The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity

The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity

The challenging and brilliantly-argued new book from the bestselling author of The Strange Death of Europe.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 hom...

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Title:The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity
Author:Douglas Murray
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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity Reviews

  • Jvm

    Douglas Murray does it again. If you’ve been wondering what’s behind all of the recent hysteria about trans rights, ‘dead naming’ and ‘intersectionality’; or like James O Brian, you don’t know what identity politics is, this is the book for you.

    After watching Douglas Murray’s many, many debates on YouTube I’ve always admired his ability to calmly and cogently dismantle the left’s arguments and after addressing the immigration, identity and Islam issue in,

    Douglas Murray does it again. If you’ve been wondering what’s behind all of the recent hysteria about trans rights, ‘dead naming’ and ‘intersectionality’; or like James O Brian, you don’t know what identity politics is, this is the book for you.

    After watching Douglas Murray’s many, many debates on YouTube I’ve always admired his ability to calmly and cogently dismantle the left’s arguments and after addressing the immigration, identity and Islam issue in, ‘The Strange Death if Europe’, he doesn’t disappoint by addressing society’s Marxism and identity politics issues in, ‘The Madness if Crowds’.

    It’s no surprise that someone writing for the Guardian described this book as a “right wing diatribe” since it comprehensively dissected everything that the left hold dear, slither by slither. What else would a publication who argues that homosexuals are oppressed in the U.K. but remains silent on issue of them being executed in Iran argue?

    Anyone who has enjoyed Douglas Murray’s books and wish there were more should read ‘Neoconservatism and Why we Need It’ which is a hugely underrated book.

  • Filipp Miroshnichenko

    A book that attempts and manages to make sense of something that barely makes any sense at all deserves praise in and of itself. Yet, when the subject in question is as controversial and divisive as today's ineluctable pervasiveness of identity politics, addressing such a combustible phenomenon accords particular accolades to those who have the guts to dissect it. As is the case with his previous works, once again Murray displays the same courage, honesty and depth which have made him one of the

    A book that attempts and manages to make sense of something that barely makes any sense at all deserves praise in and of itself. Yet, when the subject in question is as controversial and divisive as today's ineluctable pervasiveness of identity politics, addressing such a combustible phenomenon accords particular accolades to those who have the guts to dissect it. As is the case with his previous works, once again Murray displays the same courage, honesty and depth which have made him one of the most lucid and astute political and social commentators of our time. A highly recommended read.

  • Dan Graser

    We live in a time where we have never been more connected with an astounding number of ways to communicate, the very problem is that we are plainly getting worse at communicating with one another and our so-called, "connections," are ever more entrenched tribal entities that are just as exclusionary as they are inclusive. The main problem is our pervasive hair-trigger outrage, where a slip of the tongue, a well-meaning opinion expressed poorly, or a genuinely feckless and trite remark is afforde

    We live in a time where we have never been more connected with an astounding number of ways to communicate, the very problem is that we are plainly getting worse at communicating with one another and our so-called, "connections," are ever more entrenched tribal entities that are just as exclusionary as they are inclusive. The main problem is our pervasive hair-trigger outrage, where a slip of the tongue, a well-meaning opinion expressed poorly, or a genuinely feckless and trite remark is afforded undue significance to produce a steady stream of counter-vitriol. Some people call this, "cancel-culture," while an equally vocal contingent say this does not exist, other say this is the terror of "identity politics," while others state that identity has always been something of political significance, and even more state this is "PC (political correctness) gone mad!" while others state that what you call political correctness is actually just being polite and progressive in your understanding of others. Rinse, repeat, add in a few references to Hitler and Stalin, move on to next issue with nothing resolved. So much heat, so little light.

