The Top 10 "Controversial" Books Still On Sale On eBay
Are you upset that a Silicon Valley giant pulled six books by children's artist Dr. Seuss? Don't be! There are plenty of other edifying books you can still buy
This week the estate of writer Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, decided to stop selling six of his sixty books because of what it called “hurtful and wrong” ethnic stereotypes, including a depiction in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street of a “Chinaman” with slanted eyes. This was followed by a bold decision by one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, eBay, to begin “working to prevent the re-sale of the six books,” as the Wall Street Journal put it.
Some compared eBay’s action to book-burning, but to be fair to the company, it’s not as if they’ve completely eliminated access to controversial works. True, you won’t be able to access the dangerous work of a rhyming children’s artist, but there are still a great many interesting titles available — and at excellent prices, too! A brief list:
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, $15.70. Learn all about the secret meetings Jews and Freemasons held in Basel in 1897, where they planned to conquer Christian civilization by unleashing the plague of socialism. If you think social problems have innocent explanations — like pandemics, for instance — this book tells you the real truth:
The Doctrine of Fascism, by Benito Mussolini, $11.38. Co-written by Giovanni Gentile, this moving work describes the ideology of collective sacrifice above self, and issues an eloquent warning against the scourge of individualism. “The Fascist conception of life,” the authors write, “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State.”
Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe and Effective is Lying, Dr. Vernon Coleman, $6.99. Talking about the book, the esteemed Dr. Coleman noted, “It is often said that vaccination helped eradicate polio. This is, to put it politely, a barefaced lie.” He added, “If we banned mass vaccination programs today the world would get healthier.” Required reading for the pandemic era, and there’s free economy shipping!
Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies, $29.38. Many traditional white nationalists only look at surface images and fail to see the subtleties of characters like Vincent Vega, the “desire-driven man.” As Lynch writes, “Yes, Pulp Fiction contains interracial couples, villainous bumbling whites, and noble, eloquent blacks,” but “Pulp Fiction is only superficially anti-white. On a deeper level, it can aid us in rejecting modernity.”
Klansmen, Guardians of Liberty, Alma White and Branford Clarke, $25.33. This piercing historical work explains that Paul Revere was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and made his famous ride wearing a white hood. From that moment on, the Klan protected America from the Jew, who “produces nothing anywhere on the face of the earth. He does not till the soil. He does not create or manufacture anything for common use.”
Dialectical and Historical Materialism, by Joseph Stalin, $9.52. In pleasing paperback, this book was first published in 1938, at the height of Stalin’s heroic effort to seek out, identify, and defeat counterrevolutionary forces like the Mensheviks and the "Economists,” who, he writes here, “did not recognize the mobilizing, organizing and transforming role of advanced theory.”
Hammer of the Witches: Malleus Malificarum, $13.24. “The method of beginning an examination by torture is as follows,” the authors of this 1486 tome write. “The judge, both in person and through other good men zealous in the faith, tries to persuade the prisoner to confess the truth freely. But, if he will not confess, he bids attendants make the prisoner fast to the strappado or some other implement of torture…” Available for purchase using Visa, American Express, and most other major credit cards.
Marriage and Genetics; Laws of Human Breeding and Applied Eugenics, Charles Alfred Lee Reed, $20.60. Think twice before you reproduce, for you could be transmitting “race poisons.” Before procreating, an extensive verbal examination should be conducted to make sure there is no history of mumps, syphilis, insanity, feeble-mindedness, or persistent ancestral character questions, detection of which requires careful interrogation of both parents and “each of the four grandparents.”
General Idi Amin Dada, A Self Portrait, $5.35. This is a DVD of a documentary, perhaps otherwise unremarkable amid the many film and literary tributes to bloodthirsty despots on sale on eBay. Except for one thing: “Features an accordion soundtrack performed by the dictator himself.”
Pol Pot’s Little Red Book: The Sayings of Angkar, $37.60. After the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia in April, 1975, they inspired the populace by regularly broadcasting the slogans of Angkar, the faceless authority tending to all needs. Such classics as, “Be determined always to carry out work by leaps and bounds!” as well as “Secretly observe the deeds and gestures of everyone around you!” and “Only a newborn is free from stain,” the sayings of Angkar — which had the “many eyes of a pineapple” — are recounted here, as recalled by survivors.
I mean, the real problem is that almost every single book or author before our present time (literally our present, as in today) harbored some kind of socially objectionable thought or content in their lives or work. Not a hyperbole - literally everyone in the past was imperfect: abusive, ethnocentric, homophobic, transphobic, religious, crude, sexist, racist, ableist, or exclusionary in some way. Don't worry if you can't make the connection easily, just keep reading harder and the problematicness will reveal itself (e.g. JRR Tolkien is antisemitic because his dwarves are secretly a veiled commentary on Jews).
Right now, the only thing preventing every author and book pre-2021 from being cancelled and pulled off shelves is simply... effort. It takes a whole campaign - you've got to be motivated enough to deploy some big wet victim tears, get a crowd of loud people to high-step behind you, and gain enough critical mass to explode into the media mainstream, like this Suess thing did. But just imagine if cancelling a book were an easy frictionless process, like say if every activist had access to an app that let you pull a book or author from circulation by selecting a reason and tapping a button... most of the world's literature (from the classics to the harlequins) would disappear overnight. All we'd be left with is wordless baby books and impenetrable postmodern academic doorstops.
I follow a bunch of these people on Twitter, and they are implacable. If they had that magical button, they'd push it for every single book above and all the others. Because the world is spinning off its axis and everything's going to shit and nobody with a conscience can do anything substantial to materially improve it anymore, so whining to get our overlords to cancel some financially unimportant villain of the day is the closest they'll ever feel to having power. And each of them will cheer for it until it finally turns on them.
If you'd told me 20 years ago that the Democratic party would be militarizing the Capitol and their progressive allies banning Dr. Suess' books, I wouldn't have laughed, I'd have looked at you very strangely, thinking you were off your rockers. The Republicans circa 2000, with the evangelical wing, perhaps, yes, I could have seen that.
I really don't have much more to say beyond that it's sad and tragic. It's not funny, it's not humorous, it's tragic.