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10 Most Influential Books Of All Time –

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Books have always had an incredible influence on humanity. Sometimes they help us improve our lives or give us a bit of fiction to pass the time. But there have been some books that have been written that were so influential they influenced entire countries or an entire group of people worldwide, everything from philosophy to strategy of war to entire religions.

Here are the 10 most influential books of all time.

#10: Dianetics
Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley couldn’t possibly be wrong that L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health is the most important book ever published. No, of course not.L. Ron Hubbard, a science-fiction writer who was accused of being a fraud, created a religion based on the pseudoscience that was offered in his bestselling book that Scientologists refer to as Book One on their path to going clear. That’s just a fancy way of saying (babbling).Published in 1950 as a $4 self-help book, it claimed it could cure human aberrations through the process of auditing that could unlock unfathomable potential. Nearly 70 years later, the impact of Dianetics continues with the always controversial and never boring Church of Scientology, with their devoted followers who really believe in an intergalactic warlord called Xenu.Honestly, I don’t have the time in this post or the patience to explain what Scientology’s all about, but look it up; Google is free! cheesy

 

#9: The Analects of Confucius
The Analects of Confucius that was written 2,400 years ago are still the linchpin of Chinese society today.Confucius skips over the spirituality discussions of the Bible and Quran and offers practical social order related to family, morality, politics, and social hierarchy.Every Chinese emperor and Communist Party leader has practiced Confucianism that blends authority with man’s moral duty, which has justified power grabs and abuse of power throughout China’s long and tumultuous history. And those same principles can be credited to the rise of modern China, which is now the rival global superpower of the United States.

 

#8: Plato’s The Republic
Plato, not to be confused with Play-Doh, in case you were wondering, wrote The Republic around 380 BC, around the time of the Peloponnesian War, analyzing Greek society breaking down in real time, which became among the first great texts on political and moral theory.The book is written as a conversation held between Socrates, Athenians, and foreigners arguing for societal and political justice versus individual justice to create the ideal society. And out of this comes the utopian city-state of Kallipolis, where the best parts of man govern, allowing prosperity and happiness through obedience to a higher power, the state.

 

#6: The Rights of Man
Civil rights as we know it began when Thomas Paine argued persuasively in The Rights of Man that a government that does not take care of its citizens deserves to be overthrown.It was released in 1791 in the wake of the American and French Revolutions and advocated for a republic rather than a monarchy, where civil rights are respected and equality amongst citizens is honored.It sent shockwaves throughout the old and new world, especially in his native England, where he was tried in absentia and sentenced to hang for libel against the crown, but never returned, staying in exile in France.Paine demonstrated that with a proper tax system, a government could provide social welfare for its citizens, like police, public education, and protections for the poor and elderly. You hear that, United States and Canada? A proper tax system, not the one we currently got. After Tax Day, it’s like I’m walking outta there limping like, “Oh, oh god, my butt, oh.”

 

#5: The Wealth of Nations
Economists would argue that the most important thing written in 1776 was not the Declaration of Independence but Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, because of its impact on the global economy to this day.International trade can thank Smith because he helped kill off mercantilism, the system where wealth was kept within a single market by choking off imports through punishing tariffs. The Scottish philosopher argued that people’s self-interest led to prosperity, so if you let it go unchecked, everyone in society will be a winner, and now we have capitalism.Many conservatives the world over look to Smith as something of a prophet who showed humanity the light with his free trade gospel. I never thought of economics and religion as being that similar, although religion does have that little tray that they hand out that makes you feel guilty if you don’t give them money, so I guess they are kinda similar.

 

#4: The Communist Manifesto
Okay, now we’re on the flip side of Adam Smith, who was Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, who threw a monkey wrench in the cogs of capitalism when they released The Communist Manifesto in 1848.Europe was choking in the smoky Industrial Revolution when the distribution of wealth was stark between the few haves in their top hats and waistcoats and the majority of have-nots covered in soot.The book begins with a eulogy for capitalism that launched revolutions across Europe where workers, the proletariat, joined forces to create powerful political blocks against the bourgeoisie that got fat off their labor. And thus, communism was born and would eventually spread across the world, with the often violent revolutions in Russia in 1917, China in 1949, and Cuba in 1959, and on and on the red cloud spread, comrade.

 

#3: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare single-handedly changed culture, the English language, and the art of storytelling itself with his plays, sonnets, and poems.Shakespeare didn’t write just one book, but a collected anthology of his works that created the modern templates for comedy, tragedy, love stories, and even the political thriller.Shakespeare talked about race relations in Othello, helped us understand teen angst with Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar inspired the actor John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. And fun fact, 10% of the words that Shakespeare wrote he made up to evoke emotion, like lackluster, softhearted, and fashionable. This lackluster, softhearted person is fashionable. I like him.But possibly Shakespeare’s greatest impact was creating the modern concept of romantic love, with its triumph and tragedies, but most importantly choosing who you love. Read them, but don’t follow in the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet. If you read the book, it doesn’t turn out well.

 

#2: The Origin of Species
Okay, you know you’re a big deal when they attach an -ian to the end of your name, like Darwinian.Charles Darwin dropped an atom bomb of knowledge on the world with his book The Origin of Species in 1859 that introduces the theory of evolution based on his scientific explorations around the Galapagos Islands.Suddenly, people started realizing that the history of life might not be verbatim to the Bible as they thought. For example, like the world only being 6,000 years old, and instead the Earth might actually be a few billion years old. As you can imagine, churches and their devout flock did not like it very much and decreed Darwin as a heretic.And to this day, Darwin’s rational approach to science butts up against religious origin concepts like creationism. But the survival of the fittest, the idea that those who do not adapt and excel will perish, remains relevant to the social as well as the scientific.

 

#1: The Bible
The Bible, from the word biblia, meaning “the book” in Latin, is a collection of vastly different texts from different times, places, styles, and often contradictory sources, especially when you get into the weeds of the Old versus New Testament.The Old Testament has some of the most violent and lustful stories ever told, starring the bearded badass Moses, while the New Testament’s heartthrob Jesus taught us all that we need to love and perhaps punishments, depending on who you ask.Yep, but it’s true. Sorry, J.K. Rowling, but the Bible is the bestselling book series of all time, providing bedrock principles for 2.2 billion people worldwide. And honestly, don’t be offended if I didn’t mention your specific religious text, like the Quran or the Flying Spaghetti Monster Manual, because they all teach us something.

 

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