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Something To Get Good and Riled About - The Cover Story
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Tue, May. 31st, 2005 06:42 pm
Something To Get Good and Riled About

A panel of fifteen policy makers and professors have released the list of the Top Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Century for public review. The list has an ever-so-slight conservative bent to it, but surprisingly, although Karl and Adolf make the list, Charley doesn't pop up in the top ten (although he gets two runners up).

Current Mood: amused amused

40CommentReply

rgfgompei
rgfgompei
Rachael
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)

Granted I'm going entirely on a 1 paragraph blurb here but I just can't see what's so harmful about some of these, and Darwin? come on people.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 05:07 am (UTC)

With the exception of 7 (The Feminine Mystique), I can see a political, social, or theological basis for each of the selections given heavily conservative and Christian-based viewpoint. Certainly, the first three are site directly as causes of major global conflicts (The Cold War, World War II, and the Korean War, specifically). The Kinsey Report is under attack for the same reason Michael Jackson's defense lawyers are getting evidence against him thrown out. Democracy & Education endorses a secularized educational system that potentially compromises basic morality at all levels. Anybody who believes in Capitalism lock, stock, and barrel has to be opposed to Das Kapital, as it predicts capitalism will evolve into socialism. The Course of Postive Philosophy is, along with the following entry, an attempt to explain away relgion as a social phenomeon, which directly implies the non-existence of God, which a lot of people don't like one little bit. Beyond Good and Evil provides a very ugly and self-consistent view of religion that potentially makes any system of autocracy valid, again, flying in the face of any Republic or Democracy. Finally, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money does indeed call for government meddling in private sectors -- although the statement made regarding FDR is grossly misleading almost to the point of lying.

That's probably how those 9 got on the list. I don't want to touch that last one, given my audience.


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rgfgompei
rgfgompei
Rachael
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 05:45 am (UTC)

It was democracy and education that I was confused about. It seems to support schools that teach students information and thinking skills and leaves morals to family, church, etc. Problem? I like how it mentions "helped nurture the CLinton generation." I never had a problem with the Clinton generation.


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petercooperjr
petercooperjr
Peter Cooper Jr.
Fri, Jun. 3rd, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)

I think that it general it's just that the books inspired some "bad things", at least in the opinion of the judges. (And they do explain who the judges are and that it was a purely subjective decision on their part.)

As to Darwin, his book was the inspiration for many bad things. Hitler got the idea that there was an optimal race, and that it was their job to kill the inferior races in order to ensure their race's survial.

Kent Hovind's The Dangers of Evolution seminar makes an argument that the theory of evolution is the root cause for just about everything that's ever gone wrong since Darwin's book came out, including communism, ethnic cleaning, and increased sexual immorality. While I think he's got some good points, even I think that he may be attributing too much to this one factor. If anyone would like to see it, I'd be happy to let you borrow the DVD or you can download the audio.


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ultimatepsi
ultimatepsi
Kate Nineteen
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 01:05 am (UTC)

I'd say that's more than a slightly conservative bent, judging by some of the descriptions.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)

I was in a generous mood. In all fairness, I suspect that many people (not me, necessarily), would agree Mein Kampf had a negative impact on world culture. Many people who survived the Cold War would claim that the Communist Manifesto was worse, but then, I suspect there are at least as many people out there damning Adam Smith as there are damning Karl Marx.


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ultimatepsi
ultimatepsi
Kate Nineteen
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC)

I can certainly see how the first three would make sense. It was after that the conservative bent started becoming real apparent.


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noble_resonance
noble_resonance
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 01:17 am (UTC)
Not Sure how to respond

I'm not sure how to take the list, some of the books on the list I can see, but the Kinsey report? Many of the comments seem just a little too absolute for me to take it seriously.

If this a joke I think I just missed it.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: Not Sure how to respond

No, no joke. The Kinsey Report has been a very contraversial document since its publication with, it must be said, some good reason. The released paper was rather easy to misinterpret, which opponents of the "Sexual Revolution" were quick to jump on. It was a statement of facts that some people felt were inappropriate to research, constituted an invasion of privacy, and so on. Even when reported as mere observations, it rendered humans as a sexual creature from birth, instead of starting at puberty. There always has been, and still is, a strong social taboo on the concept of children's sexuality, and anything that implied, even second or third degree, that children had sexual needs or desires before puberty was bordering on criminal. Once you cross over into the realm of discussing the sexuality of young boys, you're going to be interrogated and investigated to Hell and back no matter what you do.


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mikecap
mikecap
Mike Caprio
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)

It is a damn shame that the term "conservative" has become such a broad catch-all for any and all thinking that is reactionary or religious. It's not right to label fanatics and throwbacks something as innocuous as "conservative".


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 04:43 am (UTC)

Perhaps. There is definitely a line of logic to it, though -- fanatacism is the logical extreme of any line of political though, and the logical extreme of conservatism, by its very nature, is to cling to the way things have been traditionally done. Traditionally, there has been a strong presence of religiously-based morality in our culture, so it makes sense that people who really believe in conservatism would gravitate to that.


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jalawingedone
jalawingedone
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)

I consider myself of conservative, but I have some issues with this list. Keynes? Come on. Please don't judge all of us by the actions of some. Or rather, me by the actions of most. I'm of the opinion that a certain amount of threshing must take place with all information, and I'm also quite averse to throwing babies out with bathwater.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 04:41 am (UTC)
Huh?

I get the general impression you are upset from this post, but I'm having difficultly divining what argument you are trying to make. By "us" do you mean the body of people who consider themselves conservative? Some other collective? Although I appreciate your use of metaphor, your second sentence is totally opaque to me -- I can translate it as "I'm of the opinion that a certain amount of discussing/examination must take place with all information (a tenuous position to take), and I'm also adverse to discounting an entire category (I can only assume you mean conservatism) by citing a single example". Is that what you meant?


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sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)

The Nazis loved Nietzsche.

Bahahahah.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)

Well, they did, that's true enough. Nietzsche's work formed a pillar of of the National Socialist German Workers Party. The fact that he was opposed to virtually everything the Party stood for was overlooked -- nobody bothered to actually read Nietzsche.

Nietzsche detested Nationalism, Socialism, Germans and mass movements, so naturally he was adopted as the intellectual mascot of the National Socialist German Workers' Party.


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