I have read the book twice and made 12 pages of notes - and I still do not know how to do justice to this remarkable book.
It is an intriguing idea to have a psychotherapist analyse Western Civilisation (personified as `West') who has come to him for counselling. He is in a psychotic state:
"...I've lost my mojo...lost my way...insecure...mass immigration but some of the newcomers don't believe in me...They enjoy the economy, education, law, healthcare, security and government, but some remain loyal to foreign religions and identities...I've lost my connection with God, spirit, right and wrong, truth...loss of self-confidence...low self esteem...globally, I'm flowing through everyone now, although mixed up with the local cultures...I thought it was my destiny to make the world a better place, but now look at it...we used to live in harmony with nature: now we factory farm old people...doctors pump us full of drugs to enrich shareholders...the media keeps us distracted and brainwashed...I hate myself. I'm ashamed of my past, my privileges, the victims...there are always contrary forces pulling and pushing this way and that inside me...[I feel] deep remorse for racism, imperialism, war and the Holocaust...I'd like to bring together people from all over the world and mix them up so that there are no white people anymore and I can let go of my guilt..."
The maverick psychotherapist, Dr James Hill, sees that West has within him multiple personalities fighting for dominance. He colour-codes them:
BEIGE - Primal urge to survive; the original forager band where all energies are focussed on survival at all costs, the maternal instinct to protect baby. Today it is the hospital emergency room or a disaster relief team.
PURPLE - Tribal loyalty, family kinship, tradition, a sense of group identity, patriotism, connection to ancestors, connection with nature, sense of belonging, security, safety. It was the condition of our hunter-gatherer forebears during the 200,000 years of evolution in Paleolithic times.
RED - Warrior; impulsive according to drives and desires; courageous and risk taking. Lacks shame, guilt and sensitivity. Downside: can be brutal and insensitive. e.g. Mafia, investment bankers.
BLUE - Order, discipline, justice, postponed gratification, charity, purpose; e.g. the law, regulation and the rules of sport. Downside: BLUE can be oppressive and intense, stifling innovation, creativity, freedom and individuality; e.g. Spanish Inquisition, Puritans and Political Correctness. Anyone who disagrees is vilified and punished.
ORANGE - Success, science, entrepreneurship: belief one can control one's destiny, a belief in progress and striving for success. It is strategy, business, engineering, secularism, and pragmatism. Downside: it can loosen the PURPLE bonds of community, undermine BLUE sense of right and wrong, and allow RED's bad side of crime, corruption, and exploitation to thrive.
GREEN - Pluralistic, sensitive, spiritual, and meaning-seeking. It hungers for egalitarianism, fairness, consensus, and human rights; it itches to deconstruct old hierarchies like class, sexism, racism. Downside: it embraces only some types of diversity; it is highly intolerant of other value systems; it has a strong taboo against making judgements, observing any differences, or hierarchy; it treats people as victims needing rescuing; it has trouble decision-making; it is ridden with guilt and self-loathing. GREEN thinking has embedded itself in public service institutions, the arts, education, and the media. It is common among students, intellectuals and liberals.
YELLOW - value system where the foregoing personalities are managed in harmony. It is pragmatic and flexible, going with the flow of human nature, perceives the whole system and acts for the benefit of the whole. Compassionate but not naïve.
TURQUOISE - an embryonic, emergent, system. It believes that our thoughts can change our consciousness, our behaviour, our life, our bodies and the world beyond us.
West asks: "isn't this the old mumbo jumbo we left behind years ago?"
Therapist Dr. Hill says that TURQUOISE has been through all the previous stages of consciousness and it thinks and acts on all those levels while still tapping into emerging consciousness capabilities...
The bulk of the book consists of the therapy conversations. Cleverly, it is interleaved with a sub-plot which counterpoints West's problems with therapist Dr Hill's real life vicissitudes.
