If you’re a Glenn Beck listener (and if you’re not, you should be) he’s identified the Progressive Movement of the early 20th Century as the point at which politicians began remaking our government and diverting it away from our core Constitutional principles (essentially, the smallest government possible to do the job) to one that features Big Government, Big Taxes, and a trend towards treating the Constitution as a quaint document that really has little bearing on life today.
Beck has recommended a number of great books (in particular, the Five Thousand Year Leap) that explains what the Founders intent was with each section of the Constitution, and some like American Progressivism, that detail the history of the movement. But as good as these books are, they don’t really go into where the concepts that spawned the evils of Progressivism came from in the first place.
Enter 10 Books That Screwed Up the World. I’m about 2/3rds of the way through with this slim volume, and I’m blown away. Written by philosopher Benjamin Wiker, it covers books that spawned philosophical ideas that were essentially the seeds that grew into the tangled jungle of fuzzy thinking that is the Progressive movement.
If you’ve ever wondered how mankind came up with ideas like “I have a right to whatever it is I want” (Hobbes), “It’s okay to deny the old, sick or those with birth defects medical treatment – or simply put them out of our misery” (Darwin), “if it feels good, do it” (Mead, Kinsey), “the ends justify the means” (Machiavelli), this is the book for you. If you want to understand how people like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR came up with the ideas that changed our Nation, and put it on the road to Socialism, this will give you a road map to the origins of those ideas.
My position, is that forewarned is forearmed. When we are suffering under politicians that have hidden agendas and the wherewithal to take our country down the road to Fascism, Socialism, and Marxism, it’s time to figure out what’s going on. To understand someone, you must learn what makes them tick. And when you believe somebody’s full of it, it’s a big advantage to read up on their political philosophy, and discover the Origins of the Feces.