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What conservative find dangerous (Or new required reading)

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  • What conservative find dangerous (Or new required reading)

    This may belong in a different forum...If so, I apologize.

    A friend sent this to me, and I honestly don't know if I should be afraid, angry, sad, or amused. Perhaps a little of each.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=7591


    The on-line magazine HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars
    and public policy leaders to help compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful
    Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    Results:

    1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
    2. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
    3. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong
    4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey
    5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey
    6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
    7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
    8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte
    9. Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche
    10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard

    Keynes

    Honorable Mention:

    The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich

    What Is To Be Done by V.I. Lenin

    Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno

    On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

    Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B.F. Skinner

    Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel

    The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly

    The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault

    Soviet Communism: A New Civilization by Sidney and Beatrice Webb

    Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead

    Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader

    Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

    Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci

    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

    Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

    Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

    The Greening of America by Charles Reich

    The Limits to Growth by Club of Rome

    Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

  • #2
    Re: What conservative find dangerous (Or new required readin

    Originally posted by Doc
    The on-line magazine HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars
    and public policy leaders to help compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful
    Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    Results:

    1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
    As an aside, the BBC Radio 4 programme 'In Our Time' (hosted by Lord Melvyn of Bragg) recently ran a poll of listeners to discover the 'Greatest Philosopher'.

    Result = #1 Karl Marx.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...nourtime.shtml

    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

    Comment


    • #3
      Are these people really scholars?
      • Harry Crocker
        Vice President & Executive Editor
        Regnery Publishing, Inc.

        Herb London
        President
        Hudson Institute

        Douglas Minson
        Associate Rector
        The Witherspoon Fellowships

        Phyllis Schlafly
        President
        Eagle Forum

        Fred Smith
        President
        Competitive Enterprise Institute


      (From the list of "judges".)

      Utterly, utterly demoralizing.

      Ciao,
      Ant

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What conservative find dangerous (Or new required readin

        Originally posted by Doc
        This may belong in a different forum...If so, I apologize.

        A friend sent this to me, and I honestly don't know if I should be afraid, angry, sad, or amused. Perhaps a little of each.
        Conservatives... Stupidity!

        Don't you recognize that ignorance and idiocratic statements are all conservative traits. Bad research and false assumptioms is all I
        ever hear from conservatives. The most stupid ideology ever.

        So whats next for them? Making scared paranoid parents go to libraries and gather all the books for a nice and warm book-burning session?
        All in the name of patronized 'freedom'?

        Comment


        • #5
          Phylis Schlafly is one of the subjects of Andrea Dworkin's brilliant study of the right who operate against their own self interest -- Right Wing Women. It has much to say about the mentality of the right and is written from what you might call a sympathetic viewpoint, since Andrea couldn't see women as 'the enemy'.
          Not all conservatives are stupid, but not all conservatives would take part in an exercise of the kind described. This is a low-level reactionary group of a kind which seems to proliferate in the US. I mean, this is a country which believes Ayn Raynd is an intellectual.
          I'm beginning to wonder if a disenfranchised people, which most Americans seem to me to be, turn to provincialism (which is what most of that conservative stuff is) and religiosity as a substitute for real political power. I offer this as an idea because I haven't yet begun to mull it over properly. I can't help equating religiosity with ignorance and when one lives in a region where there is plenty of news media of varying kinds, as in certain American cities or all of Europe. one notices the difference very quickly. I honestly couldn't see a list like the first one being compiled anywhere else in the world.

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
            Phylis Schlafly is one of the subjects of Andrea Dworkin's brilliant study of the right who operate against their own self interest -- Right Wing Women. It has much to say about the mentality of the right and is written from what you might call a sympathetic viewpoint, since Andrea couldn't see women as 'the enemy'.
            I see Schlafly as a person disconnected with reality. And leader of a movement of "women against womens rights". Mostly on the grounds of "nature" and a illusory view of women as the caring and loving sex, and the male as the provider.

            There are arguments going around forums about socialism being "unnatural".
            The question i'd like to ask is "Who defines what is natural in the first place"? The human, or more likely, the animal world holds so many vast variaties of social structures that it's hard to settle on one particular system as "ideal" or "true". I hold the present, natural philisophic agreement, of nature being comprised of "interdependent beings" to be true and sober in it's evaluation of natural life.

