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The War On The West by Douglas Murray

We went from appreciating our culture to dismantling it

“We appear to be in the process of killing the goose that has laid some very golden eggs” writes Douglas Murray in his new bestseller The War on the West. Murray is referring to our plentiful, cultured Judaeo-Christian Western world, that is being ruthlessly dismantled from within. 

We are in the midst of war, explains Murray, a cultural assault waged remorselessly against the West, its tradition and everything that it has ever achieved. Multi-faceted and unforgiving, it is “carried out across the media, and airwaves, throughout the education system from as early as preschool.” 

The West’s enemy is not a menacing foreign power armed with fighter planes and heavy artillery, stresses Murray, but Westerners themselves – our civilisation’s biggest threat comes from “people inside the West intent on pulling apart the fabric of our societies, piece by piece.” West-loathing individuals and institutions of the firm conviction that the West is sin-ridden, unworthy and guilty of an infinite number of crimes, while non-Western cultures are innocent and virtuous. With engaging fluidity Murray demonstrates how the self-hating narrative has become the Western world’s consensus, rendering Westerners themselves active participants in the destruction of their own civilization. “We went from appreciating our culture to dismantling it” observes Murray – the West is crumbling before our eyes, and its downfall is our own doing.

The War on the West by Douglas Murray. Courtesy of Harper Collins.

As in The Strange Death of Europe, and the sobering The Madness of Crowds, Murray wonders why the West is allowing its own decline to continue. Witnessing the thousands of immigrants’ flooding the West in a bid to better their lives, Murray realised that this massive movement was indicative of a fundamental shift in the West’s perception of itself. Westerners were allowing this to happen because they felt an obligation to repent for past crimes even if it meant the loss of their own cultural identity – the West was guilty and it must pay its debt even at the cost of relinquishing itself. “An unfair ledger has been created,” explains Murray, “we have become locked in a cycle of unending punishment with no effort at its alleviation in sight.”

Coherent, lucid and incisive, the bestselling author demonstrates how the anti-West narrative is poisoning every organisation, body, individual and idea in its path. Its ethos is the burning conviction that the privileged, elitist and white West is the problem, and its dismantling is the solution.

We see how social activism has become the new religion and how racism is the only lens by which all things are measured. Murray shows how major cultural institutions distanced themselves from their own past, how they volunteered to search their archives for traces of colonialism, slavery or racism, and how countless well meaning individuals were swept in the diversity, inclusion and equity tide.

“All aspects of the Western tradition now suffer the same attack” asserts Murray, even sacrosanct math and children’s innocence are fair game. Here Murray demonstrates how CRT and gender ideology have invaded the classrooms in spite of parents’ protest and growing despair, how children’s literature preaches the BLM mantra, and school curricula increasingly read like social activism guides. He shows how the so-declared privileged and elitist math is to be cleansed of the stain of colonialism, and how ancient, brilliant math minds are stripped of any credit awarded them over the years. One example of many is the Greek philosopher Pythagoras whose teachings have influenced Aristotle and Plato, and whose discovery of ratios involved in music, forms the basis of harmony in Western music composition. The Greek genius’s Pythagorean theorem, possibly the most proven theorem in history, is taught in schools worldwide to this very day. Murray tells us how the Ontario curriculum, on a mission to weed out Eurocentric mathematical knowledges in favour of a de colonial approach – is to replace the genius Pythagorean Theorem with the non racist term ‘side length relationship for right triangles’. 

The War on the West looks at what happens when one side in the war, the side of democracy and reason, prematurely surrenders. We see how devastatingly corrosive the defeatist spirit is – not only does it enable the West’s destruction, it clears the way for its degraders and rejoicers in its decline. This is why California schools cast aside a prayer for Jesus but still chant a prayer for Aztec gods, why a professor who tweeted that ‘white lives don’t matter’ was promoted by her university, and why Jimmy Fallon’s audience cheered at the news that for the first time in America’s history, the number of whites has gone down. As Murray ominously points out, to Fallon’s audience this was not just funny news, it was a cause for joyous celebration. 

