Feministe clued us in to Human Events Online’s* Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. It’s got some that you might expect, such as Mein Kampf, but hilariously enough, the “panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders” that voted overwhelmingly selected Marx/Engel’s Communist Manifesto as the most harmful text.
Now, I will be the first to say that every institution of communism so far is a case study in political corruption. Failures, the lot of them. But are people so incapable of grasping the rift between the philosophical underpinnings of Communism/Socialism and the piss-poor implementation? As jedmunds at Beautiful Soul said, “Blaming Marx and Engels for the Soviet Union is about as dumb as blaming the Beatles for the Manson family’s “helter-skelter” inspired murders.” (Also see BunkoSquad)
Others on the list include The Kinsey Report and several other Communism-related books, like Das Kapital or Quotes from Chairman Mao. I get this feeling that conservatives liked it better during the Reagan years, when the commies were still our enemies. Gave them something to do, I think.
Just reading the short summaries after each listing should clue you into the polemic nature of both the list and the site itself. Dewey wrote in “pompous and opaque prose,” Kinsey’s report was little more than “scientific gloss,” they insinuate that Keynes and FDR are responsible for Bush’s debt, and finish their summary of Beyond Good and Evil up with “The Nazis loved Nietzsche.” Yeah, Q.E.D., right?
Amazingly enough, Darwin’s On the Origins of Species is only a runner-up. Given that conservative’s crosshairs have shifted since the early 90s from communism to secularism, I would think that Darwin would be at the top of the list. Apparently not. Silent Spring even made the list (how? it was right…)
* Kneejerk conservative cesspool