The Mystery of Fascism: David Ramsay Steele's Greatest Hits (Paperback)

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David Ramsay Steele, PhD, is a libertarian writer with a powerful underground reputation for producing caustic, entertaining, knowledgeable, and surprising arguments, often violently at odds with conventional thinking. For the first time, some of Dr. Steele’s “greatest hits” have been brought together in an anthology of provocative essays on a wide range of topics. The essays are divided into two parts, “More Popular than Scholarly” and “More Scholarly than Popular.”

“Scott Adams and the Pinocchio Fallacy,” Steele’s 2018 refutation of the popular claim that we might be living in a “simulated reality,” has been hailed as a totally irresistible debunking of that fallacy as promoted by The Matrix movie and by Scott Adams (among many pundits).

“What Follows from the Non-Existence of Mental Illness?” (2017) preserves the crucial insights of “psychiatric abolitionist” Thomas Szasz, while exposing Szasz’s major misconceptions.

In “The Bigotry of the New Atheism” (2014), Steele, himself an atheist, brings out the intolerant quality of the “New Atheists.” Steele powerfully argues that while “enthusiastic belief systems” may give rise to enormous atrocities, the historical evidence goes against the theory (promoted by Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens) that these appalling outcomes are more likely when those belief systems include belief in God.

“Taking the JFK Assassination Conspiracy Seriously” (2003) has been reprinted many times, continues to be viewed online many thousands of times, and like many of Steele’s writings, keeps making converts. It is acknowledged to be the most persuasive brief popular statement of the Lone Nut theory.

“The Mystery of Fascism” (2001), which gives this collection its title, is still continually viewed and cited, for its demonstration that fascism arose directly out of far-left revolutionary Marxism and revolutionary syndicalism. Conventional ideologues of both right and left have been provoked by this highly readable piece to start thinking outside the box.

The earliest piece in this collection, “Alice in Wonderland” (1987) is a devastating critique of the Ayn Rand belief system and the Ayn Rand cult.

“Gambling Is Productive and Rational” (1997), mercilessly strips away the loose thinking which favors intolerance and prohibition of gambling. Steele argues that gambling adds to human well-being and ought to be completely legalized everywhere.

Other topics include the recovered memory witch hunt of the 1990s, the benefits of replacing democratic voting with selection of political positions by lottery, the unexpected results of research into the causes of human happiness, the reasons why Dexter (a TV show sympathetic to a psychotic serial killer) was politically “safe,” why economic growth can go on for ever, why the most popular moral argument against eating meat just doesn’t work, how Hillary Clinton could have won the presidency in 2016, why Friedrich Hayek is wrong about social evolution, the inevitable disappearance of market socialism, Robert Nozick’s muddled thinking about economics, and the proper way to view anti-consensus theories such as the Atkins Diet.

About the Author

As an author, Dr. Steele is admired for his iconoclastic study of George Orwell’s thinking, Orwell Your Orwell: A Worldview on the Slab (2017), praised by Yuri Maltsev as “absolutely dazzling”; his popular exposition of atheism, Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (2008), not only admired by atheists but also frequently praised by believers for its fair-mindedness; and his demonstration of the practical impossibility of Marxian socialism, From Marx to Mises (1992). Dr. Steele is also co-author (with Michael Edelstein) of Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (1997; second edition 2019) and Therapy Breakthrough: Why Some Psychotherapies Work Better than Others (2013).

Praise For…

“Those who know David Ramsay Steele only from his indispensable study of George Orwell will be amazed at the range and penetration of his thinking on so many libertarian issues, as displayed in this marvelously entertaining collec-tion. From Mussolini to The Matrix, from vegetarianism to mental illness, Steele’s relentless logic jolts us awake.” — THOMAS E. WOODS JR., author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History 

“David Ramsay Steele brings his extraordinary analytic abilities and mordant wit to a wide variety of topics, including Ayn Rand’s thought, mental illness, and the nature of fascism. Readers will often laugh out loud as he skewers his targets and will always learn something surprising and important.” — DAVID GORDON, Senior Fellow, the Mises Institute, and author of Resurrecting Marx 

“Every essay in this anthology is written with panache, in a truly riveting style. David Ramsay Steele is a gifted story-teller and a keen analyst of human types. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the story of Ayn Rand and her one-time lover and incurable admirer Nathaniel Branden. Steele’s description of the Randian cult as the ‘Gospel of Spleen’ fits perfectly the bizarre, personality-centered phenomenon described.” — PAUL EDWARD GOTTFRIED, Raffensperger Professor of History Emeritus, Elizabethtown College, and author of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt

Product Details
ISBN: 9781587315299
ISBN-10: 1587315297
Publisher: St. Augustines Press
Publication Date: November 11th, 2019
Pages: 430
Language: English