Neoliberalism, the broad set of ideas positing the market and market-centered values as the ultimate “civilizing” agent at home and abroad, has now structured our society for forty years. Ever since it began its gradual ascendance in 1973, we have experienced a marked increase in income inequality, witnessed the slow death of the labor union movement, and keenly felt a growing sense of anxiety. The task of the American Left has never been simpler and clearer — it’s to reconstitute the very idea of the public, in the hope that this reconstitution will generate a large-scale movement against neoliberalism.

As they seek to put flesh on the bones of this anti-neoliberal project, some point to the worsening of economic inequalities following Obama’s election (and reelection) in arguing we should turn away from identity politics and back to class politics, this time with a spiritually informed base.

I disagree. Race...

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