In spite of the weighty subject matter, the author's material is interspersed with witticisms and pointed asides. The author also has sideswipes at the way medical practice has developed and psychiatry in particular. So all in all this is a mind-blowing, iconoclastic read.
Therapist Dr Hill slices West's multiple personalities various ways. Examples
Says PURPLE: with immigration I feel my tribe is violated. But Green says I have to suppress my own identity but celebrate the immigrants'. If anyone criticizes, GREEN goes berserk. Worse, welfare has made men unnecessary.
Says RED: Men used to be tough, now they are wimps. No one takes risks. It's all bureaucracy and red tape.
Says BLUE: I get all tied up with equality, diversity; I daren't discipline minorities. Police used to chase criminals, now they police your thoughts. What happened to discipline, sacrifice and hard work?
Says ORANGE: Green insists I take quotas of people with hard-luck stories.
Says GREEN: White people don't even know they are privileged and aren't willing to give it up. We'll never be whole until we listen to the marginalized victims...
Says YELLOW: GREEN has indulged the culture of entitlement and victimhood - it is a massive barrier to human potential and empowerment; GREEN must get over its guilt and shame.
Says West: It's impossible for conciliators, pragmatists and moderates to have a balanced conversation about race, religion, crime... because they get shut down by zealots and flame-throwers who call them `racist'... Even the slightest deviation from the ideologues' position can unleash a torrent of violence and abuse.
This is my best attempt to paraphrase an incredibly rich material but you get the idea. And so Dr Hill takes West through his complexes with regard to a whole range of issues from Gratitude, Medicine & Truth, Care & Leadership, Environment, Energy, Sex & Gender, Spirit & Purpose, Depression & Abundance, Power & Authority, Religious Extremism, Security & Defence, to relations with Russia, China, North Korea, India, The Arab World, Africa, and to Politics, Culture Wars, Equality, Identity & Racism and the Victim Triangle.
In every regard, the author demonstrates an encyclopaedic knowledge and deep insight into multiple cultures, anxieties and points of view. In doing so, fearlessly he expresses points of view that oft are thought but ne'er so well suppressed.
A few sample exchanges between West's personalities:
ORANGE: I don't know if climate change is man-made. Emotional hysteria has corrupted the scientific research.
YELLOW: I don't trust you GREEN. You've created an atmosphere of hysteria, aggression and fear around climate change. If anyone dares deviate from your groupthink, you vilify them. That's deeply unscientific and undemocratic. You've been caught tampering with the scientific evidence. (In this regard, see my review of Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing your Children's Future.) ... PURPLE (White): ... I'm not allowed to be patriotic, to celebrate my culture. I'm told it's exclusive and racist. If I put my flag up GREEN screams that I'm a fascist.
Therapist Dr Hill: Some people find flags offensive, even threatening.
PURPLE (White): I find it offensive that my country is being taken over by foreigners. I find it offensive that I have to suffer crime from PURPLE-RED minorities but GREEN won't let the police do their job. I have to suppress my identity and celebrate theirs, treating them as sacred beyond criticism.
Therapist Dr Hill: GREEN is seeking to protect people from racism.
PURPLE (White): GREEN itself is racist... this time we're the natives and they're bringing in colonists to divide and rule us. ORANGE is happy because it pulls down wages and worker's rights...
Therapist Dr Hill: I'd like to hear your evidence for these assertions.
PURPLE (White): Take that Salman Rushdie business. If you had a load of white right-wing conservatives burning a book, the full force of the law and media would have come down on top of them. When the right-wing conservatives happen to be from ethnic minorities, they protect and appease them.
(GREEN looks uncomfortable)...
And so it goes for a vast range of subjects with argument and counter argument.
By the end of the counselling sessions, West has resolved his inner conflicts - each of the personalities has to shed its `bad' side.
