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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 138

Douglas Murray — The Madness of 2020

The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity (book cover) Douglas Murray (photo by Andy Ngo)

Douglas Murray (by Andy Ngo)

In this special episode of the Science Salon Podcast, Michael Shermer catches up with Douglas Murray one year after the publication of his bestselling book The Madness of Crowds, which was featured in Science Salon # 87 in October 2019. Murray’s book is now out in paperback with an Afterword update on all that has happened the past year, one of the most momentous in living memory. Shermer and Murray discuss:

  • why he wasn’t “cancelled” after The Madness of Crowds was published and became a bestseller,
  • what people should do if they’re cancelled, shamed, mobbed, or accused of being racist, misogynist, transphobic, or bigoted and they know they’re not,
  • how to fight back against wokeness, political correctness, and identity politics,
  • updates on the featured topics in The Madness of Crowds: gay, women, race, trans,
  • J.K. Rowling and “people who menstruate” (if only there was a single word for that phrase),
  • statues and why some people want them taken down (Lord Nelson may be next…find out why),
  • why leftists think everyone (except them) are racists and why they’re really making these accusations,
  • why we should be suspect of the motives of social justice warriors (who are anti-social, against justice, and not warriors),
  • Michael Brown, George Floyd, and police violence,
  • white fragility, white guilt, BLM, and anti-racism,
  • corporate sensitivity training programs and why they’re really being conducted,
  • what could happen after the 2020 election, depending on who wins, and
  • comparing 2020 to 1968, and what the future holds for Western culture.

In The Madness of Crowds Douglas Murray investigates the dangers of “woke” culture and the rise of identity politics. In lively, razor-sharp prose he examines the most controversial issues of our moment: sexuality, gender, technology and race, with interludes on the Marxist foundations of “wokeness”, the impact of tech and how, in an increasingly online culture, we must relearn the ability to forgive. One of the few writers who dares to counter the prevailing view and question the dramatic changes in our society — from gender reassignment for children to the impact of transgender rights on women — Murray’s penetrating book clears a path of sanity through the fog of our modern predicament.

Douglas Murray is a regular columnist for both the Spectator and Standpoint and writes frequently for a variety of other publications, including the Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal. A prolific debater, Douglas has spoken on a variety of prominent platforms, including at the British and European Parliaments and the White House.

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This episode was released on October 16, 2020.

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