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Authority and Identity: Faces of a Crisis – With Anna Gát
May 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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Interintellect founder Anna Gát leads a salon to answer three important questions about the worldview of the contemporary individual: Are we facing a crisis of authority? Are we facing a crisis of identity? And are these two crises related?
In 2021, few of us would deny that the world we grew up in has changed beyond recognition. Fundamental social shifts, prompted and amplified by exponentially improving technology, have been made final by the shock of a pandemic that swept through economies, our trust in governments, our education systems, our family relations, our freedom of travel.
In the late 20th century, the unprecedented empowerment the internet brought shook the old structures of hierarchy. Access to information and engaging an audience became less and less dependent on third parties like TV stations, universities, the press, political platforms. This renewed suspicion of authority, already a basic fact of republics, and especially liberal democracies, became an essential part of life, although it didn’t retire all belief in experts or leaders.
Then enter COVID-19, and suddenly most leadership seems outdated. Experts have little idea what’s going on. Even celebrities sit at home on Zoom like you and me… At the other end of the libertarian spectrum, pioneers are making millions in crypto, and the new generation’s teen stars are rising high without any editorial intermediary: on a Chinese video app.
We think this is a really good time to investigate the age-old question of the hierarchical sentiments of humans. Can we exist happily in complete, decentralized equality? Why do so many people feel they have a hard time finding meaning? Why do we feel anxiety over uncertain identities? Can it be that purpose and identity are in some way dependent on a recognition from authority, on their confirmation of us, like Hegel or a developmental psychologist would say…? And what happens when we are the figures of authority to others – a parent, a teacher, a boss – in a world so wary of leaders, maybe for good?
Come and discuss it with us!
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11 am San Francisco
2 pm New York
7 pm London
8 pm Berlin
10 pm Dubai
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