Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Review: THE MOST DANGEROUS SUPERSTITION

'THE MOST DANGEROUS SUPERSTITION' by Larken Rose, begins with a warning. "What you read in this book will, in all likelihood, go directly against what you have been taught by your parents and your teachers, what you have been told by the churches, the media  and the government,  and  much of  what you,  your family and your friends  have always  believed." It then goes on to present the belief in “authority”, as the arch-enemy of humanity.
 Taking the example of Hitler, the book points out that "it was  the millions  of people who viewed Hitler as “authority,”  who actually caused the damage done by the Third Reich, rather than the twisted  mind  of Adolf  Hitler". Other effects of 'the  belief  in the  mythical  beast  called
“authority”, which continue leading us to unimaginable pain and suffering, oppression and injustice' are then examined. Like, how, 'authority' hides the ability to transform 'immoral violence' into 'righteous law enforcement'.
The concept of “authority” and its relation to the concepts of right and wrong (i.e., morality), is then examined. Next part of this book is about the consequences of this belief, what it is doing to our society. An authority can self proclaim reasons for terming ones actions right. This is taken as an example by people opposed to authority, like terrorists, to justify whatever they do. Enforcers  of authority can harass,  threaten,  extort,  control, and  otherwise  oppress  others, who  have  not  harmed  or  threatened  anyone. That too, without bearing any responsibility  for their actions.
One of the more bizarre results of the belief in “authority” is that it causes the victims of “government” aggression to feel obligated to be victimized. This also is the reason why, many people express pride at being “law-abiding taxpayers,” though it amounts to agreeing to be forcibly deprived of the fruits of their labors. It is that feeling of obligation which aggravated, for example, the Jewish trauma. For, if the Nazis had had to physically  carry each Jew, dead or alive, to the gas chambers or crematoriums, the level of murder would have been dramatically lower.
 The book then explains another ridiculous effect. The belief in authority affets those who adhere to it, namely, the good people, more, while having no effect on those who are expected to be tamed, namely, the criminals. Authority does more, it lets evil to triumph by making good people do nothing.
Examining other facets of a citizen's life, the book proclaims that goverment adds nothing to society. In conclusion it says, "Contrary to what nearly everyone has been taught to believe, “government” is not necessary for civilization. It is not conducive to civilization. It is, in fact, the antithesis of civilization".
I found this a worthy analysis of the state, and perhaps, something already known widely. But the fact is that, notwithstanding this, we are willingly putting up with governments. This part is not examined, that is, what benefit are we getting that makes us choose to stick on with government.

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