Law & Politics

Reason and unreason in the critique of Western civilisation

Douglas Murray is a wonderfully free spirit who lucidly tackles the manias of political correctness with erudition, panache and limpid reasoning. At just 43 years of age, he is a ‘conservative’ and courageous author in the era of cancellations and deplatformings motivated by various phobias – which is to say, fears of alleged fears - such as ‘Islamophobia’, ‘transphobia’ and what have you. Murray writes without fear or favour.

Fifteen years ago, aged only 28, he founded the Centre for Social Cohesion. It became part of the Henry Jackson Society, of which he became associate director from 2011, for seven years. He is associate editor of The Spectator and has written columns for Standpoint, National Review and The Wall Street Journal. He is a regular columnist for UnHerd magazine. He calls himself a conservative. Yet in many ways he is a John Stuart Mill kind of liberal. It’s the radical nihilism of the Left that makes this look like a conservative position.

The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason, his latest book, is a cry from the heart about the vandalism and desecration that he sees being heaped upon Western civilisation. In the midst of trends which disturb him, he is outspoken. In this precise sense, he embodies a crucial and precious aspect of the Western tradition: freedom of speech and the public exercise of critical reason. Quite as much as any art, music or literature, this is a foundational aspect of Western civilisation. 

Murray argues t...

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About Paul Monk

Dr Paul Monk is a public intellectual, poet, former senior intelligence analyst and consultant in applied cognitive science. He is the author of a dozen books, including 'The West in a Nutshell: Foundations, Fragilities, Futures' (2009), 'Dictators and Dangerous Ideas' (2018), his breakout book of poetry 'The Three Graces: Companionship, Discretion, Passion' (2022) and 'Thunder From the Silent Zone: Rethinking China' (2nd updated edition 2023). He is a fellow of the Institute for Law and Strategy (London and New York) and a fellow of the Rationalist Society of Australia.