10 April 2022

USA: woke capitalism threatens democracy

The case of the super-gay friendly Disney is emblematic, in revolt against the new Florida law that hinders teaching about gender identity in schools. The majority of American companies are pro-LGBTQ and are preparing strikes and reprisals against the popular will that goes in another direction. A real class struggle of CEOs and managers against the majority of citizens: Darel E. Paul's enlightening essay. Not to be missed
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Schwa, gender neutral bathrooms, queer theories, intersectionality, pro-industry 'transfeminism', all the 'first-world problems' that the world of political correctness cares about go beyond the politics of right/left. They are the manifestations of a new economic power that experts call 'woke capitalism'.

We present the summary of 'Woke capital in the 21st century', an essay by Darel E. Paul, professor of political science at the prestigious Williams College, which examines the issue of 'awakened capitalism'. speaks the role that both left and right have played in the creation of this bizarre economic and ideological monster, and what they should now do to undo it.


The essay begins with a case study: linfiltration of capitalism woke at the Walt Disney Corporation, Florida's largest employer.and how it has interfered with the process of Bill on "Parental Rights in Education", signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on 28 March. The law curbs the teaching of gender identity and facilitating the 'social transition' of minors without their parents' knowledge in state schoolsand has been renamed inaccurately "Don't say gay bill"by its opponents.

 "Well before DeSantis signed the bill, the association LGBT Human Rights Campaign was intensifying its pressure more on company CEOs than on politicians.. On 28 February, the association published a letter signed by more than 150 companies stating their opposition to the Florida bill. and all similar laws in other states. "It was immediately noted that Walt Disney Corporation was not on the list"writes Paul.

"Disney CEO Bob Chapek was caught between two fires. On the one hand, he had to take note of a popular bill supported by a clear majority vote and a popular first-term governor. On the other, he had to deal with the media and his employees."

After having tried to appease Disney's "LGBTQ+ leaders". and staff through internal meetings and communications, Chapek was forced to express himself publicly on the issue at Disney's annual shareholders' meeting. But not a single public statement of opposition to the draft law on "Parental Rights in Education", the promise to produce more LGBT content and to donate $5 million to LGBT interest groups by Chapek put an end to the dispute.

When the Disney's support for many of the Republican legislators who sponsored the bill.employees have organised "Disney Do Better Walkout", a week of 15-minute daily outings during afternoon breaks. This was followed by further concessions from Disney, including the stop support to Republicans and "a new internal structure to lead the company towards LGBT values and interests'.

But Disney's 'LGBT leaders' are now threatening a Disney strike against the state of Florida and openly declaring that the goal is to repeal the Parents' Rights in Education Act.

"If a Disney strike were to occur, it would certainly not be the first time that US business uses its structural power to thwart the will of the people. Factory closures, mass redundancies, lock-outs and refusal to invest are all too common examples of capital's strategic efforts to defeat its employees. What is new, however, is theWeapon of the capital strike used against the state and democracy." observes Paul.

USA: il capitalismo woke minaccia la democrazia


The second part of the essay explains how this new belief system, called 'social justice', "intersectionality' or 'wokeness', has come to capture almost all institutions of private power in the United States, from the professions to academia, from education to the media, from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.

"The affirmation of the wokeness in the business sector is perhaps the most surprising success of this ideology. A problem for the Republican Party, which has spent the last forty years serving the interests of American capital and is now in conflict over granting tax breaks and regulatory relief to corporations that despise the party's voter base and cultural agenda," Paul writes. "We are used to seeing issues of the culture war as an ideological struggle, but the rise of capitalism woke better frames our difficult situation. We are deeply mired in a class struggle. You could also compare this exercise of elite power to colonialism. To put it in the starkest terms: globalised professionals and managers on the one hand; regional elites and middle classes on the other. 

The stakes are high: influence on democratic self-government and the power to define reality"..


In the third part Paul presents the most recent analyses of capitalism wokecalling for a unified theory to curb it. "Knowing how to read the phenomenon of capitalism woke as a power structure is the first step towards regulating it. This will not be achieved at the next election or the next piece of legislation, but only after years or even decades of struggle. Only once we understand capitalism woke and where its power comes from, we can have a realistic hope of winning it in the long term."

Among recent attempts at analysis, Paul focuses on three books published in 2021. "The dictatorship of Woke Capital political analyst Stephen Soukup offered a conservative critique of the 'environmental, social and governance (ESG)' movement in financial investment and called for 'depoliticising business'. In Woke, Inc. technology entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy gave an account of the wokeness as a form of religious enthusiasm but also of wokewashing reputational', exposing his fears for the future of American democracy. Capitalism woke: how corporate morality is sabotaging democracy academician Carl Rhodes presented a left-wing position on the wokeness as corrupted by capitalist hypocrisy and appealed to progressives to defend social democracy from corporate co-option woke".

Based on these analyses, Darel E. Paul focuses on the role of what it calls the 'professional class' (professional class), or 'knowledge workers', members of the 'creative class': "Woke Disney clearly demonstrates the importance, even centrality, of professional class employees in the creation and perpetuation of capital. woke. After all, it was the employee revolt that drove Bob Chapek to action. Disney is heavily dependent on precisely the kind of skilled, non-routine work characteristic of the class."

"The professional class paved the way for the wokenesswhich originated in [American] academia, spread first to education, medicine and consulting, then to the media and legal professions, and finally to the culture of the class itself. [...] In this sense, capitalism woke is certainly not an anomaly in terms of what is typically American. In fact, it is the epitome of two developments intertwined in the American political economy since the 1960s: the globalised corporate power and a national therapeutic culture,' Paul concludes.


Paul concludes: 'The backlash to the wokeness is already hereas evidenced by the numerous new regulations and draft laws that prohibit the teaching of critical race theory which reinsert traditional definitions of women's sports and that in Texas they submit transgender therapies for minors in a legal and medical check intensified never seen anywhere else in the world."

But, he warns, "without broader support, all the above states will be subject to threats of strike action by the capitalists and the exercise of federal power at the behest of the professional-managerial class. Any successful intellectual and political project must therefore confront both the wokeness than with capital. Left-wing criticism of capitalism, if it is to offer useful insights for political action, must take into account the central role played by the professional-managerial class and its culture. The right criticism of the wokenessif they want to become more than just material for fundraising appeals for the 'culture war', they must recognise the structural power of this class made possible by the neo-liberal political economy that the right wing itself has helped to create. The right must accept that neither politics nor economics are 'downstream of culture'. Politics, economics and culture are mutually reinforcing power structures, and all must be engaged simultaneously if the defeat of capitalism is to be achieved. woke wants to have some hope."

Maria Celeste

original article here

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