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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking work
When I purchased this book recently, I felt, from recommendations of others who had already read it, that it was likely to be a thought-provoking work. I also feared that it might be a trifle turgid and heavy going! It would appear that my expectations were both right and wrong: the book was a fascinating read, but the straightforward and direct writing style made sure it...
Published 13 months ago by algazr

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars AMBUSHED
I was enjoying this book until part way through when I was ambushed by an unexpected evangelical rant. I am an atheist, and yet I did other recognise myself from the vitriolic nonsense that followed. Much of the book's argument is reasonable, but it fall into the common (among religious writers) fallacy that all atheists are liberal lefties and that only religion,...
Published 9 days ago by Richard Tingle.


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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking work, 10 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
When I purchased this book recently, I felt, from recommendations of others who had already read it, that it was likely to be a thought-provoking work. I also feared that it might be a trifle turgid and heavy going! It would appear that my expectations were both right and wrong: the book was a fascinating read, but the straightforward and direct writing style made sure it never lost its sense of purpose, nor allowed its message to become blurred. What could have been quite complex ideas were offered in such a fashion that one never had to struggle to assimilate them.
The author is quite clearly a man of "old-fashioned" views, and he has researched his subject matter very thoroughly. I found it refreshing that he was prepared to "take on" the militant atheism of such "big names" as Richard Dawkins, who actually seemed to emerge from Marsh's criticism with any pretensions of intellectual rigour left in tatters! What I wouldn't give to witness a live debate between the two of them!
Marsh puts his finger neatly on the root causes of many of the ills which beset our society, and the result of this precision is a book which can present rather a bleak outlook. Sadly, it appeared that only by implication (of a return to a bygone set of values) did he suggest a remedy for the problems. If there is such a thing as a criticism of the book that I might offer, this is it. Perhaps he is saving this for a second book. I hope so!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms the common sense view of what has being going on these past six or so decades, 12 Feb 2014
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Replete with examples, references, anecdotes and current observations familiar to the socially aware the authenticity of this book is undoubted. It is a very useful antidote to the poisonous, socially destructive liberal drivel that has polluted university social science departments (I speak as an ex-OU student)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for our time, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
Not too long ago being liberal meant to be free from outmoded ways of thought and practice, to think well of humanity and to give generously. But today, even some liberals challenge that view. So John Marsh's timely book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand modern liberalism and its impact on society. In it he claims liberalism's philosophical foundations are collapsing and destroying the very freedoms liberals say they exist to defend. In his opinion, it is this destruction which is responsible for much of our current moral crisis.

Conceived in the Enlightenment, liberalism began as a philosophical, social and political challenge to a western Christianity compromised by privilege and worldliness. That the age of ritual deference to our social 'betters' has now past, Marsh acknowledges as a major liberal achievement. Today liberalism is the predominant ideology for the cultural elite. But when Marsh uses Enlightenment principles to test liberalism's basic assumptions, that we are born essentially 'good' and then corrupted by society, he discovers wishful thinking rather than new philosophical truth. Failing to pass the tests modern science, anthropology, sociology and history provide, liberalism collapses. And by mistaking license for freedom it unwittingly encourages poverty and inequality.

Marsh points to the scientific evidence from brain studies, genetics, neuroscience and psychology which reveal that selfishness is built-in to our human nature, not something acquired from our parents or the environment. Anthropological studies finding high murder rates among tribal people exposes the liberal idea of the 'Noble Savage' as sentimental nonsense. Meanwhile the results of sociological and historical research show how liberalism in action has deepened deprivation and led to reigns of terror.

Exercising cultural leadership liberals rename everything 'politically correctly,' and it is this which delivers their totalitarian sting. But deeper investigation reveals that 'Political Correctness' wasn't invented by western liberals at all; as Marsh rightly points out it was created by Lenin to control the inner life of everyone in Soviet Russia. And he showed no mercy to 'refuseniks;' he slaughtered them in huge numbers.

