politics is to want something

fredag, august 19, 2005

once more on firefly

So, in addition to the passionate defence from "J" in the comments page, a bunch of libertarians (both left and right) have picked up my review of firefly. I'm going to watch the rest of the series (and the film), especially to see if my fears about the "indian question" are unfounded. By looking at the lib's posts, plus doing some more reading on fan discussion lists, I stand by what I said: it's a libertarian show, and it is an analogy to the Civil War, whatever noises Whedon makes. He may have also been thinking about Vietnam or any other conflict- but the show takes place right after a civil war between a centralized, evel "Federal" government and independent localists. That's creepy. To hear many southerners tell the story of the American Civil War, that's what it was about, too. By all mens, let's oppose oppressive, centralized, bureaucratic despotic regimes. But let's not, even faintly, praise the Confederacy for supposedly doing so.

Still, neat ships.

Update I'm continuing to follow and enjoy the flames in response to my critique on firefly fan lists. Luckily, everyone who has posted to this page has been civil and interesting, but man, out in the 'sphere, I'm getting accused of everything from being an ugly nerd to hating freedom to having a small penis, to being...a girl! Sweet. Not very serious stuff as Fredrik points out in comments, but this is fun. Politics and sci fi are two great loves.

on wages and social justice

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

-John Kenneth Galbraith

Raising wages will price low-skilled workers out of the labor market. This is an argument made by opponents of Santa Barbara’s proposed Living Wage Ordinance, including ostensibly liberal City Council candidate Loretta Redd. It is echoed in the recently published survey of living wage laws developed by the Public Policy Institute of California, and gets lots of traction from local libertarians. This is the same argument that gets trotted out against minimum wage laws, collective bargaining, health and safety regulations, you name it: pretty much anything that helps workers protect themselves from the power and self-interest of their employers.

Their argument is based on a simple and unavoidable fact: higher wages mean that it is more expensive to employ people. True enough. However, to move from that basic fact to an argument for keeping wages low is big step, one fraught with misconceptions and conservative ideology. The case for low wages is built on the existence of a permanent underclass of workers, a two-tiered society in which some sectors of the population are caught in a trap of poverty and dependence.

Consider Santa Barbara as a case-in-point. There is tremendous demand here for so-called low-skilled labor- cleaning hotels and offices, sweeping streets, painting houses, minding children and hauling garbage. This work is necessary both socially and economically- it is the foundational labor of our service and tourism-based economy. Given the large pool of poor immigrants and migrants in our region, an employer can hire people for well below what it takes to live in our community. This is why you find people working several jobs and living in cramped apartments filled with multiple families and friends. The low-wagers argue that it is just fine to resign this portion of our community to these conditions. For them, hiring more people at lower wages is better than hiring one or two fewer at levels that allow them to live decent lives.

But it is not. It is not better to hire a few more people and stick them in an underclass. It is better social policy to raise people out of poverty permanently by allowing them to work one job, allowing them to spend time on educating themselves and their children and move into the middle class. It is better social policy to have one community, not two.

Setting aside the attendant social problems with sustaining an underclass- crime, homelessness, drug abuse, congestion, increased demand for underfunded public assistance, etc- there is a fundamental economic miscalculation at play. Workers are also consumers. Earning a living wage allows workers to spend money in local shops, go to movies, buy clothes and rent single-family apartments. On a national scale, lifting people out of poverty creates more consumer demand, a boon for businesses of all sizes. In essence, the situation in Santa Barbara is a microcosm of the global economy as it is currently arranged. Poor countries provide cheap labor to rich ones which enjoy cheaper goods and shield themselves from the hardship and calamity that underpins their razor-thin prosperity.

There is also a problem with the delination of "skilled" vs. "unskilled" workers. Many people working low-wage jobs are, in fact, quite skilled. Barriers of language, discrimination, as well as rules disregarding foriegn educational qualifications keep many immigrant workers from plying their trade after moving here. How many of you have met a Cab Driver or Janitor with a degree in engineering? Perhaps more relevantly, people are doing skilled work for low pay- just ask anyone in the construction trades. The drive to push wages down is a function of the power of employers, not a free-market of skills and experience. So long as people are desperate enough to work for poverty wages, employers will pay poverty wages. Unless something- a union, a law, a pricked conscience- intervenes. Furthermore, we shouldn't think of the "unskilled" as a permanent class of worker- everyone can become "skilled". This is a lot harder when you are working two jobs.

