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The Most Dangerous Superstition

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The primary threat to freedom and justice is not greed, or hatred, or any of the other emotions or human flaws usually blamed for such things. Instead, it is one ubiquitous superstition which infects the minds of people of all races, religions and nationalities, which deceives decent, well-intentioned people into supporting and advocating violence and oppression. Even with ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published 2011 by Iron Web Publications
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Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book's title is not an exaggeration. It exposes a superstition that virtually all of us are taught from our infancy, and few of us ever outgrow. Do you think you have put all the fables of your childhood behind you, along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Have you grown up to become an independent-minded adult? Reading this book is a good way to find out.

Little children learn morality from their parents: things are good or bad because Mommy and Daddy SAID so. A little later, they may be
Britta Heinitz
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. I was a "l"ibertarian before I read this book. This book pushed me over the edge to full blown anarchist.
Mad Russian the Traveller
One of those paradigm shifting books. If you are tired of being a slave of the State, the path begins with freeing your mind, and freeing your mind could begin with this book. The case is almost overstated, but since I am already starting to see through the mythology that keeps us all oppressed, it may be my subjective impression. Recommended for all who are brave enough to be responsible for their own lives instead of running to mommy or daddy government to settle all their problems.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
I received this book as a gift from an online acquaintance with the agreement that I would read it and give it to someone after finishing it.

Rose is an anarchist, and a passionate one. I found his arguments engaging, polemic, and in the end unconvincing. His entire premise is that "authority" does not exist, and he is right. If everyone stopped believing in authority, it would vanish. However, I think that some paradigms, even though not 100% true, are useful. We wander through life with half tr
Gintas Kamaitis
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A deeply philosophical book on the nature of consent and the false belief in authority. Be it founded on religion, politics or government the belief in authority has throughout history led to otherwise good people doing evil deeds. Larken Rose explores the deep rooted belief in authority and offers alternatives for a more humane and enlightened world.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: the author, Larken Rose
One of the most important books I've ever read.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
If nothing else, this book will make you think. It is a must-read for every government employee and law enforcer! Are you doing what you know to be morally right, or are you blindly obeying what you perceive as authority, even though it is telling you to do what you know to be morally wrong? That is the question which each of us must answer for ourselves. But, do we realize we need to *ask* that question?!
Dave Burns
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned

In "The Most Dangerous Superstition," by Larken Rose, the author claims that "[t]he distinguishing feature of 'government' is that it is thought to have the moral *right* to give and enforce commands. [...] What distinguishes a street gang from 'government' is how they are perceived by the people they control." That communicates the basic insight of the book. Rose denies the existence of authority, defined as this moral right to command, and a corresponding obligation of ordinary persons to obey
Ron Shoemaker
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This may be the best non-fiction book I have ever read. I will just give you one excerpt from it:

“In truth, if anything is a sin, it is blind obedience to "authority." Acting as an enforcer for "government" amounts to spiritual suicide—actually worse than physical suicide, because every authoritarian "enforcer" not only shuts off the free will and ability to judge which make him human (thus "killing" his own humanity) but also leaves his body intact, to be used by tyrants as a tool for oppressio
Frank Mueller
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it
The book has some excellent ideas about the expression of polities where one's belief system can form a mode of confirmation bias that creates a shared illusion forming questioning certain beliefs about authority as taboo. This is a creative and positive aspect of the book. The writing also conflates leadership with authority at times and does not differentiate between the two modes of behavior. This create a duplicitous presentation from the author where they attempt to lead the reader while at ...more
William Kiely
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Insightful, but poorly argued.

Much better is anarcho-capitalist Prof. Michael Huemer's book The Problem of Political Authority, which argues for the same thesis that governments lack political authority,but in a much more rigorous and persuasive way.

Huemer's book is my favorite book defending libertarian anarchism.

More detailed review on Amazon and my blog:

Christopher Krenisky
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Most Dangerous Superstition is one of the most important books ever written. I would recommend this book to everyone, even though many may not be ready to let go of their lifelong indoctrination of the most dangerous superstition just yet; it’s an enlightening read. I have been following Larken Rose’s work for the past several years, but it wasn’t until recently I purchase a copy of his book. Those who suffer from cognitive dissonance criticize Larken because he speaks plainly, in simple lan ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book could literally change your life. Larken Rose argues that ‘authority’ is a figment of our imagination. More than that, is it a superstition (the most dangerous superstition) which has allowed governments to form and undertake all manner of atrocities. Consider for a moment that all people were actually equal, literally. No person, be it a police officer or other government authority, had the right to kidnap you (detain), rob you (tax) or otherwise forcibly coercive you into anything yo ...more
Ricardo Vladimiro
Sep 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics, dumb-shit
I'm astonished at the amount of logical fallacies on a book that appeals so much to logic. This book is a compendium of them, especially extreme false dichotomies. I should've figure out in the first lines, when the author instructs the readers to stop reading and give the book to someone else if their beliefs and superstitions matter more than truth and justice. The implication of subtle here but never again throughout the book.

