Book Review: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray

If you want to learn about the migrant crisis in Europe, read The Strange Death of Europe by the British journalist and Spectator contributor Douglas Murray. From its origins in the continent’s post-World War II desire for cheap labor, to the short-sightedness of European leaders as to the effects of such a massive influx to the curious European sense of self-loathing and cultural exhaustion, Murray coolly and convincingly diagnoses Europe’s impending cause of death, what could be done about it, and what will probably happen.

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Douglas K. Murray

Murray writes with a dispassionate, though incisive edge that strikes the perfect balance between the historian, the social critic, and the European aghast at what has been done to his continent. As an American, his analysis explains more of the story than we typically get on this side of the Atlantic.

Yet Murray does that rare thing in a popular history: He straddles the line between being accessible and academic, instructive without revealing too much bias. His preference for a European Europe is clear, yet while pessimistic he never seems hectoring or completely biased.

As a homosexual who is, I am pretty sure an atheist, Murray recognizes, for example, that Western civilization is the most tolerant in the world, and that this tolerance, as well as the other blessings of European culture, stem from the combination of Christianity with the Greco-Roman legacy.

And yet Murray is not unsympathetic to the plight of peoples fleeing their awful countries for a better life in Europe. Far form it. In fact, he’s very understanding of the reasons why people have been flooding into Europe, and he does what few journalists seem to: He talks to migrants.

But he balances this with something most mainstream journalists neglect through unconscious bias or by design: He also takes the legitimate concerns of European citizens seriously as well.

Unlike the elites in most European countries, and these countries’ leaders, Murray discusses the fact that the European nations have a right to exist and control their own borders how they see fit. Instead, European leaders are more concerned with shutting their own citizens up, even if this means lying about them and denying their rights.

Europe has succumbed to America Disease: The belief that their countries, unique among other countries across the globe, belong to the rest of the world just as much, if no more, than to their own citizens. And the majority Europe’s people do not agree with this. So few writers, especially European writers, touch this issue, but not Murray. He is fearless He meticulously cites his sources and provides the evidence for you to do your own follow-up homework. And he does it all without sounding preachy or snarky.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray”

The Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto

People hate themselves. 

It is now a big part of my mission to help end self-loathing. Not just in me, but in others. As an idea or a way of life.

Self-loathing is at the root of many societal and cultural problems we have today. And I do not understand it.

So what happened?

A part of it seems to be the Western Enlightenment tradition of questioning everything. The endpoint of this, with no objective truth to ground this search, appears to be “Well, we’ve run our course lads. We’re uniquely evil upon the world. Let’s all die!”

This is bad. 

Another aspect seems to be subconscious boredom. When you’ve reached the top and live in peace and comfort, there’s nothing left to do but tear it all down and start over. Instead of starting a new project, we seem hellbent on wrecking the one we’ve built over the millennia.

And of course there are the enemies of civilization who foster and actively work towards this. 

But this is societal self-loathing. And societies are made of individuals. Individuals whom have that fallen, common, all-too-human tendency towards self-destruction.

I cannot change society myself, but it makes me sad to see my fellow humans, in real life and online, hate themselves. If my words can make anyone reconsider this course, I’ll consider all of this blogging a success. 

But what to do? What authority do I have?

Let me tell you: I have been there. And it’s still a struggle. But I’ve learned to not hate myself. It can be done. You don’t have to become an arrogant, selfish psychopath…but a little swagger never hurt anyone. 

Below I humbly declare my Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto! Continue reading “The Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto”