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In The New Vichy Syndrome, Theodore Dalrymple traces this malaise back to the great conflicts of the last century and their devastating effects upon the European psyche. From issues of religion, class, colonialism, and nationalism, Europeans hold a “miserablist” view of their history, one that alternates between indifference and outright contempt of the past. Today’s Europeans no longer believe in anything but personal economic security, an increased standard of living, shorter working hours, and long vacations in exotic locales.
The result, Dalrymple asserts, is an unwillingness to preserve European achievements and the dismantling of western culture by Europeans themselves. As vapid hedonism and aggressive Islamism fill this cultural void, Europeans have no one else to blame for their plight.
Posted May 5, 2010
European history is described as an embarrassment to Europeans, and when defended, creates the risk that the defender will be accused of favoring colonialism, slavery, military adventures against third world peoples and world-wide wars which killed millions. Dalrymple believes that intellectuals are responsible for this abandonment of all that's good in order to demonstrate deserved shame for the crimes of the past.
The author warns that the US is under the same risk from its intellectual class, and must win what he calls the "cultural war." His arguements for that effort were persuasive to this reader.
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Posted May 7, 2013
In a very short time, I have become a follower of Dr.’s Dalrymple work. I have bought most of his books and I have not been disappointed.
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Posted October 30, 2010
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