Review of Cindy McGarvie, The Next Revolution: Resisting the Cult of the Self, Australia: YFC Australia, 2022.

            Cindy McGarvie is the National Director of Youth for Christ Australia, and has produced a lively call for what she calls ‘the next revolution’. The result is not a sophisticated analysis of trends, such as is found in Carl Trueman’s works, but brief treatments of various issues which impinge on how the Christian faith interacts with modern society.

            There is a mine of information here which is presented in quite a coherent way. In 1967 San Francisco experienced what was called the ‘summer of love’ – a summer of free love, drugs, rock music, and communal living. Yet God is always at work, and some young people emerged from all this to become part of the ‘Jesus People’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’.

Turning to communism, it ought to be well known that in the twentieth century over 100 million lives have been lost under its totalitarian rule. Solzhenitsyn explains this in spiritual, not sociological terms: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’ The answer is not a naïve extolling of the virtues of democracy. In fact, the Cultural Marxist, Herbert Marcuse, was to call democracy ‘the most efficient system of domination’. To cite Solzhenitsyn again, he referred to ‘the greatest totalitarian ruler of all: myself.’

The problem is within. Thaddeus Williams wrote that ‘Self-Worship Is the World’s Fastest-Growing Religion’. The results are tragic, as even Camille Paglia could see: ‘I feel that the real visionary thinkers of my generation destroyed their brains on drugs.’ So it happened. Some sought refuge in a philosophy of self-esteem; others pressed on to declare: ‘We believe that the universe is sacred because all is one.’ Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, felt compelled by the science to leave the movement.

            If first-wave feminism brought the vote and agitation against alcohol, the second wave brought abortion, sexual abuse, an increased coarseness in society, and a loss of moral boundaries. Betty Friedan portrayed women who were ‘trapped in endless and empty housewifery’ – a long way removed from William Ross Wallace’s sentiment that ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World’.

Capitalism is looking more like corporatism. Cindy points out that ‘Giant companies have taken over from the church as the moral regulators of society.’ The multinational bank HSBC in London ran a billboard with the message: ‘Gender’s just too fluid for borders.’ Reputational damage is much feared if one defies the woke agenda.

The Next Revolution can make for depressing reading, but there is a refreshing sense of reality running throughout the book. Not all the answers are here, but this is a help which will give courage and discernment to many a reader.

– Peter Barnes