The Tyranny of Dumb Book Titles

Hey, is that a cli-CHÉ Guevara t-shirt?  In his newly released book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, Jonah Goldberg argues that liberals craftily use innocuous-sounding yet hackneyed phrases such as “social justice” and “diversity” to obscure their nefarious intentions. Never mind that issue-framing is nothing new in American politics and that conservatives are pretty darn good at it. And never mind that Goldberg’s last book, Liberal Fascism, indulged in the very argument-by-sloganeering that he now decries.

Let’s focus on the book’s title, a call to arms against trite reductionism—which just happens to echo the title of no fewer than 52 previously published books, including:

The Tyranny of the Majority

The Tyranny of the Minority

The Tyranny of the Two-Party System

The Tyranny of The Status Quo

The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

The Tyranny of Liberalism

The Tyranny of Socialism

The Tyranny of Corporations

The Tyranny of The Market

The Tyranny of The Bottom Line

The Tyranny of Poverty

The Tyranny of Work

The Tyranny of Words

The Tyranny of Numbers

The Tyranny of Mathematics

The Tyranny of Data

The Tyranny of Values

The Tyranny of Elegance

The Tyranny of History

The Tyranny of Choice

The Tyranny of Ambiguity

The Tyranny of Health

The Tyranny of Slenderness

The Tyranny of Food

The Tyranny of Taste

The Tyranny of Pleasure

The Tyranny of Sex

The Tyranny of Guilt

The Tyranny of Noise

The Tyranny of Change

The Tyranny of The Urgent

The Tyranny of Unintended Consequences

The Tyranny of Magical Thinking

The Tyranny of Kindness

The Tyranny of Nice

The Tyranny of Malice

The Tyranny of Science

The Tyranny of Experts

The Tyranny of Shams

The Tyranny of Judges

The Tyranny of Reason

The Tyranny of Relativism

The Tyranny of Opinion

The Tyranny of Tolerance

The Tyranny of E-Mail

The Tyranny of Gun Control

The Tyranny of Time

The Tyranny of Heaven

The Tyranny of God

The Tyranny of Love

The Tyranny of Hate

The Tyranny of Irony 

Book titles via Library of Congress

Front page image by Tom Newby Photography/Flickr

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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