    This work of Douglas Murray's is a thorough study of this mob-mentality we have gotten used to especially when examining issues around the "thorniest," societal issues. Never one to shy away from an honest opinion or a difficult opinion, the tone is one of assuredness but a willingness to step away from an issue about which there isn't much objective knowledge and withhold judgement. As an independent-minded gay intellectual, his views are wonderfully unpredictable from issue to issue as following trending orthodoxies is not his thing, at all. The chapters are suitably titled around many such spark-points of discussion with various interludes:

    1) Gay - Interlude: The Marxist Foundations

    2) Women - Interlude: The Impact of Tech

    3) Race - Interlude: On Forgiveness

    4) Trans

    While you may not agree with each opinion expressed, the most lasting impression is just how well people of various ideologies manage to marginalize those who likely agree with them on 99% of everything else all because of a word or statement, robbed of understanding of intent or context, and merely used as a political or social-media bludgeon to score points with the evermore, "woke," among them. One of his concluding remarks is of an especially high quality which manages not to just be another call for civility but something more personal and potent, and worth quoting at length:

    "But of all the ways in which people can find meaning in their lives, politics - let alone politics on such a scale - is one of the unhappiest. Politics may be an important aspect of our lives, but as a source of personal meaning it is disastrous. Not just because the ambitions it strives after nearly always go unachieved, but because finding purpose in politics laces politics with a passion - including a rage - that perverts the whole enterprise. If two people are in disagreement about something important, they may disagree as amicably as they like if it is just a matter of getting to the truth or the most amendable option. But if one party finds their whole purpose in life to reside in some aspect of that disagreement, then the chances of amicability fade vast and the likelihood of reaching any truth recedes."

    Worth a read and ignore others telling you this is controversial before you read it for yourself, and if you find it to be controversial, great! Just be able to articulate and encapsulate exactly why you think so.

  • Fi Read with Fi

    Required reading for... everyone!

  • Mike

    Murray has a wonderfully even-handed approach to his topic. Being gay himself, he might easily have pushed this way of life as more important than others. But he looks at it objectively, which is an excellent achievement. The same objectivity addresses the other issues in the book: feminism, trans, gender, race. He never minces matters, calling a spade a spade when it certainly is one, but equally he spends time looking for ways out of the current mire in which the West is embroiled. And there's

    Murray has a wonderfully even-handed approach to his topic. Being gay himself, he might easily have pushed this way of life as more important than others. But he looks at it objectively, which is an excellent achievement. The same objectivity addresses the other issues in the book: feminism, trans, gender, race. He never minces matters, calling a spade a spade when it certainly is one, but equally he spends time looking for ways out of the current mire in which the West is embroiled. And there's no doubt that it is a mire. Story after story of viciousness, violence and abuse of people who don't think the same as you (depending on what your particular focus is) abound, many of them quite sickening in their lack of generosity or compassion. Shouting down your opponents even if it means spouting nonsense is a frequent approach to 'argument'.

    The book is a wonderful overview of the current state of things. Murray has hope, but doesn't see change coming about quickly.

  • Richard Block

    SJW Inferno

    Douglas Murray's supercilious, ultra posh voice enunciates every syllable of his latest polemic (on Audible) in which he pontificates on the destructive nature of modern debate on the issues of gender and race. The social warriors are demented, maintains the controlled Murray, whose polemic oozes sarcasm and contempt. The central thesis is this - just as we are winning the battle for gay rights, women's rights, and black rights, the post Marxist analysis that has escaped academia thru

    SJW Inferno

    Douglas Murray's supercilious, ultra posh voice enunciates every syllable of his latest polemic (on Audible) in which he pontificates on the destructive nature of modern debate on the issues of gender and race. The social warriors are demented, maintains the controlled Murray, whose polemic oozes sarcasm and contempt. The central thesis is this - just as we are winning the battle for gay rights, women's rights, and black rights, the post Marxist analysis that has escaped academia thru the current and former students has created a toxic environment in which there is a hysteric condemnation of society in the form of white, male, privileged oppression. Instead of viewing people as individuals, the idea is that there is an interlocking matrix of oppression that needs to be smashed. Don't expect cogent reasoning or even to be allowed to speak - these SJWs are social fascists who hate facts and free speech.

    Hence, 'queer' culture (wild, amoral) culture overcomes gay (join the mainstream), feminism becomes misandry, and POC (people of colour) rail against whites with impunity.

