Lew, I admitted earlier that I was not familiar with Mr. Levin. As Justice Brandeis asked, when offered a book in the hospital, “Is it necessary for my salvation?” Levin, to put it plainly, decidedly is not.
Now I realize that all of us write stupid paragraphs now and then. But the one you linked to is indeed a howler:
“The Statist’s Utopia can take many forms, and has throughout human history, including monarchism, feudalism, militarism, fascism, communism, national socialism, and economic socialism.” [Thus far Mr. Levin]
The poor chap obviously doesn’t understand utopias, which have not existed throughout human history at all, but came into being only with the perversion of the concept of history by the Manichees and gnostic sects, especially in the Middle Ages, and most profoundly by Hegel, Marx, et al. in their perversion of the view of history first introduced by Augustine (my teacher Eric Voegelin famously called this ideological magic “the immanentization of the eschaton.”)
Neither does Levin have a clue about monarchy. In the Middle Ages (which were not “dark” at all), monarchs respected hierarchy, the limits on power, and both the rights of specific peoples in particular and the dignity of man in principle. The medieval Spanish word for “right” in that sense is “fuero” — something that is “outside of” (afuera de) the power of the king.
Pardon me for not pursuing the lengths of the fellow’s ignorance any further. Didn’t his publisher have a fact-checker? Or did Levin assure him that today’s consumers would buy any drivel as long as it was branded “conservative”?3:01 pm on April 2, 2011 Email Christopher Manion