Giles Auty: Review of The New Philistines by Sihrab Ahmari


I no longer live permanently in Britain, I
have been fascinated to learn about the apparent stir caused there recently by this worthy google_ad_height = 90; and

​ unusual little book.

The feelings of indignation and outrage which underwrite it are understandable. Yet even the fiercest cultural arguments seldom seem to stir much in the way of violent emotions in Britain. By custom we generally prefer to ignore such supposedly ‘irrelevant’ matters as our culture more or less completely – or sweep them google_ad_width = 970; as swiftly as possible under the carpet.

As a

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relatively recent newcomer to Britain, Mr. Ahmari’s lack of experience of such ingrained attitudes

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not only insulates him but possibly encourages him to believe that sentiments such as his really do deserve to be heard. To a large extent I agree with him. Yet if the history of our world in /* 9-970x90 */ the past 100 years teaches us anything it must surely be that deeply flawed ideas and notions prevail all too often and sometimes for much too long even in ostensibly democratic Western

answer to that is a
resounding no. Instead the almost total destruction of the teaching of the arts and humanities in Britain and other Western countries in recent times was, in fact, a direct consequence of

largely unresisted ‘Long March’ which began its sweep through


the soft underbelly of Western life and culture nearly half a century ago now.

Who then were the prime movers and founding fathers of the so-called ‘Long March Through The Institutions’? All were scions of

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the Extreme Left of course – think Gramsci and Marcuse as typical examples – rather than any kind of believers at all in what most of us would understand by democracy let alone by the
word culture.

One of the first objects of Mr. Ahmari’s criticism, Director of

the Globe Theatre Emma
Rice, seems to me to be a typical example of the result of such brainwashing. Indeed whenever

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her ideas diverge from those even of Shakespeare himself she does not hesitate to believe she is ‘automatically’  in the right.
 That is because she actually google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; believes a very high percentage of the cultural google_ad_height = 90; propaganda to which, at some point, she seems to have been dangerously exposed. Thus the Bard can, of course, only be right on almost any issue when he agrees with /* xin2 */ her.  Indeed, as Ms.
Rice admits: “I have tried to sit down with Shakespeare
but it doesn’t work. I get sleepy and then suddenly
I want to listen to The Archers”.

In short the great

our society now for some generations past. They belong instead to an google_ad_slot = "7160667483"; unelected arts autocracy and its fellow travellers which has formed its very own, generally coercive and pseudo-revolutionary agenda.

Just how undemocratic, misguided and


mad can we get? You may not wish to answer that question. Since Mr. Ahmari is apparently a src="//"> recent convert to Catholicism I sense that truth in the singular is a notion with which he, by contrast, is both entirely familiar and


return to the basic theme of his book, I google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; agree thoroughly with
Mr. Ahmari’s right to feel thoroughly outraged. He expected something much better from Britain than an
of our once flourishing culture by power-mad followers of New Left fashions – to google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; say nothing of its almost total degradation now via the forces of the state.

In the middle

section of


the book its author


finds time for

apposite historical, political and philosophical