By Benjamin Wiker
These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey's Sexual habit within the Human Male, those "influential" books have resulted in battle, genocide, totalitarian oppression, relatives breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And but those authors' undesirable principles are nonetheless renowned and pervasive--in truth, they could impression your individual pondering with out your knowing it. the following with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new booklet, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm (And five Others that did not Help), he seizes each one of those evil books by means of its malignant middle and exposes it to the sunshine of day. during this witty, discovered, and provocative exposé, you are going to learn:
* Why Machiavelli's The Prince was once the muse for an extended checklist of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* How Descartes' Discourse on process "proved" God's life simply via making Him a production of our personal ego
* How Hobbes' Leviathan ended in the assumption that we've got a "right" to no matter what we want
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto might win the award for the main malicious booklet ever written
* How Darwin's The Descent of guy proves he meant "survival of the fittest" to be utilized to human society
* How Nietzsche's past solid and Evil issued the decision for an international governed completely by way of the "will to power"
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf was once a type of "spiritualized Darwinism" that debts for his genocidal anti-Semitism
* How the pansexual paradise defined in Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa grew to become out to be a production of her personal sexual confusions and aspirations
* Why Alfred Kinsey's Sexual habit within the Human Male used to be easily autobiography masquerading as science
Witty, stunning, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm bargains a short schooling at the worst principles in human history--and how we will steer clear of them within the future.
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Additional info for 10 Books That Screwed Up the World
Left to ourselves, inde pendent of society and in our natural condition, we are creatures entirely without conscience, ruled solely by pleasure and pain, rav enous in our desires and ruthless in their pursuit. If that redefini tion of human nature weren't bad enough, Hobbes added the insidious notion that human rights are simply equivalent to human desires (however sordid), so that whatever we happen to desire, we have a right to by nature. Thus Hobbes is the father of the all too familiar belief that we have a right to whatever we want-however morally degraded, vile, or trivial it may be-and further, that it is the government's j ob to protect such rights.
He claimed that the advance of the sciences and arts took people away from their original, natural purity and happiness, making them both softer and more elaborately vicious. The same is true, he argued, even for the art of government. " 1 We would all be infinitely more virtuous, asserted Rousseau, if we were noble and rustic Romans, or even better, noble but entirely uncul tured savages. "The good man is an athlete who likes to compete in the nude. "2 So spoke Rousseau in his First Discourse.
It is only this: that while I am doing X (whatever Xis), I cannot doubt my existence because I have to exist to do X. On a deeper level, the snappy dictum "I think, therefore I am " contains one of the most pernicious confusions possible, so destruc tive that we might very well call it the first sin. We catch the error if we lapse for a moment into common sense and say, "Well, Rene, isn't it really the other way around? In order to think, I first have to exist, and I go right on existing even when I am not thinking.
10 Books That Screwed Up the World by Benjamin Wiker