Taboo: How Making Race Sacred Produced a Cultural Revolution

The once-dominant philosophy of the West, defined by free expression, equal treatment of individuals, national solidarity and scientific rationality, is under threat. 'Cultural socialism' – which advocates harsh restrictions on free speech, due process and national symbols in order to reduce psychological harm and bolster the esteem of formerly marginalized groups – is on the rise.

Rather than focusing on Marxist revolutionaries or equality law, Eric Kaufmann concentrates on well-meaning left-liberals. He argues that the genesis of 'woke' cultural socialism emerged from liberal taboos around race that arose in the 1960s and came to be weaponised and extended to other areas, such as gender. Using extensive survey data, he shows that this process is driven mainly by values, not fear, and is only going to accelerate as culturally leftist generations enter the workforce and electorate. Its rise suppresses the open debate that makes effective policy-making possible, harming the minorities cultural socialists purport to help. Only if we shift from encouraging minority fragility to building minority resilience, using state power to check institutional illiberalism, can we resist cultural socialism and restore cultural flourishing.

This is the authoritative study of the radical shift in values that has turbo-charged the culture wars of our time. No-one concerned with the cultural and political conflicts of our times can afford to miss it.

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    Date Published: February 11, 2024
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