Tag Archives: Dark Enlightenment Reading List

The BookShelf: Economics in One Lesson

I finished reading Economics in One Lesson weeks ago, but haven’t got around to reviewing it yet. So, here goes.

First, the title is misleading, this book will not teach you basic economics, it is more concerned about correcting basic statist and keynesian errors in economic thinking. Also, it’s 25 small lessons, not one, although, at only about 200 pages you could finish it in an evening if you put your mind to it.

That being said the book is a good one. It is written well and is moderately simple read. It’s a little dry, but not overly so given the subject matter. The arguments are solid and concise and the book is neatly organized.

If you desire to learn about the many economic errors of statism and good, simple counter-arguments to statist arguments, this book will provide. If you have a statist friend, this book would be a good recommendation. On the other hand, you will not learn basic economics, only basic economic errors.

One problem with the book is that it is 50+ years old now, so many of the arguments are now standard within the conservative/libertarian narrative. If you’ve read much about economics or been involved in political debates online, you might find many parts of the book to be somewhat obvious, as you’ve already heard them repeated endlessly. Even so, having the arguments systematized and summarized is useful.

Also, if you’ve read What is Seen and What is Unseen, most of that book’s argument are also addressed here. If you read EON, it would be unnecessary to read WSWU, expect for enjoyment purposes.

Recommendation:

You should read Economics in One Lesson if you’re interested in economics, interested in politics, or want some counters to common statist economic arguments. If you already very knowledgeable about free market economics, this book will likely be unnecessary, although you may still like an organized version of common free market arguments.

What’s next:

A few weeks ago, I started reading John C. Wright’s Universal Apology. It, along with a dissatisfaction with evangelicalism that has been growing within for the last couple of years, has got me to seriously question my protestantism. So, the reading lists are going to go more slowly while I read a bit about the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, canon formation, and the like. I will likely post interesting topics I come across here; I may or may not do book reviews. If anyone is interested I’m currently going through The Biblical Canon; I also plan to read the Spirit of Catholicism, the Orthodox Church, and Christianity: the First 3000 Years.

Expect the occasional thread on Catholicism or my readings on here. I may occasionally ask my Catholic/Orthodox readers some questions.

While the reading lists are going to be slow, they are not stopping altogether. I’m still sporadically reading Boston’s Gun Bible and have started sporadically reading Sowell’s Basic Economics. When these are done (whenever that may be) I will review them here. I also am going to start reading the Brothers Karamazov for a book group I’m in, I may or may not review it here and I’ll share any profound thoughts I may have about it.

Advertisements

The Bookshelf: What is Seen and What is Unseen

What is Seen and What is Unseen is a part of both the Free Man’s Reading List and the Dark Enlightenment Reading List. It was written in the early 1800s by a Frenchman, Frederic Bastiat.

The writing is solid and moderately engaging, but nothing spectacular.

It’s a rather short book at less than 50 pages, but it gets its main point, that government spending and government debt have unseen negative consequences and you should be aware of unintended consequences when making policy, quite well. Essentially, it is a debunking on Keynesian BS from over a century before Keynesian BS existed. While reading the book, I couldn’t help like feeling Bastiat was intellectually bitch-slapping Paul Krugman from beyond the grave.

Given the age of the book, most of the arguments are well known on the right or among those with some economic knowledge, so if you’re knoweldgable about economics you might already know most of these arguments, such as the broken window parable, for which the book is known. To simplify the parable, a broken window does not lead to economic gains, as the person spending money to replace the window may be employing the glazier, but the tailor/printer is losing out as her is not buying a new book or new clothes.

But even if you know most of it, the most fascinating thing about this book is how little has changed in two hundred years. How can you not read this and think of the intellectual whores like Krugman:

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it…

Or this, and think of every idiot socialist:

Our adversaries consider, that an activity which is neither aided by supplies, nor regulated by Government, is an activity destroyed. We think just the contrary. Their faith is in the legislator, not in mankind; ours is in mankind, not in the legislator.

