Reading and Thinking

How to Argue Against Identity Politics Without Turning Into a Reactionary


Yascha Mounk, “How to Argue Against Identity Politics Without Turning Into a Reactionary” New York Times, September 22, 2023 ( 3:00 p.m. ET).

New York Times note: Mr. Mounk is the author of the forthcoming book “The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time,” from which this essay is adapted.

Yascha Mounk provides a calm and fair analysis of the dilemmas faced by liberals or progressives who are deeply uncomfortable with the current vogue of identity politics in academia, non- profits, and icreasingly in corporate America.

Eschewing the term “woke”, he refers to this phenomena as “the identity synthesis”, and suggests ways concerned liberals and progressive can engage in discussion of these troubling issues
without being apologetic or falling into the trap of joining extremist right-wing critics of what they call “woke” culture.

This article and his forthcoming book should facilitate honest discussions on issues related to “the identity synthesis”. His approach represents a far more promising avenue than doe that consists in demonizing and ridiculing those who hold opposing views.

The publication of Mounk’s forthcoming book, The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time, is certainly an event to look forward to.

The Spirit of Voltaire

By James Rowles

James Rowles is a writer, teacher, international lawyer, and international development expert.

He is particularly interested in the Epistemology of Truth, and how mass propaganda, social media, and other phenomena shape the nature of consciousness and the ascertainment of facts in the world today.

James holds an undergraduate degree in History (Modern Europe) and law degrees from Stanford University, and a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in International Law from Harvard Law School, where he has also taught as a Lecturer on Law.

James is a polyglot, who speaks fluent French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, and also knows other languages. His regular if not daily reading includes U.S. newspapers, the Guardian, die Welt, Le Monde, El País, and Veja.

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