WAR ON THE WEST | Douglas Murray, Broadside Books, 2022, 320p
From Nietzsche to Kirk, various prophets of doom have seen the seeds of the West's decline sprouting and strangling the fount of the world's longest, strongest - and yet imperfect - liberal order. On a long enough time horizon, they may be right. But it takes time.
To retard illiberal attacks upon Western culture, British author Douglas Murray provides a full-throated defense of its many notable achievements. Some of his most precise points focus on the artistic achievements of the West, which, when attacked through the bigotry of today's presentism, falls short of seriousness.
Where Murray touches on the more urban political topics, like the insanity of finding math a cultural construct, he tends to over-index and elevates the importance of those critics. These coffee house detractors of arithmetic can't wage their Twitter invectives against algebra without the binary reality of math. Given the irony, do you think the hysteria is warranted? Granted, to be charitable, bad ideas often prove resilient.
Yet it is primarily the inherent contradictions of those assailing the West that fuels Murray's optimism about their future failings. His counter to the victim-fueled resentment of these assailants is fiendishly simple: gratitude. Fostering the slightest bit of humble recognition of the plinth upon which we in the West stand and the immeasurable opportunity and quality of life enjoyed is the ultimate testament to this civilization’s triumph and reason enough to celebrate graciously.