The Age of Exhaustion

Can Old Ideas Make Sense of A New World?
March 11, 2015

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?

New America NYC and The Nation teamed up to 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.