            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
            Not all conservatives are stupid, but not all conservatives would take part in an exercise of the kind described. This is a low-level reactionary group of a kind which seems to proliferate in the US. I mean, this is a country which believes Ayn Raynd is an intellectual.
            I'm beginning to wonder if a disenfranchised people, which most Americans seem to me to be, turn to provincialism (which is what most of that conservative stuff is) and religiosity as a substitute for real political power. I offer this as an idea because I haven't yet begun to mull it over properly. I can't help equating religiosity with ignorance and when one lives in a region where there is plenty of news media of varying kinds, as in certain American cities or all of Europe. one notices the difference very quickly. I honestly couldn't see a list like the first one being compiled anywhere else in the world.
            You seem to be right in your assessment. I wonder what an American from the "Golden Age" of developmentalism would say of the America today if he took a time machine and visited the US of today?

            Maybe that would make a good book?

            OK. Not all conservatives are stupid. But I always sense and percieve 'fear' being their background motivation for dealing with the world, (maybe I'm ignorant in having this view of conservatives).

            Cheers!
            /Jonas

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              Not all conservatives are stupid, but not all conservatives would take part in an exercise of the kind described. This is a low-level reactionary group of a kind which seems to proliferate in the US. I mean, this is a country which believes Ayn Raynd is an intellectual.
              I'm beginning to wonder if a disenfranchised people, which most Americans seem to me to be, turn to provincialism (which is what most of that conservative stuff is) and religiosity as a substitute for real political power. I offer this as an idea because I haven't yet begun to mull it over properly. I can't help equating religiosity with ignorance and when one lives in a region where there is plenty of news media of varying kinds, as in certain American cities or all of Europe. one notices the difference very quickly. I honestly couldn't see a list like the first one being compiled anywhere else in the world.
              Very much agreed. However, these people do get to power. The danger is not only what they do themselves: once they become influential enough (which they are now at world level :? ) their ideas become somehow legitimated, in that they have to be adressed - i.e. they become part of the "mainstream" or "acceptable" political discourse - you can't just dismiss the president of the USA as an ignorant moron. Well, yes you can but a politician can't.

              Comment


              • #8
                It is strange to me that the people who compiled the list seem to have been elevated to the status of the people they dismiss.

                I think that is the real problem that the list represents. Right-wing intellectual nobodies esentially dismiss some real intellectual heavyweights on ideological grounds, and a conservative group--without comment or qualification--validates their position.

                This retreat from intellectualism is really indicative of something larger. The same people who crucify the left for relativism often want their positions to be given equal intellectual and academic capital, simply because it offers an alternative position to much of mainstream intellectual life, which, admittedly and not accidentally leans very much to the left. Many of these conservative "scholars" want their work to be simply accepted--not on its own merits, but on the perspective their work creates relative to much that the academy accepts. It doesn't seem to matter that their work often cannot stand on its own merits.

                I'm not paranoid in, or relative to, my professional life, but this is how I see this seeping into college classrooms:
                Attack intellectual life and water it down. Change the debates to include your own noise, whether it belongs or not. Attempt to show that, consequently, all knowledge is contensted by ideology. Force people to choose between knowledge and ideology. People who refuse to think will always choose simple ideology, which demands less of them. When ideology clashes with knowlege, encourage people to dismiss higher education as the retreat of leftists ideologues who are out of touch with the real world. Be smug in your dismissal of that lefty garbage.

                I see it more and more...

                Comment


                • #9
                  As a professional sociologist, I should add that I am pleased that Comte--one of the nominal founders of my discipline--seems so threatening and ranked so high on the list.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The presence of Auguste Comte in the list says it all. He was a progressive mind but hardly a raving leftist. He did touch religion but never was half as aggressive as, say, Nietzsche. No criminal regime was directly inspired by him.
                    His crime is sociology. All the harm he ever did was to come up with the idea of a scientific method to observe how human relations are structured.
                    Of course a side effect of this is one finds out all they stand for is lies...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mordenkainen
                      The presence of Auguste Comte in the list says it all. He was a progressive mind but hardly a raving leftist. He did touch religion but never was half as aggressive as, say, Nietzsche. No criminal regime was directly inspired by him.
                      His crime is sociology. All the harm he ever did was to come up with the idea of a scientific method to observe how human relations are structured.
                      Of course a side effect of this is one finds out all they stand for is lies...
                      I couldn't have said it better.

                      Many scholars view Comte as a relatively moderate person, both intelectually and personally. Not only did he see social change as a gradual, flowing process, he advocated for that kind of social change. Hardly a revolutionary...