Or this and think of the Fed:

Whatever may be the amount of cash and of paper which is in circulation, the whole of the borrowers cannot receive more ploughs, houses, tools, and supplies of raw material, than the lenders altogether can furnish; for we must take care not to forget, that every borrower supposes a lender, and that what is once borrowed implies a loan.

Anyway, the greatest thing about this book is seeing how retarded economic ideas parroted by  the ignorant and blind were intellectually destroyed two centuries ago by an economist most people have enver even heard of. Then you feel somewhat sad that mentally enfeebled will still gain traction with their debunked arguments.

Recommendations:

I would strongly recommend reading What is Seen and What is Unseen. It’s a short, quick guide to basic economic reasoning that demolishes Keynesian arguments.

The only reason not to read this book, is if you are reading another Austrian economics book that is more in-depth. For example, I have started reading Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, and most of the subject matter of What is Seen and What is Unseen has been covered in the first few chapters of Hazlitt’s book.

But even then, the enjoyment of watching modern idiots being thrashed by some unknown Frenchman 150 years dead may make it worth your while.

Note: I am now moving onto Boston’s Gun Bible and Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, if anyone is trying to read along with me.


DE Reading List Update

Here are some additions to the Dark Enlightenment Reading List based on comments from the original post.

The Moral Animal – Robert Wright
Meant to add this one, but somehow it didn’t get added.

The Manipulated Man – Esther Vilar
Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler
Patriarcha (the Natural Power of Kings) – Sir Robert Filmer
Is There Anything Good About Men? – Roy Baumeister

I would have added The Resistance by Ernesto Sabato but I can not find an English version.

A few books, such as the 48 Laws of Power, were already on my Free Man’s reading list and didn’t really fit this one, some didn’t fit either list, and some already had similar, preferable options. Macaulay, for example, seems to be a whig.

I’ve also added a few more from Moldbug and Radish:

Popular Government – Henry Maine
The Rising Tide of Color – Lothrop Stoddard

You are Not so Smart was added to the Free Man’s List under Mind.

Some asked for history and I think it would be a good addition, but I wasn’t sure where to start on this, but I found this list on Moldbug, so that sounds good:

Life and Liberty in America – Charles Mackay
Land of the Dollar – George Steevens
Outre-Mer – Paul Bourget

Shall Cromwell Have a Statue? – Charles Francis Adams Jr.
Memoirs of Service Afloat – Adm. Raphael Semmes
The Roving Editor – James Redpath

Democracy and the Party System in the United States – Moisei Ostrogorskiy
A South-Side View of Slavery – Nehemiah Adams

The Origin of the Late War – Lunt

Here’s a couple more from the Free Man’s list:

Reflection on the Revolution in France – Edmund Burke
Origins of English Individualism – Alan MacFarlane

Here’s a few more from other Mencius posts and Foseti:

True History of the American Revolution – Sydney George Fisher
The Shortest-Way With The Dissenters – Daniel Defoe
While you Slept – John T. Flynn
The Road Ahead; America’s Creeping Revolution – John T. Flynn
America’s Retreat from Victory – Joseph R. McCarthy

I think that should be enough history; if anyone has any other DE-related history books that should be read, feel free to suggest.

Added GBFM’s reading list and Foseti’s “books that influenced me” to the other reading list links.


Dark Enlightenment Reading List

While creating the Free Man’s Reading List, some recommended I add some books on what is sometimes referred to as the Dark Enlightenment. The Dark Enlightenment is something I’ve been reading for years and my blog here sometimes edges near the periphery of that territory, moreso as time goes on. Neoreaction is something I desire to learn more about.

So, I’ve been trying to create a reading list over the last few monehts for those wanting to learn about the Dark Enlightenment and I’m going to try to read through it while reading through the Free Man’s list (because one massive, multi-year reading list just isn’t enough).

