Books and Deadly Deceits
I pointed out how our government has undermined the right of self-defense in the United States. In that article, I contrasted the right of free speech with the right of self-defense. Let’s call it our emotional attachment to the right of free speech.. with the gross infringement on the right of self-defense. Some critics said the contrast was unfair since guns kill people and books don’t. Those critics are wrong.
The ideas in books are as deadly as any bullet contained in a gun. Ideas, like alcohol, can lower our inhibitions. We can, and we have, killed hundreds of millions of people with books. There was a time when books were necessary tools of war. You couldn’t kill millions without a good propaganda book. That was true 60 years ago. Today, propaganda is easier than ever. All it takes is a partisan media to spread government propaganda on TV or by social media.
There is a short list of lethal literature.
• The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx advocated subjugating political and economic activity to the state to satisfy class envy.
• Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler advocated racial superiority and supremacy of the German people.
• The Little Red Book of Chairman Mao advocated the destruction of the educated class. It decreed distributed production into the countryside while retaining centralizing ownership.
The people who followed those three books murdered more than 75 million people. Does anything else come close to the murderous ideas advocated in these books?
Nuclear weapons have not killed as many people. They barely reached 200 thousand deaths. Biological weapons have not.
You could make a good argument that books were not only useful, but a necessary prerequisite for the use of firearms in modern war. There would be no war if we took away the propaganda a government needs to inflame a society. All the firearms used for self-defense were not as murderous as these three books have been.
Am I condemning books? Far from it. I am condemning propaganda no matter how it is popularized. Note that each of these books prescribed violent opposition to opposing ideas.. opposing ideas propagated through the written word in books. These books proposed that ‘We get to kill the people who disagree with us.’ That same idea still works today though some things have changed.
Modern propagandists don’t bother with books any longer. Books are too demanding for the modern audience. Video is an easier medium with which to sway an audience’s emotions. That is progress.. of a sort, and the tools of propaganda changed with technology.
The goal of propaganda has changed as well. Rather than subjugate an entire nation through war, today’s propagandists subjugates a people by controlling an elite class of bureaucrats and politicians. Rather than steal your land by conquest, propagandists seek to take billions of dollars and control your life by controlling the power of government. That is the progress of modern propaganda.
See Al Gore’s video on global warming to see the power of video propaganda. Watch the response of Islamic crowds to see the power of religious propaganda. Most of our news and television entertainment advocates for the views of America’s elites.
The one constant through history is human character. Beware the political or religious leader who claims they will reform the world once they take office. They are promising heaven tomorrow so they can impose their rule today.
You’d know that if you’d read many books.
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A version of this article first appeared at Clash Daily.