Looking more broadly, one must ask where, exactly, argument for low wages ends. Sure, Nike’s subcontractors can hire a lot more workers if they are able to pay fifty cents a day and chain workers to sewing machines. Cleaning up sweatshops in 1900’s New York made the cost of doing business higher. This is why the textile industry responded by moving first to the American South and then to South East Asia in search of lower labor costs. At a national, and now international level, sane and reasonable policies must be set to limit the depth to which employers can push their bottom line. I used to serve on a United Nations advisory group on youth employment. The constant tension between corporate and labor/public interest organizations in the groups was between more jobs and quality jobs. This is a false dichotomy. You can have both.

High wages and regulated labor markets to not necessarily lead to high unemployment. So long as full employment remains a real political goal, and macroeconomic tools are used to achieve it, a nation can have both high wages and keep its citizens working. This was the hallmark of post-war Swedish economic policy, and it was executed with great success. Despite distortions by conservatives who love to whip Sweden for its unemployment rates, unemployment in Sweden has been consistently on par with its neighbors in Europe, generally lower. Through the 1980’s, when unemployment rose to 6% in the U.S., Sweden’s rate was close to 2%. This is on top of the fact that Sweden’s methods for its rates are far more accurate and honest than ours are. Consider that two million prisoners, as well as anyone who hasn’t had a job for more than a year is not considered “unemployed” in the American statistics. Anyone without a job and not in school or training is considered unemployed in Sweden.

The Swedish trick is to guide the economy toward employment, with incentives for job-creating investment, a robust public sector and commitment to education, skills-training and domestic consumption. All of this was achieved with relatively high wages and a strong social safety-net for workers finding themselves between jobs. While Sweden does not impose state-mandated minimum wages, their unions, which represent about 80% of the workforce, negotiate salaries and compensation across industries, generally at the national level. This is a more democratic and effective method for insuring decent wages and working conditions, but it is not replicable in the United States any time soon. Our strategy, given low unionization rates, has to include such mandates- including living wage ordinances for city and county contract workers.

I began this post with the quote from Galbraith because of his consistent opposition to wooly-headed economic thought. Galbraith was always quick to point out that it seemed a nifty convenience that the economic “truths” proclaimed by the rich so often justified their enrichment. We should use the same skepticism in assessing the claims by local employers, their friends and politicians who benefit from their largesse.

More on wages and the economy.


My friend Laurel Parker has released a DVD edition of her short film Clay. The short, which features music and appearances by my old band The Adjusters, is the story of a skinhead musician trapped between responsibility and adulthood and the lure of music and life on the road. It’s quite good, even if yours truly delivered a hammy performance as a singer aptly named “Dick”. The disk also features Laurel’s video for the Adjusters song “Our Town”. Old school Chicago ska scenesters should snap it up! Sorry to my Swedish and Norwegian readers, its only released in PAL.

You can purchase it online from her production company, Mobely Street, which has also produced some hilarious commercial spoofs.

blog comment spam gremlins

So, apparently someone has figured out how to automate leaving comments on blogs- another opportunity for spam... So, at least temporarily, I changed the settings to require a blogger.com login for leaving comments. If that means that nobody comments on hoverbike anymore, I'll change it back to open. I just hate having to delete the spam off my blog. As if telemarketing phone calls and emails and faxes were not enough...

torsdag, august 11, 2005

do the reggae

Sorry for the cultural posts lately, but I’ve been so bogged down in local politics, the living wage fight here in Santa Barbara and the lead-up to the November special election that my mind has been trying to escape a bit. I recently re-purchased my all-time favorite reggae album, the Wailers anthology titled “Talkin’ Blues.” A mix of interviews with Bob Marley and tracks culled mainly from a 1973 live radio performance in San Francisco, the album is simply amazing. That era was the high period for the Wailers, still playing raw, funky and urgent music, unspoiled by overly-smooth pop production and rock arrangements. Peter and Bunny and Bob were still together, and their vocal combinations have yet to be matched. Peter Tosh really shines here, giving up his best version of “Can’t Blame The Youth”, as well as a driving account of “Get Up, Stand Up”. If you don’t own it, get it now.

