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A strong challenge to the left/right conception of individualism and each sides sclorodic policy adgenda. narration could be better, but still a worthwhile listen.
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What made the experience of listening to The Fractured Republic the most enjoyable?
Levin's diagnosis of our political and social disfunction being the result of Baby Boomer nostalgia for the exceptional post-WWII, mid-century decades and the centralized, consolidated consensus which seemed to serve as the underpinning of our collective prosperity and political comity is spot on. Despite his conservative biases, he admits to them and offers an evan-handed analysis of both sides: conservatives long for the moral consensus and social cohesion of the post-war period as well as the economic deregulation and religious right retrenchment championed by Reagan in 1981; liberals long for the corporatism, industrial policy, and social welfare programs of the New Deal days which reached their high-water mark under Johnson's Great Society in 1965. The cultural, social, corporate, and political consolidation and uniformity which allowed for both partisan platforms to exist has disintegrated. Levin argues for both sides to draw upon their historic political traditions (read Levin's previous work "The Great Debate" for an engaging primer on the early rift of Anglo-American liberalism between Burke's conservatism and Payne's progressivism for a greater fleshing out of these ideas) to navigate a new course which Levin terms subsidiarity: strengthening the mediating institutions standing between the autonomous individual and the State (families, religious congregations, civic organizations, charities, neighborhoods, local communities, etc.) which can better address the pressing social, cultural, and economic challenges and ameliorate their deleterious effects more effectively and efficiently. Levin makes the point that conservatives, though themselves beholden to their own brand of nostalgia, are closer to embracing subsidiarity than are Progressives who are increasingly enamored with Statism. Chapter 7 (in the audiobook) is my favorite section, although the entire volume is deserving of every thoughtful citizens earnest consideration.
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the author is either deluded to the forces shaping america's political&economic life
he either doesnt care about the poor or just doesnt get the structural forces in playas he advocates an even more full throttled course of the things that have so badly screwed american workers except for ceo's or tech titans