Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
10 Books That Screwed
Up The World
And 5 Others That Didn't Help
by Benjamin Wiker
Bad books have bad consequences. The author picks out ten such books by Marx, Darwin, Mill, Nietzsche, Lenin, Sanger, Freud, Mead, Hitler and Kinsey. He also names five more authors that have done so much damage: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Descartes, Rousseau and Friedan.
Given the rapid progress of cultural Marxism in the West, it is certainly worth examining the legacy of Karl Marx. His Communist Manifesto called on people to act. It was never intended to be just a theoretical work. We have seen its results in the former Soviet Union, in China and in Cambodia. And still the followers of Marx are looking for paradise on earth.
Paraphrasing Chesterton, it would appear that Marxism for them has not yet been tried and found wanting. Wiker suggests that Marx is wrong in so many ways. He had a false understanding of the human person. For him, man is a material thing that can be regarded as a mere product in an ever evolving society. If paradise on earth requires countless human sacrifices on the way, then so be it.
One of the most obvious things to note is that many of the authors described in this book were horrible individuals. Marx had no time for his family. Margaret Sanger was a racist. Margaret Mead invented a sexual paradise in Samoa in order to feed her own fantasies.
On a league of his own only below Hitler we have Alfred Kinsey. It was Kinsey who falsely said that many people are homosexual. He himself was a homosexual sadist who advocated perversions including incest, pedophilia and bestiality. He "scientifically" examined sexual activity in infants. He collected data from child abusers.
It could be argued that Machiavelli is the father of the modern secular world. He argued that no act is purely evil. Some good may come of it. From this, we have Bentham's utilitarian philosophy, promoted now by Peter Singer, the infanticide advocate.
Before Hitler and Sanger, there was Darwin who in his Descent of Man promoted eugenics.
All fifteen authors moved radically away from Christian orthodoxy. Even Descartes created god in his own image, a god whose existence could not be demonstrated by reason.
Every bad idea seems to be connected to other bad ideas. Just as we move from Darwin to Sanger and Hitler, so we move from Marx to Lenin and from Mead to Kinsey and Friedan. Wiker shows so clearly that as we move away from Christian orthodoxy, we are liable to end with a variety of pernicious ideologies.