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 warfare, genocide, totalitarian oppression, kin breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And but those authors' undesirable rules are nonetheless renowned and pervasive--in truth, they may effect your personal pondering with no your figuring out it. right here 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 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 muse for an extended checklist of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* How Descartes' Discourse on process "proved" God's lifestyles purely via making Him a production of our personal ego
* How Hobbes' Leviathan ended in the assumption that we have got a "right" to no matter what we want
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto may 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 strong and Evil issued the decision for a global governed completely by way of the "will to power"
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf used to be a type of "spiritualized Darwinism" that bills 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, stunning, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the realm deals a brief schooling at the worst rules in human history--and how we will be able to keep away from them within the future.
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Extra info for 10 Books That Screwed Up the World
21 This vicious but nonchalant assault on parenthood has been repeated too many times by the Rousseaus of our own day for us to add any further comment. As with Hobbes, we see again the power of fiction. Rousseau's account of natural man was no more real than Hobbes's, but fol lowing the same pattern, once it became the accepted story of human origins, it thereby exercised the power of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In imagining Rousseau to be right, we have become what Rousseau imagined.
There is nothing about which there is not some dispute" in philosophy, "and thus nothing that is not doubtful" (Part I ) . Where there is disagreement, there is doubt, and where there is doubt, throw it out. Nor is tradition a valid guide, Descartes informs us. There is not one tradition among all people, but many incompatible traditions among wildly dissimilar people. Indeed, there seems to be no underlying common human nature at all, for "the very same man with his very own mind, having been brought up from infancy among the French or the Germans becomes different from what he would be had he always lived among the Chinese or among cannibals" (Part I I) .
First, our thinking depends on the reality of our own existence. If we don't exist, we can't think. Second, our thinking correctly depends on our properly conforming our minds to what really exists. Scientific theories are judged true or false, better or worse, insofar as they actually correspond to the way things are in the real world. " Reality trumps. If we ignore this first principle, and take Descartes' instead, our imaginations untethered to reality can only run wild, as he himself giddily demonstrates.
10 Books That Screwed Up the World by Benjamin Wiker