The Age of Exhaustion

Can Our Old Ideas Make Sense of a New World?

In his Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci wrote that the crisis of his time consisted in the fact that "the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

Our polarized ideologies and traditional solutions seem inadequate to many of today's challenges around the revival of class hierarchy, the de-skilling of labor, the erosion of national identity, the fragmentation of the public sphere, and the global resurgence of religion as a political force. Do we once again find ourselves in one of these morbid intellectual periods when an interregnum of ideas leaves us struggling to understand the world around us?  

Join New America NYC and The Nation as we discuss the possible responses to these challenges, from those who say that the old ideas are not at all dying, those who think that we need to look for new ones, and those who claim that new ideas are already here.


Yascha Mounk
Lecturer, Department of Government, Harvard University
Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow, New America

Elif Batuman
Staff writer, The New Yorker
Author, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and Those Who Read Them

Jamelle Bouie
Staff writer, Slate

Samuel Goldman
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director, the Politics & Values Program, George Washington University
Contributing editor, The American Conservative

Sarah Leonard
Senior editor, The Nation
Contributing editor, Dissent Magazine and The New Inquiry