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The Most Dangerous Superstition

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  74 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. ...more
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
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?!
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
One of the most important books I've ever read. ...more
Ricardo Vladimiro
Sep 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
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
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
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
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
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
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Over the course of my life, I've come to intuitively recognize how broken governments around the world are. But I've never quite been able to put my finger on the cause, much less a solution. After reading this book, both the cause and solution are glaringly obvious to me.

Larken Rose brilliantly and patiently walks you through perceiving the authority programming, to see the truth that you instinctively know; that the myth of authority/government has been used to manipulate and control humans fo
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:

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. ...more
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. ...more
Cordarius Curry
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye Opener

This book forces you to take a look at everyday life in a different perspective, it points out things that many people don't think about on an every day basis. With that being said, I recommend this book only for open minded readers.
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.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The message humanity most needs to hear.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
.... and now I’m an anarchist!
Robert Jere
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a very provocative book, even for people already familiar with the classical liberal / libertarian tradition. The most dangerous superstition, according to this book, is the belief in "authority". By "authority", the author means the idea that some people have the right to rule and correspondingly, other people have a duty to obey. The author distinguishes his use of the word authority with other ways in which it is used in the English language. For example, an employer does not have aut ...more
Baimungi Uhuru
May 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A very simple book to overstand with the concept of I&I being the foremost logic spread by Larken Rose and anarchism. This book is hard-hitting and you must be willing to open your mind to the concept of the “political farce” that we call government. Everyone will not agree to the premise but it’s worth it. 5 stars.
Dan Valentine
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-done rundown of the dangers of the superstitious belief in "authority" and how we can set ourselves free from the perpetual tyranny of the state. Definitely recommend. Get ready for prior assumptions to be challenged. ...more
Renee King
I can fully grasp that the concept that "government" is a purely human construct that has created a psychological prison while exacting very real, physical violence and oppression in parsing out "authority" to a ruling class of humans revered as having some superhuman abilities. Nor is it at all difficult to understand the history of violence and oppression from all forms of "government" - even the "good" ones. However, it is difficult for me to make the next leap to what Mr. Rose refers to as " ...more
Chris Doelle
May 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
Larken Rose gives great arguments against government. His positions are tough to dispute. The problem lies in his solution. Yes, men can be greedy and selfish. Yes, the "power" governments have over the citizenry is akin to chaining ourselves and handing someone else the keys. Yes, government is evil. But, the alternative is chaos and anarchy. For that reason, government is a necessary evil.

There are good takeaways from this book and we would be wise to use that information to hold our elected o
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". ...more
Dio Mavroyannis
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I always wondered what a non-academic view of the libertarian world view would look like. This book is exactly that, I found the moral clarity presented in the first 50 or so pages to be sort of seething with thirst for freedom. I found the book dragged on a little towards the end and was a bit more slow when discussing studies but the moral clarity of it stays with you.
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
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Larken Rose is an outspoken advocate of the principles of self-ownership, non-aggression and a stateless society, and is the author of a number of books (including "The Most Dangerous Superstition") and creator of numerous articles and videos.

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  The glint of fangs in the dark, the sound of tap-tap-tapping at your window, the howling of wind (or is it just wind?) in the trees...that's...
300 likes · 55 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.” 15 likes
“The truth is that any form of authoritarian control—any type of "government," whether constitutional, democratic, socialist, fascist, or anything else—will result in a set of masters forcibly oppressing a group of slaves. That is what "authority" is—all it ever has been, and all it ever could be, no matter how many layers of euphemisms and pleasant rhetoric are used in an attempt to hide it.” 12 likes
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