From an Astute Correspondent on Finkelstein’s New Book (Parker McRae)

August 5, 2023

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Name: Parker McRae

Message: Hello Dr. Finkelstein. I’ve come to be a fan of your work over the last year or so, and recently finished your book on cancel culture and academic freedom, which I enjoyed. I was left however, wondering about your thoughts on the root causes and ideas that led to where we are. I’ve also noticed in your writing and interviews your admiration of JS Mill and liberalism, which led me to being curious of how you feel about liberalisms role in the rise of “wokeness” and the capitalist system we have at the moment, which comes out of liberalism. I consider myself  a democratic socialist, but I’ve grown to realize the connection between the excessive cultural liberalism and the neoliberal economic system we have. They seem to me to complimentary and even two sides of the same coin. On the one hand we have a cultural boundlessness, on the other an economic boundlessness. Liberalisms claim to an illusory value pluralism and excessive openness along with a value decoding capitalism that promotes a hedonistic lifestyle seem to be perfectly compatible and responsible for the widespread spiritual malaise we have today. I would like to hear your thoughts on this  because it seems apparent that this cultural liberalism, or identitarianism we have is an impediment to the economic change that socialists want, and the good socialists who go along with it don’t see that,  and as we’ve seen in movements around the world, run a risk of having their cause hijacked, and doing it a disservice. Thank you.