Twitter account @WokeCapital charts the intersection of Capital and the Cathedral, illuminating it via retweeting / re-contextualising some of the most egregious, yet disturbingly typical, corporate equality and diversity PR circulating the twittersphere.
Parallax Optics is privileged to have secured an exclusive interview with the man behind the account, the first in an upcoming series of interviews to be hosted here.
When did you first become aware of Woke Capital as the nexus connecting orthodox state progressivism to large ‘capitalist’ corporations?
The campaign/run up to the Election of Trump – not to mention what came after – really laid things bare. Prior to that, I hadn’t really formulated a coherent conception of Woke Capital. I’ve worked in big bureaucratic organizations for most of my adult life, and I’m a product of the American public school system (not to be confused with Public Schools in the UK, which are analogous to what we call Private Schools here). As far back as middle school, I could recall a certain preaching with regard to certain topics, and how we were being Made to Care (narrator voice: I never did). The clearest examples include Global Warming (now given the Orwellian moniker “Climate Change”) in Science classes, Black History in History class. As a kid, I remember doing a project on George Washington Carver, the Great Black American who… invented Peanut Butter? (Turns out, he actually didn’t even do that). I mention this context, because I distinctly remember feeling the same way when I had my first workplace sexual harassment, diversity training, etc. It felt like I was being manipulated, being Made to Care.
During the 2012 presidential election, I noticed the failings of conservatism and libertarianism, and came to some conclusions that somehow led me to the Reactosphere and, of course, Moldbug. Having had pretty strong Libertarian “muh corporations” impulses in the past, it probably took me a few more years to truly notice Woke Capital as a Thing. If I had to pinpoint a time where it all coalesced, I’d have to say it was in 2015 when I was made aware that Goldman Sachs was flying a Pride Flag on their flagpole next to the American Flag.
Do you perceive a who > whom dynamic at the core of the interrelationship of the Cathedral and Capital, or do you view the relationship as symbiotic?
You know, it’s a bit hard to pinpoint things because I think there are actually multiple phenomena at play with regard to Woke Capital. If I had to break it down, I’d come up with something like this; you’ve got the True Believers, the Havel’s Greengrocers, the Cynical Opportunists, and some mixture of the three. Be easy on me, this is a somewhat half-baked idea, but I’m going to forge ahead with wild abandon nonetheless.
True Believers – this is pretty straightforward. They’ve taken the Blue Pill, they’ve internalized decades of Cathedral Propaganda, and they basically walk the walk. Very few successful corps have been built up or run by True Believers, because the Cathedral religion is basically a giant fuck you to Gnon. On the other hand, some successful corporations have been cordycepted by true believer entryists, or cynically promote them into positions of power for PR. I’ll come back to that last point in a moment, but basically this ends in “Go Woke, Get Broke” and a steady decrease in quality, innovation, performance, etc. as the True Believers burn accumulated capital/brand value in a conflagration of wokeness.
Havel’s Greengrocers – this is a reference to Vaclav Havel’s seminal essay “The Power of the Powerless”, wherein a greengrocer puts a “Workers of the World, Unite!” sign on his store in communist Eastern Europe not because he believes it, but because it’s the party line and he wants no trouble. The analog to today’s Woke Corp is the Pride Flag, or the Black Lives Matter sign, or some other iconography of the Progressive (Cathedral) Religion. The motivation for these types is to stay in business; it’s basically a risk mitigation strategy, as any company perceived as insufficiently woke may be penalized with lawsuits or boycotts, etc. Pay some lip service to the religion, pay the danegeld, pay the mafia protection money. It’s the path of least resistance, and it’s unsustainable, but one can understand this impulse. It’d be wrong to call it a coward’s impulse, because heretics truly can be (and have been) destroyed. If you’ve got a family to feed, or employees who depend on you for a livelihood, you swallow the bitter pill and do what you think must be done. There’s nothing brave about being destroyed, where your “martyrdom” would just encourage others to try even harder to avoid that fate. Note that I’m anon. Other characters who fit this archetype are your Boomer, your normie flavored NPC, your naive, principled moderates, whose principles and good faith get exploited.
Cynical Opportunists – these are the ones who see an angle to virtue signaling. Hey, those gays and single women sure do have a lot of disposable income! Hey, we can import cheap immigrant labor to drive down costs! Hey, we can get benefits/take advantage of government programs if we do X, where X might be something like build affordable housing, or hire a certain number of diversity candidates, etc. These people don’t actually believe the bullshit, but are hyperaware of status dynamics and from whence power flows. Many of these are Sociopathic Status Maximizers (SSMs; not a term I made up).
