Posted on August 22, 2020

Please, the Capitalist Class Is Anything but Conservative

Paul Gottfried, The American Conservative, August 20, 2020

In a perceptive and properly passionate piece on why “woke capitalism is a vanguard of unfreedom,” Rod Dreher notes that American corporations have become radically totalitarian and socially destructive. In pursuit of intersectional politics and anti-white, anti-male indoctrination, corporate executives now impose mind-boggling restrictions on employees, from forbidding them to use gender-specific pronouns to compelling them to attend tirades against “white privilege.”  

Further: “The familiar left vs. right categories no longer serve as reliable guides to our cultural reality. The cultural left has captured the bureaucracies at American corporations. One thing we hear a lot from our friends on the left is that Big Business is conservative, and would never do anything that would hurt its bottom line. Wrong! I have seen personally how companies will do politically correct things that actually hurt their business model, but that win its management pats on the back among their social cohort.”


My coworkers assumed that anything associated with capitalism must be “conservative” because capitalists were against the working class. This archaic analysis totally misrepresents the current situation. An application of an outmoded Marxist model of class conflict, it tells us absolutely nothing about what is going on in this age. Today the working class here and in Western Europe is usually allied to the cultural right, while our financiers and CEOs are mostly where Rod Dreher locates them, on the cultural left. There is no way we can make sense of political and cultural polarities unless we assume an inversion of the Marxist economic paradigm.

Another point I would make about “woke capitalism,” as someone who has just finished a book on antifascism, is that the fascist enemy for the cultural left never goes away. According to New York Times film critic Manohla Dargas, commenting on the movie Dunkirk, “the fight against fascism continues.” And such Yale professors as Tim Snyder and Jason Stanley have raked in fortunes publishing book length comparisons of Hitler’s Germany and Donald Trump’s America.

The good people, who impose PC guidelines on their puzzled, powerless workers and the media who never end their tear against “the authoritarian Right,” are still fighting Hitler. {snip}

{snip} Strange as it may sound, some of these actors may believe in what they are doing. Given their education and socialization, it is entirely possible that what these woke capitalists are imposing on their workers reflects an internalized belief system. Even elites may embrace lunatic ideas out of both personal conviction and a sense of advancing the Good.