The following is an excerpt of an article by Luke Perry. This features in our fifth print issue, available now.
Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.
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The ideas Ben Shapiro expresses in his new book are far from new or ground-breaking; they are ideas which are already held by social conservatives who fear that western values are becoming extinct. If you are one of these people, you will notice yourself nodding along as you turn the pages, but feel increasingly upset as you progress through the book; this is a tragedy first and foremost, a story of the rise and ultimate demise of western values.
Shapiro’s introduction is centred on contemporary society, where he ponders why people are not happy despite having the highest living standards in history, and describes the loss of community and increased polarisation of America.
He then shifts his attention to the absence of reason and logic in political discourse and to an extent, public life. Shapiro believes that subjectivism rules the day, a notion re-enforced by his personal experience of being accused of holding Nazi beliefs (for reference, he is an orthodox Jew), and the backlash he faces when he commits the unforgivable sin of stating the biological fact that men are not women, and vice versa.
The rest of Shapiro’s book is a timeline, starting with the cities of Athens and Jerusalem – the birthplace of reason and moral purpose respectively – moving to the rise of Christianity, extending to the Lockean idea of classical liberalism. The apex of western values is seen as the US constitution, which he views as a perfect combination of reason and moral purpose.
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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.
Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr.