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Ten Most Harmful Books Of The 19th And 20th Centuries

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Fenriz
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I came across this interesting article on the Human Events website in which a panel judged the ten most harmful books of the 19th and 20th Century. I mostly agree with the choices:

1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

2. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

3. Quotations of Chairman Mao a.k.a. "The Little Red Book" by Mao Tse-Tung

4. The Kinsey Report: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Alfred Kinsey

5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey

6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte

9. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

10.General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes

The article also includes an honorable mention of runners-up.

Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

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I understand most of those... but why the Kinsey report? I don't really know anything about it, I've never read it, and I didn't see the recent movie, but... I was under the impression that it was an open minded and honest exposure of sexual practices? And I remember seeing something on capmag.com praising the film.

I also don't know the website that list is from. Not Objectivist, I gather?

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Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson.

Generally credited with starting the modern environmentalist movement and directly responsible for the campaign to ban DDT. The ban on DDT is responsible for more deaths than Hitler.

over half the victims [of malaria] are children, who die at the rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day—the equivalent of 80 fully loaded school buses plunging over a cliff every day of the year. Since 1972 [the year of the EPA ban], over 50 million people have died from this dreaded disease.
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Not a bad article and the honourable mentions were good as well, except for 'The Origin of the Species'.

Grrr!!!!!! :dough:

Yeah, no kidding. I strongly disagree with the inclusion of that book.

Two books that I would've included in the honorable mention:

Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Gave birth to one of the most destructive religious cults of the past twenty years.

The Turner Diaries by William Pierce. Racist and anti-semitic "sci-fi" novel that has inspired a lot of lone nuts like Timothy McVeigh.

There is also a book by Peter Sanger, I don't know the name of it, but it is supposedly the book that gave birth to nutty animal rights movements like P.E.T.A.

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Yeah, no kidding. I strongly disagree with the inclusion of that book.

Two books that I would've included in the honorable mention:

Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Gave birth to one of the most destructive religious cults of the past twenty years.

While Scientology is certainly crap, I don't see how it has really harmed society in any meaningful way. It's actually helpful in that it gives us something to laugh at, thereby relieving stress. Let Tom Cruise and John Travolta believe their wackoid religion if they want...no one pays enough attention to Hollywood for their misbegotten ideals to actually affect anything.

And I totally agree with the Turner Diaries.

The Internal Revenue Service Code should count as a book.

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...no one pays enough attention to Hollywood for their misbegotten ideals to actually affect anything.

Actually, while it is no long term intellectual threat, it is psychologically and financially damaging to the people who get reeled in. My older sisters know some people who have relatives that sunk a great deal of their time and money into the cult before getting out. While I have absolutely no first hand knowledge about it, here is a humorous take. The link is to a video that has some graphic content (no nudity). You can skip the add at the end to get to the relevant links. Otherwise, you can go straight to the Time article.

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Shulamith Firestone's 1970 The Dialectic of Sex: A Case for Feminist Revolution.

And I'd wager the original site's inclusion of the Kinsey report has to do with a (misguided) assumption that that report was responsible for the modern 'gay rights' movement. I personally think Firestone eventually had more effect on the gay rights movement. Don't get me wrong, I'm against sodomy laws and 'orientation-motivated' discrimination, I just think Firestone ended up moving the gay and women's rights movements into entirely the wrong direction.

-Q

EDIT:

Oh, and Scientology kills. It's called 'introspection rundown,' and it's their version of medicine. If you have something wrong with your body (a health problem, like, I don't know, cancer maybe) it means there's something wrong in your mind. Same with neurological disorders (schizophrenia) and psychological disorders (bipolar disorder). So what do they do? They lock you in a room with no food or water and no human contact until you work out your problems. Lisa McPherson lost 40 pounds in 17 days and had been dead several days before she was brought to a real hospital. She was covered in hundreds of cockroach bites. The church makes new members sign a contract agreeing to being forceably removed from traditional medical care and placed in introspection rundown by church officials. Ms. McPherson, before she died, had been having anxiety attacks because she felt Scientology had failed her. When she had a psychotic break, she was admitted to a psychiatric facility for observation and care. The church came in and removed her, and 17 days later took her corpse to a nearby hospital.

