The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity
New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019
I discovered Douglas Murray when he was interviewed by the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. What struck me about Murray was that he used phrases found in Counter-Currents articles. For example, in the interview Murray says that Europe “doesn’t take its own side,” and regarding the transsexual issue, that there are “no adults in the room.” In reading the book, I came to the conclusion that Murray was probably not a Counter-Currents reader, but I do wonder if our ideas are starting to seep into the mainstream. Murray takes a look at this “madness of crowds” phenomenon, which has also been called the Great Awokening. Why, asks Murray, have Leftists become so appallingly unhinged even as their cherished goals have been enacted with incredible speed?
The roots of this unhappy state of being are how Jacobin Leftist ideas evolved in response to the unraveling of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Today we call this Jacobinism “Cultural Marxism,” and there is a direct line from the Jacobin ideas underpinning the French Revolution, through ordinary Soviet-style gulag Marxism, to awokened Cultural Marxism.
The most critical of these metapolitical Cultural Marxist books is Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (1985) by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. This book argues that the Jacobin (Marxist) Left – what we have come to call today Cultural Marxists – shifted from organizing around the belief that the working class would lead the revolution to that of organizing to achieve Jacobin aims with a base of women as well as national, racial, and sexual minorities, plus the anti-nuclear and anti-institutional movements. Hegemony has been cited more than sixteen thousand times in other academic works. Another important book is White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (1988) by Women’s Studies Professor Peggy McIntosh. White Privilege isn’t in the form of an essay; it’s a list of claims. Today, White Privilege is treated as Gospel Truth. There is also Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990) by Judith Butler. It argues that feminism made a mistake in thinking there are categories such as male and female. There are more Cultural Marxist works described in Murray’s book, but these are the most critical ones.
The Aftermath of the Financial Crisis
Murray argues that all of these ideas remained on the fringes until the 2008 financial crisis. The proof that these ideas had captured the minds of people willing to do violence after the economy collapsed was documented in 2009 by Kevin DeAnna. At the time, DeAnna was on a trip to Iceland to see how the nation was handling the collapse of their currency and other financial issues. He concluded, after watching black-clad antifa making trouble in Iceland’s Althing, that the Left “will benefit because in any crisis situation, they have a revolutionary gestalt lacking on the right.”
Thus, the timeline of the Awokening is clear. These ideas existed as early as the late 1980s and were broadcast through the educational system with no effective resistance at all. The “madness of crowds” plague arrived in the culture when the economy went into a tailspin in 2008, and accelerated with Obama’s election. During Obama’s second term, those infected by the Awokening were further empowered by Obama’s claims of oppression that were transmitted from the presidential Bully Pulpit. The awokened had also begun their careers and had the youthful energy to push their vision.
At the same time, the Protestant-led Christian religious revival in the US that had been so powerful in the 1990s fell apart. The misadventure-filled presidency of George W. Bush, an open Evangelical Protestant, was part of the problem. For the religious, the downward spiral began in November 2006, when the Democrats won Congress; then, the Christian movement lost a tremendous leader a few months later when Jerry Falwell died.
Additionally, the center-Right was bumbling. DeAnna wrote in 2009 that “the center-right in Iceland, as the Communists in China, defined the core of their legitimacy as ensuring economic growth. Once this was lost, they have nothing else to offer.” In sum, Murray says, “[W]e have been living through a period of more than a quarter of a century in which all our grand narratives have collapsed.”
The Five Groups that Make the Madness
The “madness of crowds” has various factors: homosexuals, feminists, corporate tech companies, non-whites, and transsexuals. Each group and their specific philosophical assumptions are examined by Murray.
The first group Murray looks at are homosexuals. Murray, who claims he is gay, remarks that the LGBQ(T) coalition is unstable. Lesbians are not homosexual men; they are dowdy and dull. Gay men are otherwise ordinary men sexually attracted to other men. Queers are gay men who deliberately behave in outlandish ways, even to the point of being irresponsible. Bisexuals are disliked and mistrusted by all the other groups.
The homosexual movement has provided a foundational philosophical component to the “madness of crowds” phenomenon. That is to say, homosexuals have made the claim that their sexual orientation is the product of hardware rather than software. As part of their striving to gain social acceptance, the idea was advanced that homosexuals are hard-wired to be attracted to members of the same sex (hardware). They deny that their activities are a lifestyle choice, the result of sexual abuse, or some other psychological factor (software.) With homosexuality being “hardware,” it puts them into a totally different moral situation than if their homosexuality were “software.” There is no solid evidence either way for why homosexuality exists, although it runs contrary to Darwinian logic. (So there must be a Darwinian logic to it – possibly?) However, this hardware/software dichotomy is also being applied –falsely – across all these groups, and that pushes the “madness of crowds” ever forward.
Murray also discusses feminism. I don’t have much to add, as F. Roger Devlin has already written the greatest critique of it. But feminism’s main drawback is that it presumes that being “used up” in life through a career is greater than being used up by life through motherhood. If you’re regularly reading this site, you already very well know that children and family are far more rewarding than a career, but great truths must be repeatedly restated by many people, or they will get lost in the noise. The key factor that makes feminism a problem among the awokened is that it applies the hardware/software dichotomy to what is otherwise a hardware issue. In truth, women’s bodies are hardware; however, to achieve the feminist goal of getting girls into the infantry, one must advance the argument that being a woman is a software rather than a hardware issue (see Gender Trouble, above).