    The most insane development, according to this account, is the approval and veneration of 'trans' people and 'trans' rights. This has had no serious scientific study or analysis yet now small children are being fast tracked to gender reassignment AS A MATTER OF STATE POLICY. The 'trans' movement has been pitted against feminists, who resent men claiming rights as women, when women feel trampled. It would be funny if it were funny.

    Following on from his previous polemic, The Strange Death of Europe (which reviled the Christian cultural collapse post war and has lead to welcoming mass Islamic immigration without complaint) Murray has an appetite for subjects that others don't want to touch. He offers journalistic analysis, but only occasionally calls upon empirical support. It is the common sense approach to argumentation, one where examples selected make huge points out this world gone mad.

    That he is a gay man helps his arguments in the first chapter, and strangely enough his chapter on women. His insights are simple and interesting. But the one that sets the book aflame is the chapter on 'trans'- this really is madness on an epic scale.

    Murray believes that we should not judge society as oppressed and horrific, but as advancing and improving - notably true (as Pinker). We should see that catastrophism (as in Haidt) is no solution and will pit us all against each other in a melee of victimhood and hatred. We should respect science and facts and not react with emotion to every perceived slight - we should be more charitable towards our fellow human beings. That social media - the curse of our times - enflames our culture - is not given sole prominence, but is part of the piece.

    This is a vital, energetic and unsettling book all people under 35 should read. It may make them very upset.

  • Declan Murray

    Murray has succeeded in identifying some of the key components of the current midlife crisis that sections of the left are undergoing relating to sexuality, gender, race and what he calls "Trans" .

    He perfectly elucidates he creeping feeling that there is something very strange about hypersensitivity on these issues beginning at just the moment when they were beginning to fade in importance.

    He also identifies some of the sources for the strange realities that coexist in western culture at the m

    Murray has succeeded in identifying some of the key components of the current midlife crisis that sections of the left are undergoing relating to sexuality, gender, race and what he calls "Trans" .

    He perfectly elucidates he creeping feeling that there is something very strange about hypersensitivity on these issues beginning at just the moment when they were beginning to fade in importance.

    He also identifies some of the sources for the strange realities that coexist in western culture at the moment : a time when we have never been more sexually liberated and yet are reconstructing a new Puritanism with the same goals as the one we rebelled against 50 years ago. We have never been less racist and yet left wing people are hyperfocused on reessentialising racial characteristics.

    Occasionally following these strands can lead Murray into some of the same thickets as Jonathan Haidts Coddling of the American Mind, taking us on a tour of all the overfamiliar PC wigouts we know and love: evergreen, christakeses, Dolezal etc. This can be boring for those of us who've been following these matters, and can easily be used as evidence that the "quillette reading right wingers" are obsessed with recounting the same PC Gone Mad stories as ever. However Murray does provide some context as to why these stories are of genuine cultural significance, and shows that these infections are taking place at the very loci of our cultures sense making apparatus. Dismissing them is like saying a man with encephalitis is fine because the infection is confined to his brain.

    Murray is thus great when he simply reports to us the things that some of these people actually believe. No "War on Christmas" stories need to be cooked up to make the left look bad anymore. He only needs to quote what they say and report what they do.

    The trans chapter is worth the price of admission alone, both as a companion peice to Alice Dregers Galileos Middle Finger, and as a wonderfully clear minded, truly liberal and compassionate investigation into the issue for people actually attempting to understand it.

  • Aleksandra

    For the most part, this is a good book.

    There are parts, especially at the beginning, that read like the author put in a lot of effort to cater to the sensibilities of a part of his audience.

    For example, in the introduction, he says that a decade ago almost nobody was supportive of gay marriage. (Funny really, taking into account that the Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2004). I've no idea who was Mr. Murray hanging out with a decade ago, but me, a working-class kid from Balkans, barely knew

    For the most part, this is a good book.

    There are parts, especially at the beginning, that read like the author put in a lot of effort to cater to the sensibilities of a part of his audience.

