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Recommend 5 book care package to convert liberals

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Showing 1-25 of 404 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 5, 2009 8:03:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2009 5:38:30 PM PST
Mike B. says:
My sister and her husband are former residents of San Diego. They moved to Massachusetts in 1997 and have lived there ever since. Their political views changed--they are now liberals who voted for Obama. What 5 books should I send them to nudge them back to conservatism? The books should tell them what they need to know about conservatism itself, capitalism, Obama's economy (unemployment, spending, deficits), health care, global warming, the Green agenda and other key subjects.

The first book will most likely be Levin's LIBERTY AND TYRANNY. What would you recommend for the other four books?

Posted on Dec 5, 2009 12:34:49 PM PST
C. Goff says:
Send them:

1. Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics:

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics

2. State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America :

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America

3. Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

Meditations (Penguin Classics)

4. Ideas Have Consequences, by Richard Weaver

Ideas Have Consequences

5. The Subgenius Psychlopaedia of Slack: The Bobliographon

The Subgenius Psychlopaedia of Slack: The Bobliographon

Keep up the fight, Mike. Resistance is NOT futile!!!

Posted on Dec 5, 2009 1:03:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2009 1:27:51 PM PST
Mike B. says:
Thank you, Clement. But of your suggestions, items #1 and #3 sound like they're too heavy on the theory, and #5 doesn't seem to fit the needs at all. My liberal relatives are both very educated (with degrees from Harvard and Penn) but they also work and have a busy family life. I'm afraid that they will ignore books that sound too scholarly or technical. So we must emphasize accessibility. Titles with dramatic impact (like RED HOT LIES by Christopher Horner) may be best. I like your suggestion of STATE OF EMERGENCY by Patrick Buchanan.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 10:24:51 PM PST
The thought of someone with a degree from Harvard reading a book titled anything close to "Red Hot Lies" is incredibly amusing to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2009 5:08:16 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 8, 2010 1:26:51 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 11:17:41 AM PST
H. Hayman says:
Mike, I'd recommend: Universal Coverage

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2009 4:27:30 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 8, 2010 1:25:52 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 5:13:18 PM PST
Mike B. says:
To H. Hayman--

Thanks for the suggestion. I never considered works of fiction for my 5-book care package. Your suggestion UNIVERSAL COVERAGE really looks interesting. If I have the money I will send 8 books instead of 5, and this novel will be one of the 8.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 3:00:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2009 3:01:33 AM PST
D. G. Myers says:
Here are two of the best conservative writers -- two of the most uncomfortable for a well-dug-in liberal to read. They are the ones who converted me:

Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays

Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

And perhaps the best fictional dissection of the liberal imagination:

Philip Roth, American Pastoral

Good luck. If they are living in San Diego, they may be lost forever. Everything in the culture will encourage them to confuse liberalism with feelings of moral superiority.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009 10:40:25 AM PST
Radiance says:
"WITNESS" by Whittaker Chambers Witness

As on reviewer put it "Whittaker Chambers's autobiography, Witness, is a classic: a revealing sociological study of a damaged home life; a political science course in why a person would want to become a communist; a nonfiction novel of poignant scenes detailing a man's Lazarus-like rebirth into the world of free men and his agonizing decision to become an informer on those who once were his compatriots; and, perhaps above all, a prophetic voice with respect to the fate of Western Civilization."

1) It was the book that converted Ronald Reagan from FDR liberal to conservative Republican. In fact, Chambers posthumously received the Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
2) Conservative intellectual giant William F. Buckley always referred to it.
3) Ann Coulter and Morton Blackwell also recommend it.

Here's one of the quotes:

"One thing most ex-Communists could agree upon: they broke because they wanted to be free. They do not all mean the same thing by "free." Freedom is a need of the soul, and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom. God alone is the inciter and guarantor of freedom. He is the only guarantor. External freedom is only an aspect of interior freedom. Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only a political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom. Necessity is the only ultimate justification known to the mind. Hence every sincere break with Communism is a religious experience, though the Communist fail to identify its true nature, though he fail to go to the end of the experience. His break is the political expression of the perpetual need of the soul whose first faint stirring he has felt within him, years, months or days before he breaks. A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites-God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism...." ~ Whittaker Chambers

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 6:48:16 AM PST
I recommend Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg. It gives a great overview of how events unfolded in the 20th century to get us to the current state of liberalism. I really learned a lot, and I've been conservative all my life!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2010 9:39:17 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 18, 2011 6:29:17 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2010 3:53:55 AM PST
I wonder which 5 books they would send you to convert you to liberalism. And further, would you be willing to read them with an open mind. Maybe you're asking the wrong question. Maybe the question is, what do they know that I don't. Just a thought

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2010 9:01:06 AM PST
The thing is, liberalism is currently the default viewpoint in this society: education, media, entertainment.
Most people have to UNlearn it and become informed on the tenets of conservatism. They don't need to be converted to liberalism; it's already ingrained.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 1:51:02 PM PST
Pick any book by Theodore Dalrymple.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 12:53:33 PM PST
A. Smiley says:
+1 for Liberal Fascism. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I would also suggest Amity Schlaes: The Forgotten Man. This is an extraordinary history of the Great Depression, which was (in my opinion) the last time we saw the ideals of gov't welfare put into practice on this large a scale.

