Lauren Southern takes on "Barbarians"
Among the many treats my husband stashed into my Christmas stocking was “Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants and Islam Screwed My Generation” by Lauren Southern. I hadn’t requested the book, but like the dark chocolate, pomegranate lip gloss and .22 ammo that accompanied it, Mr. Evil’s taste in gifts is always on point.
Southern, a native of Canada and writer/pundit for The Rebel, is well known for trolling Slut Walks and triggering SJWs at protests. As a conventionally beautiful conservative blonde with an acerbic wit, comparisons to Ann Coulter are inevitable. Southern doesn’t shy away from that comparison either, as both the syntax of the book’s title and the flattering full-length photo of Southern of the cover seem modeled after Coulter’s signature style. Coulter even provides her ringing endorsement of the book.
But Southern is by no means the Lady Gaga to Coulter’s Madonna, recycling the same tunes with superficially modified lyrics. Southern clearly has the millennial reader in mind; her passages are crafted with the same brevity and power of a brilliant meme or punchy tweet. At only 80 pages long, “Barbarians” is a short stick of dynamite packed with a lot of powder.
The title clearly states who Southern identifies as the principal villains of Western civilization, now in decline. She begins with an attack on “tenured hippies”; i.e. barely disguised Marxists who entrenched themselves in all levels of academia and systematically quashed classical liberal concepts of rational thought, freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. She moves on to eviscerate “think tank fogies” (neoconservatives) who clung to outdated ideas and were more than happy to sell out to the Leftists. She then discusses how unfettered, unskilled immigration from the developing world has diluted Western culture and values, and introduced Third World problems to First World nations. Next, she correctly exposes the existential and physical threat to the West posed by not only by Islam but by modern Leftists coddling of it. Lastly, she provides a summary of potential solutions to get the West back on track (but I won’t spoil that for you).
These aren’t exactly brand-new ideas, but they might be a revelation to Southern’s intended audience, who may be ignorant of the impact of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida on academic thought, don’t have a clue who William Buckley is, or never got an objective lesson in the events that prompted The Crusades.
As is the case with books by political pundits, most of people who pick up “Barbarians” will be fans of Southern or people already inclined to agree with her. Also, since the book focuses heavily on current events and sociopolitical trends, it might become outdated within a year or two. But the book is also very well-sourced and provides a wealth of follow-up reading material for those interested in deepening their understanding of modern conservatism… which is, ironically, just a much-needed return to classical liberalism.