I’ve been listening to reggae literally my whole life. My parents went to a Bob Marley concert at the Hollywood Bowl when I was a toddler. My uncle Kerry still complains about how he had to stay home and babysit. Some of my fondest memories of my father are sitting on a hot Summer porch in L.A. listening to Peter Tosh or Toots and the Maytals asking him to translate the (to me) sometimes indecipherable lyrics. At once an affirmation of my heritage and an expression of every moral and political aspiration I hold dear, reggae is a perfect spiritual artifact.

Reggae fans, of course, are another deal altogether. Through my brief stint as a musician in The Adjusters, I’ve met a broad swath of (mostly) white reggae fans and musicians, people who have a truly impressive mastery of the music itself, and a deep respect for its social and cultural origins. These folks, seem to be concentrated in Los Angeles, New York and Southern Europe, are not the problem. Nor are the assorted hippy and mellow-surfer types who like the reggae. What gets my goat are the straight-up frat boys with Bob Marley posters all over their dorm room, folks for whom reggae is little more than the extension of a juvenile marijuana fixation. Reggae for them is a simple “tropical” rhythm that signifies a laid-back, stress-free lifestyle. It’s Jimmy Buffett for the 19-25 set. No disrespect meant to Jimmy, but he’d be the first one to say that he’s not in it for the revolution.

Sure, this same goup of people have depoliticized punk and hip-hop as well, translating those genres into nothing more than an expression of their inchoate masculine aggression. I remember talking to a Rage Against the Machine fan in Chicago as he was buying one of those stupid Rage Che Guevara posters. The guy thought it was a picture their lead singer. I asked him if he was a revolutionary or a Maoist. He said he just liked their music, and wasn’t into their “governmental stuff.” Rock on! Even the sometimes painfully self-critical male feminist rage of Fugazi was translated by the frat brigades into macho aggression back in the 90’s. These folks are insatiable.

Rastafarianism, for all its rampant sexism and myopic nationalism, is a liberation theology. It is a defiant assertion of the sacred dignity of oppressed peoples. It is prophetic and hopeful and resolute in the face of profound injustices- and so it is sad to see it’s musical expression transformed in the hands of this culturally greedy subset into just so much pap.

Before I get accused of elitism or someone writes in to say that people should be allowed to listen to whatever they want, please spare me. Of course people can listen to reggae even if they vote Republican and think Affirmative Action is reverse-racism. People can do all kinds of horribly stupid things. However, social movements don’t succeed by political tactics alone. Progress and freedom come also through cultural struggle, and when our cultural tools are twisted and bent because they are a convenient fit for people who couldn’t care less about us, our voice is weakened.

Meanwhile, I’m still gonna be rockin my Bob Marley and hoping that some of these kids really listen to it.

Check out the Bob Marley Foundation

onsdag, august 10, 2005

the politics of space

At the urging of many of my most trusted nerdfriends, I sat down to watch a DVD of the cancelled Joss Whedon series firefly. Woah. That is some heavy-duty right-wing stuff there. As science fiction, I must admit that this series is really quite remarkable. There are a whole bunch of great hooks on offer: technology that is believably janky and used-looking, the persistence of sociology (ie people still behave like people), and beautiful, soundless and time-consuming space travel. The characters are all individually interesting, and the dialog, as would be expected, is clever and crisp. However, the entire framework of the show is a bizarre masculine-libertarian fantasy, even worse than the original Star Wars trilogy.

There has been a long discussion in film criticism about the similarities between some science fiction plots and the traditional Western. Firefly famously takes that connection to a forced extreme that produces both its best and worst elements. Set 500 years in the future, the show follows a crew of outlaws operating on the fringes of a trans-galactic civilization. However, the entire set-up is contrived to mimic the 18th century American West. Planets along the “outer rim” (by now a pretty tired scifi trope) are being terraformed and populated by poorly equipped and poorly funded pioneers left to fend for themselves. This means horses and cattle ranching and pick axes and dusty clothes and small towns. Space is infested with wild savages, humans who have gone feral, cannibalizing, raping and pillaging the beleaguered pioneers. This means harrowing battles with wild injuns, complete with “tribal” drum music whenever they are approaching. For some reason, people in the firefly universe can travel near the speed of light, but still have to use old-fashioned bullet-shooting guns. This means cool shoot-outs and cool low-slinging holsters.