Murray’s vivid account brings to mind the fall of the great Roman Empire and the ominous symptoms of its demise that are clearly present in our culture today. The idea of premature surrender brings to mind Thomas Sowell’s insight into how it was the heavy anti US protests from within, that made America give up on Vietnam. It was not the battles in the fields but the US public’s conviction that the war is un winnable, that led to America’s withdrawal. According to Sowell, Vietnamese sources have years later confirmed this to be the case. 

Douglas Murray has established himself as one of our generation’s most influential voices. Photo by Rob DeMartin. Courtesy of Harper Collins.

Debunking activists’ “flat out false” claims and accusations

Recent years have seen “politicians, academics, historians and activists getting away with saying things that are not simply incorrect or injudicious but flat out false” argues Murray, “they have got away with it for far too long.” They have rewritten our history and turned our universally appreciated writers, thinkers and statesmen into shameful ‘dead white males’ – it is time to revise the revisionists and refute their anti West claims. 

Many of us sensed for quite some time that things were fundamentally twisted. We watched helplessly as diversity, anti racism and equity grew to dominate the discourse, and saw racism become “the only lens used to understand our societies.” But there was something not quite right – those crying racism were themselves chanting racist rhetoric, while calls for justice sounded more and more like ideologues’ zeal for revenge. It was clear that the West was “treated by one set of standards and the rest of the world by another” –  Western states were expected to erase their proud past and lose its cultural identity, while non-Western states were allowed to maintain theirs. There also emerged recognition of a crying hypocrisy as leftist commentators and leaders are praised regardless of any misdemeanours, while those not adhering to anti-West doctrines are battered, harassed and cancelled. 

A gigantic moral presumption

The War on the West demonstrates the devastation caused by ignorance of facts. How anti Westernism has been able to demonize white people and belittle our culture’s greatest heroes by spreading false information. That, in turn rested on the wider population’s lack of knowledge, allowing the revolutionaries’ claims and accusations to spread like wildfire. Many of these have been repeated so many times that they have become mainstream media gospel. One example of many is Winston Churchill allowing the use of mustard gas against Iraqi civilians, which Murray debunks with proof of it being tear gas and not mustard as claimed.

But Murray does more than refute these allegations. His calm but concise and penetrating manner, effortlessly dispels their myth and exposes their disturbing double standard. His arresting account of the merciless attack on Churchill’s character, reveals revolutionaries’ fundamentally warped logic, below par research and ungenerous spirit. Not only do they dismiss Churchill’s historic victory over fascism and his triumph over Nazism, with the same breath they praise chairman Mao, “estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of sixty five million people.”

Murray also points to anti-Westerners’ automatic blaming of any non-Western wrong on a crime that the West committed – the “gigantic moral presumption that nobody in the world can do anything wrong unless the West has made them do it.” Murray goes on to highlight several stark examples of catastrophic wrongs instigated by non-Western entities causing great devastation to the local population.

Dispelling the Marx and Foucault myth

The War on the West marks a milestone in the evolving cultural war for several reasons. It is a first of its kind gathering of the claims and accusations most repeatedly made by the anti-West camp. While some of the arguments made by Murray have been previously aired, this is the first attempt to seriously consider, address and debunk each one. From CRT and BLM, to the merciless attack on countless ‘dead white males’ – one by one Murray presents their ‘case’ before discussing their premise and dismantling their myth. 

It is also a pivotal publication for so blatantly exposing the revisionists’ double standard. Of the many poignant examples listed, the discussion over Marx and Foucault stands out. Murray presents damning evidence regarding both Leftist idols that at least in Marx’s case, are impossible to dispute. Faucault it said by Guy Sorman to have engaged in sexual activity with children when residing in Tunis, while letters that Marx himself wrote, show him to be antisemitic and the holder of racist views. One example is a Marx 1843 quote where he asks “what is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money.”

Marx’s observation came to mind later on as I read Murray powerful account of the call for reparations. Here the issue of Germany’s payments to Holocaust survivors in mentioned, and it struck me that the Jews who rejected Germany’s payments have proven their god to be not money, but their sense of morality. Led by former PM Menachem Begin whose entire family perished in the Holocaust, they protested against the Israeli government’s negotiations with Germany. To them, the very idea of buying forgiveness was reprehensible – no amount of money can correct the wrong of exterminating Europe’s innocent Jewry. No fortune can right the wrong of men, women and children butchered for being Jewish.

Douglas Murray. Photo by Rob DeMartin. Courtesy of Harper Collins.