Also, feminists encourage rather reckless claims of rape. The situation has gotten bad enough that businessmen are starting to not book their business travels through the women in their offices; the risks of a #metoo claim are simply too high. The awokened don’t see how their movement will end at all; the logical endpoint of feminist demands are not empowered women, but the purdah.
Murray argues that there is a tech issue that facilitates the entire phenomenon of awokened insanity. Google searches for “European art” turn up portraits of Africans painted by Europeans. Type in a search for “white families” and you get images of Negroes, mixed-race groups, and so on. Only when the searches are made from IP addresses elsewhere in the world does one get images of whites at all. The tech industry is essentially all for the awokened “madness of crowds.” They drank the Kool-Aid and are true believers. This makes it far clearer as to why Counter-Currents gets deplatformed and suppressed.
Nobody can escape race. Murray discusses the problems that have emerged since the Obama election. Non-whites in the United States have carried out a manipulative attack against whites. The general way in which these attacks have been playing out are well-known, but one notable example is an attack at Evergreen College that was quite racist indeed, though few have remarked upon it. Non-whites attempted to force all whites to leave the campus for a day. This was the opposite of their earlier tactics, when non-whites would walk out in protest against “racism” or whatever. When a professor protested, he was hounded out of the school and out of town. Murray mentions the obvious: that the opposite can be imposed on non-whites by whites. The next “Rosa Parks” archetype may well be forced into the “safe space” at the back of the bus. Like the feminists, the non-white activists fail to see the logical endpoint of their movement. In short, non-white activists don’t realize that non-whites who leave white civilization aren’t missed, and sustained attacks by non-whites may draw a severe backlash.
Murray also provides a serious study of the transsexual movement and explains all the weasel words associated with it, such as substituting “gender” for biological “sex.” Murray argues that transsexual behavior is related to several different things, but the most prominent is sexual desire. One group of transsexuals are straight men who are sexually aroused by imagining themselves to be members of the opposite sex. They get turned on by wearing women’s clothing and such. Another group of transsexuals are gay men who are so feminine that other gays are not attracted to them. Thus, they dress and act like women in an attempt to cause men to be attracted to them.
The final, and most tragic, form of transsexuals are socially awkward children. Cowardly “awokened” adults have become so bound by the “madness of crowds” that they are encouraging kids to be “transgender.” Meanwhile, evidence is mounting which shows that transsexual children are getting the idea from other kids, as well as the Internet. There is a clustering effect here. One transsexual kid becomes a social star, and then others follow. Transsexualism is a fad, and a dangerous one at that.
What about reasonable people who transition, such as Jan Morris, who wrote an excellent series on the history of the British Empire? Some people do extreme things out of genuinely-held beliefs, but those beliefs could still be wrong for society.
With transsexualism, the entire culture is such that children are being encouraged to believe that they are of the sex opposite to how they were born, and scientists are being pressured to go along with it. This is the hardware/software analogy turned around: In transsexuality, social pressures – software – are being declared hardware.
Another problem is that all homosexual contact is presumed by the reigning social consensus to be the end of the sexuality road, when in fact it could be that the boy who kisses another boy might very well not be gay and the entire thing is a passing phase. Likewise, in the past it was often presumed that a tomboy would grow into a feminine woman. But today, as gender activists would have it, any homosexual contact permanently consigns a person to a very narrow community.
The one flaw in this otherwise excellent book is that Murray still believes in “civil rights.” He even takes the words of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. about “content of character” seriously. It is more accurate to say that the “I Have a Dream” speech was a deceptive information operation which masked the fact that the “civil rights” movement was not about rights at all, but was in fact a racially-motivated attack upon whites by blacks – who were themselves being led by Jews pursuing their own interests. Non-whites taking over Evergreen College was the aim of “civil rights” all along, not “equality” or any other such thing.
“Civil rights” is the Big Philosophical Lie at the center of American society, and it is the smokescreen for other awokened groups participating in the “madness of crowds.” A great many whites have fooled themselves regarding “civil rights.” Indeed, it is still impossible to publicly criticize “civil rights” in even the mildest way. As a result, history becomes God. In this view, those opposing King in 1963 were on the “wrong side” of history (i.e., God), and because homosexuality, feminism, and transsexualism deliberately imitate the processes and logic of “civil rights,” it is nearly impossible for anyone in authority to put the lid on any of this stupidity.
The concept of history as God deserves a few more remarks. Those awokened and fully engaged in the “madness of crowds” are practicing a religion of sorts, but this religion has an ever-shifting set of rules, such that yesterday’s commandments are today’s evil. There is no salvation in this religion. Humor is now forbidden. Even popular TV series like Friends, which often made humor out of issues related to sex and homosexuality, have become too scandalous. Awokened university officials are clamping down on free speech, and science has given way to bald-faced lies. None practicing the “madness of crowds” have any end-goal in mind – and we all seem headed for a hard landing. Indeed, we are living today in something like the Jacobin Terror of the French Revolution, in which the revolution is killing its own supporters.
The awokened are carrying out a vindictive strike on society. There is no reason to accommodate them.
 Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p. 62.
 Ibid., p. 6.
 I’ve been in the infantry. It’s not much fun. Why make this a goal?
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