The Next American Civil War

The Next American Civil War❴Read❵ ➫ The Next American Civil War Author Lee Harris – Bluevapours.co.uk The tea parties, the guns at town hall meetings, the protests against health care reform, and the general unrest in America today have taken many people by surprise Some interpret it in terms of econo The tea parties, American Civil PDF ☆ the guns at town hall meetings, the protests against health care reform, and the general unrest in America today have taken many people by surprise Some interpret it in terms of economic hard times, but Lee Harris offers a different explanation Today s populist revolt is only the latest installment of an ongoing cultural war that began long befor.

A pseudonym used American Civil PDF ☆ by Syrell LeahyLee Harris is the author of the mystery novels featuring ex nun Christine Bennett, who first appeared in The Good Friday Murder, an Edgar Award nominee She also writes the New York Mysteries, which debuted with Murder in Hell s Kitchen In , Lee Harris received the Romantic Times magazine Career Achievement Award for her distinguished contribution to crime writing.

The Next American Civil War PDF ¾ The Next  PDF/EPUB
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • The Next American Civil War
  • Lee Harris
  • English
  • 19 September 2017
  • 0230102719

10 thoughts on “The Next American Civil War

  1. ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos) says:

    WARNING This review is long.I will start this review by stating how disappointed I was in The Next American Civil War The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite To begin, the title is misleading There is no discussion of any coming civil war The subtitle seems to beappropriate in that the book sets out to explain the existence of current populist movements in the United States, such as the Tea Party, within philosophical and historical contexts that show that these movements not on WARNING This review is long.I will start this review by stating how disappointed I was in The Next American Civil War The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite To begin, the title is misleading There is no discussion of any coming civil war The subtitle seems to beappropriate in that the book sets out to explain the existence of current populist movements in the United States, such as the Tea Party, within philosophical and historical contexts that show that these movements not only have had their place in the creation of America but need to continue to exist to if Americans are to maintain their hard fought for liberty Harris sets out to do this by contrasting the populists, or natural libertarians , with the liberal elites , those who are willing to trade personal freedom for greater wealth, health and comfort This is a somewhat simplistic approach but the opposition makes for easy discussion I would suspect however, that the majority of Americans, particularly most Republicans, would not see themselves described in either group It is worth noting that the Republican Party, for the most part, is lumped in with the liberal elites Despite all of their verbiage, Harris sees them as with the elites because they do tend to be educated and they do support a bigger role for government than most populists would approve of Hence, we can see the current struggle within the Republican Party for control between the Tea Party and traditional Republican conservatives I would like to raise an issue here on an interesting tension within the book that Harris establishes from the beginning The books intended audience is obviously the liberal elites I say this because, by Harris s own definition, the populists are not much interested in ideas, much less books Also, the book is largely a plea to the liberal elites not to ridicule or stare down their noses at the populists but rather to try to understand them and their necessary role in society That being the case, I was taken by the descriptors used by Harris throughout the book to discuss the two groups Natural libertarians vs liberal elites Within America today, some of these are powerful words Elite has long been a derogatory word in supposedly egalitarian society It immediately denotes someone who does not see everyone as their equal Recently, the word liberal has taken on an extremely insulting connotation in America a favourite word used by Fox Media to put down the enemy The connotations here would seem to range from na ve and sneering to overeducated and evil The populists are also referred to as ornery , a word that makes me think of a nasty but rather cuddly old man not to be taken as a real threat I find it interesting that in a book which Harris obviously intends to present as balanced he would use language intended to get his readers hackles up Perhaps it serves a purpose in keeping the elites on the defensive so that they areaccepting of the main argument This is not so much a criticism as an observation I would also not that in his discussions, Harris is almost condescending towards the populists He often speaks of them as simple minded and unable to understand ideas Thus the elites need to be evenunderstanding.My greatest criticisms of the book lie in the errors and omissions Most philosophers are given rather short shrift They are rather stood up against each other in a face off where one inevitably falls to the other Thinkers such as Locke, Burke, Hobbes and Paine played a large role in the formation of the United States as well as in providing justification for the revolution So did others who are not mentioned The thought of Montesquieu, for example, played a huge role in the development of the Constitution Indeed, he is the most cited writer