despair. It persuades progressives that America is stuck while convincing conservatives that we are rushing in the wrong direction. It manages to make people on all sides of most issues feel as though they are under siege simultaneously. Why should this be? And how can we overcome our frustration? In this groundbreaking exploration of America's 21st-century challenges, Yuval Levin argues that our anxiety is rooted in a failure of diagnosis. Our politics is drenched in nostalgia, with Democrats always living in 1965 and Republicans in 1981, and is therefore blind to the profound transformations of the last half century. America's midcentury order was dominated by large, interconnected institutions: big government, big business, big labor, big media, big universities, mass culture. But in every arena of our national life—or at least every arena except government, for now—we have witnessed the centrifugal forces of diffusion, diversity, individualism, and decentralization pulling these large institutions apart. These forces have liberated many Americans from oppressive social constraints but also estranged many from families, communities, work, and faith. They have set loose a profusion of options in every part of life but also unraveled the social order and economic security of an earlier era. They have loosened the reins of cultural conformity but also sharpened our differences and weakened the roots of mutual trust. Building on our strengths while healing our wounds, Levin argues, would require a politics better adapted to the society we have become—a politics rooted in neither an ethic of centralized power nor a spirit of radical individualism but a regard for the potential of a modernized subsidiarity and civil society.

The Fractured Republic

Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465093256

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 327

Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans--and the politicians who represent them--are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems. In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century--as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society-families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets. Through them, we can achieve not a single solution to the problems of our age, but multiple and tailored answers fitted to the daunting range of challenges we face and suited to enable an American revival.

The Great Debate

Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465040942

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 7631

For more than two centuries, our political life has been divided between a party of progress and a party of conservation. In The Great Debate, Yuval Levin explores the origins of the left/right divide in America by examining the views of the men who best represent each side of that debate: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. In a groundbreaking exploration of the roots of our political order, Levin shows that American partisanship originated in the debates over the French Revolution, fueled by the fiery rhetoric of these ideological titans. Levin masterfully shows how Burke and Paine’s differing views continue to shape our current political discourse—on issues ranging from gun control and abortion to welfare and economic reform. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Washington’s often acrimonious rifts, The Great Debate offers a profound examination of what conservatism, liberalism, and the debate between them truly amount to.

Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy (Easyread Large Edition)

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1458763544

Category: Political Science

Page: 270

View: 718

From stem cell research to global warming, human cloning, evolution, and beyond, political debates about science in recent years have fallen into the familiar categories of America's culture wars. Imagining the Future explores the meaning of science and technology in American politics today. The science debates, Yuval Levin argues, expose the deepest strengths and greatest weaknesses of both the left and the right, and present serious challenges to American democratic self-government. What do arguments about embryos, climate, or the origins of man reveal about contemporary America? Why do issues involving science seem to divide us along the same fault lines as so many other issues in our political life? Is science morally neutral, or is it an endeavor filled with moral promise - and peril? Are American conservatives really waging war on science? Is the American left justified in calling itself the party of science? Most of the science debates, Levin concludes, are not about particular theories or facts or technologies. Rather, they come down to a profound dispute between liberals and conservatives about the right way to think about the future. Science is only one subject of this broader dispute; but today's science debates can illuminate the contours of our politics and clarify the rift at the heart of our polity.

Tyranny of Reason

The Origins and Consequences of the Social Scientific Outlook

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: University Press of Amer

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 312

View: 3184

The astonishing success of the natural sciences in the modern era has led many thinkers to assume that similar feats of knowledge and power should be achievable in human affairs. That assumption, and the accompanying notion that the methods of modern science ought to be applied to social and political questions, have been at the heart of a number of prominent philosophical schools in the modern age, and much of the politics of the past century. Is the application of scientific logic to the study of human affairs philosophically defensible? Does it aid or hinder our efforts at a genuine understanding of the human world? Why have so many modern ideologies, including those responsible for some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century, advanced themselves under the banner of science? Why, in other words, do we assume that modern science holds the key to an understanding of human affairs? Are we right to make this assumption? And what does the assumption mean for contemporary society and politics? Tyranny of Reason, which is designed for the interested lay reader and for undergraduate or beginning graduate students in the social sciences, attempts to answer these important questions in the context of the history of philosophy.

Stories of Peoplehood

The Politics and Morals of Political Membership

Author: Rogers M. Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521520034

Category: Political Science

Page: 236

View: 6890

Assesses the role of 'stories of peoplehood' in building and binding political societies.

