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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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. There is a comforting illusion shared by historians and political commentators from Fukuyama back to Macaulay, Mill and Marx, that history progresses in a nice straight line towards liberal democracy or socialism, despite the odd hiccup. Murray applies the same argument to reparations: in the case of slavery, people who might be related to people who perpetrated terrible crimes might be offering money to people who might have suffered from those crimes. His critique of Kendi's circular definition of racism seems correct to me and its application invites policy confusion.

Yet Murray deserves credit for not retreating into the embittered fatalism of the prophet of despair. Murray’s emphasis on the importance of gratitude is reasonable enough as a moral insight, but as a practical solution to the problem of anti-Westernism and identity politics, it suffers from several problems.The scars of apartheid are still fresh and I cannot and will never defend the atrocities that took place, but as Wiesenthal says (and I paraphrase here), quoted by Murray in the book, I also cannot take responsibility for something that I didn’t do.

Bound up in all of this is the same idea that, by reanimating the past, the present can be ennobled—Spengler confounded by Eliot. I liked several of his refutations, particularly surrounding Nicholas Ferrar and anti-Cecil Rhodes activists. If the west dominates the world and other countries aren’t quite caught up to it, and Aboriginal Australians have never cared to investigate Indian history (what? Murray’s focus is narrowly centred on a movement within universities that he doesn’t approve of, which has subsequently bubbled over into the mainstream.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. But Wiesenthal, though a member of the same ethnos, was too far removed from the situation to pass comment in such a way. Nothing necessarily follows on from them, it’s a mere declaration with virtually no action behind it. British people wear poppies, enjoy films about Churchill and still broadly speaking like the country they live in, which is why they didn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

Similarly, it does not denigrate our history to point out that Euclid’s Elements—the most influential mathematical work in history—only entered western civilisation because Adelard of Bath translated it from the Arabic in the 12 th century, or to point out that Adelard’s translation introduced Arabic numerals into the west, the numerals that form our current number system. When people claim that populations are ignorant of the history of the West, they forget that most people are ignorant about almost everything. On the wokifying of churches, he rails against churches looking inward about their potentially racist pasts, and says even the Catholic Church has caved, then cites one pretty minor incident involving a chaplain.I don’t remember everything I studied in history at school, but from GCSE age onwards I know that subjects we covered included bog bodies, the 1960s, the American West, the history of medicine, the Russian revolution, the Crimean War, the French Revolution, and Nazi Germany. He also points to a moral panic in Canada which I don’t think you can level purely at the door of antiracism.

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