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 ended in struggle, genocide, totalitarian oppression, kin breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And but those authors' undesirable principles are nonetheless renowned and pervasive--in truth, they may impression your personal considering with out your knowing it. the following with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new e-book, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm (And five Others that did not Help), he seizes each one of those evil books by way 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 record of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* How Descartes' Discourse on process "proved" God's lifestyles in simple terms via making Him a production of our personal ego
* How Hobbes' Leviathan ended in the idea that we have got a "right" to no matter what we want
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto may possibly win the award for the main malicious publication 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 sturdy and Evil issued the decision for a global governed completely through the "will to power"
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf used to be 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 became out to be a construction 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 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: And 5 Others That Didn't Help
In either case, reality is the appropriate test of our everyday beliefs and scientific theories. In contrast to this salutary realism, Descartes’ method of doubting everything but his own thought, has, for us poor moderns, made subjectivism the criterion of truth. But methodical egoism (the Latin for “I” is ego) isn’t the only bad thing Descartes sent down the river to us. The very way he defined the “I” has also befouled the historical stream. ” A ghastly conclusion, or rather a ghostly one, for by it Descartes imagined that we were pure spirits trapped in alien bodies (or more accurately, as we soon find out, alien machines).
But for now we must note the egregious error he’s slipped in. Would it really be a good idea to accept as “a general rule that the things we conceive very clearly and very distinctly are all true”? I remember, about ten years ago, very clearly and very distinctly seeing a tell-tale mess of white paint all over my garbage can in the alley behind our house, and I very clearly and distinctly noticed that the peculiar lady next door (who regularly slipped Discourse on Method (1637) 25 things into our garbage can because she was too cheap to pay for her own trash service) was painting her kitchen white because I very clearly and distinctly saw her carrying around a whitened paintbrush as she very clearly and distinctly told me she was painting her kitchen white, and I imagined myself very clearly and distinctly grabbing her by her tattered sweater and dragging her back to clean up the very clear and distinct mess all over the garbage can and surrounding pavement.
We are not bound by love. We have no feelings of natural duty to our family or our neighbor, and no noble affection for the people and place of our birth. Rather, we are bound by mutual distrust and animosity. It is not surprising that Hobbes’s negative and ignoble view of human nature and human society yields a negative and ignoble view of justice. It is doubly unsurprising that his view consequently produces a notion of government drained of all but the lowest motives. A Hobbesian society is one in which each person considers himself first and foremost as an individual brimming with rights/desires but with no fundamental responsibility to anyone else.
10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help by Benjamin Wiker