Wednesday, June 01, 2005
What Wingnuts Read on the Beach This Summer
When they wish to have those pleasant frizzons of fear crawl up their spine, they grab one of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the Twentieth Century, according to a wingnut survey of fifteen conservative scholars. Including exactly one woman scholar, Phyllis Schlafly.
The winner is The Communist Manifesto, and most of the other books are as one might expect. Many of the books are harmful because they advocate fairness and justice or an open attitude towards sexuality. Though to be fair, Hitler's Mein Kampf comes up second in the list. But even poor Lord Maynard Keynes, with his really very moderate theories, is included, and John Stuart Mills get an honorary mention. So does Darwin. And Rachel Carsons's Silent Spring is among the runners-up, too!
It would have been fascinating to learn which books these wingnuts would recommend as healthful lessons for young growing wingnuts, other than the Bible (and the Koran?). Not that there are that many wingnut classics, for reasons that I'm too polite to discuss here.
Feminism is well represented among the most harmful books. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique comes seventh and Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex gets an honorable mention. I'm happy with this performance, given that the wingnuts think women are naturally uninterested in competition and general havoc-making. At least we give some of them nightmares, us feminists anyway.