The basic premisse of the book is simple. Anarchy works, anything t
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
It seems that author of this book and I are living in a different worlds. I have never experienced that kind of oppression or abuse from "authority" that he talks about. I never felt that my taxes are going to waste or many other things that author talks about. Maybe things are different in America, but down here in liberal Europe things are not so grim therefore many of his points are moot.
Great Idea but the book is to repetitivr

The book presents a great idea. As currency; Goberment and religion are fiat.
The book presents this great way of thinking, but to my taste it repeats and repeats the same concept all the book
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
While I found the premise of the book engaging at the start, I felt it never really went anywhere. Very disappointing.
Navaid Syed
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books you may ever read.
Stefan Matias
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Few Anarchists grasp and see the nature of man and "government" so clearly as Larken Rose, or are able to express it in a comparable manner. In "The Most Dangerous Superstition," it is not what new information you learn that is most important, but the new perspective provided to what you already know well and which are obvious to anyone.

What is meant by this is well illustrated by an analogy to the infamous scene in The Matrix, where Morpheus provides Neo with a choice to either stay ignorant a
Dylan Arthur
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book makes a fantastic case for pursuing anarchism by appealing to peace and compassion. The books argues that all actions taken by governments are inherently violent. And the book makes the further claim, and far more interesting and unique claim, that government does not really exist in the first place (thus why he calls it a superstition in the title). So, the author argues that we all really live in anarchy and have no rulers, and all of society's problems come from trying to deny this ...more
Mary Lynne Jarvis
Aug 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Never solves the problems of people who enjoy preying on others

Some valid points are made about authoritarianism but never does the book explain how a community that agrees that one evil is acceptable to their community (such as slavery) can be prevented from exploiting those who see their belief as immoral. Without agreed upon standards and honest judges, people could kill a defenseless child and go unpunished because no one is paying for jails to lock away those who are dangerous. Does he adv
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book mostly helped to reinforce ideas that I had already encountered or considered. The concepts weren't too extravagant, least not for me, although I've heard different from others that claimed this book changed their lives. And what can I say? They're amazing concepts to educate yourself to.

At the end of the day, contemplating alternate forms of government, or lack thereof, and being free to disseminate those ideas to others, should be an unquestionable right of, not only every American,
May 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish. Rose lost me totally when he suggested that laws are not rules. What? He also states that people do not have the right to food, housing, health care, etc., then boldly states that the deprogrammed anarchist "sees a world of equals--not in talent, ability, or wealth, of course, but in rights." Presumably, only in the "rights" he deems are worthy. Simplistic, illogical and nonsensical.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was already very sympathetic to the ideas presented in this book prior to reading it. However Rose presents his ideas in such a clear manner that it further clarified my own ideas, and strengthened my perspective on anarchism. By the end it did get a little repetitive, but as a whole this is an excellent book which anyone should read to free themselves from the myth of the that is "government".
Kristaps Fabiāns
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're not new to the ideas of libertarianism and anarchy, it will be kind of boring, but even then it provides a fresh perspective of how authority and government are essentially just myths that everyone is falling for and if everyone would realize it, those institutions would cease to exist. A good read for newbies.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ron by: I have known Rose for years, but missed this until now.
Terrific, wish I had written this myself.

It seems redundant, and I had a difficult time getting finished with Kindle.

The only thing I had hoped for was Rose's proposals for getting rid of "Government" and "Authority", which are bringing mankind to the brink of extinction.
Pedro Jacob
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking assault on the unquestionable assumption that government exists to make our lives better.

If, like me, you're interested in an accessible introduction to libertarian ideas, then look no further.
Michael Poulin
Reality, no matter how difficult it is for some to accept.

Well written and to the point. This book really puts things in perspective. Peace to all people, this book helps to understand how to achieve it.
Josiah Akhtab
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those who are ready for the truth, read this book.

Lauren Rose does an excellent job of breaking down just how insidious and pervasive this superstition is. Revealing how this is single-handedly the thing responsible for most of not all the world's problems.
Denis Vasilev
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Book about different evils of government and authority. Little bit repetitive.
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American libertarian and tax protestor.

Larken Rose was sentenced to 15 months in prison for willful failure to file income tax returns in five years in which the government alleged that his income was approximately $500,000. He was released from prison in December 2006.

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
34 likes · 12 comments
“In truth, the belief in "government" is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of "government" describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative.” 11 likes
“Frederick Douglass, a former slave, witnessed and described that exact phenomenon among his fellow slaves, many of whom were proud of how hard they worked for their masters and how faithfully they did as they were told. From their perspective, a runaway slave was a shameful thief, having "stolen" himself from the master.” 9 likes
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