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The War on the West
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Listen in 18 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Douglas Murray

The War on the West

The reasons behind the war on Western culture, and its potential consequences

Douglas Murray says that a war is currently being waged against the West. In The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason, he analyses the recent events in America and the UK, from the murder of George Floyd and the destruction of statues by the Black Lives Matter movement, to the revision of school curricula to decrease the ‘whiteness’ of education. Murray explains why this war against the West is currently underway and what it entails, while also exploring the potential likelihood of finding we live in a society which, having historically enjoyed worldwide respect, is becoming the cause of increasing shame, and proposing a possible solution to an ever widening and potentially violent global rift.

The War on the West
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.

In recent years, we have been witnessing what Douglas Murray calls ‘a war on the West’

Murray maintains that this cultural war aims to undermine the foundations of a culture that has allowed the West to become what it is today. It is a war that attacks the past and present of the Western world, and threatens its future. Every event or deed, good or bad, is criticised with the objective of promoting greater equality, the eradication of racism, and the restoration of justice. According to Douglas Murray, however, these ideas, which are advocated by those inciting war on the West, lead to the exact opposite, in other words, to privilege, racism, and revenge. Supporters of the war believe that Western countries, specifically Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, owe something to the rest of the world, and must pay a debt for what has been done in the past, especially during the colonialist era.

An example of this debt is migration: the nations of the West are called on to take in people who are forced to leave their home countries in search of a better future, and if they fail to do so, they are criticised by the entire world. The unrestricted entry of immigrants into any given country, however, significantly alters that nation’s demographic make-up. We are not talking about the ethical implications of hosting refugees, or the consequences on the physiological demographic of a country; the author instead aims to highlight the fact that while the West is considered as having an obligation to welcome immigrants, no other state is expected to do so.

The West is judged according to standards that are not applied to other countries. Boycott movements against China, for instance, are practically non-existent, despite the fact that the country frequently and blatantly violates inalienable human rights. This cultural war, therefore, is based on the belief that the West is to blame, and that the only logical solution is to destroy it completely. The West is judged and condemned in various different ways, such as through the use of propaganda, revisions to educational curricula for children as young as preschool age, and government initiatives to fight so-called ‘systemic racism’.


The key ideas of "The War on the West"

In recent years, we have been witnessing what Douglas Murray calls ‘a war on the West’
Western culture was once something to be celebrated, but it has now become something to be ashamed of
The war on the West is mainly based on racism
After the murder of George Floyd, the West began to believe that it was more racist than it actually is
The West is often accused of appropriating other cultures
A process of cultural reprogramming is taking place throughout the West
Education and gratitude are the way forward
Take-home message
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