Monday, August 12, 2013

We Ain't Ready Yet for the "Liberty Amendments"

Today's the release day for Mark Levin's new book The Liberty Amendments.  And yeah, he's got a few, as in:
  1. An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress
  2. An Amendment to Restore the Senate
  3. An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices and Super-Majority Legislative Override
  4. Two Amendments to Limit Federal Spending and Taxing
  5. An Amendment to Limit the Federal Bureaucracy
  6. An Amendment to Promote Free Enterprise
  7. An Amendment to Protect Private Property
  8. An Amendment to Grant the States the Authority to Directly Amend the Constitution
  9. An Amendment to Grant the States the Authority to Check Congress
  10. An Amendment to Protect the Vote
He proposes a constitutional convention for this important work.  Jeffrey Lord has all the details.

But I think that Mark is putting the cart before the horse.  I don't see anything like a political movement that could sustain such an ambitious program.  Not yet.

Levin considers this a Third American Revolution (the second was the Progressive movement of the 1880s that gave us the income tax and the directly elected Senate and the administrative state).

But I don't think we are anywhere close to that point.  That's because I think that revolution takes three stages.
  1. The first stage is the general ideological battlefield preparation.  With deep thinkers that are proposing a new order.  I don't think that we are anywhere close to achieving that.  We've had Mises and Hayek, and we've had Novak with the three sector idea and Berger and Neuhaus with the championing of civil society.  But we don't have a intellectual tour de force that puts it all together.
  2. The second stage is the young 'uns and the conquest of the cultural space.  Revolutions need young people.  As in the Napoleonic baby boom of the 1840s with Marx, and the 1960s baby boom tearing up the streets.  We don't seem to have anything like that today.  The Occupy movement was an AstroTurf joke.  Young people got all in a tizzy with Obama who, really, was a reactionary, going back to the failed and the corrupt.  Now they are in a daze what with their student loans and their joblessness and all.  There is no sign of a change in the culture among the young 'uns.  Then there are women.  In my view we can't have a cultural revolution without women, because they are guardians of the culture.
  3. The third stage is boots on the ground, the conquest of the political space.  That is what Mark Levin's new book is about, and you can see why I think he is way premature.
Let's get back to the woman question.  Women just aren't natural revolutionaries, ranting on about injustice and exploitation; they take the world as they find it and try to make it work for them.  Women don't get riled up by airy-fairy political principles, but by the needs of their loved ones.  You would think that women would be all riled up by the health care mess that hurts their ageing mothers, by the education mess that hurts their children, and by the collapse of marriage that hurts women.  Maybe they are, but we ain't seen any sign of a rebellion on the distaff side, except perhaps that the telling  point that the Tea Party is largely run by women.  My feeling is that the Third American Revolution will need the enthusiastic participation of women if it is to be a success.

You can see my interest in all this.  I'm writing a book that is trying to do Stage One, the ideological battlespace preparation.  I am trying to define just what we mean by the political sector, with government as force, politics as division.  I am trying to describe the reality of the modern economic sector, the fact that it has got over its shameful birth in plantation slavery and industrial discipline, and I am thinking about how to keep business out of the embrace of the political sector.  And I am discussing the importance of the moral/cultural sector, and how all these sectors need a civil society if human society is to flourish as a social thing rather that a hegemonic, dominatory thing.

I think we still have a lot of work to do in hammering out the basic principles of what we believe, and in making it compelling or at least challenging to the liberal ruling class.

Then and only then can we lay it all out before the suffering young 'uns and let them get cracking.

And then we will be ready for Stage Three, the actual implementation in a glorious series of constitutional amendments or their equivalent.  Because we need to rein in the unjust administrative state and its dominatory and hegemonic systems and restore the lifeworld of civil society.

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