the fractured republic renewing americas social contract in the age of individualism

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The Fractured Republic

Author : Yuval Levin
ISBN : 9780465098606
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 43. 49 MB
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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

Author : Yuval Levin
ISBN : 9780465098606
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 54. 69 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 751
Read : 989

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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

Author : Yuval Levin
ISBN : 9780465061969
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 30. 81 MB
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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

Author : Yuval Levin
ISBN : 9780465040940
Genre : History
File Size : 54. 52 MB
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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

Author : Yuval Levin
ISBN : 9781594033308
Genre : Science
File Size : 43. 12 MB
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From stem cell research to global warming, human cloning, evolution, and beyond, political debates about science have raged in recent years - and, to the chagrin of most observers, have increasingly fallen into the familiar categories of America's culture wars. In Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy, Yuval Levin explores the complicated meanings of science and technology in American politics and finds that the science debates have a lot to teach us about our political life. These debates, Levin argues, reveal some serious challenges to American self-government, and put on stark display the deepest strengths and greatest weaknesses of both the left and the right. "American life has been profoundly shaped by science and technology, and will be all the more so in the coming decades, making it crucial that we understand how to think and speak about science in politics. Yuval Levin's smart and eminently well-reasoned book makes the important point that the purpose of science is a moral one -- to improve human life -- and that judging what that involves is sometimes a job for more than science alone in a democratic society. Levin's insights speak directly to today's political debates and make his book a must-read for policymakers and all those who care about science and society." --Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House "Imagining the Future goes far beyond the contemporary polarized debates over science to unpack the moral premises of the modern scientific project and its consequences for American democracy. In the process, Yuval Levin provides us with a deep understanding of policy issues from genetic engineering to global warming." --Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University "This book is important to the thinking of both progressives and conservatives. Clearly and incisively, it shows how science and technology are shaping humanity's future and world views. Levin alerts democratic societies that human dignity and equality are imperiled unless we provide political and moral guidance to prevent the submergence of humanity in its own ingenuity." --Edmund Pellegrino, Chairman, President's Council on Bioethics

Resurrecting The Idea Of A Christian Society

Author : R. R. Reno
ISBN : 9781621575658
Genre : Religion
File Size : 72. 68 MB
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America’s two greatest strengths—her liberal democratic culture and her free-market economy—have made her a global superpower. But left unchecked, these two strengths can become great cultural weaknesses, sowing selfishness, recklessness, and apathy. In Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, theologian R. R. Reno argues that America needs a renewal of Christian ideals—ideals that encourage self-sacrifice, responsibility, and solidarity. Drawing on T.S. Eliot’s 1940 essay “The Idea of a Christian Society,” Reno shows how Christianity encourages “an abiding ambition for higher things” and a “moral vision” that can strengthen communities and transform America into a truly great nation.

The Way Back

Author : F. H. Buckley
ISBN : 9781594038587
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82. 84 MB
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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.

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