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

by Douglas Murray (Author)

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4611742,455 (4.24)11
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year 'Douglas Murray fights the good fight for freedom of speech ... A truthful look at today's most divisive issues' o Jordan B. Peterson '(Murray's) latest book is beyond brilliant and should be read, must be read, by everyone' o Richard Dawkins 'How can you not know about The Madness of Crowds? It's actually the book I've just finished. You can't just not read these books, not know about them.' - Tom Stoppard In his devastating new book The 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 o 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.… (more)
Member:uwwashlib
Title:The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity
Authors:Douglas Murray (Author)
Info:Bloomsbury Continuum (2019), 288 pages
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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A very entertaining romp through the hypocrisies of identity politics. As such, it is much more a work of criticism than construction, but that too is badly needed. This is probably the best place to start for someone who has a naive acceptance of leftist ideas. ( )
  Foeger | Jan 3, 2022 |
This is likely the single most important recent book that explains the descent into insanity of the modern universities. Essential reading if you want to understand what is happening to British and American higher education. ( )
  wyclif | Sep 22, 2021 |
Douglas Murray’s work, The Madness of Crowds interacts with a group of prevalent ideas now endemic to much of the American public. He spells these out with great wit and detail. The triumvirate of identity politics, intersectionality, and critical race theory are now being disseminated into the public square. This trio of ideologies are an attempt at forming a new worldview. Murray writes, “the interpretation of the world through the lens of ‘social justice,’ ‘identity group politics,’ and ‘intersectionalism’ is probably the most audacious and comprehensive effort since the end of the Cold War at creating a new ideology” (2). Murray aims to clear this ideological minefield, a terrain full of invisible trip wires, in order that others in the future can cross more safely.

The book is laid out in four chapters titled, Gay, Women, Race, and Trans. In between each chapter are brief, but careful interludes on Marxist foundations, the impact of tech, and on forgiveness. These interludes, though much shorter, contained a lot of helpful material. I only read about two thirds of the book and didn’t read much in the women or trans chapters.

In ch. 1, Murray highlights the incongruity of the LGBTQ movement, demonstrating how there is actually little solidarity between each of the camps represented in those letters. B’s are often seen as confused and L’s and G’s have not historically gotten along nicely (35-36). Not to mention the intrusion of the T’s who might be derided and scorned one day and welcomed and celebrated the next. The letter crew may present themselves unified in objective, but under the surface, many dissenting positions emerge. In this chapter Murray also cites John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, first published in 1859 which laid out a handful of reasons free speech is important in society. Not the least of which is the need to correct erroneous assumptions, but also to serve as a reminder of a truth and “prevent its slippage” (18). “We may be preventing ourselves from hearing arguments that are partially true” (18). We would certainly do well to listen to Stuart Mill here, though even this slope is gradually slipping away.

In one interlude, Murray asks what role forgiveness has in public discourse. Today, comments are snatched out of context and dredged up from decades past; subsequent moral judgments are delivered with finality. He says, “We all know the glee at watching someone fall from grace; the righteous feeling that can come with joining in the punishment of transgressors” (175). Indeed, the mob’s condemnation of others heightens the affirmation and commitment to its own cause. There are religious overtones to many actions the mob is calling for today. To fight for the issues at stake has “become a way of showing that you are a good person” (231). Unfortunately, a culture that has lost the ability to forgive will only give rise to an already rapidly vanishing civil discourse.

The madness of crowds and the rule of the mob is traceable to the ways in which identities have been traded for ethnic, sexual, racial, or gender orientation based identities. The interlocking oppressions by which so many identities unite under the banner of intersectionality, the strong arm of critical theory, is one that is counterproductive to human flourishing. Murray asserts that the oppression matrix does not work together (234). Viewing people strictly on the basis of perceived power imbalance or cultural hegemony runs contrary to common sense. It is the very exact opposite of what Dr. Martin Luther King so adamantly lobbied for just fifty years ago. For evangelical Christians, these are anthropological questions at root, and biblical answers to human questions of identity are needed now more than ever.

True to form in his unique style of writing, Murray is provocative and compelling in the way he engages the reader. Here are a few quotes:
“A demonstration of virtue demands an overstating of the problem, which then causes an amplification of the problem” (5).
“Those calling for equality will always include a contingent who mistake exhibitionism for activism, feeling that nobody is free or equal until they have the right to dress in puppy gear and be led on all fours by a ‘master’ down a public street” (39).
“From Michael Foucault these thinkers absorbed their idea of society not as an infinitely complex systems of trust and traditions that have evolved over time, but always in the unforgiving light cast when everything is viewed solely through the the prism of ‘power.’ Viewing all human interactions in this light distorts, rather than clarifies, presenting a dishonest interpretation of our lives. Of course power exists as a force in this world, but so do charity, forgiveness, and love. If you were to ask most people what matters in their lives very few would say ‘power.’ Not because they haven’t absorbed their Foucault, but because it is perverse to see everything in life through such a monomaniacal lens” (53).

To look into Murray’s work further, see these resources:
Roger Scruton’s review of the book. https://unherd.com/2019/09/how-identity-politics-drove-the-world-mad/
Neil Shenvi’s review: https://shenviapologetics.com/madness-and-its-discontents-a-short-review-of-murr... (Shenvi offers a helpful bit on critical theory as the taproot of this trio of ideologies).
Al Mohler’s conversation with Douglas Murray. https://albertmohler.com/2020/05/13/douglas-murray
  joshcrouse3 | Sep 17, 2021 |
Boring commentary on SJW religion ( )
  13th.sign | Apr 19, 2021 |
Douglas Murray is a terrific writer. The Madness of Crowds was insightful, diagnosed the problem and offered solutions. Wonderful read, I highly encourage everyone to give it a read. (Even better give it a listen, Murray reading Minaj's lyrics is hilarious) ( )
  SeekingApatheia | Apr 13, 2021 |
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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year 'Douglas Murray fights the good fight for freedom of speech ... A truthful look at today's most divisive issues' o Jordan B. Peterson '(Murray's) latest book is beyond brilliant and should be read, must be read, by everyone' o Richard Dawkins 'How can you not know about The Madness of Crowds? It's actually the book I've just finished. You can't just not read these books, not know about them.' - Tom Stoppard In his devastating new book The 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 o 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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