Thursday, July 6, 2023

#187 / Here Is A Book You Do Not Need To Read


Read the review. Then you won't have to read the book. The book I am talking about, pictured above, is Regime Change, by Patrick J. Deneen.

I have taken my own advice. I have not read the book - and I have actually read three reviews, not just the one. The review I have linked above is by Jennifer Szalai, of The New York Times. You might also want to consult a review by Damon Linker, in Quillette, and a review by Barton Swaim in The Wall Street Journal. Linker's review is titled, "America Doesn’t Need Regime Change." Swaim's review is titled, "Who Decides What Counts As 'Good.'"
Szalai lets us know, in her review, that Deneen "seeks nothing less than the 'renewal of the Christian roots of our civilization.'" If you don't particularly want to live in such a regime, "a regime that rejects so-called 'democratic pluralism' and that "sounds suspiciously like a theocracy," well, Szalai says, "that’s too bad for you (emphasis added)." 
Here is a little more explanation from Szalai:
"The common good is always either served or undermined by a political order,” Deneen declares toward the end of his book. “There is no neutrality on the matter.”... Underneath all the gemütlich [comfortable] verbs lurks a suggestion that some readers may find chilling: a vision of the “common good” so obvious to Deneen that it’s not up for debate or discussion. 
Linker says pretty much the same thing - and perhaps even more emphatically. Linker identifies himself as a "conservative," but urges us to reject "a form of self-deception that’s pervasive in the United States on the populist Right." The essence of that "self-deception" is illustrated by the claim that former president Donald Trump actually "won" the 2020 election. This is not, of course, true, but the "populist Right" refuses to accept that, and Deneen wants that faction to "win" the argument, by imposing a new political order - a new "regime" - despite the fact that the public has, electorally, rejected the near-totalitarian claims of that populist Right. 
Swaim is another "conservative," writing for a very "conservative" newspaper. His statement about Regime Change? See below:

The book [Deneen's earlier book, Why Liberalism Failed] absurdly collapsed everyone from James Madison to John Dewey into a single worldview and perversely ignored the advantages of prosperity and the moral virtues encouraged by markets. But for all its defects, “Why Liberalism Failed” was an eloquent expression of the “Red Tory” outlook: traditionalist and anticapitalist. “Regime Change: Toward a Postliberal Future” is something different. In it, Mr. Deneen attempts to answer the question he pointedly avoided in the earlier book: If not liberalism, then what? The newer book contains all the faults of “Why Liberalism Failed” but adds one: dishonesty [emphasis added].

Read the reviews. Then, you won't need to read the book. 

What you will need to do, though, is to become engaged, politically (and particularly in the upcoming 2024 elections) unless you're willing to let a populist Right stage what is nothing less than a coup, outlined by Deneen, overturning everything we, as Americans, have always believed about self-government.

Image Credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!