About the Site
In the 50's, when J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy were leading up the Red Scare, they categorized the enemies of the state in a few different ways. There were Soviet agents, card-carrying communists, and there were "dupes." But there was a special designation for those who were not loyal to the Soviets or even necessarily communism, but were sympathetic with left-wing ideas like social justice, universal human rights, and peace. These people were called "fellow travelers."
The list of people over American history who could be considered fellow travelers is an illustrious one. It includes Kurt Vonnegut, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, Charlie Chaplin, Pete Seeger, George Orwell, Malcolm X, Albert Einstein, Upton Sinclair, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, W.E.B. DuBois, John Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, Dorothy Parker, Albert Camus, Gloria Steinem, and Allen Ginsberg.
Many of these people were not born into leftism, but went out into the world, confronted it, and found that they needed to rethink what they'd long been taught.
The 21st century is descending into complete and utter chaos, and it’s likely things will get worse before they get better. The easy thing to do would be to fall into partisanship, dogmatism, and rigidity, but now more than ever, we need to think creatively about what we believe, and what it implies for our personal and political lives.
Fellow Travelers is leftist and anti-authoritarian in its orientation, but beyond that, it’s open to ideas. Not so much ideas coming from the right, but, you know, from people who don’t twist themselves into pretzels excusing open misogyny, racism, the destruction of the earth, and the act of putting children into cages.
About Matt Hershberger
I'm a writer, blogger, and humorist based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. My main interest is how to live well in the 21st century, but that sends me in all directions -- I write about travel, politics, culture, and occasionally, I make jokes.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and went to undergrad at Penn State University, where I got my BA in Journalism. I've lived in Beijing (where I wrote for an English-language, Chinese government-run newspaper, which I was very bad at), Argentina (where I drank lots of wine but never learned to tango), and London (where I got a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics).
Fellow Travelers is the latest iteration of a personal blog that I've been running for over a decade. Sometimes other people will write here. Mostly, though, it'll just be me. Which, by the way, I should offer a disclaimer on: I’m a straight, cis, white dude. I know, I know, this is the perspective we’ve all been clamoring to hear more of. I’m going to try really hard not to let that get too crazy obvious, but, like everyone else, I’m learning, so if I say something stupid, please know in good faith I didn’t mean to be shitty, and am interested in hearing other perspectives. I promise I am very open to constructive criticism.