Jun 1, 2005

Au contraire: Bad books

How many millions of people have to die before a book is considered harmful?
What's more harmful or dangerous is people who are afraid to let others read ideas that are opposed to theirs.

Is seven million enough? That's just the number of Ukrainian dead thanks to the policies of followers of The Communist Manifesto.

How about 30 million dead? That's the estimate of the casualties caused by the Great Leap Forward, an idea brought to you by the author of The Little Red Book.

Ideas matter. Saying that a book is pernicious isn't the same thing as a call for censorship. However, the blanket statement that "Books are not dangerous," devalues all books, good or bad, and implies that ideas don't matter. The Communist Manifesto is not just some quaint text you had to read in college in the comfort of a Long Island suburb. Its publication had consequences. As did the publication of the Bible, Plato's Republic and Mein Kampf.

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