Naomi Klein’s new book peers into the “Mirror World’ of conspiracy theories
Celebrated Canadian author Naomi Klein has been on tour promoting her latest book: Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World.
A doppelganger is a double of a living person. A Mirror World is a term first used to describe a parallel world with differences to your own (author William Gibson used the term to describe London where things are just like home – but not quite).
For years Naomi Klein laughed off being mistaken for fellow author Naomi Wolf. Then her doppelganger ‘double’ drifted into a Mirror World of conspiracy theories.
In a revealing and sometimes personal essay for the Guardian, Naomi Klein describes how she obsessed with confronting her doppelganger whose views she found abhorrent but whose name and public persona were sufficiently similar to her own that many people got confused about who was who.
In the Guardian, Klein writes,
“What I was trying to figure out was this: what does this unlikeliest of buddy movies say about the ways that Covid has redrawn political maps in country after country, blurring left/right lines and provoking previously apolitical cohorts to take to the streets? What did it have to do with the “freedom fighters” who were now threatening workers at restaurants that checked for proof of vaccination? Or blocking ambulances outside hospitals that required their staff to get vaccinated? Or refusing to believe the results of any elections that didn’t go their way?
Or denying evidence of Russian war crimes? Or, or, or
Article continues below
Enjoying PeaceQuest? Please consider making a donation to support our peace education work.
Here, I find Naomi Klein puts her finger on something that many of us have experienced with family, friends, colleagues and even fellow activists. How do people you have known for years, admire, respect, and sometimes love, fall into a Mirror World of conspiracy theories about vaccines and other “alternative facts?”
“When looking at the Mirror World, it can seem obvious that millions of people have given themselves over to fantasy, to make-believe, to playacting. The trickier thing, the uncanny thing, really, is that’s what they see when they look at us. They say we live in a “clown world”, are stuck in “the matrix” of “groupthink”, are suffering from a form of collective hysteria called “mass formation psychosis” (a made-up term). The point is that on either side of the reflective glass, we are not having disagreements about differing interpretations of reality – we are having disagreements about who is in reality and who is in a simulation.”
- Read “Naomi Klein on following her ‘doppelganger’ down the conspiracy rabbit hole – and why millions of people have entered an alternative political reality” by Naomi Klein, published by The Guardian on August 26, 2023