The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason

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The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason

The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason

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It’s not as though people don’t pay attention to Chinese human rights abuses; I’ve seen quite a bit on the Uighur genocide. It makes some okay points about the achievements of western society, but some of it gets just plain old pig-headed. He also makes a rather disingenuous leap when he quotes one author who claims that standardised testing is racist, then says the idea is widespread, quoting the president of the American Federation of Teachers who says that standardised testing isn’t perfect and there are better ways of measuring student progress. Having whined about people finding insignificant reasons to “cancel” philosophers, Murray does the same for Marx, which really does seem like taking the low road.

We are told that the West is irredeemable, a fundamentally racist place, the institutions of which need to be either torn down or re-educated until they’re unrecognisable. The trouble with many of these culture war arguments is that they present the most fringe voices as representative of a widespread movement. There are prestigious universities considering eliminating the end of required notation reading, conducting, studying classical composers, (they’re all white) and of course, their music, due to this stress. This is a sleight of hand because in juxtaposing the two quotes, Murray is trying to suggest a connection. Among the strongest passages of the book are those concerning the artistic achievements of European civilisations.I don’t claim to know the answer as to how a sense of the numinous can be reclaimed, but reading Shakespeare is probably a better strategy than trying to “decolonise” him.

It later clarifies that it confirmed that 13 black men had been fatally shot, while 27 were killed “ by any means”. Again, it’s Murray just getting angry at people saying stupid things that anyone with a brain would just ignore. All in the hope of persuading the peoples of the West not that they were better than anyone else or that they were the same as anyone else, but that they were uniquely evil and therefore worse than everyone else.It’s far too lucrative to tell the reactionaries what they want to hear, and so Murray, who is clearly an intelligent man, panders to this audience rather than delving more deeply into the subject in the hopes of dredging up any real insight.

On the topic of literature, Murray is somewhat indignant about attempts to “decolonise” curriculums, which often just means adding some modules on race and identity and taking a little bit of focus away from the usual suspects. Big Caesars and Little Caesars, Ferdinand Mount ( hardback July 2023) €23,95 Big Caesars and Little Caesars : How They Rise and How They Fall - From Julius Caesar to Boris Johnson. To argue that 1619 is another foundational date in American history is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and this reframing will throw up interesting points; to be quite so assertive in the presentation, as though 1619 could replace 1776, was clearly arrogant, but everything else Murray throws at it is just the whinging of a right-wing snowflake. These Bones Will Rise Again, Panashe Chigumadzi ( paperback 2018) €9,95 What are the right questions to ask when seeking out the true spirit of a nation?It is, after all, possible to shoot someone without knowing they’re armed, or without them drawing the weapon; context is key.

It is a life that is lived off-kilter: one in which, incapable of realizing what you have to be thankful for, you are left with nothing but your resentments and can be contented by nothing but revenge.We can appreciate both “temples of the Far East” and “cathedrals” on our own doorstep at the same time.

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