A regular column by an anonymous whistle-blower operating deep within the heart of the Social Justice Movement. To protect their identity, they will go under the code-name ‘They/Them’. Wokeyleaks is a confidential news leak organization for anyone who wishes to divulge classified information (and hilarious anecdotes) about woke culture without fear of getting canceled. To any would-be Edward Snowflakes out there: leak your woke-culture war crimes to email@example.com. We promise to protect our sources.
A friend of mine who knows about my secret double life as a woke whistleblower for The Spectator asked me the other day how I became so right-wing. I answered that it wasn’t me that changed, it was the left. I still have the same political opinions I always had, but my woke friends all seem to have gone completely nuts — or ‘retarded’ as we used to call it. I apologize to anyone offended by that joke. I’m not making fun of people with mental disabilities. I’m making fun of Wokies who tend to go completely spastic at the tiniest little thing.
When I was young it was the left that did the offensive humor. In 1993 the left-wing comic firebrand Bill Hicks was cut from a Letterman show when he made jokes about religion and the anti-abortion movement. How the tables have transitioned. Today it would have been his fellow left-wing stand-ups that would have got him canceled faster than you could mansplain cunnilingus to Ellen DeGeneres. Making a non-woke joke on Twitter these days is about as fun as teaching a Prophet Mohammed life-drawing class in a suburb of Paris.
When I signed up, being left-wing was about class struggle — something that my peers are increasingly ignoring in favor of identity struggle. ‘From each according to his white-cis-hetro-ablebodiedness, to each according to their Black-nonbinary-queer-disability,’ as the famous Marxist saying now apparently goes. I’m not saying that race, gender and sexuality aren’t important determiners of inequality; I’m just saying that they aren’t the only ones. A case in point is the way in which the left has cast Meghan Markle as a fearless activist in the fight for social justice solely based on the color of her skin, while completely ignoring the fact that she is a multi-millionaire duchess who married into the literal embodiment of class oppression.
The heroes of the left used to strike fear into the hearts of capitalist running dogs everywhere. But had Che Guevara been a millennial, he would have almost certainly modeled Calvin Klein underwear. Calvin Klein’s #MYTRUTH campaign, starring Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, is typical of woke corporate advertising: a sort of social-justice Pinterest page, making all the right visual references while saying absolutely nothing of substance. To effect authenticity, it was supported by a tick-box chorus of gay, trans, multiracial and plus-size celebrities such as model/activist and former British Labour Party adviser Munroe Bergdorf. The cancel culture queen who labeled all white people racist, explained on her #PROUDINMYCALVINS Instagram post that she refuses to be ‘limited by other people’s labels’.
The labels on Bergdorf’s pants, however, were stitched in Ethiopian sweatshops by workers limited to some of the lowest wages on the planet: $26 a month (with no paid overtime). This story was all over the press just before the advert was released. Yet none of Calvin Klein’s social justice pin-ups ever spoke out about this particular #TRUTH. Instead they bombarded their massive Instagram followings with a mix of moral and consumerist posing, telling people to vote for Biden and buy Versace; to acknowledge their white privilege and also fly private.
Peppered among these images of their wildly unattainable lifestyles were the occasional mental health awareness meme, reassuring people ‘You are enough’. As suicide rates among young women skyrocket in lockstep with social media use, these empty affirmations feel like rather leaden life-rafts. In 1971 the prankster revolutionary Abbie Hoffman asked people to Steal This Book. Today’s woke social justice activists are more likely to tell you to ‘buy this bag’. It’s not surprising that the looting of high-end fashion stores has become a common phenomenon of BLM marches when the left has allowed its revolutionary heroes to commodify social justice in order to sell us brands.
Right-wing anti-woke social media crusaders such as Stephen Crowder and Candace Owens are just as guilty of riding the tidal waves of outrage for social media clout. But compare the number of corporate sponsorship adverts on their social media profiles to woke celebrities like Gigi Hadid or Orlando Bloom and you can’t help but conclude that it is the ‘left’ not the ‘right’ that is the darling of late-stage capitalism.
This is odd given the amount of anti-capitalist rhetoric the left still indulges in. Capitalism, as defined by my social-justice warrior peers, seems to have become something similar to gluten — a nebulous evil that they blame for a wide range of problems while guiltily indulging in it more often than they would care to admit. If wokeness remains in thrall to the social media fameoisie then horrors such as this will only continue.
The left used to care about democracy so much that in the 1930s thousands of socialist revolutionaries from America and Britain, including celebrities such as George Orwell, Paul Robeson and James Robertson Justice, travelled to Spain to take up arms against General Franco. Many of them would die for a democracy that wasn’t theirs and the freedom of a people that they’d never met. Today’s generation of woke ‘revolutionaries’ try to overthrow democratic elections and referendums that didn’t go their way with hysterical conspiracy theories of Russian collusion (MSNBC is today’s HUAC).
As for the celebrities — I watched the footage of Chinese security forces beating the hell out of those democracy protesters in Hong Kong and I never spotted Kendall Jenner trying to sort things out with her can of Pepsi. No, today’s woke revolutionaries prefer to stay safely behind their phones, doing battle with ‘offensive’ jokes, ‘problematic’ opinions and inanimate statues from our racist past. They don’t die for their cause, but they’ll happily threaten to take their own lives if anyone points out their hypocrisy.
When I signed up, being left-wing was all about freedom of expression. Now I can’t even write this article under my real name for fear of losing work. In the civil liberties vs national security debate that followed 9/11 and President Bush’s PATRIOT Act, the left consistently defended the individual’s right to privacy and opinions. These days, my woke ‘left-wing’ peers are a bunch of simpering snitches, begging their billionaire Silicon Valley overlords to censor ‘dangerous’ jokes and ideas.
Yes, I still identify as left-wing no matter how badly Wokies choose to mis-wing me. The main reason I decided to write these articles was to try to stop empty woke hysteria from tearing the left and our wider society apart. I’m writing for the benefit of the left, not the applause of the right. Because the most radical thing you can do in our increasingly divided age is not to roll around with your buddies under a cozy ideological eiderdown, but to rigorously question the ideas and behavior of your political peers, especially if they’re being retarded.