                      At the risk of being petty with regards to this discussion--
                      A typical conservative strategy is to attack the people who point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As to elevating themselves, isn't that also something the right is inclined to do to give itself further authority. The way all the Nazis who didn't have military titles became' Doctors', many of dubious provenance. I find the use of 'Doctor' Rice highly suspect. As in France, in England we don't use the term Doctor for anyone but a medical doctor usually, and even then not for all doctors... It's the kind of authority those who respond to authority really show a deep need for. Certainties, qualifications and so on. Scares me silly sometimes.

                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not a bad reading list, really - some I'll have to catch up on. (I reckon they just put Mein Kampf in there for a bit of 'balance'). Presumably the list is based on the books' historical impact: I strongly doubt, for example, whether anyone takes the Webbs' glowing account of Stalinist Russia seriously these days.

                          Charlie Marx getting voted Top Dog by Lord Bragg's followers certainly surprised me. Could it be that some secret sect of Trots intervened and nobbled the results in order to bring the Glorious Day nearer? Actually, I'm pleased. A non-conspiratorial theory is that world events are simply driving people to recognise that the old geezer was essentially right about most things.
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            As to elevating themselves, isn't that also something the right is inclined to do to give itself further authority. The way all the Nazis who didn't have military titles became' Doctors', many of dubious provenance. I find the use of 'Doctor' Rice highly suspect. As in France, in England we don't use the term Doctor for anyone but a medical doctor usually, and even then not for all doctors... It's the kind of authority those who respond to authority really show a deep need for. Certainties, qualifications and so on. Scares me silly sometimes.
                            Risking hypocrisy here, since my own profession often requires me to use the title :oops: :D ...

                            Condi becomes "Dr. Rice" only when it suits the moment, which is usually when the Bushovics want to tell the American public how little we know about regime changing. Strange that she is never Dr. Rice when they challenge global warming and evolution.

                            Of course, the larger point is well taken- Conservatism and the mechanisms of authoritarianism are tightly interrelated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The whole list of the books to which they objected has that certain, near-undefinable loony tunes quality that really makes one wonder.

                              Although the list is ludicrous, their inclusion of some books seemed more bizarre than others. I went through the "top 10" and the "honorable mentions" and trimmed the list to a collection that left me with a really bad feeling about the people who objected to these books:

                              5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey
                              6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
                              8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte
                              9. Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche
                              10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes

                              The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich
                              Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno
                              On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
                              Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B.F. Skinner
                              Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel
                              The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
                              Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault
                              Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead
                              Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader
                              Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
                              Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
                              Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
                              The Limits to Growth by Club of Rome
                              Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
                              The inclusion of Darwin (with both his major books) strikes me as an anti-intellectual symptom of this list. This undoubtedly comes from the fundamentalist silliness associated with the featherless bipeds who devised the list.

                              Anti-intellectualism of a different sort prompted the inclusion of John Stuart Mill's famous book, as well as those of Dewey, and Comte. Their objections to Keynes and Marx seem similar, but a bit more obvious.

                              Books like that of Nader and The Limits of Growth, The Population Bomb and Silent Spring reveal, I think, their hostility towards curtailing industrial destruction of the environment and their embrace of a sort of "growth without conscience" attitude.

                              The complaints against Nietzsche's book, as well as Margaret Mead, Madame de Beauvoir, and Freud appear nearly incomprehensible, except perhaps that those writers challenged the idealised paternalistic Weltanschauung that the reactionary devisers of the list wanted to elevate to dogma.

                              The specific Freud book they object to strikes me as a very curious choice of the sort I would ascribe to someone who had never read Freud. If they were looking for genuinely subversive books from Freud, I'd suggest Civilization and its Discontents or the curious but fascinating Beyond the Pleasure Principle.

                              So the picture I get of the people who devised this list is:
                              - They don't want criticism
                              - They want to preserve the status quo
                              - They care nothing for the environment (James Watt types, perhaps)
                              - They've elevated "Capitalism" to the position of a dogma
                              - They've got a lot of spiritual mana invested in maintaining a paternalistic/patriarchal society.
                              - Their preferred social structure is authoritariani. (I wanted to write they're a bunch of f*cking fascisti, but no need to offend anyone's sensibilities. :lol:)

                              Very ugly little slide show, Doc. And to think those are the sort of people running the U.S. these days. :roll: Now where'd I put my passport...?

                              LSN

                              Comment

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