Most central to the analogy however is the fact that the show’s characters are veterans of a recently ended civil war. Just as the events of the Old West were driven by the expansion of the United States and the flight of routed Confederates to the uncivilized territories, so the world of firefly is built around a dynamic of federal growth and defeated localist bitterness. What is creepy, intensely so, is that the heroes are Confederates. The fact that they are multi-racial and defiantly speak Chinese in an English-Only world plays into the often-heard revisionism around the Southern Cause. In the revisionist worldview, the US Civil War wasn’t about slavery- it was about autonomy and freedom. After all, a handful of slaves even fought for their masters. Firefly is revisionism writ large, an entire future created around the new white fantasy of a deracialized American politics. Whatever the philosophical or political differences between a Confederate constitutionalism and a Northern one, the fight over slavery was the focal point. To retell that story without race, even as futurism, is seriously disturbing.

Imagine a science fiction film in which the protagonists are clearly allegorical ex-Nazis. Would it make it better if one of them was named Cohen? This problem is to leave aside the already annoying hyper individualism which pervades the show.

And then there is the Indian thing. In order to complete the Old West picture, they had to have Indians. Because this is not a race thing (see previous posts on Touchy White People) they made the Indians insane people-eating pirates. Lest you forget that they are Indians, however there is the drum music and phrases like “they’ll chase after you if you try to run, that is their way.” Christ.

The characters, while intriguing on some levels, are textbook stereotypes. You have the exotic whore-with-the-heart-of-gold, the brazen, masculinized black woman who’s white husband loves her big butt, the precocious nerdy virgin, the frat boy, the desexualized older black man, the intellectual wimp and the crazy, asexual girl. Presiding over them is the ultimate alpha male, a straight-talking silent type who is driven to honorable criminality by the oppressive federal government. He hates their rules. He just wants to be left alone. Leave him alone. You’ll take his spaceship out of his cold, dead hands.

So, you add it all together- a romantic vision of the old west and the evilness of bureaucratic northern federalism, a recasting of the Native American “threat” as an attack by insane, murderous barbarians, and you have a nice sanitized right-wing allegory. I have to ask my friends who are huge fans of Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: what the hell is up with this guy?

Watching firefly made me miss Star Trek all the more. It depressed me how much better as narrative and entertainment firefly is than the latest Star Trek offerings. In Star Trek, we are treated to a vision of a positive future, one in which politics focuses on an expansive defense of peace and justice, rather than individual glorification. I have nothing against gritty distopias like firefly, but it’s sad that the heroes it offers are all but dressed in the Confederate Flag.

To say that the show has a dedicated following would be a gross understatement. Their commitment to the series has apparently led to the greenlighting of a feature film. Their websites are interesting to scan, if only for the ongoing discussion about the political and philosophical significance of the show. Somehow liberals seem to be blind to the quite obvious messages at play here, perhaps because of the superficially “diverse” cast. At least one libertarian caught on, however, and his review is pretty telling.

Admittedly, I only watched the first four episodes, and would be happy to be proven wrong about my assessment by some sort of massive plot shift later on. The show is entertaining enough that I’m tempted to watch the rest of the available episodes, but boy howdy, I’ll do it laughing and clenching my teeth.

onsdag, august 03, 2005

erik gets important on NAMBLA, i mean CAFTA

My buddy Erik Love is locked in serious debate with some parrot for the Club For Growth over at "the most important blog...ever".

My favorite part is when his adversary says something about American workers wanting to be "paid more than thier labor is worth". This persistant idea that "the market", a political construct if ever there was one, somehow magically determines "worth" would be laughable if it wasn't so dangerous.

Personally, I agree with the Catholic and Episocal churches, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Gandhi, MLK and all the others who have argued that given the fact that labor creates all wealth, it is "worth" a lot more than its market price.


tirsdag, august 02, 2005

the balance of hatred

mandag, august 01, 2005

how many of you read?

Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Posted May 31, 2005

HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to help us compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Each panelist nominated a number of titles and then voted on a ballot including all books nominated. A title received a score of 10 points for being listed No. 1 by one of our panelists, 9 points for being listed No. 2, etc. Appropriately, The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, earned the highest aggregate score and the No. 1 listing.

1. The Communist Manifesto

Authors: Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
Publication date: 1848
Score: 74
Summary: Marx and Engels, born in Germany in 1818 and 1820, respectively, were the intellectual godfathers of communism. Engels was the original limousine leftist: A wealthy textile heir, he financed Marx for much of his life. In 1848, the two co-authored The Communist Manifesto as a platform for a group they belonged to called the Communist League. The Manifesto envisions history as a class struggle between oppressed workers and oppressive owners, calling for a workers’ revolution so property, family and nation-states can be abolished and a proletarian Utopia established. The Evil Empire of the Soviet Union put the Manifesto into practice.