in the Federalist Papers, the documents which most clearly show the intentions of the framers of the Constitution Locke appears not at all Also, I would note that while these ideas were central to thought of leaders of the Revolution and the framers of the subsequent form of government, as Harris would readily agree, they had little effect on the backwoods settlers who formed the backbone of the Continental Army, and perhaps whose reasons for fighting are central to Harris s arguments And yet in his development of the book, Harris gives us little idea as to who these people were, other than telling us that they were independent minded, natural libertatarians Again, I will not attempt to develop the book I believe Harris should have written but I would like to cite some of his omissions First, in his explanation, Harris discusses the Puritan arrivals on American shores, those brave souls fleeing England in search of religious freedom It has to be noted that the Puritans had spent ten years previous to their departure in the Netherlands where the Dutch afforded considerable freedom What they wanting to escape were the constant theological arguments of the Dutch which were distracting many of the English Puritans It should also be noted that in the various colonies, all established with a charter from the King of England, there were various religious denominations They tended to be very controlling and not permissive of any religious freedom in their own colony Religious freedom was not the goal, rather it was religious exclusivity Those who were seen as heretical were usually cast out Luckily, there was always Rhode Island and the colonies which existed for purely economic reasons What is important from a religious viewpoint is the 18th century immigration of over 100,000 Sots Irish and Anglo Scots border country protestants into the colonies They came with a strong tradition of English democracy, such as it was, English concepts of personal rights, and an intense resentment towards the English for trying to force the Anglican religion on them Harris should have drawn on these independently minded backcountry settlers, often with a history of violence against English incursions in Scotland and Ireland, as a source for his modern day populists I see it as no coincidence that they tended to settle in the southern colonies The American South has provided the base for what Harris refers to as the Populist Revolt of 1828, as well as the Civil War It remains the centre of the current populist movement Harris seems to have studiously associated the populist movement with any particular areas in the U.S., but the south is definitely the largest centre.This is overly long, so I will sum up by citing other omissions which I believe to be destructive to the book Harris never seriously raises the issue of religion as an aspect of modern day populists and, yet, it has to be seen as a huge factor The current populists, including the Tea Party, are obviously associated with the religious right in the U.S Indeed, the rise of the Tea Party may be seen, in some part, to be the result of the failure of the religious right to make serious inroads into American social policy in recent years Worth exploring but Harris doesn t touch it.He also fails to make connections to the economy No mention of the housing crisis that has had such a huge effect in currently populist areas No mention of joblessness No mention of the increasing gap between rich elites and poor populist Energy debates, environmental issues also not identified He also says nothing about race Harris avoids any discussion Harris notes the rise of the current populist movement in 2009, but he avoids mentioning any possible tie to the election of Barack Obama, someone who is apparently black Caricatures and insults continue to be thrown at him constantly Race continues to be a huge, ongoing issue in the U.S For a country where so much has been done to eliminate racism, the issue is huge It seems to seep into everything.Nor does he discuss the whole issue of gun regulation which is extremely important to many populists We have all seen pictures of grinning, armed men marching in streets or sitting in restaurants with their assault rifles openly taunting their opponents to challenge them Harris is correct in seeing that these people are frustrated and need to be taken into account, but he should also give some sense of where the right to bear arms came from in the Constitution and why it is such a huge issue today.By ignoring, or refusing to discuss these issues, I would suggest that Harris has failed to fulfill his goal in this book He is correct in stating that a discussion andunderstanding are necessary And, yes, the liberally minded Americans can showunderstanding However, religion, race discrimination and assault rifles are foremost in the minds of many liberals These people see something ugly and need to have their concerns brought forward too.Finally, a generic comment Besides failing to deal with the above issues, Harris does nothing to really define who he is talking about Who are the populists According to Harris they are a bunch of outspoken people at town hall meetings in 2009 After that, they are presented to us in such terminology as to leave the reader with a view of a bunch of ignorant, illiterate, stubborn, ornery , perhaps dangerous folks everybody else is afraid of But they are needed to protect freedom I would suggest that, rather than his own conceptual version of these populists, Harris would have been better to have framed them not only inobjective terms but also to have given them some place in the book to speak for themselves They are not all unable to speak for themselves

