Modern American liberalism is anchored in a deep hostility to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. As R.J. Pestritto has demonstrated, the intellectual roots of modern liberalism lie in an assault on the ideas of natural rights and limited government. They eventuate in an administrative state and rule by supposed experts. Obamacare represents something like the full flowering of modern liberalism.
William Voegeli’s Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State will be published in paperback with a new preface later this month. Along with Paul Rahe’s Soft Despotism, it is a key to understanding the Age of Obama. I wrote about the book in “An old argument revisited.”
Upon Never Enough‘s original publication in 2010, George Will drew attention to it in his excellent column “The danger of a government with unlimited power.” Michael Lind attacked Will and came to the defense of liberalism. Voegeli struck back in “Why liberalism is dangerous.” Voegeli had reignited an argument that ultimately requires us to recover a basic understanding of limited constitutional government.
In the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) that we are previewing this week, what I believe must be Voegeli’s new preface to the paperback edition appears as the essay “Enough already.” In this essay Voegeli meditates (among other things) on the incredible timing of the book’s original publication. It is a valuable addition to a crucially important book. Thanks to the editors of the CRB for letting us give our readers a look at it. Please check it out.