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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and…
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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity (utgåvan 2019)

av Douglas Murray (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3351357,771 (4.3)7
The challenging and brilliantly-argued new book from the bestselling author ofThe Strange Death of Europe. In his devastating new bookThe Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the twenty-first century's most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality. We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal--and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting. Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray's masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation's most complicated issues. He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.… (mer)
Medlem:Mark746
Titel:The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity
Författare:Douglas Murray (Författare)
Info:Bloomsbury Continuum (2019), 288 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity av Douglas Murray

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Boy, I needed this. A birthday present from my sister that really hit the spot.

Murray is a gay Spectator magazine columnist so not exactly the kind of writer I would normally read. But I was humbled in the early stages of the first chapter by his obvious open-mindedness as he described an evangelical film preview he attends.

The Christians have, at the last minute, been prevented from showing their film in a cinema because it is their take on homosexuality and scramble to find an alternative venue. In describing the experience, it’s clear that Murray does not agree with their viewpoints or those of the film.

What is clear though is that they are being discriminated against for holding their views and that is, quite rightly, what Murray takes issue with.

This sets the scene for the entire book really. The opening paragraph of the Introduction summarises it better than I can, though:

"We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant. The daily news cycle is filled with the consequences. Yet while we see the symptoms everywhere, we do not see the causes." p. 1

In four sections entitled Gay, Women, Race and Trans, Murray details very convincingly a human rights train that has, as he puts it, reached its destination in every case and then somehow gone careering past the buffers to wreak havoc in the public arena. He describes proponents of racial equality, feminism etc. as having lost their targets in largely achieving equality and, with nothing more to aim at, firing wildly into the crowds to take out the guilty as well as the innocent bystander.

Repeatedly he uses the metaphor of tripwires as those who dare to speak their actual opinion on any of these issues find themselves in a maelstrom of shrapnel from the explosive reaction. Some lose limbs, some lose lives. A rival definition of democracy has arisen; it’s the majority of decibels that now counts, not the majority of individuals. Woe betide anyone who tries to express an opinion that differs. They’ll find they simply can’t shout loud enough, even when there are 150 of the most seemingly influential of them.

The chapter on race is particularly enlightening taking place almost entirely in the US where this issue is probably more polarised than anywhere on earth outside the Gaza Strip. The reports of how free speech has been mown down by radical, rabid activism that shows a remarkable capability for contradiction and inability to use logic. In short, it seems that there are whole groups out there who abhor the idea of free speech simply because they seem to find speech itself challenging.

It is with some irony that within a week or two of me finishing it, J. K. Rowling fell from being the darling of the literary world to being one of its (many) devils. There is no logical reason why a woman who publicly objects to being defined as one of the “people who menstruate” should be publicly shunned or, as those who now rule the world call it, cancelled.

But, Murray argues cogently, those who make the rules don’t seem to have any logic to actually apply them consistently to us all. Rowling’s position is a perfect example, as are the comments on that article I’ve just linked to above. Murray must be kicking himself that he didn’t wait a year to be able to include this lamentable tale. The whole point of the trans movement is that those who wish to define themselves have the choice to do so thus resisting being defined by others. Except bigots.

Sadly, Murray’s book, while utterly timely and containing wisdom for where we go from here, is unlikely to be read by those who are causing the problem. Why? One reason is that it gives a coherent argument that needs to be reasoned with. Arguably more of a factor though is that it’s longer than 280 characters. ( )
2 rösta arukiyomi | Dec 27, 2020 |
In today's world of outrage, it is incredibly rare to find people who are reasonable and rational. Douglas Murray is one of the few. I bought this book because I thoroughly enjoyed reading his analysis of the European migration crisis in "A Strange Death of Europe". I like how reasonable and clear he approaches every heated topic, especially gender, race and identity. I believe that we are allowed to question if it's a good idea to introduce 100 different genders or to judge people by their skin colour and not the content of their character. It is a very educational read and I can highly recommend it to everyone who is a free thinker and/or willing to explore a perspective that is not today's mainstream. ( )
  064 | Dec 25, 2020 |
It's depressing that stating the obvious is somehow controversial and brave. ( )
1 rösta TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
Douglas Murray has written one of those "books for our times". It is brilliantly argued, moderate in tone, amply documented and given the times in which we live it is also courageous.

