Sure, there are examples and ideas in the literature of liberal utopias that might be considered tyrannical. The work of utopian socialist Charles Fourier comes to mind.
But I suspect that if Levin were to ask young leftists about their utopias, he would discover that nothing could be farther from the truth.
Leftist utopias are a libertarian’s paradise...
...It is people such as Levin, who claim to be on the side of liberty but want to take women’s rights to control their own body and want to continue the clear economic bias of the state in favor of the rich, who are responsible for statism and for creating the problems in America today.
Levin decries utopia as the fantasy of the left, but in doing so he ignores his own desired utopia: a utopia led by the perversions of the memory of the Founding Fathers in which all those annoying minorities would just go away.
Sidney, it is curious indeed that you omitted two of the most critical elements of Ameritopia. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are central to Levin's thesis and yet you give no credence to the history and context of the these documents, other than to tar the Founders and Framers as racists.
The Constitution inarguably created the most benificent society ever seen on Earth. People of every background, race, religion and creed strive to enter the United States, not because it is an intolerant society, but because it offers the most opportunities for the individual to succeed on his or her own merits.
Clearly you have skipped over the battle between the northern and southern states while the Declaration of Independence was being written. The slave states, most prominently South Carolina and William Rutledge, refused to endorse The Declaration unless the scourge of slavery was omitted. It is clear, however, that no country with a founding document like the Declaration could long tolerate slavery.
In fact, the ratification of the Constitution by the states performed two noble services to advance the anti-slavery cause: it banned the importation of slaves, setting the stage for the eventual end of the despicable practice; and it forced the southern states to count slaves as three-fifths of an individual for purposes of Congressional representation.
This was critically important, because the slave states wanted to have it both ways: they sought to count slaves as human beings for the purposes of strengthening their Congressional numbers, but also to treat them as chattel from a legal perspective.
The Constitutional compromise thereby instantiated an inherent conflict between North and South.
Had the Declaration and Constitution not united the states, there would have been no Civil War over the issue of slavery and emancipation. Slavery likely would have survived far longer in a set of disparate states without a cohesive federal charter like the Constitution.
In summary, you do a disservice to the overall point of the book. Conservatism recognizes the inherent flaws of government and its tendency to dissolve into various corrupted forms of tyranny or authoritarianism -- consider the long history of mankind as proof -- and attempts to strengthen the bulwark against this dissolution. That bulwark is the Constitution.
You claim that "Leftist utopias are a libertarian’s paradise", yet the public sector unions and trial lawyers -- two groups working in lockstep with Democrats -- argue endlessly for bigger government, more regulations, more taxes and more sovereignty of the government over the individual. You can look no farther than the teachers unions' unequivocal war against charter schools, against the will of most parents seeking a better education for their children.
In fact, progressivism, the tenet of the Democrat Party since Woodrow Wilson, recognizes no limits on government. Can the federal government force you to buy health insurance? Why, of course it can! Can it tell you what kind of shower heads, light bulbs, cars, clothing, baby strollers and food to purchase? Yes of course! No, leftist utopias are totalitarian states, where freedom of speech is banned, there are no gun rights, and state governments have no power whatsoever.
Tell me, which of the Bill of Rights do you think Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would support?
And Sidney, I ask you: where are the limits on government if not the Constitution? Many of our temporary politicans take an oath to uphold that document and then promptly attempt to evade or ignore it. If laws are malleable, if they can be shredded at the whim of a Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer for some temporary expedient, what prevents the eventual descent of this Republic into Ameritopia? Where are the limits on government, if we are to ignore our highest law, not to mention history, facts, logic and experience?
The default condition of humankind has been poverty, misery and slavery. We live in the most magnificent society ever seen on Earth, and instead of protecting it, Democrats continuously push us to adopt the failed policies of central planning, massive debts, unlimited welfare, and managed economies. And now we stand perilously close to the abyss, both from an economic and a societal perspective.
So do you support America? Or Ameritopia?
• The Fork In The Road
• The Complete Epilogue: Ameritopia