Monday, October 4, 2021

Stay Woke My Friend

Happy Mutt Day. Tell me that this little man, seen here with his best childhood friend, doesn’t look like he was destined to grow up to be a captain of industry.

little man and his dog

I don’t know whether he did or not but can’t you picture him behind a solid wood desk, smoking a stogie? He looks as if he’d always be his own man, rolling the dice, calling the shots, running his business. Of course he’d be retired, or dead, by now which is probably just as well as you need to be “woke” in order to run a big business today. This little bloke doesn’t look the sort who would grow up to be “woke.”

Vivek Ramaswamy’s book explains everything you need to know about the new cynicism of business leaders which has led to the kind of crap you see everyday from Big Business: from their ads to their “mission” statements.

woke inc

WOKE, INC. begins as a critique of “stakeholder capitalism,” it attacks the hypocrisy of corporations and their management teams and provides an informative and insightful analysis of the “woke” ideology.

Specifically, he explains why people like me are having such difficulty wrapping my head around this new woke business climate: it seems antithetical to everything I know about how business should operate. The simple truth is the “free market” economy we knew, believed in, worked under and defended simply doesn’t exist anymore. It has been replaced to a large extent by a government/corporate corruptocracy that we have precious little say in.

I don’t think Ramaswamy directly addresses how this happened but I can tell you. I watched its progression from the front lines during my “productive” years. It is the result of decades of progressive policies that corrupted businesses the same way it corrupted black families: via welfare programs. With business it began with special tax breaks that favored certain businesses. Tax breaks morphed into direct corporate welfare programs such as LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) that paid the utility bills of low income customers. Everyone from the recipients to energy companies CEOs and black activists lauded this taxpayer funded welfare program as a win-win so naturally such programs proliferated. Now we have government subsidies for agriculture, health insurance, solar panels, electric vehicles and everything in between that any large industry/corporation cares to hire enough lobbyists to “promote” to lawmakers. It’s legalized bribery and it’s destroyed the capitalist system. It should have been banned decades ago.


But that’s not really the focus of Vivek’s book. He’s concerned with shedding light on how cultural dogma is being used to fundamentally transform every sector of our lives; how the uneasy relationship between business and politics has been reformulated by “woke” companies who have figured out they can get richer from division than unity. As it turns out “get woke, go broke” is not the actual long-term outcome after all. If it were, companies would not be pursuing it. On the contrary, wokeness has remade American capitalism in its own image.

This new woke-industrial Leviathan gains its power by dividing us as a people. When corporations tell us what social values we’re supposed to adopt, they take America as a whole and divide us into tribes. That makes it easier for them to make a buck, but it also coaxes us into adopting new identities based on skin-deep characteristics and flimsy social causes that supplant our deeper shared identity as Americans.

In the end Ramaswamy’s book is intended to  offer hope for how America can reclaim her soul and identify a path back toward a more free and prosperous society. Of course people will actually have to read it, internalize it and act on it in order for that to happen. And that’s not terribly likely amongst our ruling class. They are too busy creating new welfare programs.