harmful books31 May 2005
Amanda sent me a list of the top “most harmful” books of the 19th and 20th centuries.
It’s a very interesting list of books, but I am not really sure “harmful” is the right word to encompass what they all have in common. Maybe “dangerous” or “provacative”. Or maybe “required reading”. Well, maybe not Mein Kampf.
Anyways, the list is good, but the descriptions are laughably stupid. For example, from the description of Das Kapital:
Marx theorized that the inevitable eventual outcome would be global proletarian revolution. He could not have predicted 21st Century America: a free, affluent society based on capitalism and representative government that people the world over envy and seek to emulate.
Yeah, what an idiot! Go America!
And from the description of Keynes’ General Theory (his opus, and pretty much the foundation for modern macro-econ):
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. FDR adopted the idea as U.S. policy, and the U.S. government now has a $2.6-trillion annual budget and an $8-trillion dollar debt.
Who wrote this? Some dipshit intern at the heritage foundation? He might as well prefaced that description with “I haven’t actually read this, BUT …”