While indicating that both liberalism and communism emerged from the Enlightenment Marsh could have described in more detail how Lenin's invention entered the West. A few lines would have explained that the virus carriers were Lenin's disciples from Frankfurt University's Institute of Social Research. Set up in the 1920s as an undercover propaganda Think Tank to target western liberal intellectuals, they took the thought controlling ideology of 'political correctness' with them when they fled to America to escape Hitler in the 1930s. There, ideologues like Herbert Marcuse used 'Critical Theory' to mesmerise America's nave elite into becoming Lenin's 'useful idiots.' Many college students on both sides of the Atlantic than became indoctrinated with 'politically correct' cultural Marxism and by the late 1960s opposition to the Vietnam War triggered open rebellion against their own institutions. And it is they, and their successors, who now encourage the West's moral and political decline.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 23 Aug 2013
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This book makes the point that human beings are not perfect and not only that, there are some people who are just evil. Liberalism has allowed too much bad behaviour in society to prevail. We need to acknowledge that there is a dark side to humanity and to be prepared to punish those who intentionally do harm to others. A good and thought provoking read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful expose of the root of badness, 18 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
The crucial fact about this brilliant book is that the author nails, at the very beginning, the root cause of the evils of modern times, namely, the totally false idea that humans are somehow born "good", or at least morally "neutral", and that things present in society (institutions (such as the Christian Church), systems (economic, political, etc.) and traditions) have introduced and caused the ever-present badness, from which humanity suffers. This would accurately be described (in my view) as the materialist world-view, and John Marsh (it will be realised from the title) uses the word Liberal. We all know of the tragic consequences of the adoption of this thinking, from the horrors of the French Revolution to the despotic regimes and revolutions of modern times, from Lenin (a much greater mass-killer than is often supposed) to Mugabe. Marsh's recording of the awful "head counts" of these monsters is useful, and reveals the fact that almost all of such people derive from a Left Wing or "Socialist" tradition, but our left-wing media makes sure we all think of Hitler (small fry in the mass-killing stakes) as the most evil person who ever lived (he, of course, can packaged as "Right Wing"). At times, one feels that liberals and liberalism get off too lightly, since inverted commas ("liberal", so-called "liberal") are not used anything like enough, allowing many of today's in-humanist people bogusly to relax on the moral-high ground which their self-adoption of the "Liberal" label ("Progressive" is another) has promoted them to. Firm distinction must always be made between those who call themselves "liberal" or otherwise use the label, and those people/belief-systems that truly free people. Reviews here accuse Marsh of ranting. This is a term "liberals" choose for anyone who opposes them (like the ever-popular politician's boo-word "bigot") - inevitably, if you describe our society as it really is, and has been made (by "liberals") to become, your account will perforce be strident and seemingly-intemperate. Another excellent book (Paul C. Vitz's Faith of the Fatherless. The psychology of atheism (2013)) reveals the dysfunctional personal circumstances which led to the "Humanist"/atheist beliefs adopted by many of the apostles of this "original goodness" thinking, and their (in some cases) subsequent mass-killing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars AMBUSHED, 15 April 2014
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I was enjoying this book until part way through when I was ambushed by an unexpected evangelical rant. I am an atheist, and yet I did other recognise myself from the vitriolic nonsense that followed. Much of the book's argument is reasonable, but it fall into the common (among religious writers) fallacy that all atheists are liberal lefties and that only religion, specifically Christianity, can provide a basis for morality. Otherwise, ignoring the pro-religion/anti atheist diatribe, an interesting read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking, 4 April 2014
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This will chime with many who find themselves at odds with the mores of modern society. Marsh gives a balanced view, without being sensationalist. Whilst obviously writing about his own views, he manages to do so and also give credit, when due, to liberal philosophies. Worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Liberal Delusion, 24 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
An interesting book with a counter-cultural message. Not very long, but the extensive and well-researched bibliography will be very useful for students and others interested in the argument.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definately worth a read!, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
John Marsh treats the major problem of Liberalism allowing society to decline in a thorough, engaging way in this book. His argument that human nature is fundamentally flawed has been ignored too often by atheists and supporters of science without faith. Other cornerstones of thought involve the erosion of tradition, history and the moral chaos that has sadly been allowed to undermine life. ‘The Liberal Delusion’ is an excellent read and the impressive referencing certainly helped me to appreciate related works, such as Pinkers ‘The Blank Slate.’
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important read., 7 Oct 2013
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An important book that sets out many of the things that have gone wrong with our society and the reasons why this is so.
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The Liberal Delusion
The Liberal Delusion by John Marsh (Paperback - 5 Nov 2012)
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