Washington and Hamilton

The Alliance That Forged America

Author: Tony Williams,Stephen F. Knott

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

ISBN: 1492609846

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 6300

The Untold Story of the Extraordinary Alliance That Forged Our Nation and the Unlikely Duo Behind It: George Washington & Alexander Hamilton In the wake of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers faced a daunting task: overcome their competing visions to build a new nation, the likes of which the world had never seen. As hostile debates raged over how to protect their new hard-won freedoms, two men formed an improbable partnership that would launch the fledgling United States: George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Washington and Hamilton chronicles the unlikely collaboration between these two conflicting characters at the heart of our national narrative: Washington, the indispensable general devoted to classical virtues, and Hamilton, an ambitious officer and lawyer eager for fame of the noblest kind. Working together, they laid the groundwork for the institutions that govern the United States to this day and protected each other from bitter attacks from Jefferson and Madison, who considered their policies a betrayal of the republican ideals they had fought for. Yet while Washington and Hamilton's different personalities often led to fruitful collaboration, their conflicting ideals also tested the boundaries of their relationship—and threatened the future of the new republic. From the rumblings of the American Revolution through the fractious Constitutional Convention and America's turbulent first years, this captivating history reveals the stunning impact of this unlikely duo that set the United States on the path to becoming a superpower.

The Way Back

Restoring the Promise of America

Author: F. H. Buckley

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594039607

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 8510

The promise of America is that, with ambition and hard work, anyone can rise to the top. But now the promise has been broken, and we’ve become an aristocracy where rich parents raise rich kids and poor parents raise poor kids. We’ve been told that the changes are structural, that there’s nothing we can do about this. But that doesn’t explain why other First World countries are beating us hands down on the issue of mobility. What's different about America is our politics. An ostensibly progressive New Class of comfortably rich professionals, media leaders, and academics has shaped the contours of American politics and given us a country of fixed economic classes. It is supported by the poorest of Americans, who have little chance to rise, an alliance of both ends against the middle that recalls the Red Tories of parliamentary countries. Because they support an aristocracy, the members of the New Class are Tories, and because of their feigned concern for the poor, they are Red Tories. The Way Back explains the revolution in American politics, where political insurgents have challenged the complacent establishment of both parties, and shows how we can restore the promise of economic mobility and equality by pursuing socialist ends through capitalist means.

The New Normal

Finding a Balance Between Individual Rights and the Common Good

Author: Amitai Etzioni

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351478567

Category: Philosophy

Page: 418

View: 4372

Amitai Etzioni argues that societies must find a way to balance individual rights and the common good. This point of balance may change as new technologies develop, the natural and international environments change, and new social forces arise. Some believe the United States may be unduly short-changing individual rights that need to be better protected. Specifically, should the press be granted more protection? Or should its ability to publish state secrets be limited? Should surveillance of Americans and others be curtailed? Should American terrorists be treated differently from others? How one answers these questions, Etzioni shows, invites a larger fundamental question: Where is the proper point of balance between rights and security? Etzioni implements the social philosophy, "liberal communitarianism." Its key assumptions are that neither individual rights nor the common good should be privileged, that both are core values, and that a balance is necessary between them. Etzioni argues that we need to find a new balance between our desire for more goods, services, and affluence, particularly because economic growth may continue to be slow and jobs anemic. The key question is what makes a good life, especially for those whose basic needs are sated.

Not-So-Secret Service

Agency Tales from FDR to the Kennedy Assassination to the Reagan Era

Author: Vincent Palamara

Publisher: TrineDay

ISBN: 1634241215

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 3634

While there haven't been many Secret Service related books about U.S. presidents, the ones still in print (and even those long out of print) are often sanitized memoirs of a politically correct nature or "tell-all" tabloid historical junk meant merely for entertainment purposes. The Not-So-Secret Service provides the facts with the bark off, so to speak, and reveals politically incorrect information of a decidedly unsafe nature. It may be controversial and against the grain, but this book is heavily documented and timely, as the Secret Service guards our political candidates, foreign dignitaries, and, of course, the President, the first family and the ex-presidents and their families.

