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The Liberal Delusion by John Marsh
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The Liberal Delusion (edition 2012)

by John Marsh

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143963,295 (3.67)None
Member:mehran210
Title:The Liberal Delusion
Authors:John Marsh
Info:Arena Books Ltd (2012), Paperback, 180 pages
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The Liberal Delusion by John Marsh

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The argument presented here is long overdue: the "urgent need to separate out the positive from the negative aspects of liberal thought and practice". But five stars for effort and insight, brought down to three stars for failing to find a decent editor (or even proofreader) who would have saved readers the tedium of extracting the author's intention from multitudinous errors. Example: "It is a mistake is to confuse equal rights with being the same." That's an entire sentence; any editor worth their salts would have spotted this and rephrased it so that the author's intention is clear at first reading; instead one has to look back through the paragraph to decipher his meaning. Tedious indeed, but make no mistake (!) this book is well worth reading. Sadly, those who would benefit most from reading it (the 'liberal' establishment) won't get past the first few pages, those who preach tolerance being so often intolerant of different views. ( )
1 vote NaggedMan | Mar 19, 2018 |
John Marsh does quite a through job in “The Liberal Delusion” of highlighting the social failures of modern Western societies, with their record levels of crime, fatherless children, drug taking and welfare dependence and certainly showing that something is wrong.
There are many books on the same theme, but where Marsh interestingly parts company with most of them in identifying the source of the malaise back in the 18th century, specifically the Enlightenment and the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Rousseau held that humans were born into a state of nature which was a state of innocence with vices and problems being introduced through contact with the corruption of society. He was adopted by the Jacobins who used his ideas during the French Revolution to attack the foundations of French society (the Church and the aristocracy), with the Church of course teaching “Original Sin” and the aristocracy having little interest in Liberty, Progress, Reason, Tolerance and Fraternity. Marsh suggests that the “natural state of innocence” idea has become part of the dogma of Liberal/Leftist thought despite plenty of evidence proving the contrary, and that they use it in Jacobin style to attack the “guilty” power structures of traditional society.

The key question seems to be whether the Liberal/Left really believe in the Blank Slate, enforced equality and White European Guilt, or are just using it to weaken society and gain power. The author seems to suggest that they do hold a genuine (but mistaken) belief in the natural goodness/equality of people and sees this as the root of the problem as they pursue their impossible objectives.

Perhaps he could have shown more of the practical side of the Enlightenment. It was something special as it finally broke the rigid framework of religious thought and challenged the class structure of traditional society, introducing the fresh idea that Everyman could rise through his own efforts. Anyone could improving their knowledge/education and reject religion in favour of reason with the whole package being the launch pad for “Progressive” ideas up to the present day.

Marsh does show that the original project was positive but also shows present day “Progressivism” sliding into decadence, selfishness, and sociological chaos as societies' beneficial structures are also targeted and destroyed. On P.113 he quotes youth worker and pamphleteer Shaun Bailey saying, “The key point about (modern) Liberals is that they make any language that was traditional, normal or useful seem right-wing, racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-this, anti-that and blah de blah. Public discourse is owned by the liberal intelligensia”

Which returns the reader to the question of whether liberals are using Political Correctness through a genuine belief in their Better World Project or simply as a cynical route to Power. It is probably both, but the book would have benefited from a discussion of the Route to Power variant with the classic example being the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917.

For example, the Bolsheviks cast themselves in the mold of the French Revolution declaring Liberty and Equality, freedom for the Working Class and styling themselves a Class Leaders – also offering the 125.000 soldiers in Petrograd (St Petersburg) private land, farms, exit from WWI and stopping the return of landowners, resulting in only 25.000 staying loyal and the rest following Bolshevik General Order Nº1 to disarm their officers and no longer accept orders. They broke up the Constitutional Convention with armed force and on taking power Lenin and Trotsky called for the massacre of every Democrat that could be found – soon going on to any opponent of the Left or Right and eventually building up to the largest massacre of (Christian) Europeans that the world has ever seen.

The point is that Bolshevik activist were always a small minority who knew that they could never gain power Democratically and simply used Communist ideas as a justification for grabbing and holding power. As Marsh points out, it was Lenin who coined the phrase “Political Correctness” when he wrote in a letter (1922), “The fundamental idea is clear: To bring forward a politically correct state, which sets out the essence and justification of terror.”

Not that they were planning to connect with the “Workers” in their private lives. Slezkine in his remarkable (celebratory) book “The Jewish Century”documents in detail the way in which the new "revolutionary" bourgeoisie quickly moved into St Petersburg's' vacant aristocratic homes, enjoyed their new country dachas, held Pushkin evenings and attended elite educational academies while tens of millions of Russians and Ukrainians were shot or died in appalling conditions in their Gulag.

Altogether an interesting book but in the opinion of this reviewer the author underplays the leftist totalitarian technique of infiltrating and weakening society sufficiently to take absolute power. ( )
1 vote Miro | Feb 15, 2016 |
Hits some targets well, strong on our bad nature, (reliant there particularly on Pinker), points out the uncertainties of science, that we are not equal, kids do have to be trained. Contests the idea of the blank state so highlights the importance of tradition, training and culture.
He regularly says we cannot go back to the old harsh ways, but not with much conviction! ( )
1 vote oataker | Jul 2, 2014 |
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