Liberal societies are retreating from a commitment to the individual in favour of giving priority to the group. This retreat is played out in the politics of identity – accompanied by a preoccupation with ‘harm’, ‘hate speech’, and microaggressions’ – marked by a state of perpetual outrage intended to expose the ideologically impure.
How did we become so divided against one another? US cultural critic, Mary Eberstadt, argues that humans have long forged their identities within the structure of the extended family. But many Western societies, including Australia, are faced with the unprecedented decline of the family.
She argues that the fallout of the sexual revolution, especially the collapse of the family, lies behind the rise of identity politics. Generations of people set adrift from the family’s primordial ties now claim membership in politicized groups whose frantic irrationalism amounts to primal screams for familial loss.
On Monday October 24, join Mary Eberstadt in conversation with Peter Kurti, Director of the CIS Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program, as they discuss her book, Primal Screams: How the sexual revolution created identity politics, and how best we can respond to the threat posed by identity politics.
Mary Eberstadt is an American essayist, novelist, and author. She holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., and is a Senior Research Fellow with the Faith and Reason Institute. She is author of several books, including Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics (Templeton Press, 2019) and How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization (Templeton Press, 2014).
Peter Kurti is Director of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University.