“For Marx and Engels, the attempt to revive moribund forms of social relations (for instance, feudal relations) as resistance to capital was reactionary, because doing so would not actually change the exploitative property relations that capitalism had introduced, merely replace them with other forms.
The embrace of identity as a political category in Woke Ideology as well as right wing, nationalist, and fascist identitarian movements must be seen as the same reactionary trap. Giving expression to the masses—whether that is in the form of reified racial, religious, or nationalist identities—can never change the function of the capitalist machine itself, only the identities of its pilots and operators.”
Early this morning, having had disturbed dreams, after not quite enough sleep, I finished the final edits on my manuscript and emailed it to the publisher.
When I imagined the moment of sending it, I composed in my head various emails. Something funny to say, or darkly cynical. Perhaps mentioning the nightmarish nine months this has been, something struggling to be born in a time of monsters. Or joking wryly about the extra writing weight I’d gained, or maybe mentioning the humbling success that From The Forests of Arduinna has seen since I began writing about what I was writing.
Instead, I just sent it, along with technical notes about the format of the documents sent. No extra narrative, no humor, no lament.
Good gods, this has been a long journey. I’m glad I didn’t actually know before I started how this manuscript would require almost all my waking thoughts and many of my sleeping ones. Months of reading authors I’d rather not ever had read, of perusing extremist identitarian social media posts, interspersed with moments of complete confusion and exhaustion. Months also of writing, then re-writing, then re-writing again to try to get this right, to try to understand Woke Ideology without falling into the trap of arrogant dismissal or losing sight of the larger mechanisms on account of its extreme contradictions.
Such things are subject to change after edits and publisher decisions, but I’ve tentatively named it Waking From The Religion of the Woke. That title’s quite personal, of course, since so much of myself is woven into this ideological formation, so many groups of friends and comrades I once thought kin and now alternately fear and fear for. It’s all been like leaving a religion, which is of course not just a belief system but a cosmology and a set of social relations, so the title might be apt.
It’s done, though. And I hope you don’t mind, but I need to not write about Woke Ideology for some time. I’ll take up the subject again eventually, but for the last nine months the many other things which hold my interest and fascination and love have waited patiently for me to write about them, too.
So that’s what I’ll be doing.
I’ve just finished packing, and a few hours after the lunar eclipse (yes, the timing of the manuscript submission and the moon are related), my husband and I will drive to other lands, including the city depicted in the photo above.
I’ll write about them soon, and about many other things, but of course I’ll mostly just live and breathe and be.
More soon. And thanks for your months and months of support of my writing here. It’s made writing this manuscript much, much easier and given me the sense of its larger importance to the world.