  2. David Gross says:

    I can t say I was all that optimistic when I saw the title, or when the publicist who sent me the copy promised that Harris was the conservative American public intellectual of the new millennium I figured this was just going to be one of those books people read when they want to be reminded that people who think like they do are good and those other folks are a bunch of cretins.I was happy to find that the book is much better than its subtitle Superficially it s meant to be a defense of the I can t say I was all that optimistic when I saw the title, or when the publicist who sent me the copy promised that Harris was the conservative American public intellectual of the new millennium I figured this was just going to be one of those books people read when they want to be reminded that people who think like they do are good and those other folks are a bunch of cretins.I was happy to find that the book is much better than its subtitle Superficially it s meant to be a defense of the TEA Party town hall disruption Glen Beckian paranoid kvetching Sara Palinish tendency against the liberal elites they complain about But there s actually very little in the book about these things They re mentioned in passing, along with things like Rosa Parks, Wat Tyler s rebellion, the disovery of Tahiti, the English Civil War, the Stonewall Riots, the signing of the Magna Carta, the American Revolution, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and so forth None of these are really analyzed in detail Elements of each of them are brought out as exemplars to support some facet of Harris s thesis.The gist of which thesis is that these quasi populist, quasi organized, right wing rumblings that have made the news recently are all examples of a latent, liberty loving orneriness that comes to the surface periodically in lucky countries like ours that have the sort of cultural underpinnings that allow healthy, freedom promoting governments to evolve.The tension between democratic, libertarianesque populism on the one hand, and the guidance of the nation by well meaning, well educated elites on the other, is, according to Harris, itself a blessing We shouldn t root for one side or the other to win though we may have reason at any particular time to hope one side or the other gets the upper hand the fact that these two sides are both vibrant and remain locked in conflict is what ensures the health and utility of republican institutions.In other words be glad for the TEA Partiers despite their foibles, inconsistencies, paranoia, and anti intellectualism, for it is just such unhinged ornery populists that save us from the inevitable overreaching of the nanny state technocrats who would crush society in order to save it But cherish the technocrats, too, for they too have their virtues, and if the populists were given unfettered control everything would go to hell in short order It s thought provoking to be given a whirlwind tour of Western history seen through the lens of this thesis That said, the book doesn t defend the thesis so much as tell it like a bedtime story pleasant enough, but not very rigorous