Before that, I’ll briefly explain the Dark Enlightenment. It is essentially the realization that men are not equal. It is a reactionary movement against the progressivist ideology that dominates the Cathedral (ie. the elites) and is based on the untrue assumption of the equality of man.

Beyond that, there is a diverse array of ideologies among those that would be considered part of the Dark Enlightenment. Among those in the Dark Enlightenment are reactionaries, paleo-conservatives, paleo-libertarians, Christian traditionalists, formalists, fascists (in the non-pejorative sense), monarchists, tribalists, ethno-nationalists, nihilists, hedonists, and many others. The uniting link between these disparate ideologies is opposition to the current progressivist order and her sister ideologies of democracy, egalitarianism, socialism, feminism, multiculturalism, modernity, etc.

This list is meant to introduce someone to the Dark Enlightenment and its ideas. There is little discussion of the various little tribes of the movement; these are more focused on the broad-brush issues.

Not all (or even most) of the writers here would consider themselves part of the Dark Enlightenment, but these are books and writings I think would be useful in introducing the ideas that are fundamental to the DE.

Introduction

First we start with a few introductory web readings on what the Dark Enlightenment is:

The Dark Enlightenment Defined
The Dark Enlightenment Explained
The Path to the Dark Enlightenment
The Essence of the Dark Enlightenment
An Introduction to Neoreaction
Neoreaction for Dummies

Here is are two longer introductions that may be helpful for some. The first is by a non-reactionary and may be useful for those now from the right:
Reactionary Philosophy in a Nutshell
The Dark Enlightenment – Nick Land

The Cathedral Explained.

Being introduced to Dark Enlightenment thought, I would suggest reading When Wish Replaces Thought by Steven Goldberg. The book itself is written by a liberal, but thoroughly debunks numerous liberal shibboleths through objective logic. It’s not reactionary in itself, but it will cause someone capable of thinking to question what they view as accepted “truths”.

Then try Three Years of Hate from In Mala Fide. The collection of essays touches on numerous neoreactionary topics and is an enjoyable, easy-to-read entry point, as long as you don’t mind the virulent nihilism and offensiveness of the book.

Now we can get down to the various categories of dark enlightenment thought. You can read these categories in whatever order you wish; each is somewhat separate, but all are inter-connected.

I probably have missed some stuff, so feel free to provide some suggestions.

****

The Decline

These books introduce outline the decline of our civilization, the reasons, and the potential consequences. These books are more ‘mainstream’and due to their natures, each highlights numerous interrelated ideas. Because of this, they should make a good introduction.

We are Doomed – John Derbyshire
America Alone – Mark Steyn
After America – Mark Steyn
Death of the West – Pat Buchanan
The Abolition of Britain – Peter Hitchens

****

Civil Society and Culture

The importance of organic community and culture are embraced by all rightests. These books outline the the disappearance of organic community due to modern society and the decline of our culture.

Coming Apart – Charles Murray
Disuniting of America – Arthur Schlesinger
The Quest for Community – Robert Nisbet
Bowling Alone – Robert Putnam
Life at the Bottom – Theodore Dalrymple
Intellectuals and society – Thomas Sowell

****

Western Civilization

These books analyze the importance of western civiliziation.

Civilization: The West and the Rest – Niall Ferguson
Culture Matters – Samuel Huntington
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization – Ricardo Duchesne

****

Moldbuggery

Mencius Moldbug is one of the more influential neoreactionaries. His blog, Unqualified Reservations, is required reading; if you have not read Moldbug, you do not understand modern politics or modern history. Start here for an overview of major concepts: Moldbuggery Condensed. Introduction to Moldbuggery has the Moldbug reading list. Start with Open Letter series, then simply go from the beginning.

