10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't by Benjamin Wiker

By Benjamin Wiker

You've heard of the "Great Books"?
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 ended in struggle, genocide, totalitarian oppression, relatives breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And but those authors' undesirable principles are nonetheless well known and pervasive--in truth, they could effect your individual pondering with out your understanding it. right here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new publication, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm (And five Others that did not Help), he seizes every one of those evil books via its malignant center and exposes it to the sunshine of day. during this witty, realized, and provocative exposé, you are going to learn:

* Why Machiavelli's The Prince used to be the foundation 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 resulted in the assumption that we've got a "right" to no matter what we want
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto may perhaps win the award for the main malicious ebook 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 stable and Evil issued the decision for a global governed exclusively by means of the "will to power"
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf was once one of those "spiritualized Darwinism" that money owed for his genocidal anti-Semitism
* How the pansexual paradise defined in Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa became out to be a production of her personal sexual confusions and aspirations
* Why Alfred Kinsey's Sexual habit within the Human Male was once easily autobiography masquerading as science

Witty, surprising, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm bargains a brief schooling at the worst principles in human history--and how we will be able to steer clear of them within the future.

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The resulting acrimonious cacophony reminds us of the wisdom of having presidential elections only every four years. The fact that we all disagree about so many things makes us skeptical that we can know anything at all. If we could really know the truth about something, then it would seem that people couldn't disagree about it. Maybe it's all a matter of mere opinion after all. Maybe the skeptics are right. This skepticism is what Descartes meant to cure. He offered a method as medicine, pretending with false modesty that he wasn't really saying that everyone should follow his method, but merely describing what method had worked for him.

To begin with, as with Hobbes, we find our­ selves in a powerful fiction, an imaginary time sketched by the author that allegedly provides such great insight into what human nature really is. Rousseau seems to call attention to his fiction when he warns the reader that he is "setting all the facts aside" and that what he has to say "must not be taken for historical truths, but only for hypothetical and conditional reasonings. "4 Yet one can easily suspect Rousseau of Machiavellian duplicity: he knew full well that what he had to say smacked of heresy, and he had no wish to tan­ gle with church authorities.

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. We have become so Hobbesian that it is difficult for us to see his beliefs as shocking, and what Hobbes really said is so shocking that 32 10 BO OKS THAT S CREWED UP THE WORLD it is doubly difficult for us to believe he could ever have put the words to paper. That is the importance of wading through the argu­ ments of his monumental work, Leviathan.

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