City of Rivals

Restoring the Glorious Mess of American Democracy

Author: Jason Grumet

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1493014129

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 4409

Forty years ago the Watergate scandal deeply wounded Americans’ faith in government. Since then, good-government reformers and big-government opponents have been on a shared mission to make everything transparent. The problem is that too much light is scaring Congressmen away from making the tough choices necessary to govern in the national interest. It’s no secret that the backrooms are where things get done and where politicians can collaborate without reprisal. In City of Rivals, Grumet boldly argues that the answer lies in harnessing partisanship, not spinning in its mud. America is once again gripped by fear that we are falling behind and fast. Unlike the Soviet threat that shook our nation a half century ago, the menace today is homegrown. On issues of national importance, the two parties in Congress appear incapable of working together. Whether the threat is competition from China, crumbling infrastructure, or rising debt, Washington’s legitimacy to govern and capacity to solve problems are in doubt. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s president, Jason Grumet, tackles this issue head-on by challenging the conventional diagnosis of the current gridlock. Rather than lamenting our differences, Grumet offers practical steps to govern a polarized nation, and he explores the unintended consequences of past reform movements. It’s a must-read for all who care about our country’s future.

The Virtue of Nationalism

Author: Yoram Hazony

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541645383

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 1512

A leading conservative thinker argues that a nationalist order is the only realistic safeguard of liberty in the world today Nationalism is the issue of our age. From Donald Trump's "America First" politics to Brexit to the rise of the right in Europe, events have forced a crucial debate: Should we fight for international government? Or should the world's nations keep their independence and self-determination? In The Virtue of Nationalism, Yoram Hazony contends that a world of sovereign nations is the only option for those who care about personal and collective freedom. He recounts how, beginning in the sixteenth century, English, Dutch, and American Protestants revived the Old Testament's love of national independence, and shows how their vision eventually brought freedom to peoples from Poland to India, Israel to Ethiopia. It is this tradition we must restore, he argues, if we want to limit conflict and hate--and allow human difference and innovation to flourish.

The Star and the Stripes

A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews

Author: Michael N. Barnett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400880602

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 4025

How do American Jews envision their role in the world? Are they tribal—a people whose obligations extend solely to their own? Or are they prophetic—a light unto nations, working to repair the world? The Star and the Stripes is an original, provocative interpretation of the effects of these worldviews on the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews since the nineteenth century. Michael Barnett argues that it all begins with the political identity of American Jews. As Jews, they are committed to their people's survival. As Americans, they identify with, and believe their survival depends on, the American principles of liberalism, religious freedom, and pluralism. This identity and search for inclusion form a political theology of prophetic Judaism that emphasizes the historic mission of Jews to help create a world of peace and justice. The political theology of prophetic Judaism accounts for two enduring features of the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews. They exhibit a cosmopolitan sensibility, advocating on behalf of human rights, humanitarianism, and international law and organizations. They also are suspicious of nationalism—including their own. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that American Jews are natural-born Jewish nationalists, Barnett charts a long history of ambivalence; this ambivalence connects their early rejection of Zionism with the current debate regarding their attachment to Israel. And, Barnett contends, this growing ambivalence also explains the rising popularity of humanitarian and social justice movements among American Jews. Rooted in the understanding of how history shapes a political community's sense of the world, The Star and the Stripes is a bold reading of the past, present, and possible future foreign policies of American Jews.

A Declaration of Independents

How We Can Break the Two-Party Stranglehold and Restore the American Dream

Author: Greg Orman

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

ISBN: 1626343330

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 731

In 2014, Greg Orman made headlines with his historic Independent run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. Voters gravitated to Orman’s campaign in unprecedented numbers, challenging the entrenched dominance of the two major parties over American politics. In A Declaration of Independents Orman describes how hyper-partisanship, division, and a win-at-all-costs environment in Washington have created a toxic culture of self-interest that has left average Americans behind. Orman makes a persuasive case that without fundamental change, our standard of living, our status in the world, and the very existence of the middle class are at risk. His withering critique of our ruling partisan duopoly explains why voters are choosing unconventional candidates in increasing numbers—from his own 2014 Senate race to the nation’s 2016 presidential campaign. Taking direct aim at the corrupt practices that keep the two parties in power despite historically low approval ratings, Orman argues convincingly that the system is rigged for the benefit of special interests who buy access to power. Drawing on his own journey to political independence, Orman lays out a plan for taking back our government by rejecting party politics and embracing a new Independent approach.

Seedbeds of Virtue

Sources of Competence, Character, and Citizenship in American Society

Author: Mary Ann Glendon,David Blankenhorn

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 297

View: 8853

Focuses on the role families need to play and the importance of values in the U.S.

