Douglas Murray’s new book will make you angry, or angrier
By: Danusha V. Goska
If you enjoy gritting your teeth, balling your fists, and throwing objects across rooms, you’ll just love Douglas Murray’s latest, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. Murray is the forty-year-old author of The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam. A handsome, charismatic Oxford grad, Murray speaks with a plummy accent. He not only appears on mainstream media like the BBC, the BBC has actually apologized to him. While reading his books, I have to ask how he gets away with it.
In 2015, Murray wrote, “French Muslims were increasingly aligning themselves with Islamist values … It is no coincidence that France has the largest percentage of Muslims in its population of anywhere in western Europe. Wherever the concentration gets above a certain level (perhaps 20 per cent), consequences follow.” Why is Murray allowed in the mainstream while heroes from Tommy Robinson to David Horowitz to Ayaan Hirsi Ali are sidelined to non-person status? Is it because Murray is gay, and therefore a beneficiary of the very privilege his latest book skewers? I don’t know.
In The Madness of Crowds, Murray invites the reader to teeth-gnashing at various events and trends, all involving homosexuality, women, race, and transsexualism. He starts strong. The book’s introduction is a fist shaken at the woke powers and principalities of political correctness. People nowadays are “irrational, feverish, herd-like, and simply unpleasant.” This isn’t just a rant, the intro promises. We must “see the causes” and “get to the root.” What is that root? “All of our grand narratives [religion and politics] have collapsed.” Life is now reduced to “getting rich” and “having whatever fun is on offer.” A new religion has arisen. That religion is Marxist in its platform and advanced by new tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, all of which are run by true believers.
This new religion atomizes and tribalizes society. Our most important characteristics are our race, sex, and sexual orientation. We are deemed worthy or worthless, we are attended to or rejected, based on these superficial characteristics. This religion offers no stable organizing principle. What was virtuous at one time is sinful at another. We must “organize along whichever system of justice emerges from the perpetually moving hierarchy … it is a system that is not just unworkable but dementing, making demands that are impossible towards ends that are unachievable.”
We must live lies. For example, we must profess that a man is a woman. “As anyone who has lived under totalitarianism can attest, there is something demeaning and eventually soul-destroying about being expected to go along with claims you do not believe to be true.”
Murray’s goal in the face of this madness is to be a kind of mine-sweeper. He can’t fix the whole kit and kaboodle, he acknowledges, but he hopes to “help clear some terrain across which afterwards other people may more safely pass.” Exactly since Murray is one conservative who is allowed in mainstream media, he may very well be successful in this goal.
In his first chapter devoted to homosexuality, Murray expresses exasperation at how often gay-themed stories are “crow-barred” into other media. Murray mentions the lack of fellow-feeling among what comedian Dave Chappelle calls “the alphabet people.” Murray, just like Chappelle, mentions that gay men and lesbians “have almost nothing in common;” both are suspicious of bisexuals; and trans people present challenges so unique that some, including many lesbians, would like to disassociate from them.
Murray says that in the past, gay people wanted to be seen as like everyone else. Now, though, radicals want difference. People who identify as gay want to be accepted into society; people who identify as queer want to tear down society. Case in point: attacks on Bruce Bawer for pointing out, in his 1994 book, A Place at the Table, that some groups are self-defeating in their extremism. Bawer was denounced as a “piece of ——” and “a disgrace to the queer nation.” “What queer nation?” Murray asks. Murray observes that dramatizations of sadomasochistic behavior in gay pride parades are “off-putting.” Peter Thiel, a gay man who endorsed President Trump, was stripped of his gayness by many commentators. The authentic gay must be on the extreme left.
Again in his intro, Douglas promises that he will not be overwhelmed by the tsunami of a mad crowd, but rather he will rise above and provide root causes, thus, his second chapter on Marxism, especially as it manifests in the social sciences as taught on elite university campuses.
In the old, Marxist formulation, the capitalists were on the top, sucking up the wealth that would be better shared. Now, in the new pyramid that social justice warriors want to shatter, white males are on top, sucking up all available privilege, attention, and worth. White males must be brought low and their opposite numbers, trans Muslims, say, must be elevated.
Theorists like UC Berkeley Professor Judith Butler insist that gender is nothing but a “reiterated social performance,” not the result of a “prior reality.” In 1988, Prof. Peggy McIntosh gave the world “White Privilege,” describing how all whites are much better off than any and all non-whites. One item on McIntosh’s list: “I can buy band-aids that match my skin tone.” Seriously? What color is this woman? And where may one purchase these magic band-aids? Another: “I can criticize my government.” Yeah, Peggy, it’s amazing how black people aren’t allowed to criticize the government.
In 1985, Argentine-born Professor Ernesto Laclau advised roping persons who feel aggrieved about their lives into class struggle. Laclau was “explicitly setting out to try to find a new class of exploited person.” Working class people had failed to recognize their exploitation. They “let down their theoreticians and had generally failed to follow the path of progress that had been laid out for them.” Laclau described a plan to bring more people into Marxist revolution.
