Sunday, November 19, 2023

Yascha Mounk: ‘The Left is rebranding free speech as Right-wing


Daily Telegraph 19 November
by Zoe Strimpel

Mounk studied at Cambridge and Harvard
Yascha Mounk is a respected commentator, with a degree in history from Trinity College Cambridge aand a PhD at Harvard

Britain is once again roiled by identity politics. The streets are taken over most weekends by hundreds of thousands baying – ostensibly – for the rights of Palestinians, though in the wake of the October 7 massacre by Hamas in Israel, many protesters seem primarily concerned with celebrating Hamas’s mass pogrom. 

Much of the animus for these marches comes from Muslims, but the marchers’ confidence and respectability is ensured by mass support from the woke Left of all colours and creeds. The question, therefore, of how the Left came to be not defenders of Jews, but cheerleaders for their destruction, is a pertinent one. So was the problem of their destructive impulses – which included rioting, vandalising and looting (including of Jewish businesses) – following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. 

What has gone wrong? This is what Yascha Mounk, professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, contributing editor of the Atlantic, and founder of earnest opinion website Persuasion, is aiming to explain in his latest book, The Identity Trap. 

In it, the 41-year-old offers a broad history of a Marxist political tradition that became rudderless after the collapse of Communism, and which, disillusioned, turned against “grand narratives” of any kind, including those required to strive for a better world.  ...


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