As the West turns on its religious and cultural traditions, it is succumbing to the 'soft totalitarianism' of irrational, relativist ideals. With the Islamists intent on returning the free world to the 7th century, it seems western civilization is no longer willing or able to defend modernity and rationalism. In "The World Turned Upside Down", Melanie Phillips explains that the basic cause of this explosion of human irrationality is the slow but steady marginalisation of religion. We tell ourselves that faith and reason are incompatible, but the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible, Phillips asserts, that gave us our concepts of reason, progress, and an orderly world on which science and modernity are based. Without its religious traditions, the West has drifted into mass derangement where truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. Scientists skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts, Israel is demonised, and the US is vilified over the war on terror - all on the basis of blatant falsehoods and obscene propaganda. Worst of all, asserts Phillips, this abandonment of rationality leaves the West vulnerable to its legitimate threats. Faced with the very real challenges of spiraling demographics and violent, confrontational Islamism, the West is no longer willing or able to defend the modernity and rationalism that it once brought into being.
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, publisher and co-founder of EM: Melanie Phillips Electric Media. She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has "been mugged by reality".
Phillips has often appeared as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Moral Maze and BBC One's Question Time. She has written a number of books, including Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain (2013). She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for The Observer. She published her memoir, Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain on 5 May 2013.
Melanie Phillips was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. Before joining the Daily Mail she worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times. She writes a monthly column for the London Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panelist on BBC Radio Four's The Moral Maze, and frequently contributes to other publications around the world including Standpoint magazine, the Spectator, the Australian and Wall Street Journal.
Her print titles include The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, published in the US by Encounter in 2010, and Londonistan, an analysis of Britain's appeasement of Islamist extremism published in US in 2006 by Encounter and in the UK by Gibson Square.
Her other books include The Ascent of Woman, Little Brown, 2003, The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, Social Market Foundation, 1999; All Must Have Prizes, Warner, 1996. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985.