Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Book Burnin'!

The good conservatives over at Human Events Online have helpfully provided us with a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

There's so much to comment on here, I don't know where to begin. The very idea of a dangerous books list is kind of laughable, and until I saw this video I suspected this was some kind of parody. But it's not.

So here are a few of the more amusing choices.

4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey et al (aka Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male)

Right, all that scary sex talk. Let's all remain ignorant and scared! Sigh.

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

One of the dominant economic theories of the 20th century, Keynes' basic idea was that governments should spend in lean times to prop up the economy, and reign in the budget during times of plenty. Consider the site's absurd claim: "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." FDR is responsible for the present deficit? Riiiight. Certainly not Reagan and Bush II's tax cut and spend ways.

Have a look at the rest of the list and chuckle. The honourable mentions are just as amusing:

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

What on earth...? This is one of the most classic and solid discussions of rights ever, and it's dangerous? I'm baffled.

Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

Ah yes, the book that taught us we're all just animals and have no moral constaints. I think I'll go throw a bagfull of kittens into the Thames now, just to appease my Darwinian gods...

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