2. Mein Kampf

Author: Adolf Hitler
Publication date: 1925-26
Score: 41
Summary: Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was initially published in two parts in 1925 and 1926 after Hitler was imprisoned for leading Nazi Brown Shirts in the so-called “Beer Hall Putsch” that tried to overthrow the Bavarian government. Here Hitler explained his racist, anti-Semitic vision for Germany, laying out a Nazi program pointing directly to World War II and the Holocaust. He envisioned the mass murder of Jews, and a war against France to precede a war against Russia to carve out “lebensraum” (“living room”) for Germans in Eastern Europe. The book was originally ignored. But not after Hitler rose to power. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, there were 10 million copies in circulation by 1945.

3. Quotations from Chairman Mao

Author: Mao Zedong
Publication date: 1966
Score: 38
Summary: Mao, who died in 1976, was the leader of the Red Army in the fight for control of China against the anti-Communist forces of Chiang Kai-shek before, during and after World War II. Victorious, in 1949, he founded the People’s Republic of China, enslaving the world’s most populous nation in communism. In 1966, he published Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong, otherwise known as The Little Red Book, as a tool in the “Cultural Revolution” he launched to push the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese society back in his ideological direction. Aided by compulsory distribution in China, billions were printed. Western leftists were enamored with its Marxist anti-Americanism. “It is the task of the people of the whole world to put an end to the aggression and oppression perpetrated by imperialism, and chiefly by U.S. imperialism,” wrote Mao.

4. The Kinsey Report

Author: Alfred Kinsey
Publication date: 1948
Score: 37
Summary: Alfred Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University who, in 1948, published a study called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, commonly known as The Kinsey Report. Five years later, he published Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. The reports were designed to give a scientific gloss to the normalization of promiscuity and deviancy. “Kinsey’s initial report, released in 1948 . . . stunned the nation by saying that American men were so sexually wild that 95% of them could be accused of some kind of sexual offense under 1940s laws,” the Washington Times reported last year when a movie on Kinsey was released. “The report included reports of sexual activity by boys--even babies--and said that 37% of adult males had had at least one homosexual experience. . . . The 1953 book also included reports of sexual activity involving girls younger than age 4, and suggested that sex between adults and children could be beneficial.”

5. Democracy and Education

Author: John Dewey
Publication date: 1916
Score: 36
Summary: John Dewey, who lived from 1859 until 1952, was a “progressive” philosopher and leading advocate for secular humanism in American life, who taught at the University of Chicago and at Columbia. He signed the Humanist Manifesto and rejected traditional religion and moral absolutes. In Democracy and Education, in pompous and opaque prose, he disparaged schooling that focused on traditional character development and endowing children with hard knowledge, and encouraged the teaching of thinking “skills” instead. His views had great influence on the direction of American education--particularly in public schools--and helped nurture the Clinton generation.

6. Das Kapital

Author: Karl Marx
Publication date: 1867-1894
Score: 31
Summary: Marx died after publishing a first volume of this massive book, after which his benefactor Engels edited and published two additional volumes that Marx had drafted. Das Kapital forces the round peg of capitalism into the square hole of Marx’s materialistic theory of history, portraying capitalism as an ugly phase in the development of human society in which capitalists inevitably and amorally exploit labor by paying the cheapest possible wages to earn the greatest possible profits. Marx theorized that the inevitable eventual outcome would be global proletarian revolution. He could not have predicted 21st Century America: a free, affluent society based on capitalism and representative government that people the world over envy and seek to emulate.

