Political Tribes: A Conversation with Amy Chua

February 26th, 2018

1f92406a03a408876287ceb5c3dc948b-rimg-w7In the debate about immigration we are reminded of the original notion of America as a melting pot. As a nation that could absorb different cultures, different identities and different ethnic groups.

The trade off was the embrace of an American identity. A kind of super nationalism that would subsume these subgroups and, at its best, world supersede ethnic and religious tribalism, and replace it all with the American brand.

Over the years we’ve seen fissures in this idea. Usually it happens when dramatic change or pressure comes to America. The onset of the industrial revolution and the Cold War against communism are some examples. We’ve always done better when we’ve had common external enemies.

But today, the pressures may be just too great. Globalization and the decline of nation states, greater economic inequality, a 24/7 always connected culture, and the rush of change, both social and technological, and at a dizzying pace, have all stoked fear, uncertainty and insecurity. The result is that it feeds a new kind of tribalism that Americans may never have experienced before.

To help us understand this, as well as the very idea of tribalism I’m joined by best selling author and Yale law professor, Amy Chua to talk about Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.


My conversation with Amy Chua: