Mark Lilla – The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

Lilla - The Once and Future Liberal

Mark Lillas Kritik der „collegelich“ induzierten Identitätspolitik nach dem Wahlsieg Trumps ist auch bei uns eine Lektüre wert. In der Tradition Hannah Arendts wird die Frage nach der Zukunft der gemeinwohltragenden citizenship gestellt. So beschließt er sein Buch The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics mit den Worten:

Whatever you wish to say about the political wanderings of the sixties generation—and I’ve said a lot—they were, in their own way, patriots. They cared about what happened to their fellow citizens and cared when they felt America’s democratic principles had been violated. […] The fact that they received a relatively nonpartisan education in an environment that encouraged debates over ideas and that developed emotional toughness and intellectual conviction, surely had a great deal to do with it. You can still find such people teaching on campuses, and some are my friends. Most remain well to the left of me but we enjoy disagreeing and respect arguments based on evidence. I still think they are unrealistic; they think I don’t see that dreaming is sometimes the most realistic thing one can do. (The older I get the more I think they have a point.) But we shake our heads in unison when we discuss what passes for politics and civic education in our country.

It would not be such a terrible thing to raise another generation of citizens like them. The old model, with a few tweaks, is worth following: passion and commitment, but also knowledge and argument. Curiosity about the world outside your own head and about people unlike yourself. Care for this country and its citizens, all of them, and a willingness to sacrifice for them. And the ambition to imagine a common future for all of us. Any parent or educator who teaches these things is engaged in political work—the work of building citizens. Only when we have citizens can we hope that they will become liberal ones. And only when we have liberal ones can we hope to put the country on a better path. If you want to resist Donald Trump and everything he represents, this is where you must begin.

Was Lilla jedoch nicht beantworten kann ist, ob das Ethos einer gemeinwohlorientierten Bürgerschaft noch einmal gesellschaftlich geltend gemacht werden kann. Andernfalls gewinnt der Segregationalismus die Oberhand, so dass es keinen gemeinsamen öffentlichen Raum mehr geben wird.

1 Kommentar

  1. Belonging to those flower power people who came on the street to complain about the War in Vietnam and the American ‚World Power‘ we much more thought of world-unity, having the earth in loan and not in ownership and as such not so much aiming to have nationalism or the aim to have power over others.

    Some nationalistic feeling does not harm, and what we had not enough and which is not there in several European continental countries, should better be stimulated so that people would be more proud of their entity but also would show more respect to their own society.

    People also should be aware that the care they would love to see for their country and its citizens, should be for all of the inhabitants, where they may have come from originally or what skin colour they may have. All should have a feeling of togetherness and equality. It are the politicians and educators who should take care that there is no breeding ground for racism and exclusivity. Those in power and in control should aim for a multicultural society with a respect for each other and for the earth, creating an environment where all can have a common future in peace and positive development.

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