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The Establishments war on Donald Trump
See other The Establishments war on Donald Trump Articles

Title: Suicide of the West HOW THE REBIRTH OF TRIBALISM, POPULISM, NATIONALISM, AND IDENTITY POLITICS IS DESTROYING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY By JONAH GOLDBERG s
Source: [None]
URL Source: [None]
Published: Apr 24, 2018
Author: —David Brooks
Post Date: 2018-04-24 10:15:06 by tpaine
Keywords: None
Views: 682
Comments: 48

Suicide of the West HOW THE REBIRTH OF TRIBALISM, POPULISM, NATIONALISM, AND IDENTITY POLITICS IS DESTROYING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY By JONAH GOLDBERG

“Epic and debate-shifting.” —David Brooks

With his trademark blend of political history, social science, economics, and pop culture, two-time NYT bestselling author, syndicated columnist, National Review senior editor, and American Enterprise Institute fellow Jonah Goldberg makes the timely case that America and other democracies are in peril as they lose the will to defend the values and institutions that sustain freedom and prosperity. Instead we are surrendering to populism, nationalism and other forms of tribalism.

Only once in the last 250,000 years have humans stumbled upon a way to lift ourselves out of the endless cycle of poverty, hunger, and war that defines most of history—in 18th century England when we accidentally discovered the miracle of liberal democratic capitalism.

As Americans we are doubly blessed that those radical ideas were written into the Constitution, laying the groundwork for our uniquely prosperous society: · Our rights come from God not from the government. · The government belongs to us; we do not belong to the government. · The individual is sovereign. We are all captains of our own souls. · The fruits of our labors belong to us.

In the last few decades, these political virtues have been turned into vices. As we are increasingly taught to view our traditions as a system of oppression, exploitation and “white privilege,” the principles of liberty and the rule of law are under attack from left and right.

At a moment when authoritarianism, tribalism, identity politics, nationalism, and cults of personality are rotting our democracy from within, Goldberg exposes the West’s suicidal tendencies on both sides of the ideological aisle. For the West to survive, we must renew our sense of gratitude for what our civilization has given us and rediscover the ideals that led us out of the bloody muck of the past – or back to the muck we will go.

Suicide is painless, liberty takes work.

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 18.

#16. To: tpaine (#0)

https://www.amazon.com/Suicide-West-Tribalism-Nationalism-Destroying/dp/1101904933

This is the Amazon review of the 466-page book by Jonah Goldberg, which includes a snippet quote of David Brooks, “Epic and debate-shifting.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/opinion/renaissance-right-gop.html

The David Brooks review is in the NYT.

The "article" is the book review by the Amazon staff.

As Americans we are doubly blessed that those radical ideas were written into the Constitution, laying the groundwork for our uniquely prosperous society:

  • Our rights come from God not from the government.
  • The government belongs to us; we do not belong to the government.
  • The individual is sovereign. We are all captains of our own souls.
  • The fruits of our labors belong to us.

Where is this written into the Constitution?

nolu chan  posted on  2018-04-26   13:48:15 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: nolu chan (#16)

As Americans we are doubly blessed that those radical ideas were written into the Constitution, laying the groundwork for our uniquely prosperous society:

Our rights come from God not from the government.

The government belongs to us; we do not belong to the government.

The individual is sovereign. We are all captains of our own souls.

The fruits of our labors belong to us.

Where is this written into the Constitution?

Throughout the document, those basic truths are evident to anyone so convinced.

Are you unconvinced of our Constitutions principles? Why?

Thanks for posting the link to Brooks review from the NYTs. It's generally a negative review, but he's pretty honest about the basic premise, as follows:---

------ Other conservatives are rising to defend that order, including National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, who later this month comes out with his epic and debate-shifting book, “Suicide of the West.”

Goldberg points out that for eons human beings were semi-hairless upright apes clumped in tribes and fighting for food. But about 300 years ago something that he calls “the Miracle” happened. It was a shift in attitude. For thousands of years, societies divided people into permanent categories of race or caste. But, Goldberg writes, “the Miracle ushered in a philosophy that says each person is to be judged and respected on account of their own merits, not the class or caste of their ancestors.”

That belief, championed by John Locke, or a story we tell about Locke, paved the way for human equality, pluralism, democracy, capitalism and the idea that a person can have a plurality of identities and a society can contain a plurality of moral creeds.

It also proved to be the goose that laid the golden egg. Economic growth exploded. The American founding asserted that Lockean ideas are universal. And nothing had ever succeeded like America. Between 1860 and 1900 alone, America’s population doubled and its wealth grew fivefold.

But we have stopped teaching about the Miracle, Goldberg says, and stopped feeling grateful for it.

Tribalism was always there, lurking under the surface. It returns now as identity politics, which is reactionary reversion to the pre-modern world. Identity politics takes individual merit out of the moral center of our system and asserts that group is, Goldberg says, “an immutable category, a permanent tribe.” Identity politics warriors claim they are fighting for social justice, but really it’s just the same old thing, Goldberg argues, a mass mobilization to gain power for the tribe.

tpaine  posted on  2018-04-26   15:32:48 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


Replies to Comment # 18.

#19. To: All (#18)

More from the Brooks review of Goldberg's book:----

--- I love the way Goldberg provocatively tells his story, but I partially disagree with it. The central tension in his book is between Locke, who emerges as a rational, calm, pipe-smoking economist, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who emerges as a wild-haired, passionately resentful rock star. The liberal order emerges from the individualism of Locke and is threatened by group consciousness and romantic resentments of Rousseau.

But America is both rational and romantic, both Locke and Rousseau. We have a rationalist constitution, but we have a shared national faith and are an emotional community, rooted in our land, inspired by our history, warmed by the hope of our common future.

The core problem today is not tribalism. It’s excessive individualism, which has eaten away at our uniting faith and damaged our relationships with one another. Excessive individualism has left us distrustful and alone — naked Lockeans. When people are naked and alone they revert to tribe. Tribalism is the end product of excessive individualism.

Goldberg is suspicious of nationalism and has a tendency to think that any effort to build a national community puts you on the express lanes on the road to serfdom.

His conservatism is missing the bonding sentiments of Edmund Burke, and the idea that the little platoon of the family is nestled in the emotional platoon of the neighborhood and the emotional platoon of the nation. Tribalism is not the only way to form a group; there’s also the redeeming and forgiving love of community, and a shared national faith. Goldberg misses the way Hamilton, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt built a national community that didn’t crush local communities but rather reinforced them.

Goldberg is right to fight tribalism on the left and the right. But you can’t reweave a fragmented nation by appealing just to Lockean individualism. Gratitude is too weak a glue to hold a diverse nation together. Renewal will come through the communitarians on the right and the left, who seek ways to improve relationships on a household, local and national level.

--- Yeh, sure, the communitarians will save the Republic. Good grief...

tpaine  posted on  2018-04-26 16:20:41 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: tpaine (#18)

Throughout the document, those basic truths are evident to anyone so convinced.

"As Americans we are doubly blessed that those radical ideas were written into the Constitution," you should have no difficulty quoting the parts to which the Amazon staff referred. They are either written there, or they are not.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-04-26 18:49:40 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: tpaine (#18)

Are you unconvinced of our Constitutions principles? Why?

I am absolutely convinced of what is, and is not, written in the Constitution.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-04-26 18:51:28 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


End Trace Mode for Comment # 18.

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