New Threats to FreedomBook - 2010
New Threats to Freedom
In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats,ranging from despotism, fascism,
and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These often unchallenged threats are quietly eroding our hard-won freedoms and, in some cases, are widely accepted as beneficial.
In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star lineup of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology.
These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.
What are the new threats to freedom?
when has authority not claimed, when imposing trammels and curbs on liberty, that it does so for a wider good and a greater happiness?” —Christopher Hitchens
“The regulatory state amounts to a regressive tax that penalizes small independent producers and protects
the status quo.” —Max Borders
“Europe tends to favor stability over democracy, America democracy over stability.” —Daniel Hannan
“The value of free expression is perceived to be at odds with goals that were considered ‘more important,’ like inclusiveness, diversity, nondiscrimination, and tolerance.” —Greg Lukianoff
“The masses cannot ultimately be free: only the individual can be.” —Robert D. Kaplan
“That old bugbear of postwar sociology—the mob-self—is now a reality. In a participatory/popularity culture, the freedom to think and act for ourselves becomes harder and harder to achieve.” —Lee Siegel
“As traditional marriage declines, the ranks of single women are growing, and increasingly these women are substituting the security of a husband with the security of the state.” —Jessica Gavora
“Ending the freedom to fail is a mean-spirited attack on the freedom to succeed.” —Michael Goodwin
“The only solution to the new threats to American press freedom lies in organized resistance.” —Katherine Mangu-Ward
“The new behaviorism isn’t interested in protecting people’s freedom to choose; on the contrary, its core principle is the idea that only by allowing an expert elite to limit choice can individuals learn to break their bad habits.” —Christine Rosen
“There’s a world of Travis Bickles out there, and they’re not driving cabs. They’re reading blogs.” —Ron Rosenbaum
“The first amendment ensures not that speech will be fair, but that it will be free. It cannot be both.” —David Mamet
Join the conversation about these issues at www.newthreatstofreedom.com
Thirty essays identify and analyze "threats to freedom" in contemporary times from a generally conservative perspective. In order to give a sense of the tenor of the proceedings, one could note some of the more recognizable names among the contributors, including Mark Helprin, Christopher Hitchens, Robert D. Kaplan, David Mamet, Glenn Reynolds, Lee Siegel, Stephen Schwartz, and Shelby Steele. Among the threats identified are the "new dogma of fairness," the isolation of classical liberalism, the European Union, antireligious orthodoxy, single women, overregulation, the fairness doctrine, the abandonment of democracy promotion, anticapitalists, the rise of mass dependency, the United Nations Women's Treaty, cyber-anonymity, Shariah in the West, and transnational progressivism. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)