September 25, 2017 Eric Blauer

Banned Books Week: What Books Do You Want To Burn?

 

Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”-German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, in his 1820–1821 play Almansor

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle

September 24-30 is ‘Banned Books Week’ and I have a question for you to ponder:

“What’s your vote for top 3 books banned by far right or far left?”

I am particularly interested in current books that people would want to burn today. Old books seem to get tamed by time and seem to grow comfortable as the years go on, like a grandparent. Modern books usually shock and provoke people due to the cold water on the face aspect of their non-mainstream voices. I am not saying new books are better but they are usually less accepted and more incendiary due to the way they cut jaggedly across the grain. Old books that stand the test of time, end up being far better sifted wisdom but new books often set fire quicker. So what books do you think are most likely to be considered pyre worthy today?

Meaningful links to think through:

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2016: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about

This is a particularly important list to read through because the majority of the works speak to sexuality issues that conservatives generally get the most upset about and take action in protesting. This matter is particularly interesting in light of the Nazi regime’s appeal to similar matters with rhetoric that can resonate with right leaning people. An example:  “In Berlin, some 40,000 persons gathered in the Opernplatz to hear Joseph Goebbels deliver a fiery address: “No to decadence and moral corruption!” Goebbels enjoined the crowd. “Yes to decency and morality in family and state! I consign to the flames the writings of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Gläser, Erich Kästner.” (www.ushmm.org)

Reminder: Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler’s close associates and most devoted followers, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deep, virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust. (wikipedia)

-Book Burning in Nazi Germany related to the “Un-German Spirit”: https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005852

-Banned Book Week information: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica

-Can you still be friends with someone who doesn’t vote the same way as you? http://bit.ly/2yohv2H

 

Politically Provocative Quotes:

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” -1984 by George Orwell

‘He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.’-1984 by George Orwell

“What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy? -1984 by George Orwell

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” -1984 by George Orwell

Kurt Vonnegut: “Books are sacred to free men for very good reasons. Wars have been fought against nations which hate books and burn them. If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own” 

Dwight David Eisenhower: “Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as any document does not offend our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship. How will we defeat communism unless we know what it is, what it teaches, and why does it have such an appeal for men, why are so many people swearing allegiance to it? It’s almost a religion, albeit one of the nether regions. And we have got to fight it with something better, not try to conceal the thinking of our own people. They are part of America. And even if they think ideas that are contrary to ours, their right to say them, their right to record them, and their right to have them at places where they’re accessible to others is unquestioned or it’s not America”

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About the Author

Eric Blauer I am barbarian, sage, saint, bard, husband and father. Bow my knee to only One, serve all, ruled by none.

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