****

Reactionary Thought

Start with Carlyle’s first two:

Chartism – Thomas Carlyle
Latter-Day Pamphlets – Thomas Carlyle

Then move onto the other two major works necessary to enter the Froude society:

The Bow of Ulysses – James Anthony Froude
Popular Government – Henry Summers Maine

Then finish off Carlyle:
Shooting Niagara – Carlyle
The Occasional Discourse – Carlyle
On Heroes, Hero Worship & the Heroic in History – Carlyle

Having gotten through Carlyle we can move onto Julius Evola. Here’s his three main works in recommended reading order, but first a very short summation of his work and practical application thereof.

The Handbook of Traditional Living – Raido
Men Among the Ruins – Julius Evola
Ride the Tiger – Julius Evola
Revolt Against the Modern World – Julius Evola

Here are a few other reactionaries to read gained from Moldbug, Radish, and elsewhere.

Reflections of a Russian Statesman – Konstantin Pobedonostsev
Decline of the West – Oswald Spengler
Hour of Decision – Oswald Spengler
On Power – Jouvenel
Against Democracy and Equality – Tomislav Sunic
New Culture, New Right – Michael O’Meara
Why We Fight – Guillaume Faye

****

Economics

Dark enlightenment economics tend towards either the Austrian school, techno-capitalism, or some form of economic nationalism/protectionism/mercantalism. Here’s some basic Austrian economics to destroy what modern keynesian notions you may have. This overlaps with the other reading list.

Economics in One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt
Basic Economics – Thomas Sowell
That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen – Frederic Bastiat
Man, Economy, and State – Murray Rothbard
Human Action – Ludwig von Mises

****

HBD

Human bio-diversity (HBD) studies the biological roots of human behaviour a major topic within the Dark Enlightenment as genetic differences between people and groups provide a more fundamental view of inequality than the “root causes” touted by the Cathedral.

Darwin’s Enemies on the Left and Right Part 1, Part 2

The History and Geography of Human Genes (Abridged edition) – Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
The 10,000 Year Explosion – Gregory Cochrane
Race, Evolution, and Behavior – Rushton
Why Race Matters – Michael Levin

****

Intelligence and Mind

The science of intelligence and the mind is closely related to HBD and provides one of the more visible and controversial aspects of the Dark Enlightenment, while destroying the blank slate ideology.

The Bell Curve – Charles Murray
The Global Bell Curve – Richard Lynn
Human Intelligence – Earl Hunt
Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence – Robert Sternberg
A Conflict of Visions – Thomas Sowell
The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature – Murray Rothbard (essay)

****

Education

The control of the modern education system and its leading role in the perpetuation of the Cathedral has made the modern education system and its

Real Education – Charles Murray
Inside American Education – Thomas Sowell
Illiberal Education – Dinesh D’Sousa
God and Man at Yale – William Buckley
Weapons of Mass Instruction – John Taylor Gatto
The Higher Education Bubble – Glenn Reynolds

****

Sex

These books outline the biological realities of sex and sexual differences that are denied by the Cathedral.

The Way of Men – Jack Donovan
Sperm Wars – Robin Baker
Sex at Dawn – Christopher Ryan
Why Men Rule – Steven Goldberg
Demonic Males – Dale Peterson
The Essential Difference – Simon Baron-Cohen
The Mating Mind – Geoffrey Miller
The Red Queen – Matt Ridley

****

Government

It is essential to know how government works for any reactionary; these books will show you. Also, yes, I did include a TV show; watch Yes, Minister, there is simply no better way to actually understand the actual mechanics of government than to watch this show. I work in government, and yes, bureaucrats will say this is exactly how government works.

Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers – Tom Wolfe
Public Choice: An Introduction – Iain McLean
On Government Employment – Foseti (blog post)
Yes, Minister – TV Show

****

Fiction/Poetry

Complete Verse – Rudyard Kipling
Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut
Camp of the Saints – Jean Raspail

****

Other Related Reading Lists

Derbyshire’s list of Dark Enlightenment blogs
The Great Books of The Aristocracy
Library of the Dark Enlightenment