In his new book Crisis of Responsibility, David Bahnsen isolates an issue that is aggressively plucking at the American fabric: a reflexive impulse to blame. America, Bahnsen argues, has embraced a dereliction of personal responsibility, and the book is aimed at reversing such a trend.
Many renowned conservative thinkers have endorsed the book, including Larry Kudlow, Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry. National Review’s David French wrote the foreword.
Beginning with the financial crisis of 2008, Bahnsen chronicles the increased tendency to blame others for one’s adversity, disappointments and failures, as well as the abandonment of personal responsibility. He discusses these topics in relation to the 2016 election, the Brexit vote, and many other political events. Bahnsen acknowledges the increasing disdain for global elitism and mainstream media, but argues that ending the blame game and retaking responsibility in your life are the only solutions to defeating these bodies of power.
One underlying theme in the book is that America’s founding ideas of freedom and liberty are ultimately unable to serve their intended telos without also emphasizing the value of personal responsibility. When we reflexively assign blame for the occurrence of almost every event, we implicitly relinquish the capacity to take control of our individual and collective futures.
Crisis of Responsibility is both descriptive and directive. The beginning of the book is geared toward defining the issue at hand, while the end of the book is aimed at paving a path for a better future. Bahnsen posits that the top down approach of big government, which he places in direct correlation to the shrinking of individual liberty, must be replaced with a re-birth of both individual responsibilities and rebuilding America’s social and cultural institutions.
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