Yesterday evening, I was pleased to attend an event held to mark the publication of the new book by Melanie Phillips, which forms the basis of her feature in this month’s magazine. The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power is not yet published here in the UK but of course is available by the miracle of Amazon. Do get a copy – it will become required reading.
Chatting to a couple of the guests, I realised why the title sounded so familiar. Anybody who did 17th century history at college would be familiar with Christopher Hill’s book of the same title, which was a study of the Levellers and other political sects and groups which sprouted mid-century.
Melanie Phillips also covers in hers some of the extraordinary belief systems which now populate the landscape in the West: Druidism, paganism, New Ageism. None of these could claim to be progressive in the sense that the Levellers were; indeed they are utterly reactionary. With the deconstruction of an idea of truth, and the trashing of Judeo-Christian tenets, people will now quite simply believe anything. We are regressing.