The Vanishing American Corporation

Navigating the Hazards of a New Economy

Author: Gerald F. Davis

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

ISBN: 1626562814

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 7559

It may be hard to believe in an era of Walmart, Citizens United, and the Koch brothers, but corporations are on the decline. The number of American companies listed on the stock market dropped by half between 1996 and 2012. In recent years we've seen some of the most storied corporations go bankrupt (General Motors, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak) or disappear entirely (Bethlehem Steel, Lehman Brothers, Borders). Gerald Davis argues this is a root cause of the income inequality and social instability we face today. Corporations were once an integral part of building the middle class. He points out that in their heyday they offered millions of people lifetime employment, a stable career path, health insurance, and retirement pensions. They were like small private welfare states. The businesses that are replacing them will not fill the same role. For one thing, they employ far fewer people—the combined global workforces of Facebook, Yelp, Zynga, LinkedIn, Zillow, Tableau, Zulily, and Box are smaller than the number of people who lost their jobs when Circuit City was liquidated in 2009. And in the “sharing economy,” companies have no obligation to most of the people who work for them—at the end of 2014 Uber had over 160,000 “driver-partners” in the United States but recognized only about 2,000 people as actual employees. Davis tracks the rise of the large American corporation and the economic, social, and technological developments that have led to its decline. The future could see either increasing economic polarization, as careers turn into jobs and jobs turn into tasks, or a more democratic economy built from the grass roots. It's up to us.

Crisis of Responsibility

Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It

Author: David L. Bahnsen

Publisher: Post Hill Press

ISBN: 1682616266

Category: Political Science

Page: 263

View: 3316

Across the globe a “revolt” of sorts is taking place against elitism. No more will big government, big media, big banks, big bureaucracy, and big institutions hold the secret nuggets of truth and dictate our lives and fortunes. Financial markets, political punditry, and cultural leaders are all scrambling to react to the rise of the often disenfranchised. But what happens after all the bogeymen have been vanquished? What if opposing the incompetence of the European Union, the biases of the American media, the corruption of crony capitalism, the arrogance of political power brokers, and allegedly unfair global trade deals is not enough? The key to American prosperity in this new era of populism is for moral people to make responsibility matter again by renewing personal virtue and form lasting, mediating institutions that will trump the elitist bogeymen and scapegoats for generations to come. If we fail as individual Americans to address this core crisis of responsibility, we have only ourselves to blame for what happens next.

The Divided Era

How We Got Here and the Keys to America's Reconciliation

Author: Thomas Del Beccaro

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

ISBN: 1626342008

Category: Political Science

Page: 464

View: 2458

The larger our governments, the greater the competition for their spoils—therefore our divisions. “There simply is so much at stake today. As a result, our governments that benefit so many, employ so many, and tax so widely—in short our governments that pick so many winners and losers—are understandably subject to an intense competition for their control.” So writes author Thomas Del Beccaro in this fascinating study of the history of political unity and division in the US, from the Revolution to the adoption of the Constitution, the Civil War through Reconstruction, The Gilded Age to our present Divided Era. While we have had our conflicts over large issues and the role of government in the past, and still do today, an emerging cause of the partisanship and division we now know today did not exist at our nation’s founding. Our governments were smaller, levied minimal taxes, and thus held out fewer spoils for citizens to fight over. Can the US find its way back to being a less divided country? Yes, says Del Beccaro, but only if citizens understand the growing source of our divisions: ever larger governments. Americans must demand that government shrink back to a less divisive size and scope and support leaders capable of setting unifying goals—for which Del Beccaro offers five key strategies. In fact, the consequences of not slimming the behemoth governments—federal, state, and local—will only lead to an ever widening divide, and more acrimonious and harmful partisanship. The Divided Era lays out the case for smaller government, more responsive political leadership, and ultimately a more cohesive citizenry.

Our Divided Political Heart

The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent

Author: E.J. Dionne

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 160819440X

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 7631

America today is at a political impasse; we face a nation divided and discontented. Acclaimed political commentator E.J. Dionne argues that Americans can't agree on who we are as a nation because we can't agree on who we've been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us "Americans." Dionne places our current quarrels in the long-standing tradition of struggle between two core values: the love of individualism and our reverence for community. Both make us who we are, and to ignore either one is to distort our national character. He sees the current Tea Party as a representation of hyper-individualism, and takes on their agenda-serving distortions of history, from the Revolution to the Civil War and the constitutional role of government. Tea Partiers have reacted fiercely to President Obama, who seeks to restore a communitarian balance - a cause in American liberalism which Dionne traces through recent decades. The ability of the American system to self-correct may be one of its greatest assets, but we have been caught in cycles of over-correcting. Dionne seeks, through an understanding of our factious past, to rediscover the idea of true progress, and the confidence that it can be achieved.