Murray's subject matter is the plague of identity politics that has consumed our institutional existences, political and putatively non-political. This phenomenon aided and abetted by social media that serves as the transmission belt for social justice warrior mobs is squeezing all of the air of the public square. Support for free speech and debate is under assault from those institutions that are most dependent on it to perform their functions: universities, newspapers, television and radio networks, and online communications media.

His book is organized around four subjects simply described in the chapter headings: Gay, Women, Race and Trans. Interspersed among these topics are relevant reflections on The Marxist foundations behind the theory and practice that have taken root and spread through the humanities, social sciences, law schools, government bureaucracies, boards of directors and human resource departments.

Murray also discusses the impact of Tech specifically on the ability to leverage technology to retrieve any statement ever made by any person in a public or private capacity without any context and gin up a Twitter mob that can never be appeased no matter how abjectly the victim apologizes. Of course the victim is understood by right thinking people to really be an aggressor, a hater, a categorical criminal against perhaps women, or gays, or trans persons, or people of color.

Murray discusses the problem of forgiveness in the world we occupy. It is related to the problem of forgetting. It is hard, though not impossible to forgive when there is no forgetting and in the world created by the pervasiveness of the internet and social media it is nearly impossible to forget. Related to this is the problem of understanding. It is axiomatic within the religion of identity politics that unless you are a member in good standing of one these oppressed groups you cannot understand their situation. Murray quotes Mark Lilla who sums up the problem as follows: "You cannot tell people simultaneously 'You must understand me' and 'You cannot understand me'." This is an observations that rings true and does not inspire optimism about our future.

I won't get into the details of his theses about the main categories reviewed here. He treats each group's claims seriously but does not accept all claims at face value and delineates tensions and contradictions where called for. I have to acknowledge a certain degree of personal schadenfreude when he relates the stories of radicals who stepped on one of the multitude of "tripwires" that set off the multitude of landmines buried in our cultural landscape (some of which they may have helped to lay).

If Murray depended on an academic position for his livelihood the best response he could hope for would be that the book was completely ignored, which is the usual response to an argument that can't be met by the predominantly left, progressive academy. His thesis would be suffocated by lack of oxygen. If his academic post was at Evergreen State College in Oregon or Yale or anyplace in between it is possible that he would be confronted by an angry mob, shouting vulgar invectives in his face, inciting him to a word or action that might be caught by a cell phone camera and destroying his career and life in the aftermath. For that matter if he was employed by the New York Times, or The Atlantic, or the Daily Telegraph or even a lousy online web based magazine he could be excommunicated in an instant.

For his intellectual honesty and courage we are in his debt. ( )
  citizencane | Aug 6, 2020 |
Please use Google to look up White Couples. Look up White Inventors. Check out the pictures.

If the results doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will.

I mean, this is real. Not a joke. It’s not even a search that is remotely racist or homophobic, and yet, look at this pendulum swing into madness.


I admit that reading this book made me laugh. Genuine laughter, mixed with incredulity and a reaffirmed firm conviction that people of any orientation, race, or political bent can be a jerk.

I love this book, and yet I do not identify as a Neo Conservative. And yet, this is a Neo Conservative book written by a gay man lambasting the more egregious insanities of radicals of any bent.

I was particularly touched by just how much absurdity was highlighted. Of course, all the highlights are entirely on the liberal left, gays, lesbians, trans, and blacks, but don’t let that dissuade you. This isn’t the normal hate-filled drivel that I usually see coming out of the Conservative Right.

Rather, it’s a very interesting wake-up call that points out the major systemic inconsistencies of these Political movements. Yes, that’s right. It’s not about whether someone is LGBT or Black or Asian. It’s just a big finger being pointed at the a**holes in each group.

For this, I’m both heartily amused and I’m also right on board. I love it when a**holes of any stripe get shown up for their absurdities.

Everyone needs a reality check.

How did you like Google now? ( )
1 rösta bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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The challenging and brilliantly-argued new book from the bestselling author ofThe Strange Death of Europe. In his devastating new bookThe Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the twenty-first century's most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality. We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal--and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting. Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray's masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation's most complicated issues. He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.

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