Discussing Identity Politics with Mark Lilla

February 7, 2019

Professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University discussing identity politics in the Democratic party.

I am completely loving the new USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future. I don’t quite remember how I stumbled across their events, but after signing up to receive their newsletter, I have been attending one of their programs at least once a month.

At the end of January, I went to see Professor Mark Lilla to discuss “The Liberal Case for Ending Identity Politics.” I was especially drawn to this event because I am continually seeking perspectives of other left-leaning individuals, particularly when they don’t follow what is widely accepted in the mainstream.

It was fascinating learning about how identity politics often focuses on individual needs instead of the common good. By placing intense value and importance on people’s identity, liberals have split into tribes who are eager to turn against candidates and movements if they don’t fully acknowledge their tribe and include all of their tribe’s demands on their platforms.

In order to move forward together, these tribes must stand in solidarity, supporting the requests of other groups and backing efforts with shared interest. Professor Lilla’s arguments calling for unity is very persuasive, and I’m interested in learning more about his thoughts. Adding his book to my list!

Published on February 7th, 2019

Last updated on April 1st, 2021