Intersectionality & The Age of Outrage

If you’ve ever wondered about the ‘seed-bed’ of today’s cancel culture, with its intolerant ideologies (e.g., gender ideology), Jonathan Haidt has some insight….

The article, titled “The Age of Outrage,” written by Jonathan Haidt, explores the current socio-political climate in the United States, particularly focusing on the heightened polarization and “outrage” permeating the country and its universities. Haidt employs the concept of “the fine-tuned universe” from cosmology to draw a parallel with the delicate balance required to maintain a stable, liberal democracy, particularly in a diverse and secular society. He suggests that certain “settings” or conditions must be finely adjusted to facilitate stable political life, a concept he extends to label as “the fine-tuned liberal democracy.”

In thinking about the evolution of human beings, he emphasizes our tribal nature and inclination towards group living and intergroup conflict. He suggests that while we can live in large, multi-ethnic secular liberal democracies, it requires a careful balance to maintain stability. Haidt also explores the concept of intersectionality in modern identity politics, critiquing it for its tendency to categorize and create an “us vs. them” mentality, which he views as antithetical to the unity and common purpose needed in a liberal democracy. He contrasts this with the identity politics of the civil rights era, which he perceives as having been more integrative and unifying.

Haidt identifies several factors that have contributed to the current state of polarization, including the absence of common enemies, changes in media consumption, increased diversity and immigration, and shifts in political and academic climates. He particularly criticizes the new identity politics and intersectionality taught in universities, arguing that it fosters a divisive and combative environment that is contrary to the foundational principles of the United States.

Feel free to explore the article directly for a deeper understanding: The Age of Outrage.