Left and Right

This Is How I Read and Digest Books

Jun 19, 2023

“Pete, you only understand some of what was written, not the whole message.” That is one of the main complaints I get from those who adhere to ideologies as religion and regard the books of experts within those ideologies as holy tomes. What those complaining do not understand is that I do, in fact, grasp the whole message, but I reject it as wrong or unworkable. I’m not going to apologize for having the ability to read an essay or book and find some information useful while rejecting everything else. Prime examples of this are the essay and book mentioned below, which I regularly reference. Believing everything written in a work just because you share a worldview with the author is something acolytes do.

With the passing of Ted Kaczynski on June 10th, I was asked to appear on several shows to discuss why I recommend reading his most famous work, Industrial Society and its Future (ISaiF). Over the span of six episodes in 2021 (which I consolidated here), I, along with Aaron from Timeline Earth, read and commented on IsaiF. I recommend reading Ted K. for two reasons: 1. I believe he, better than anyone else, has provided a psychological diagnosis of the Left/Progressive worldview. And in my opinion, the diagnosis he lays out proves there is no cure for what afflicts leftists and progressives. 2. Ted’s assessment of why people in the West, after the industrial revolution, have suffered overwhelming mental illness, resulting in a significant portion of the population being dependent on pharmaceuticals and the companies that push them, is eye-opening. I won’t go into the specifics, but those are two main points that I take away from his manifesto and why I suggest people read it. However, I don’t agree with what Ted suggests as remedies for this crisis. I took what was useful and left the rest.

A book I often reference is Democracy—the God That Failed (DtGTF) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. There are several sections within this book that I find edifying. Dr. Hoppe begins with a description of how absolute monarchies operated and then compares that system of governance to modern-day “democracies.” Dr. Hoppe makes what I consider to be an irrefutable argument that living under an absolute monarch would be preferable to living under a modern “democracy.” He includes sections in which he explains why multicultural societies are doomed to fail and the related subject of free and forced immigration. Where I depart from Dr. Hoppe is in his advocacy for anarcho-capitalism, which I don’t ever envision as a reality. Because I do not share his opinion that anarcho-capitalism can work, I view the sections in DtGTF in which he argues for one-person rule over “democracy” as a starting point for my own arguments as to how society would function most efficiently. Those who feel they must adhere to every word Dr. Hoppe writes as a prophecy for how future societies will function can’t convince me otherwise.

Even when I was a strict adherent to a certain ideology, I never felt compelled to take everything written by even my favorite authors as gospel truth. Especially when it came to theory. Believing that a political system that doesn’t exist in the real world can be introduced and operate as theorized in the span of 100 years is madness. Believing one policy change can make a difference is folly. I understand that my belief in one-man rule, if ever implemented, will not manifest exactly as it is imagined in my head. Flights of fancy are something most people can’t afford. When it comes to reading books and examining their contents, it is perfectly fine for you to believe the author is mistaken in his analysis of the facts, even if he is 100 times more educated on the subject he is writing about than you. Anyone telling you that you must believe a theory because the author is the “expert” on that subject is engaging in logical fallacies.


Categories: Left and Right

Leave a Reply