Western Fundamentalism PB by Gordon Menzies
Have you ever felt out of step with your own culture? Or even simply wondered where the tensions in our world are going to lead us, and if there is still time for the West to help shape the direction?
Events over recent decades have brought 'fundamentalism' - both Islamic and Christian - to the fore. Yet when I was a doctoral student at Oxford, I noticed that the debaters at the Oxford Union seemed not to question their own basic beliefs - something fundamentalists are often accused of. Eventually it was explained to me that the Oxford debaters uncritically believed in democracy, free market liberalism (i.e. economic rationalism) and sexual freedom. This seems important, because environmental degradation and the Global Financial Crisis speak of the limits of the free market system. You might also feel, like I do, that the sexual revolution has left victims in its wake.
I have a deep interest in basic assumptions we all have about life, and am regularly inspired to discuss them with others. This book aims to articulate my views in a thought-provoking yet respectful way whilst also providing/offering an appropriate amount of personal disclosure. For example, I can see the sexual revolution from both sides - the increase in women's rights helped my mother escape an abusive relationship with my father, yet it also encouraged the end of many tolerable-yet-challenging relationships that could have provided an adequate relational world for the children and spouses involved.
"If you want to feel smart, read this book. Gordon Menzies is one of those people who is both thnker and teacher, with enough of a grasp of philosophy, economics, and political theory to understand why you think the way you think, but able to explain it so that you can understand as well. Just like scientists assume the order and intelligibility of nature, so the inhabitants of western liberal democracy share a common set of presuppositionss about ourselves and our world that shapes our thinking and ethical intuitions." Lewis Jones, PhD Astrophysics