The Paradoxes of Cultural Confidence: Is Western culture in decline? is based on the remarks made by Anthony Daniels to the Civitas national conference in Halifax on 5 May 2007.

Daniels is an English writer and retired physician (prison doctor and psychiatrist), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple. He has written extensively on culture, art, politics, education and medicine drawing upon his experience as a doctor and psychiatrist in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and more recently at a prison and a public hospital in Birmingham, in central England. He has travelled in many countries in Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere.

In 2005 he retired from England to move (with his wife) to France, although he continues to write and is in demand around the world as a speaker. Daniels is a regular contributor to The New Criterion, The Spectator

and City Journal. Among his many books are Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass; Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy; and Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses, (just out in paperback).

This Commentary based on Daniels address at the Civitas conference takes a look at the disastrous consequences of the West’s loss of moral conviction.

He explained:

“In Brussels, the capital not only of Belgium but the administrative centre of the European Union, policemen have been enjoined by their superiors not to eat or drink anything during the day in the month of Ramadan while patrolling the predominantly Muslim area of the city, for fear of offending the population. I quote this particularly striking and egregious example, because it indicates, to me at least, a complete collapse of confidence in any kind of principles, in the absence of which fear becomes the unadulterated guide to public policy. But fear of what, exactly? Social disorder, perhaps, or of terrorist attack, or even of merely ideological criticism and the charge of being culturally insensitive and perhaps racist?”

To read The Paradoxes of Cultural Confidence, click here.