Politics

Top Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels

Marx and Engels were the intellectual godfathers of communism. Engels was the original limousine leftist: A wealthy textile heir, he financed Marx for much of his life. In 1848, the two co-authored The Communist Manifesto as a platform for a group they belonged to called the Communist League. The book envisions history as a class struggle between oppressed workers and oppressive owners, calling for a workers’ revolution so property, family and nation-states can be abolished and a proletarian Utopia established.

2. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf was initially published in two parts in 1925 and 1926 after Hitler was imprisoned for leading Nazi Brown Shirts in the so-called “Beer Hall Putsch” that tried to overthrow the Bavarian government. Here Hitler explained his racist, anti-Semitic vision for Germany, laying out a Nazi program pointing directly to World War II and the Holocaust. He envisioned the mass murder of Jews and a war against France to precede a war against Russia to carve out “lebensraum” (“living room”) for Germans in Eastern Europe.

3. Quotations From Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong

Mao, who died in 1976, was the leader of the Red Army in the fight for control of China against the anti-Communist forces of Chiang Kai-shek before, during and after World War II. Victorious, in 1949, he founded the People’s Republic of China, enslaving the world’s most populous nation in communism. In 1966, he published Quotations as a tool in the “Cultural Revolution” he launched to push the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese society back in his ideological direction.

4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey

Alfred Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University who, in 1948, published a study called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, commonly known as The Kinsey Report. “The report included reports of sexual activity by boys—even babies—and said that 37% of adult males had had at least one homosexual experience…. The 1953 book also included reports of sexual activity involving girls younger than age four, and suggested that sex between adults and children could be beneficial,” the Washington Times reported.

5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey

John Dewey, who lived from 1859 until 1952, was a “progressive” philosopher and leading advocate for secular humanism in American life. He signed the Humanist Manifesto and rejected traditional religion and moral absolutes. In Democracy and Education, he disparaged schooling that focused on traditional character development and endowing children with hard knowledge and encouraged the teaching of thinking “skills” instead.

6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

Marx died after publishing a first volume, after which his benefactor Engels edited and published two additional volumes that Marx had drafted. Das Kapital forces the round peg of capitalism into the square hole of Marx’s materialistic theory of history, portraying capitalism as an ugly phase in the development of human society in which capitalists inevitably and amorally exploit labor by paying the cheapest possible wages to earn the greatest possible profits.

7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan, born in 1921, disparaged traditional stay-at-home motherhood as life in “a comfortable concentration camp”—a role that degraded women and denied them true fulfillment in life. She later became founding president of the National Organization for Women. Her original vocation, tellingly, was not stay-at-home motherhood but left-wing journalism.

8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte

Comte, the product of a royalist Catholic family that survived the French Revolution, turned his back on his political and cultural heritage, announcing as a teenager, “I have naturally ceased to believe in God. He therized that the human mind had developed beyond “theology,” through “metaphysics,” to “positivism,” in which man alone, through scientific observation, could determine the way things ought to be.

9. Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche’s profession that “God is dead” appeared in his 1882 book, The Gay Science, but under-girded the basic theme of Beyond Good and Evil, which was published four years later. Here Nietzsche argued that men are driven by an amoral “Will to Power” and that superior men will sweep aside religiously inspired moral rules, which he deemed as artificial as any other moral rules, to craft whatever rules would help them dominate the world around them. The Nazis loved Nietzsche.

10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes

Keynes wrote General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in the midst of the Great Depression. The book is a recipe for ever-expanding government. When the business cycle threatens a contraction of industry, and thus of jobs, he argued, the government should run up deficits, borrowing and spending money to spur economic activity.


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