Jews, the UN and Israel

The book leads to game changing realizations with regards to antisemitism and the Jewish state. Readers who ever wondered why anti West protesters set alight Israeli and American flags together, or why some writers refuse to have they books translated to Hebrew but are thrilled to see them released in China, will be enlightened by Murray’s insight. The War on the West’s account of the 2001 Durban conference sheds illuminating light on the grossly disproportionate anti Israel bias within the UN. There, the state of Israel came in for particularly virulent attack to such an extent that some of the Western countries even began to to get so uncomfortable about the amount of abuse being leveled that they walked out in protest.

Murray’s account exposes the UN as a powerful hub of anti West rhetoric, and the UN human rights council’s twisted system of values – there, “Israel, America, and the European powers are constantly berated for historic crimes by such luminaries of human right as Iran, Syria and Venezuela.” It leads readers to the inevitable conclusion that Israel is a target because it is a thoroughly Western state – the obsessive assault against it is part and parcel of the ongoing demonizing of the West.

The line between civilization and barbarism

Murray’s sensitive account of how the British abolished slavery at a mammoth financial cost to the nation is truly humbling. It speaks of how the only way to abolish slavery was for the British to reach an agreement with traders covering losses incurred over the coming years. We learn that Britain has only completed making these payments in 2015 and that British soldiers’ lives were lost at sea as they fought to defend the new found freedom. You cannot help but wonder why children preached on black slaves are ignorant or the millions of white and Asian slaves, why they are lectured on the West’s past sins but not of how the unprecedented sacrifice made by the British? 

The book includes too many thoroughly moving accounts to detail. One example to come to mind is the spine chilling account of Hutus in Rwanda who butchered a doctor and laughed at his brain spilling – “all the years of education and learning all the knowledge and experience in that head was destroyed in a moment by people who had achieved none of those things” reflects Murray,  “it is one of the saddest realizations we have as a species not just that everything is transitory, but that everything particularly everything we love and and into which love has been poured is fragile.”

Murray concludes with a most arresting and memorable line to say that “just as the line between civilization and barbarism is paper thin, so is the miracle that anything at all survives given the fragility of all things plus the evil and carelessness of which men are capable.” 

Last word

As I read The War on the West I thought of Thomas Sowell’s iconic Dismantling America and his observation that “ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of ur enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children.”

The countless well-meaning individuals swept in the woke social activism hysteria, brought to mind Uri Bezmenov’s Love Letter to America. These are the very ‘Usuful Idiots’ Bezmenov refers to – individuals believing themselves to promote justice but are in fact puppets dancing to ideologues’ and revisionist’s tune. Jane Fonda antics during the Vietnam war is one example famously noted by the Russian defector, describing the actress as a spreader of the enemy’s doctrine on American soil.

Like Murray, Bezmenov spoke of academia being the breeder of the poisonous anti West ideology and highlighted demoralization and confusion as Soviet subverters’ weapon – bring the West to a point where void of patriotism, it stops defending itself. Create deep confusion over shared values and terminology. Indeed, according to Murray, part of the reason Westerners were so slow to recognize the scale of the attempted assault is because “even the language of ideas was corrupted – words no longer meant what they had until recently meant.”

The War on the West is a landmark publication. Its strength is in the solid, well considered arguments and Murray’s sound, knowledgable and sensitive reasoning.

Everyone should read this book so they can acknowledge the fact that we are at war, that ours is a civilization in decline, and that evil forces are at play, presenting a front of seeking justice, but in fact chasing division and revenge. Reading this timely gem, they will get a solid grasp on the hypocrisy and zeal of ivory tower ideologues, as well as the alarming hold that this minority has over the rest of society.

The War on the West is unsettling and profoundly moving. It will disturb and enrage you, but it will also deepen your appreciation of the the West’s truly remarkable, often mind blowing achievements. You will recognize the great fortune that has befallen you to be living at the most affluent and peaceful time in history and the duty you hold to conserve it.  

About the Author
Hannah is a London based journalist covering culture and current affairs. She writes about photography, film and TV for outlets in the UK and US, and covers current affairs with particular interest in the Jewish world. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and photographer. Her films were screened in festivals worldwide and parts of her documentary about Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman were screened on the BBC.
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