Laclau issued his call just four years before the Berlin Wall came down. Communism may have been exposed as the most murderous ideology in history, and a spectacular failure in living up to any of its promises, and so hated by its subjects that they rioted with joy when the wall holding them in was torn down. But some man somewhere was bummed because he faced ridicule for his desire to dress in women’s clothing, and he and others similarly simmering in resentment could be radicalized and convinced that tearing down heterosexual white men elevated them.
In this new revolution, victimization was the coin of the realm. Women were victimized and must be believed if sexually assaulted. When a female, leftist scholar, NYU’s Avital Ronell, sexually harassed her male graduate student, the very same scholars who argued for the new Revolution of the new oppressed supported the empowered scholar, rather than the serf grad student. I’m shocked, shocked! Judith Butler, one of Laclau’s colleagues, co-signed a letter identifying Ronell as a special princess who must not be interfered with. Her “grace,” her “keen wit,” demanded that she be “accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation.” Paging George Orwell, author of Animal Farm.
Murray closes his chapter on Marxism with levity, citing a series of hoax publications, including “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” and “Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity at Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon.” Scholars, real scholars, admirable scholars, published these articles to expose the excesses of woke culture in the Ivory Tower.
Another foundation of our current insanity, Murray reports, is tech. The tech titans are woke, and they crush anyone who speaks any taboo truth. Too, tech provides the means to spread social panics. Murray mentions, but does not dwell on, the January, 2019 cyber lynching of a group of schoolboys. The boys were Catholic, from the south, majority white, obviously male, wearing MAGA hats, and were marching for life. They were hated for all these reasons.
One Nathan Philips, self-identifying as a “Native American elder,” approached the boys while banging a drum and chanting. Like wildfire, video of this encounter spread across the internet, accompanied with quite literal demands for the boys’ grisly murder.
The tech titans are hypocrites. “Google’s workforce is only 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent African-American … Asians make up 35 percent of Google staff” though Asians make up 5 percent of the US population. And, as we all know, China don’t play. Tech does what China tells tech to do.
Tech’s selective un-personing is telling. Women have been banned from Twitter for stating that men are not women. Yesterday women were the oppressed victim, and gained status thereby. Today, men announcing themselves as women get to bully women, and indeed to make death threats against women. The victim status of men-as-women supersedes the victim status of women.
Murray reports the results of a series of Google image searches. Searching “European art,” for example, is designed by Google to send out images of black people. Search “white men” and receive images with captions saying, “White men are bad.” Da, da comrade.
Google and Facebook combined, Murray reports, employ at least 40,000 people whose job it is to “moderate content.” Patreon employs a “Trust and Safety Team” to discern who is adequately woke enough to use that platform. What’s that knock at the door? Never fear, it’s the “Trust and Safety Team.”
A personal note: recently I received notification that Facebook had deleted one of my posts, a post made in a small, private group I moderate myself. Facebook would not show the post to me, though I asked – I wanted to know what I had posted that broke Facebook rules. Facebook sent me this note, and I promise you this is really what it said, “Danusha, this is what you can do. You can remove Danusha from the group.”
Murray opens his chapter on race with Martin Luther King dreaming that his children should “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I’ll pause that the reader may weep.
“Skin color is everything,” Murray reports. Murray unearths bizarre attacks on tall, handsome, white, rich actor Armie Hammer. Hammer starred as both of the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network and he was perfection in Call Me By Your Name. But, you know, he’s white. And male. And heterosexual. And rich. So let’s bash him on the internet. We should count our lucky stars that so far Zuckerberg, Brin, Dorsey, et al, have not yet figured out how to operate a guillotine through the internet.
For me the best part of Murray’s race chapter is his no-holds-barred critique of 2015 MacArthur Genius Grand winner and grievance monger Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m not going to describe that critique to you. I want you to read it for yourself, and shoot Murray an appreciative note afterwards.
One of the challenges I face as a Christian is that I often want to say, “Christ, or the Judeo-Christian tradition, offers the solution here,” and I hesitate to do so, because I know people hate being proselytized. Murray is an atheist, but in a couple of places in his book he acknowledges that Christ, or the tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, does indeed offer the solution here. Towards the end of his chapter on race, Murray says, “Equality in the eyes of God is a core tenet of the Christian tradition.” I’d add that equality in the eyes of God is central to Judaism as well, enshrined in Genesis and Talmudic interpretations of Genesis.
We live in secular societies, and we can’t impose that religious tenet. Without that foundational belief, though, we flounder. It’s a belief found in perhaps the single most famous American sentence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Without that, we fall prey to hierarchies and tribalism that could destroy the fabric of our society.
(Front Page Mag.com)
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery
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