Jon's Reviews > The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture

The Age of Abundance by Brink Lindsey
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's review
May 27, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: fledgling libertarians, cultural historians
Read in July, 2008

A great narrative charting the expansion of American society from scarcity to abundance, and how that affected the culture (and in turn their politics).

The Libertarian Synthesis is an interesting concept the author touches on that I find fascinating. That the actions and reactions spawned by 60's, which split the country into 2 sides (Aquarians and Evangelicals) brought about 2 arguments that just don't quite hold it all together, with conflicting half-truths. And now, after a back-and-forth and general liberalizing of our society...the center is now a society of those holding mainly Libertarian values, while the far left and right are the noisy mouthpieces of our politics.

I've totally been down with this argument for a while, and I loved the way he traced the social and political forces that brought us to this point.

most fascinating is in the last few pages (and this book was published 5/07)

...a reasonable prospect that conditions may eventually allow a break-out from the current ideological alignment.
Lurches in that direction have already been visible. Witness the recurrent appeal of charismatic who promise to transcend the partisan bickering and the old tired ideological categories. But thus far no coherent alternative has emerged, because there is no underlying movement--no distinctive, well-understood body of ideas, no mass of self-identified supporters, to combine with the appropriate political personality would need to start with a forthright affirmation of the libertarian cultural synthesis--and equally forthright rejection of the left and right's illiberal baggage. A movement so grounded would probably not yield an explicitly libertarian politics, since it would need to include constituencies that incline towards more activist government.

if that ain't fucking prescient...

It's too bad most serious Libertarians have their heads up their asses. But Liberaltarians...that's the wave of the future, my friends.

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