Bauman’s Brood

I’m reading Mark Lilla’s new book, and it’s a very good, intelligent attempt at popularizing Zygmunt Bauman and everybody else who is writing about neoliberalism. I’ll write a review when I finish, which will be soon because it’s a short book.

But for now I just want to share this great quote that I don’t want to forget:

Identity is not the future of the left. It is not a force hostile to neoliberalism. Identity is Reaganism for lefties. 

It’s good to know that even though Bauman died, his ideas are gaining popularity. 


5 thoughts on “Bauman’s Brood”

  1. Surprised you liked it. I haven’t read it, but I read an interview of him at Slate where he wasn’t able to defend a single point he made in the book. It was embarrassing how utterly he got demolished.


    1. I, of course, also haven’t read the book, just reviews and some of his articles, and it seems to me he’s calling for older ideas about citizenship and nation. From all of this I decided that a problem today is that all of this affirmation of various identities seems to be used as a substitute for a head-on challenge to white supremacy.


    2. It’s very hard to discuss neoliberalism or the erosion of the nation state model in the format of an interview. These are huge and complex issues.

      But you should like Lilla. He believes Bernie Sanders’s ideas are the future of US liberalism. To him, Sanders is the only bright spot in the circus of the last 2 years.


      1. Speaking of which, did you read about Kamala Harris cosponsoring Bernie’s single payer bill in the Senate? Guess she became a Bernie bro too.

        It would be so nice if we treated our politicians not as parents whom we don’t want to disappoint but as our servants to be held to account.


        1. That’s almost verbatim what Lilla says in the book, actually. Enough of treating the politicians as Daddy figures who must make everything right while we sit and pout. We need to keep them in check and get rid of them the moment they stop serving our goals.

          Between Bernie and this Kamala person, I’d have Bernie any time. I don’t know much about her as yet but I saw her on TV once and it was a disgrace.


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