    For example, in the introduction, he says that a decade ago almost nobody was supportive of gay marriage. (Funny really, taking into account that the Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2004). I've no idea who was Mr. Murray hanging out with a decade ago, but me, a working-class kid from Balkans, barely knew anyone who was against gay marriages more than 15 years ago. Of course, I knew those people existed, I've had the internet, but I can't say I've met a lot of them in real life. The only question that was up for debate in my high school class was should they be able to adopt kids (and even that debate lasted only up until the moment when one girl asked "would it really suck if you had two mums?"). I guess I grew up privileged as fuck compared to an Eton educated dude. (I googled his biography to see whether he was in Saudi Arabia ten years ago or there's another explanation for this statement that makes sense.)

    Then, "after most of us hoped it has become a non-issue - everything seems to have become about race". Dare I ask what percentage of the "most of us" is white?

    "Homosexuality could (from a reproductive angle, among others) be said to be inconvenient to society, and the question of what it actually is therefore presents a perfectly legitimate question for society to be engaged with." There's 7.5 billion of us in the world. We generate an incredible amount of waste. We have fucked up the climate and a huge number of people will suffer and die because of that. But yes, gay people, let's discuss your homosexuality that's preventing you from procreating because what we really need is more people and you're not doing your part which makes you a huge inconvenience and gives us the right to peek in your bedrooms.

    "Meantime the stories of famous gay people – and especially the fear, bullying and discrimination that many have suffered – have clearly persuaded a lot of people that no one would willingly choose this." Not to mention the, you know, actual killings of non-famous gay people.

    Generally, this is a good book that talks about a lot of important issues (and it's so nice someone actually gives a fuck about the intersex people whom I've expected to be the next in line after the society agreed that yes, homosexuality is normal and there's no reason to prevent gay people from marrying and having children, but that's not how it went), but I think the bullshit might have been omitted.

  • Gareth

    I enjoyed hearing what I consider to be Murray's compassionate skepticism of social justice ideology. In hindsight, I think it was a bit therapeutic to me to hear so much of a rational, liberal voice challenging what I often feel is an aggressive, ubiquitous orthodoxy. I appreciate what I see as Murray's mapping out of not only various areas of these hard-left, identity-based views but also partially where they came from, how they have changed and continue to change in people's minds, and what t

    I enjoyed hearing what I consider to be Murray's compassionate skepticism of social justice ideology. In hindsight, I think it was a bit therapeutic to me to hear so much of a rational, liberal voice challenging what I often feel is an aggressive, ubiquitous orthodoxy. I appreciate what I see as Murray's mapping out of not only various areas of these hard-left, identity-based views but also partially where they came from, how they have changed and continue to change in people's minds, and what they might lead to.

    However, I wish that there was more explanation. I remember a lot of recounting of individual, illustrative cases, but I think I would have appreciated both a more zoomed-out view of these phenomena. Additionally, I do not feel satisfied by what I remember thinking was a fairly shallow level of criticism that was often just questioning the implementation details, and I am left wanting a more in-depth analysis of the psychology and logical flaws behind this ideology.

    In the end, as someone who has thought about and kept an interest in these issues, I feel that I did not gain much out of this book except for a few new tidbits, the pleasure of hearing someone with whom I share unpopular views, and what is only an unsatisfying glimpse of the postmodern metaphysics and post-Marxism underlying intersectionality.

  • Letitia Todd Kim

    Not as insightful or useful as it could have been. Rather than being an evidentiary or theoretically based critique of identitarianism, this book is largely a collection of anecdotes (most of which are already well known to anyone paying attention) interspersed with Murray’s measured opinions (again, most of which have already been expressed by others). While the identitarian movement is probably too new to have generated an expansive library of data, surely there are enough statistics to enable

    Not as insightful or useful as it could have been. Rather than being an evidentiary or theoretically based critique of identitarianism, this book is largely a collection of anecdotes (most of which are already well known to anyone paying attention) interspersed with Murray’s measured opinions (again, most of which have already been expressed by others). While the identitarian movement is probably too new to have generated an expansive library of data, surely there are enough statistics to enable a more forceful critique. Moreover, although Murray discusses the Marxist underpinnings of the movement, he provides no other theoretical criticism or analysis of its effects. Thus, this book does not add to the collective knowledge in any meaningful way.

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