Saving Liberalism from ‘The Identity Trap’: An Interview with Yascha Mounk

September 19, 2023 1 min read

Jonathan Kay

Excerpt: In his new book, the German-born American political scientist authoritatively traces the evolution of the “identity synthesis” (Spoiler alert: that’s the term he’s come up with to describe the ideology formerly known as wokeness) by reference to the ideas of Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Noam Chomsky, and other influential leftist thinkers.

At its root, Mounk argues, the identity synthesis is an illiberal intellectual movement that rejects liberalism’s focus on colorblindness, free speech, individualism, and ideological pluralism—while also rejecting Marxism’s utopian promise of a better future in which society’s class-based divisions are healed.

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