For those who have been checking this blog for updates: My apologies. The hustle and bustle of the holidays — such as they’ve been — were a major distraction. But another distraction is the constant machinations of power politics around us. Just witnessing the dysfunction and delusion feels paralyzing at times. Take a quick gander back at 2014 and you’ll see: Rioting is replacing the rule of law. The transgender project is replacing the physical reality of sex distinctions by legally erasing those distinctions from your identity. Communism is making a comeback in the world, including in Eastern Europe.
These are just a few of the trends, but they comprise just the tip of a very deep iceberg. On the surface these agendas are all about freedom, blah blah blah. But dip below and you’ll hear loud and clear Orwell’s 1984 proclamations that “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength.”
I’m going to attempt a running list of secular books that I hope can help level headed folks piece together what exactly is going on in our brains and in our relationships that seem to be producing the delusional state our society is in. The books are mostly about understanding how propaganda — and political correctness — affects us, divides us, and destroys us. Some of the questions I grapple with are these: Why does there seem to be a blockade on cohesive and independent thought? Why are we so susceptible to propaganda and political correctness? Why do we never learn? Why do we keep falling for promises of utopia? Is there a way to stem the tide? (In the future, I also hope to offer some titles from a specifically Christian perspective.)
Below are a random mix of a few non-fiction titles I recommend as reading in 2015. I plan to present short reviews of and/or excerpts from each in the weeks and months to come, and I will add more books and essays to the list. I wish we could all be in a book club together to discuss them!
The Undiscovered Self, by Carl Jung (1956) (discussed in an earlier blog post)
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, (1986) by Doris Lessing.
The Rape of the Mind, (1956) by Joost Meerloo.
The Power of the Powerless, (1978) by Vaclav Havel
The Hidden Persuaders, (1957) by Vance Packard.
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, (2010) by Nicholas Carr
Propaganda, (1928) by Edward Bernays
May the year ahead be illuminating for us all.
Happy New Year!