7. The Feminine Mystique

Author: Betty Friedan
Publication date: 1963
Score: 30
Summary: In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan, born in 1921, disparaged traditional stay-at-home motherhood as life in “a comfortable concentration camp”--a role that degraded women and denied them true fulfillment in life. She later became founding president of the National Organization for Women. Her original vocation, tellingly, was not stay-at-home motherhood but left-wing journalism. As David Horowitz wrote in a review for Salon.com of Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique by Daniel Horowitz (no relation to David): The author documents that “Friedan was from her college days, and until her mid-30s, a Stalinist Marxist, the political intimate of the leaders of America’s Cold War fifth column and for a time even the lover of a young Communist physicist working on atomic bomb projects in Berkeley’s radiation lab with J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

8. The Course of Positive Philosophy

Author: Auguste Comte
Publication date: 1830-1842
Score: 28
Summary: Comte, the product of a royalist Catholic family that survived the French Revolution, turned his back on his political and cultural heritage, announcing as a teenager, “I have naturally ceased to believe in God.” Later, in the six volumes of The Course of Positive Philosophy, he coined the term “sociology.” He did so while theorizing that the human mind had developed beyond “theology” (a belief that there is a God who governs the universe), through “metaphysics” (in this case defined as the French revolutionaries’ reliance on abstract assertions of “rights” without a God), to “positivism,” in which man alone, through scientific observation, could determine the way things ought to be.

9. Beyond Good and Evil

Author: Freidrich Nietzsche
Publication date: 1886
Score: 28
Summary: An oft-scribbled bit of college-campus graffiti says: “‘God is dead’--Nietzsche” followed by “‘Nietzsche is dead’--God.” Nietzsche’s profession that “God is dead” appeared in his 1882 book, The Gay Science, but under-girded the basic theme of Beyond Good and Evil, which was published four years later. Here Nietzsche argued that men are driven by an amoral “Will to Power,” and that superior men will sweep aside religiously inspired moral rules, which he deemed as artificial as any other moral rules, to craft whatever rules would help them dominate the world around them. “Life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the strange and weaker, suppression, severity, imposition of one’s own forms, incorporation and, at the least and mildest, exploitation,” he wrote. The Nazis loved Nietzsche.

10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Author: John Maynard Keynes
Publication date: 1936
Score: 23
Summary: Keynes was a member of the British elite--educated at Eton and Cambridge--who as a liberal Cambridge economics professor wrote General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in the midst of the Great Depression. The book is a recipe for ever-expanding government. When the business cycle threatens a contraction of industry, and thus of jobs, he argued, the government should run up deficits, borrowing and spending money to spur economic activity. FDR adopted the idea as U.S. policy, and the U.S. government now has a $2.6-trillion annual budget and an $8-trillion dollar debt.

Honorable Mention

These books won votes from two or more judges:

The Population Bomb
by Paul Ehrlich
Score: 22

What Is To Be Done
by V.I. Lenin
Score: 20

Authoritarian Personality
by Theodor Adorno
Score: 19

On Liberty
by John Stuart Mill
Score: 18

Beyond Freedom and Dignity
by B.F. Skinner
Score: 18

Reflections on Violence
by Georges Sorel
Score: 18

The Promise of American Life
by Herbert Croly
Score: 17

The Origin of Species
by Charles Darwin
Score: 17

Madness and Civilization
by Michel Foucault
Score: 12

Soviet Communism: A New Civilization
by Sidney and Beatrice Webb
Score: 12

Coming of Age in Samoa
by Margaret Mead
Score: 11

Unsafe at Any Speed
by Ralph Nader
Score: 11

Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir
Score: 10

Prison Notebooks
by Antonio Gramsci
Score: 10

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson
Score: 9

Wretched of the Earth
by Frantz Fanon
Score: 9

Introduction to Psychoanalysis
by Sigmund Freud
Score: 9

The Greening of America
by Charles Reich
Score: 9

The Limits to Growth
by Club of Rome
Score: 4

Descent of Man
by Charles Darwin
Score: 2

The Judges

These 15 scholars and public policy leaders served as judges in selecting the Ten Most Harmful Books.

Arnold Beichman
Research Fellow
Hoover Institution

Prof. Brad Birzer
Hillsdale College

Harry Crocker
Vice President & Executive Editor
Regnery Publishing, Inc.

Prof. Marshall DeRosa
Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Don Devine
Second Vice Chairman
American Conservative Union

Prof. Robert George
Princeton University

Prof. Paul Gottfried
Elizabethtown College

Prof. William Anthony Hay
Mississippi State University

Herb London
Hudson Institute

Prof. Mark Malvasi
Randolph-Macon College

Douglas Minson
Associate Rector
The Witherspoon Fellowships

Prof. Mark Molesky
Seton Hall University

Prof. Stephen Presser
Northwestern University

Phyllis Schlafly
Eagle Forum

Fred Smith
Competitive Enterprise Institute