November 5th, 2017



In my continuing quest to understand the ways the punditocracy come to terms with the surprise election of Donald Trump, I devote Book Review No. 26 to Mark Lilla's The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.  (I got it on the cheap as the local book store, which opened not so long ago, is going out of business.) Mr Lilla, a professor of humanities at Columbia, has advanced parts of his thesis previously, with some push-back from the people supposedly on his side.  And the identitarian faction that argues with, then mostly votes for, Democrats, continues to advocate for more of the same.
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Put another way, those demands for confession compel some people to bear costs that benefit others more, which is to say, identity politics is a call for some people to make sacrifices in the service of some nebulous general good.  That's not how Reaganism -- at least the libertarian part -- works.

Perhaps, though, it is all moot.  The Roosevelt Dispensation and the Reagan Dispensation are the Crisis, High, Awakening, and Unraveling of the Great Power Saeculum, and the signs of a new saecular order taking form are everywhere.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)