  3. Blair says:

    Lee Harris presents a wide ranging and balanced exploration of the roots of the culture war now raging in America and elsewhere, despite the unfortunately provocative title The author is a gay intellectual living in the heart of conservative rural Georgia, and his book can be seen as a celebration of contradictions The thesis is that the significance of the current Tea Party populist revolt cannot be properly understood simply by its own slogans and stated ideals Beyond its apparently narro Lee Harris presents a wide ranging and balanced exploration of the roots of the culture war now raging in America and elsewhere, despite the unfortunately provocative title The author is a gay intellectual living in the heart of conservative rural Georgia, and his book can be seen as a celebration of contradictions The thesis is that the significance of the current Tea Party populist revolt cannot be properly understood simply by its own slogans and stated ideals Beyond its apparently narrow appeal to self interest, the author sees in it the current phase in a long struggle for personal liberty To explore this idea, we are led on a journey through western history and philosophy, from ancient Athens to medieval England and modern America.The author presents two different views of the origin of liberty According to John Locke or Thomas Jefferson, liberty was seen as the natural birthright of all mankind, an inherent right or entitlement This is an example of idealism, where reality is meant to conform to a pre determined abstract ideal And where does this ideal come from Locke and Jefferson would say from God, while those modern idealists with no god have no real answer Idealism amounts to blind faith, with or without a deity to enforce it, and it tends to produce simplistic solutions.In contrast to idealism, Edmund Burke and Thomas Hobbes argued that liberty could only flourish among those determined to preserve and cherish the rights and privileges that had been won for them by earlier generations They tell us that we only have as much freedom as we can claim and defend for ourselves Thus the abstract concept of liberty is seen as arising from a complex history and series of social relationships Preserving it requires careful stewardship, and attempts to tinker with it based on simplistic ideals are viewed with suspicion This is usually considered to be a conservative viewpoint But it is also the only evidence based, evolutionary way to analyze history No external guiding hand is required.Today liberals claim the mantle of evidence based reasoning This is just one of many examples in history of liberals and conservatives swapping beliefs Conservatives used to be the elitists, opposed to dangerous populism Now they claim to be the populists Liberals used to champion the liberty of the individual against the state, but now look to the state to remedy society s ills So don t bother asking if the author or anyone else, for that matter is left liberal or right conservative Those terms have little real value Look at the ideas presented on their own merits.Idealism leads directly to its political offshoot utopianism, designing the perfect society based on those unquestioned ideals As Harris so memorably puts it,If religion is the opium of the people, utopianism is the methamphetamine of the intellectualThe problem is the intellectual can underestimate the complexity of society, especially if blinded by idealistic assumptions Harris points out that almost by definition intellectuals fail to understand most of their fellow citizensIf intellectuals shared the ideas and values of the average person, they would not be intellectuals in the first place He adds,The essence of every Utopia is the same the dictatorship of the intellectual, less brutal than traditional thugs, but is potentially fardeadly to human freedomThe modern liberal state is dedicated to making life better for its citizens However, we know that psychology reveals that choices are not as free or rational as people think they are People often make poor choices Therefore the expert intellectuals need to nudge citizens to do the right thing We end up treating everyone like children, with the experts in control Now we are led to view the Tea Party as a reaction against citizens losing control over their lives Harris sees this rebellion as a positive force, though he clearly spells out its limitationsPopulists have a simplistic understanding of how the world works, are attracted to demagogues and charlatans, believe in a quick fix They fall prey to paranoid fears, attributing problems to conspiracies of wicked men wanting to turn them into slaves Their resistance seems out of proportion to the problemI would add that while rebelling against the utopian planners, they are pursuing their own idealistic vision of a selectively remembered past.But it always has been this way in history For example, the Athenian democracy executed Socrates for what we might today call speaking truth to power, and launched disastrous wars that led to the ruin of the city Leading intellectuals such as Plato and Aristotle opposed democracy and correctly predicted its consequences But that attempt at democracy, despite its failures, eventually led to the liberty in western societies.The events that led to the American Revolution also do not look quite so glorious when examined in detail The response of the colonists to a reasonable tax to help pay for the wars Britain fought to defend them would be described today as terrorism Yet this resulted in the birth of American democracy.Complexity and contradiction are the consequences of thinking in historical context Thus we must acknowledge that there are many different kinds of freedoms, and not all of them are compatible with one another As societies becomecivilized, freedom is curtailed Thus civilization can pose a threat to freedom Yet freedom requires civilization to protect it, and too much freedom can pose a threat to civilization Therefore any struggle for liberty is going to have an ambiguous quality to it Respect for the law and enthusiasm for liberty are not always compatible.Harris wades into my territory of interest when he discusses Scientism , which I take to mean reductionism and determinism He claims it leads to a new form of fatalism, justifying rule by a new elite class of experts with special knowledge I view scientism as the corruption of science by faith and idealism Unfortunately, in practice Harris has it right He really has a way driving home a provocative point, such asIt is far better for children to reject Darwin s theory of evolution because they cannot believe we came from monkeys than to teach them to repeat the theory by rote as if we were descended from parrotsOuch Lets ignore the judgment word better This is the unfortunate reality of how science is usually taught, as indoctrination into yet another faith The solution is to first teach logical thought and scientific method, then introduce subjects such as evolution or climate change if and when the students are ready for them But who will teach the scientifically illiterate, faith ridden teachers On the question of faith, Harris addresses religion strictly from the point of view of its effect on the actions of the believers as did Edmund Burke He refers to it as a Cosmic Script , which defines our place in the universe Most religions act as what Marx called an opiate for the masses, either because one s place in society is divinely ordained, or the only point of living is to enter the next world The one exception is the Hebrew religion, which offers defiance, rebellion and revolt He makes an interesting case that it is the Old Testament that animates many Western challenges to authority It is Moses who set his people free, not Jesus.I will let Harris himself write the conclusion of this reviewThe question before us is whether we can still find the wisdom and good sense to strike a satisfactory balance between liberty and civilization when confronted with the unprecedented challenges of the twenty first century For it is an illusion to think that the tension between civilization and liberty can ever be fully resolved, or that there is some method that we can settle for once and for all exactly how much liberty we must give up for the sake of civilization, or how much civilization we must forego for the sake of liberty That is a conundrum that each generation must puzzle out for itself not at the level of theory but at the level of day to day practical realityThis is hardly an incitement to fight the Next Civil War The strength of this book is its attempt to establish historical perspective Contradictions are seen as a fundamental part of reality One can argue he downplays the influence of vested interests on the Tea Party, and ignores the religious fundamentalist side of it But today s parochial politics are only a small part of this exploration of the basis of western civilization and its freedom There are a lot of positively provocative ideas here, often beautifully written I strongly recommend it

