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Listen to Asad Haider on Marxism in the Age of Identity Politics

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 10:00am

1.14: The Emancipation of All: Marxism in the Age of Identity Politics

Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. “Identity politics” is a term typically marshaled to attack something the speaker dislikes, whether it a conservative deploring “special rights” accorded to minority groups or a progressive bemoaning anything that distracts from a focus on economic justice. ASAD HAIDER’s 2018 book, Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump, excavates the origin of the term within the radical politics of the Combahee River Collective, showing how foregrounding a widely neglected group – black women – was envisioned as a step toward realizing universal emancipation. In his discussion with political theorist Rafael Khachaturian, Haider argues that, by similarly embracing the ideal of the emancipation of all, Marxist traditions retain their political relevance even as they need to be continually rethought and reworked to address current crises, from the Great Recession to the presidency of Donald Trump. Haider is a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at the New School of Social Research and a founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine. Note: This episode was recorded on February 28, 2020, prior to widespread coronavirus countermeasures.