Cory Doctorow reviews “Doppelganger,” Naomi Klein’s memoir about how she’s often confused with Naomi Wolf. From that gimmicky springboard, Klein explores the progressive-to-Qanon pipeline that Wolf traveled—folks who formerly considered themselves staunch liberals becoming Trump supporters and embracing right-wing conspiracy theories.
Wolf once had a cluster of superficial political and personal similarities to Klein: a feminist author of real literary ability, a Jewish woman, and, of course, a Naomi. Klein grew accustomed to being mistaken for Wolf, but never fully comfortable. Wolf’s politics were always more Sheryl Sandberg than bell hooks (or Emma Goldman). While Klein talked about capitalism and class and solidarity, Wolf wanted to “empower” individual women to thrive in a market system that would always produce millions of losers for every winner.
Fundamentally: Klein is a leftist, Wolf was a liberal. The classic leftist distinction goes: leftists want to abolish a system where 150 white men run the world; liberals want to replace half of those 150 with women, queers and people of color.
By the way, I had not encountered the phrase “bell hooks” before seeing it in Cory’s post. Initially, I thought it might be an error of the sort that comes up when you’re thumb-typing or dictating into a phone. It’s not.