  4. Mel says:

    another book I refuse to waste precious time reading I suppose he was trying to appeal to both sides of the political pendulum He failed in my eyes I stopped on page 7 when he typed, the obama death panel is a myth but it is a myth that expresses a genuine anxiety that decisions over our lives and deaths could one day end up being made for us and not by us He s either ignorant or lying by the way the fifteen member panel seat are still empty hopefully they ll remain empty, but the soci another book I refuse to waste precious time reading I suppose he was trying to appeal to both sides of the political pendulum He failed in my eyes I stopped on page 7 when he typed, the obama death panel is a myth but it is a myth that expresses a genuine anxiety that decisions over our lives and deaths could one day end up being made for us and not by us He s either ignorant or lying by the way the fifteen member panel seat are still empty hopefully they ll remain empty, but the socialist obamacare and the death panel need to be repealed

  5. Greg Linster says:

    There is a cultural war occurring in America and it could, according to Lee Harris, explode into the next American civil war While I don t agree entirely with Harris, I still think this is an important book to read.

  6. Tom says:

    I first saw this book on the shelves of a neat bookstore in Manchester, NH this past summer I didn t buy it then, but after getting the gist of it from the cover and a quick look at the table of contents, I thought about its thesis It argues there is currently a cultural civil war going on in the US that is a repetition of other times, including the Civil War of 1861 On one side are beliefs and attitudes best described as populist and on the other side cosmpolitanism Lee Harris has been desc I first saw this book on the shelves of a neat bookstore in Manchester, NH this past summer I didn t buy it then, but after getting the gist of it from the cover and a quick look at the table of contents, I thought about its thesis It argues there is currently a cultural civil war going on in the US that is a repetition of other times, including the Civil War of 1861 On one side are beliefs and attitudes best described as populist and on the other side cosmpolitanism Lee Harris has been described as the intellectual brain trust for the Tea Party movement though he must open himself up to the criticism of being a pointy headed intellectual from that same movement I have downloaded the book to my e reader The cultural clash between the populist conservatives and cognitive elite that is hell bent on enlightening them underlies much of the current political tension in the United States Indeed, this division is rapidly replacing he old distinctions of liberal and conservative, left and right, Republican and Democrat Ultimately the natural libertarian must part company with the doctrinal libertarian over the very question of freedomOur operating maxim has ben Liberty for all But the only way that liberty for all can be achieved is through a government that is prepared to stand up the rights of everyone, including the weak, the poor and the oppressedSuch a government msut possess farpower thatn the ideological libertarian is prepared to give it It is often forgotten that before Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations he ahd written a book entitled The Theory of Moral Sentiments The earlier book was not dedicate to praising the virtue of selfishness that became the mantra of those free market libertarians inspired by Ayn Rand On the contrary, Smith praised those unusual individuals show could raise above their own narrowly self interested perspective in order to make decisions based on the view of the matter that would be take by an impartial spectator

  7. Cathy Griffith says:

    This book was interesting There were times where I had to make myself keep reading it because it leans toward conservative arguments, but its message is important and every American should read it and take heed If I had to sum it up I would say that he very nearly says, the tree of liberty must at times be watered with the blood of patriots , but his points have a logic to them He is correct to warn that liberals should not ignore the validity of their opponents arguments I wish he had been This book was interesting There were times where I had to make myself keep reading it because it leans toward conservative arguments, but its message is important and every American should read it and take heed If I had to sum it up I would say that he very nearly says, the tree of liberty must at times be watered with the blood of patriots , but his points have a logic to them He is correct to warn that liberals should not ignore the validity of their opponents arguments I wish he had been equally as skeptical of Sarah Palin he paints her as a phenomenon born of the rage of frustrated ignored segments of the population rather than a self aggrandizing ignoramus IMO she s both If we want to understand the current political rumblings and stalemates it would be well to read the book If we don t want to understand, but prefer instead to stop our ears against the other side s argumentsthen there s nothing to see heremove alongthere s a good fellow

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