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 resulted in warfare, genocide, totalitarian oppression, kin breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And but those authors' undesirable principles are nonetheless renowned and pervasive--in truth, they could 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 every one of those evil books via its malignant middle 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 procedure "proved" God's life basically by way of 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 win the award for the main malicious e-book 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 reliable and Evil issued the decision for an international governed completely via 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 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 area deals a brief schooling at the worst principles in human history--and how we will be able to keep away from them within the future.

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This was, of course, an imaginary exercise. But is it an imaginary state? In one sense, it seems not, because it captures all too accurately the kind of barbarism that surfaces in the midst of war. But is human nature at its worst the best place to begin to study humanity? Hobbes thought so, and his great innovation (or one of them) was to assume that human beings at their worst give us a horrid but accurate glimpse of what they really are once the veneer of civilization is ripped away. Having witnessed the savagery of men during war—he wrote Leviathan just after the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) and during the English civil wars that occurred in the mid-seventeenth century—Hobbes concluded that war was natural and peace unnatural, that butchery and barbarism are innate while charity and civility are entirely artificial, that the real garden of nature is a killing field and the bucolic Garden of Eden a pitiful pipe dream.

But for our purposes, we can in good conscience zero in on his Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men, a cornucopia of profound confusion whose rotting fruit has seeded several generations of subsequent errors. The Discourse was signed “Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva,” denoting where he had been born more than forty years before. Rousseau’s life did not begin well. Sadly, his mother died within a few days of his birth, leaving him to be raised by his aunt and his unstable father, a wandering watchmaker who had spent only two years of his married life with his wife before she died.

Discourse on Method (1637) 21 wisdom from the past, whether it be found in books or in tradition. The past has nothing to teach Descartes. Why? Because there is disagreement, and disagreement must mean an absence of wisdom. There is, for example, not one philosophy in one book handed to us from the past, Descartes points out, but many contradictory philosophies in a multitude of conflicting books. Q. Even among “the most excellent minds who have ever lived . . there is nothing about which there is not some dispute” in philosophy, “and thus nothing that is not doubtful” (Part I).

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