Tuesday, May 31, 2005
i’m so conflicted
I’m of the belief that a banned book is a book worth reading. That being said, check out this list of the most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries. Be warned that the Human Events Web site is run by a bunch of conservatives. But check out the list anyway—some I agree with such as Mein Kampf by Hitler. Yeah, bad book, but somehow ended up as No. 2. Wha? No. 1 was the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels. Go Germans—represent yo. Ugh! So I agree, those books are harmful. But then go down the list—the Kinsey Report is harmful? The Feminine Mystique? Somehow disparaging stay-at-home mom is akin to be a Stalinist according the Human Events people. Nietzsche is called to the mat for saying God is dead. And if that weren’t enough, an honorable mention went to the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin. Wha?
So help me out here people—am I supposed to agree with this list because Hitler was bad or disagree with it because it’s ok to be a working mom who believes in evolution?
The nice part about a list is that you can make your own! While I don’t agree with all the books on that list (they forgot the Malleus Maleficiarum by the way), I think they were dead on with Marx, Hitler and Mao. I’d even put the writings of Viacheslav Molotov in there. that guy knew how to party!!!
“Absolute Power corrupts absolutely… Which is a problem… if you’re powerless.”
food for thoughtPosted by sis's boyfriend on 06/01 at 03:54 AM
I’d argue NO book should ever be banned. Banning a book is like trying to ban thought and ban free will. We should have the right to make our own choices, whether they’re wrong or right. Further, I’d argue a person SHOULD read some of those, if nothing else to see just how screwy some people can be.
Second, if you’re afraid to think of something or to look at something, I’d argue that by being afraid, you give that thing power over you. Instead, learn and read, but then analyze, think, don’t just accept. In analyzing the book, you discover the flaws in the arguments.
By banning a book, it’s making it more tempting, as well as showing fear. To quote a favorite line:
“Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Fearing a book, hating a book, because it’s the way someone thinks is a path down the dark side.Posted by Jason McIntosh on 06/01 at 08:23 AM
Wow, Jason. Very well put. ‘Nuff said. (Even though you did quote SW. )Posted by Joan on 06/01 at 10:20 AM
Hey, how can I not quote Star Wars, the source of ultimate wisdom??Posted by Jason McIntosh on 06/01 at 10:26 AM
Upon further reflection, I’ve decided most of the top 10 sound fascinating, and are generally considered “classic” anyway (if controversial). Fortunately, I’ve already read (and own) #1, though I think I’ll read it again, followed by the rest of the list. I’ve never been too interested in economics, but as a history teacher, I’ve heard much about Keynes as a revolutionary in his time. I’ll give his an attempt, at least.Posted by Joan on 06/01 at 10:31 AM
Hmm, and thinking about it, wasn’t the Kinsey Report a required read or at least talked about heavily in Psycho 120 at MU? i.e. the sex-education-we’ll-show-you-everything class? Further, just because a book talks about things people don’t like to think about or wish didn’t happen, doesn’t mean that it’s not true. I’m sorry, drugs happen (unfortunately), sex happens (a lot preferrably ), and things like Hitler happened (EXTREMELY unfortunately). It’s better to know about it and deal with it, than try to pretend things didn’t happen or don’t exist. Better education is the key, not restricting education.
And a last note on this with regards the kinsey report. Think of all the issues with not having birth control from the late 1800’s. Read some statistics - people didn’t know about a lot of the options. I’ve heard of people complaining about the existence of birth control. Well, I can’t help but disagree about it, when you look at the alternatives. 10 kids by the time you’re 30? Women dying because they wore their bodies out? Doesn’t seem right to me, particulary when you consider that sex is fun
That just doesn’t seem right to me, and trying to pretend books like the Kinsey Report don’t exist is to me that same mentality of disinformation. Hide information, we need to protect our youth! But, the problem is by doing so, we’re also not preparing them for when they encounter such things. And they will encounter such things.
In other words - just because something isn’t talked about, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. (and sorry for the minor rant)Posted by Jason McIntosh on 06/01 at 10:47 AM
I don’t think thier point was too ban books, just point out those they felt were very harmful to humanity for whatever reasons they see fit. Hitler - 6 million dead, Mao - 50-60 million dead, Keynes - Massive government spending that would crash an economy. But I can see where one would get the impression its a ban list. I’m sure they won’t be showing thier kids those books, they’ll have to read them in school like the rest of us! ha!
Oh and Keynes’ book is dry but interesting. If you really want to read an economics Book, pick up Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and “Theory of Moral Sentiments”Posted by sis's boyfriend on 06/01 at 11:19 AM
I’ve heard of both (in my history textbooks), but I’m not entirely sure I “want to read an economics book.” Thanks for the recommendation, though.Posted by Joan on 06/01 at 07:06 PM
lol, no one ever wants to read a economics book but it does offer an interesting perspective on how one political party thinks economically versus the other.Posted by sis's boyfriend on 06/01 at 10:18 PM
one of the honorable mentions, The Population Bomb, certainly would be in my top ten. Amazing how Ehrlich can repeatedly make wildly incorrect predictions of catastrophe over the span of decades and still be awarded MacArthur grants and be taken seriously.Posted by Jim Daues on 06/01 at 10:47 PM
mill’s On Liberty was an honorable mention? ON LIBERTY???Posted by c2 on 06/02 at 01:52 AM
I can kind of understand thier logic on On Liberty. It was quite controversial in its day…
In “On Liberty” Mills argues that in the past the danger had been that monarchs held power at the expense of the common people and the struggle was one of gaining liberty by limiting such governmental power. But now that power has largely passed into the hands of the people at large through democratic forms of government, the danger is that the majority denies liberty to individuals, whether explicitly through laws, which he calls “acts of public authority,” or more subtly through morals and social pressure, which he calls “collective opinion.”
The basic question is this… how on earth do you equalize the playing field between the majority and the minority???
Oh and on my list I would like to Add the “Protocols of Zion”
that one set race relations back a few thousand years!!!Posted by sis's boyfriend on 06/02 at 02:09 AM