-Q

Edited by Qwertz
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It may also have to do with the fact that the first edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason was published in 1781 and he died in 1804. The list deals with books from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Edit: I'm surprised there's nothing by Hegel on the list. He took Kant and added a collectivist twist that would result in some of the most despicable and murderous regimes in human history. On top of that, "The Phenomenology of Spirit" (1807) could be one of the most perplexing pieces of trash ever written.

Schopenhauer (another wacky German philosopher who basically saw life as evil) said the following about Hegel's philosophy. "The height of audacity in serving up pure nonsense, in stringing together senseless and extravagant mazes of words, such as had been only previously known in madhouses, was finally reached in Hegel, and became the instrument of the most barefaced, general mystification that has ever taken place, with a result which will appear fabulous to posterity, as a monument to German stupidity." How's that for a ringing endorsement?

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While Scientology is certainly crap, I don't see how it has really harmed society in any meaningful way. It's actually helpful in that it gives us something to laugh at, thereby relieving stress. Let Tom Cruise and John Travolta believe their wackoid religion if they want...no one pays enough attention to Hollywood for their misbegotten ideals to actually affect anything.

And I totally agree with the Turner Diaries.

The Internal Revenue Service Code should count as a book.

:dough: ... and Christians--especially those in the USA and here in Canada--are more intollerant than anyone. Almost to a man, they attempt to convert others rather than allow them their faiths. To aid themselves, they create a bias in their favor by legislating "God" into their social systems. ("...there is no religion that has ever done society any good." From the Ayn Rand/Playboy interview.) And I wonder how long this, my statement, will last before someone takes offence at it, and attempts to have it removed.

:thumbsup:

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens .

Read it. It is absolute tripe. A friend of mine's girlfriend reccomended it to him. He asked her to read the Fountainhead in response. She ridiculed the Fountainhead and stood by her book.

So the story ends with him still being engaged to her and me wanting to strangle him, but regardless, this book is horrible.

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And I wonder how long this, my statement, will last before someone takes offence at it, and attempts to have it removed.

Hear that? Shh, listen . . . :dough: There it is! That's me, laughing at anyone on this board who takes offense at your statement.

I think you'll find that the bible was published before the 19th century. :thumbsup:

Not the Revised Standard Version! :lol:

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I take offense at the reason they included Nietzsche but not with his presence.

(His claim of God is dead was their reason with reference to the popular graffiti)

Positivist beliefs are contradictory so far as I understand them(sociologists make no sense to me)

The hilarity of the list comes from the inclusion of Darwin on Honorable Mention. What great harm did that do - did it further science and turn people away from God? Was Nietzsche really more influential or were the listmakers scared that the list would be laughed away if they included Origin and gave their reason for doing so - it proves that the tribesman who penned the old testament were wrong.

I don't claim to have read On Liberty but barring Rands one mention to his oddly contradictory views I believe that in their end a few are beneficial(similar to Nietzsche placement of importance with the self, however horrible the rest of it is)

And for a conservative god loving paper - why no Rand? She probably would have been proud to make the list.

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I take offense at the reason they included Nietzsche but not with his presence.

(His claim of God is dead was their reason with reference to the popular graffiti)

Hey, what did you expect? What else can come from the religious right? This list clearly represents their view of the world and their definition of evil. That they add Darwin to the list is no surprise. He said that the Holy Scripture is wrong. He will burn in hell like all the others. It's all in the book. The Bible that is. The only reason Ayn Rand didn't make the list was because she promoted capitalism. This somehow outweighs her blatant atheism, I suppose.

The Joke-A-Day page is hilarious!

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Hear that? Shh, listen . . . :P There it is! That's me, laughing at anyone on this board who takes offense at your statement.

:):wacko: Do you mean that I have actually found a site where people are "...governed by reason instead of habits and urges"? (Kahlil Gibran) Will wonders never cease!!!

:o

(Fixed close-quote - sNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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I was surprised to see Keynes there! Not that I like him, but its good to see so many other people dislike him as well. My econ professor was always going on about how all his theories were adopted by our government and how he is the reason the govt. is in the state it is financially. Also if the Nazis loved Nietzche so much how come they had the Catholic Church on their side?

Edited by Dagny
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