The final chapter envisages a conference of the assembled world's dignitaries to hear West's peroration about his "New Magna Carta" for the world:
"Western Civilization has been biggest driver of freedom, creativity, wealth, health, rising living standards in human history."... "Its strengths are openness, self criticism, the media democracy, embracing change, science, capitalism, authentic diversity, the rule of law, continuous learning, the Internet and military power.
"Its weaknesses are: "Excessive self-criticism, self hatred and a suicidal streak. Unresolved shame and guilt for the past. Dehumanisation, Separation from nature. Vulnerability to shocks, Demographic weakness. Its self-criticism has got out of hand and become toxic and abusive.
"Its limitations are: "our imagination, self loathing, woundedness and victim mentality." Its threats are: ... unhealthy diets, lifestyle, integration of migrants and minorities [and a multitude more].
West adds: - My countries should remain dominant military powers, defending borders, property, resources and values. - Others would do well to honestly examine their own history rather than projecting their negativity on me. - Constant vigilance against group-think, wishful thinking. - GREEN's victim mentality will lose its dominant position. - No more automatic group membership for migrants. Nationality is something to be earned over time through commitment, trust and loyalty. - Those who come to the West must accept the values of the West. Those who don't, or seek to undermine us, must find an alternative home.
There is a final rousing call to world unity based on integrative TURQUOISE thinking - which I leave the reader to find out for himself.
What do I think? Author Dr Nicholas Beecroft has constructed a global Utopia based on Western Civilization's `good' side. The psychoses examined by Dr Hill are much based on the British experience together with some input from the other English-speaking countries - the "Anglo-sphere". The cultural Marxism which has infected the Anglo-sphere has made far fewer inroads into Continental Europe and Japan. For example both the French and Japanese reject multiculturalism, are unashamedly patriotic and not given to self-loathing.
Will it work out? Who knows! From my background in evolutionary anthropology, it seems to me that PURPLE thinking cannot be so easily buried. After all, it is the way of life to which the human species is naturally adapted.
As I say in Deadly Harvest: "Our human natures are telling us that we are most comfortable when we are living and working with people "like us"; that we need to "belong" to a group, give it our loyalty, and reject outsiders; that we should take personal responsibility for protecting our in-group, and its territory, from out-groups; and that males have different reactions to females when danger threatens. However, all these deep instincts are frustrated by modern living arrangements.
"From these insights, we can predict that multicultural societies are likely to be more neurotic and stressful. By suppressing, even denigrating, normal roles for male aggression, societies will suffer increased levels of unorthodox activity: violence, hooliganism, gang warfare, and criminality..."
On this subject, the British nation has, just in a few decades, been subjected to the most destructive upheaval of its culture since the Norman Conquest in 1066. That terrible time for the English, where they lost their culture and almost their language, is most poignantly captured by Man-Booker Prize contender Paul Kingsnorth in his work The Wake. The Anglo-Saxon period before the Norman Conquest is known as the Dark Ages. They are so-called because virtually nothing is known about that time. And that is due to the Normans thoroughly obliterating Anglo-Saxon history.
As George Orwell observed: "The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history" and: "Who controls the past controls the future." And that of course is what cultural Marxism is doing to native Westerners through its capture of education, universities, and the media.
Although the author does anchor some of his arguments in hunter-gatherer times, he moves on from them. In fact, for his vision to come to fruition there will have to be some serious social engineering; and that, in my view, is neurosis-inducing right there since it cuts across the grain of human nature. It seems to me that the id in our souls, always seeking the weakest point, will break out and spoil the party. Evolutionary psychology has much to say on these matters and I would have liked to see more of it in this book. But this is a minor quibble.
I've only given a small flavour of this remarkable work. Its great strength is that Beecroft lays out all the arguments quite even-handedly - indeed it is hard to believe that one person can put himself so convincingly into the shoes of each of the personalities.
All readers will find their points of view expressed, only to find that there are some legitimate opposing points of view. This book is seriously thought-provoking and, in my view, essential reading for anyone concerned - distressed, even - at what their world is coming to - and to find an optimistic view of a possible future.