“All around us we have the wreckage – metaphorical and real – of all our dreams, our religions, our political ideologies and a thousand other aspirations, all of which in their turn have proved false. And though we have no more illusions or ambitions left, yet we are still here. So what do we do?”
If “conspiracy” and “manipulation” and “freedom of speech” are music to your ears, you might enjoy the reading of The Madness of Crowds. As it says on the cover, the subjects covered deal with gender, race and identity. The author, Mr. Murray, is a gay journalist (yep, I labeled him). This is already interesting, because it’s important to see from different perspectives if you are to understand a complex issue, especially gender and non-mainstream viewpoints. The author is rational and surprisingly sincere in his analysis, not taking sides, just presenting the “madness” of today’s society, beginning from what is being discussed on social media and on TV, and going to what is decided at corporate and university levels. He casts a ray of light and explains why the world seems to go completely mental. It’s a small but dense book, average in reading difficulty, quite fluid and structured, but you often need to stop and ponder on what you read. It is not my main focus and my expertise, as it deals with politics and social stuff, and I am rather neutral on this, recognizing the potential for divisiveness, but I nevertheless recommend the lecture because one needs to know the current issues being discussed in the world right now. It is to be noted that the author is British and a right-wing enthusiast, something that he clearly states, but this does not prevent him from being fair in his analysis. His writing also covers the consequences of artificial intelligence being used to manipulate social media (the results you get on Google for instance, or the financial gains resulted from the data harvested by Facebook from its users, so as to give just two examples). He is also mind-blowingly fascinating when he describes the gay love-making – those paragraphs being one of the most lyrical (and most courageous) lines I have read in recent years.
As the image of this blogpost indicates, I recommend what I read and what I find useful. One needs to know in what world we’re living. I read the book in original English. It’s a new book, revised last year. It covers a bit the pandemic, also Black Lives Matter, feminism, transgender issues and the excesses of the leftist attitudes that are doing a disservice to our society by going excessively towards the extremes. The book does not offer obvious solutions – perhaps because the subjects must be thoroughly exhausted before people get bored by them and finally manage to wake up and do something. But putting into perspective and remaining rational in a world like ours is, in my opinion, essential.
Here is the website of the author – douglasmurray.net .
I took the liberty to recommend, from time to time, authors, books, musicians, artists, etc. I maintain for years an up-to-date reading list and a music page respectively. I used to allow guest-writers on this blog (they can be found from my About page), something I would probably continue to do if the opportunity presents itself. As far as I can see, the future belongs to people who share the same values and who cooperate and sustain each other, and not to narcissists who use marketing to self-impose themselves as experts in their fields when in fact they are not. A recommendation from someone else, not motivated by money or by lobbyism (influencers), remains trustworthy and valuable in time.