EP 163 Benedict Beckeld on Western Self-Contempt

Jim talks with Benedict Beckeld about his new book Western Self-Contempt: Oikophobia in the Decline of Civilizations. They discuss the meaning of oikophobia—hatred of one’s homeland—its recurrence throughout history, the prevalence of oikophobia in the U.S., a continuum from xenophobia to oikophobia, finding the Aristotelian golden mean, oikophobia in academia, the development of self-criticism in ancient Greece and in Rome, the relationship between oikophobia & decadence, the conquest of Rome by Christianity, how freedom & religion regulate oikophobia, the Enlightenment & its relation to progressivism, the noble lie, the “religion that is not a religion,” two opposite oikophobic tendencies, the double-edged sword of liberty, liberation without progressivism, the civilizational problem of boredom, and much more.

Benedict Beckeld is a philosopher and writer who holds a PhD in Philosophy and Classical Philology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His latest book is Western Self-Contempt: Oikophobia in the Decline of Civilizations (2022), published by Cornell University Press.