“I don’t think I’m one of them either. I’m one of mine.”
Welcome to The Woke Contrarian! The Woke Contrarian is the anonymous blog of a jaded community activist. I’m old enough to remember the fall of the Iron Curtain and grew up without social media or smartphones, but too young to remember a world without the personal computer. (I was born during the Reagan administration, so you can do the math.)
Why did I create The Woke Contrarian? There are two reasons.
First, I hate the excesses of identity politics and wish my race, gender and sexual orientation were politically irrelevant. Unfortunately, the right’s embrace of racism, sexism, classism and ableism has forced me to use identity politics as a tool to advocate for my human rights. I feel forced, over and over again, to put my race, gender and disability at the forefront when I talk politics. If I listed all my “identities,” I’d sound like a parody of the things I’m criticising, so I won’t. I want you to focus on my ideas, not how a demographer would classify me. (I will say that I would be considered “multiply marginalised” by the standards of identity politics.) I always take an antiracist, feminist, LGBTQ+ and disability-inclusive position, but I am a universalist deep down.
Second, I am tired of feeling that I have to accept “packages” of political beliefs beyond my opposition to supremacist ideologies (e.g., fascism, religious fundamentalism, ethnonationalism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, eugenics). I want to have room to oppose Hamas’s antisemitic terrorism and the Israeli apartheid regime, to be neither a Zionist nor an anti-Zionist. I want to say “No more weapons to Israel!” and “No more pogroms against Jews by Hamas terrorists” at the same time. I want to be able to reject Ukrainian ethnonationalism and forced monolingual policies and condemn Putin’s imperialist invasion of a much weaker neighbour, even with NATO’s support of Kiev. (Yes, Kiev.) I want to be able to advocate conditional support of Ukraine, rather than leave it adrift or enable some of its fascist and fascist-adjacent supporters. I want to be able to be a leftist without being a Marxist, to strive towards an anarcho-communist society and use democratic socialism as the transitional state, rather than a single-party Marxist–Leninist state. I want to be able to criticise western capitalist countries like the United States and France without automatically siding with Russia, China, Iran and especially North Korea. (Seriously, fuck North Korea. Why the hell is anyone supporting them who hasn’t been force-fed a diet of state propaganda all their lives?)
Although The Woke Contrarian focuses primarily on my grievances with the “woke left,” this is not an anti-woke blog. The anti-woke movement is reactionary and fascist-adjacent. Anyway, I’m for equality, decency, critical thinking, and common sense. Maybe you are, too—if so, consider reading.
My current beliefs (subject to change, but this is where they stand as of late 2023):
- I am against all supremacists, including racial supremacists, fascists, Nazis, religious fundamentalists, sexists (including homophobes and transphobes) and eugenics.
- I am an anti-nationalist without exceptions. Even nationalisms of the oppressed can turn ugly fast.
- Everyone should have shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare.
- Capitalism should be dismantled, but it needs to be dismantled thoughtfully.
- Children and adolescents have the right to be protected from sexual abuse and exploitation. I do not support the repeal of age-of-consent laws. This should go without saying, but a lot of contrarian radicals don’t seem to agree.