Left and Right

John Gray On The Dusk Of Western Liberalism

The great philosopher – unfiltered, funny and fierce.

John Gray is a political philosopher. He retired from academia in 2007 as Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, and is now a regular contributor and lead reviewer at the New Statesman. His forthcoming book is The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism. I regard him as one of the great minds of our time, and this is one of my favorite pods ever.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app — though Spotify sadly doesn’t accept the paid feed). For two clips of our convo — how smug liberalism led to Trump and Brexit, and why we shouldn’t treat religion as intellectual error — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: the Judeo-Christian roots of liberalism; why Catholics never supported eugenics; the genius and licentious life of Michael Oakeshott; how Thatcherism and Reaganism turned into “inverted Marxism”; John’s loathing of the “indifference to economic casualties” (e.g. Hillary’s “deplorables”); his opposition to Fukuyama; his atheism and taking on the New Atheists; Blair and the Iraq War; the liberal case for border control; the dangers of producing too many elites; Silicon Valley’s obsession with eternal life; anti-wokeness in France; how Trump predicted Germany’s bind over Russian energy; the disintegrating support for the war in Ukraine; reporting on the Holodomor; Fox News and Dominion; and how the gains of Western civilization could ultimately be saved by non-Westerners.

Next week is Cathy Young to discuss Ukraine and what do to about CRT in public schools. Browse the Dishcast archives for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 episodes are free in their entirety). If you missed last week’s transcript with Glenn Loury, it’s here for the reading.


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