Jamie Whyte: Crimes Against Logic is also an excellent read - short, sweet and accessible. It's not a conservative book, but he does quite an excellent job of training the reader to see through the kind of rhetorical and intellectual dishonesty that seems to be "in" among politicians (*cough*Obama*cough) and their fans. I opened it randomly and the page I was presented with was his excellent commentary on the ultimate impossibility of "the right to be healthy" - highly relevant to current events, IMO.

Posted on Mar 8, 2010 9:05:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2010 9:13:23 AM PST
Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihin Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot An erudite and brutal audit of the left. Influenced Johan Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism", but more sophisticated and persuasive, though it is hard to find. Also see his "Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Times", which is actually availabe for free download at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Paul Johnson Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky (P.S.) undermines the intellectual foundations of Leftism as we know it. Also see his "Modern Times", a great 20th century survey that explodes many popular myths of the left.

Theodore Dalrymple Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass Because someone is poor or oppressed does not make them necessarily virtuous. This volume is perhaps too mean spirited for many tastes, but is utterly necessary.

Milton Friedman Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition The Freer the market, the freer the people.

Robert Conquest Reflections on a Ravaged Century - the cost paid in blood when ideology attempts to change humans to fit within its confines.

Of course there are many others that are quite worthy.. WFB's "Up from Liberalism", Victor D. hanson's "carnage and Culture", thomas Sowell's "Economics and the Politics of race", Jean Francois Revel's "Anti-Americanism", mark Steyn's "America Alone", Christopher caldwell's "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe" .. depending on what subject is to be emphasized.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 6:14:13 AM PDT
Gaúcho Guy says:
There have been some excellent suggestions here and I'm happy to see so many right-minded people. I sincerely hope that some day the truth will triumph. However, I suggest you read Thomas Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions" yourself. Then you'll see the futility of any effort to make someone else change his thinking.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2010 8:12:32 AM PDT

I have just ordered that very book.

*Then you'll see the futility of any effort to make someone else change his thinking*

It is virtually impossible to change a person's thinking through a logical appeal or argument, unless that person comes forward wanting to learn something. In politics (and religion, of course) this is extremely rare.

I read recently that the higher the level of education a person has, the stronger of an ideologue he will be - In any direction.

There have been studies of "prejudice" in psychology which relate to the topic about which you made comments.

I am not writing about racism but the psychological process. (It seems that liberals seem to grab on to any sensitive word and lose all ability to reason. That is why I preface this in this manner.)

In these studies, a measure of racism or anti-Semitism was done. Then, someone spoke with the subject and presented facts and evidence that clearly showed his conclusions were not valid.

The result? The person became MORE of a racist or anti-Semite. It actually made things WORSE.

Why? We can only guess.

Most likely, the person was comfortable with this thinking, it was part of his culture or family, it was part of his identity, it was something he learned and had some certainty of, or it served some useful purpose.

Therefore, to "destroy" those beliefs might mean that his parents were wrong, his friends might reject him, and even his own self-image would have to change.

So what does he do in the light of irrefutable evidence? There are a number of things:

Ascribe YOU negative characteristics: Liar, hater, lacking real insight.

Twist or spin what he heard.

Leave the situation.

Think through every thing that he knows that will contradict this information. Conspiracies, lies, revisionist history, anything to maintain his beliefs. This has the result of increasing and intensfying the prejudices.


So, what to do?

Do not contradict and disagree. Listen. Stay neutral. Wait for an opening, a shade of doubt. All liberals, for example, have some conservative attitudes. Emphasize those in a way that does not cause conflict with the other liberal ideas.

When the person feels that you are not going to judge him, he will be more receptive to good, solid conservative ideas.

Be patient. Be happy with just a bit of change.

Little by little, we can get there.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 8:19:59 AM PDT
Grim says:
I have read the majority of the books suggested here. Along with the rest of life's reading, they have convinced me that conservatism is solely concerned with preservation and extension of established privilege. Give any of these books to anyone who is not already convinced that conservatism and privilege are good things and you will create a radical.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 8:25:57 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 9, 2011 7:18:21 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2010 8:44:20 AM PDT

* they have convinced me that conservatism is solely concerned with preservation and extension of established privilege*

Please let me (us) know which books specifically led you to that conclusion.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 8:45:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 9, 2011 7:18:21 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2010 9:04:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2010 9:05:03 AM PDT
Why would that be? Those aren't conservative books. Unless of course you buy into the left-wing pap that Hitler was a "conservative".

Let me direct you to one of the above mentioned titles that will help to disabuse you of that notion:
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2010 9:39:29 AM PDT

Why not ask me a sensible question? I will respond with thought if you do.
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Discussion in:  Conservatism forum
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Initial post:  Dec 5, 2009
Latest post:  Aug 1, 2012

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