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A test against a complacent US left and closed

In “The Left Identity: America in Crumbs”, the American essayist Mark Lilla castigates a left who delights in a discourse on diversity and forgets the economic and social issues..

“The Left Identity: America in Crumbs”, Mark Lilla, Stock, 160 pages, 16 euros, translated by Emmanuelle and Philippe Aronson.

Book. In the United States, the left has the free field, it does not face it “any opponent worthy of the name,” welcomes the essayist and professor of humanities at Columbia University Mark Lilla. However, the tone of this pamphlet is the opposite of self-satisfaction. The author emphasizes instead that a significant obstacle must still be removed, the “leftists” must get rid of their only adversary, “ourselves,” says Mark Lilla who claims to be a “liberal”, says- he in English, a “moderate”, in French.

In this essay, Mark Lilla develops a longer thesis that he had already defended in a controversial forum of the New York Times, then taken again by Le Monde (dated December 9, 2016), in which he castigated a left which is delighted in a speech on diversity, forgetting the economic and social issues, and the search for the common good. This identity left would be particularly active on university campuses where students would be encouraged to narcissism and become more interested in their identity, based on racial affinity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Point coalitions

The brief book now appearing in France, a country that the author particularly likes, has revived the controversy when it was first published in the United States in August 2017 (Le Monde dated December 2, 2017). His critics saw this book as a useless, even dangerous, attack, while the Trump administration aggravated the exclusion of minorities.

Mark Lilla does not stop. The left-wing identity promotes withdrawal, an attitude that goes well with the economic individualism of our time, and no longer thinks of republican solidarity. It relies on occasional coalitions, the temporary meeting of different claims, a mode of political operation that the author …

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