The Affliction of Identity Politics: A Symposium on American Awakening

What ought Americans to make of identity politics? A few years ago, it was common for critics of the phenomenon to be mocked for exaggerating the effects campus culture might have on the polity, but no longer. From the 1619 Project to the workings of “woke capital,” and more recently the ongoing protests and riots that have devastated so many of our cities, identity politics have arrived as a major force in American life.

In a provocative series of essays and now his new book, American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time, Georgetown University political theorist Joshua Mitchell argues that identity politics is actually the effort to turn politics into a religious space where innocents contend against transgressors, and destroys any hope of liberal government.

We brought together three authors to comment on American Awakening and explore its themes:

Blood on Their Hands

by Eric Kaufmann

Diagnosing the Woke

by Rachel Lu

Lest We Forget

by Brian A. Smith


Antifa Protest

Contending with Demons

Dostovesky suggests an appeal to the nation untouched with a concern for eternity itself will prove insufficient to defeat ideology.