by Mark Moore
The title says “Localism Defended” but the book is really a defense of all forms of what might be called “Limited Government Conservatism”, or even “Classical Liberalism.” These philosophies need defending because they are under attack, not only by proponents of a leviathan state on one side, but by a rising tide of anarchists and the more absolutist shades of libertarianism on the other.
If you believe in limited government, but not so limited as anarchists or many libertarians advocate, then this book is for you. It presents a rational defense of the classic Western view of government. It also makes a compelling case as to why the foundations of anarchist and libertarian thought are, if not certainly wrong, at least not necessarily correct. This provides those with a classical view of government the tools to forge alliances based on mutual respect with Libertarian-leaning persons who are willing to work for common goals even if we have some ideological disagreements. This book also lays out the intellectual case needed to defeat the aggressive assertions of the more extreme elements of the libertarian movement as to what government should and should not be allowed to do.
This is done in two main ways, one part in showing why such ideas are not necessary intellectually and the other in giving specific examples of why they won’t work practically. On the other extreme, the book also lays out a stinging analysis of the categories of supporters of the current leviathan state.
In the preceding book, “Localism, a Philosophy of Government”, author Mark Moore offered a blueprint by which limited government might be kept limited rather than repeating the dreary pattern of each generation finding itself under a government larger and more centralized than the one preceding it. Localism is the means of keeping government within reach of the individual citizen structurally, “Localism Defended” provides the arguments needed to advance ideas about such government intellectually.
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