A TIME TO BUILD: From family & community to Congress & the Campus, How Recommitting to our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream | Yuval Levin, Basic Books, p241. Using the self-weakening history of the modern U.S. Congress, Levin argues that their short-term self-interest motivated them to cede Article 1 institutional supremacy to the Administrative State. His evidence is nearly irrefutable. He uses this demise as an example extrapolated to other institutions that have been in decline, contributing to the growing dysfunction of our culture. In times of rising wages, low unemployment (pre-COVID-19), and low-interest rates, Levin doesn’t find the distress of American isolation, loneliness, and disappearance in economics or morality but rather in the demise of our institutions. And what is the self-interested betrayal we all succumbed to that has destroyed civil institutions of order? We have become a selfie culture of “micro-celebrity, in which we each act as our paparazzi, relentlessly trading in our privacy for attention and affirmation and turning every moment into a show.” Levin advocates institutions are organizations that restrict, mold, and direct their members to accomplish socially important outcomes. His solution? An “anti-me” future, one where we restore roles and responsibilities. “We aren’t just loose individuals bumping into each other. We fill roles, occupy places, and play parts defined by larger wholes, and that helps us understand our obligations and responsibilities, our privileges and benefits, our purposes and connections.” Rather than shouting our differences in wide-open digital spaces, Levin prefers a future where we focus on solutions within the confines of constructive institutions. He offers a third-way diagnosis to the two bookends we normally offer, itself a value-added contribution. While potentially helpful, his solutions might be too nostalgic to be pragmatic.