Mixture – this is the most common for your average WokeCorp. Most often, you’ve got true believers in the HR/Diversity and Inclusion positions, who then instruct leadership on how they’re supposed to engage with Wokeness. The greengrocers either go ahead with it due to naivete or as a risk management technique to avoid seeming out of touch or regressive. The ol’ Boomer in the corner office thinking “Well, it doesn’t make sense to me, but this PhD in People Studies is saying this is best practices, so I trust that this is how we do business in the 21st century”. The opportunists see an opportunity to pick up good PR, or sell more to a certain segment with lots of disposable income.
What I find most powerful about the @WokeCapital account is how it takes something I was previously aware of and proves it, definitively. Your method involves compounding thousands of tweets, which are effectively corporate sacramental offerings, in the process distilling them into something extremely potent. Can you say a bit more about the methodology of the @WokeCapital account, from your perspective?
You and I both find this most powerful. I recognized Woke Capital as a Thing back in 2015, but it’s hard to really wrap your head around if you’re not actively studying the phenomenon. You see some woke ad on TV, role your eyes at it, and go back to your life. You see blatant political advocacy in some corp in the news, and feel irritated, but forget about it. This account documents everything; from the most egregious PC protestations, to the everyday virtue signal that people often don’t even recognize as virtue signaling. By aggregating it all in one place, showing the constant barrage of Cathedral proselytizing from virtually every company, I think we craft a powerful narrative that can’t simply be dismissed or forgotten.
Credit Suisse giving Woman of the Year to some married hetero man is arresting, and gives people the “whoa, what a wacky, one-off story” sort of feel. But showing how all companies constantly signal diversity and inclusion, future is female, intersectional garbage… this is the real power of Woke Capital. The comparatively subtle “we embrace diversity and inclusion” crap is actually more dangerous than the outrage generating calculated PR “gaffe”. It’s a matter of boiling the frog vs sautéing it, though both ultimately move the Overton window left. And this is the point I try to get across. In fact, when I first started, I tried to find woke tweets from every company on the Dow and S&P 500 I could think of. Name a company, I’ll show you Cathedral propaganda. To date, I know only ONE publicly traded company where I couldn’t find any woke signaling whatsoever. I’m not going to reveal which company, as I wouldn’t want to bring the Eye of Soros down upon them.
As for the methodology, I try to stay on brand with WokeCapital, and for maximum impact I try to avoid the industries that everybody already knows are woke (Big Tech, Big Media, etc). At the beginning, it was unclear whether WokeCap should simply RT companies, post screengrabs without comment, or add some of my own perspective. Ultimately, I went with the lattermost option. RT’s would fail if the company deleted their tweet, and would likely irritate my followers because the tweets would be indistinguishable from corporate advertising on their TL. I informally A/B tested screengrabs with and without comment, and found people responded better to tweets with my commentary. I try to minimize my “voice” as much as possible, but my message discipline varies day to day. One thing that I’d like to clarify with regard to my “voice” is that my objection is to the corporate behavior more than anything else. Nigga, you sell children’s toys, what does that have to do with poopdick? (the answer to this question is actually quite troubling). What I personally think about gays, women, minorities, miscegenation, the environment, overseas conflict, refugees, etc. doesn’t matter, and I don’t want it to be a distraction.
@WokeCapital effectively uses corporate PR to reveal the enthusiastic compliance of corporations with status quo progressive religion – how is this part of a wider nefarious agenda, and precisely how does it benefit both corporations and the state?
How is this part of a wider nefarious agenda? Jeez where to start with this one… I mean, it all goes back to Moldbug and the Cathedral, I don’t think I have anything meaningful to contribute on this front. The problem is intractable and multivariate, and Moldbug’s already described the underlying mechanisms better than I could, but my best tl;dr is that radical leftists, primarily through Academia, have infected the vast majority of the population with toxic memes for the purposes of securing and exercising Power and Control. Our problem here is the problem of terminal leftism, the leftist ratchet, the leftist singularity, the leftist holiness spiral… whatever you want to call it.
Leftist academics groom everybody from pre-school through high school, and they’re working on adding at least four more years of mandatory brainwashing by expanding college level education. On top of the standard issue indoctrination, leftists expend extra effort on the media, the managerial elite, academics, and the scientific community. Then they have a sick symbiotic relationship with one another where they all mutually signal boost and confer legitimacy upon one another.
You see this with the media/tech giants/corporations all leaning on various leftists scams and Political Action Committees (PACs) for Woke Cred. Some examples of these scams – invariably given names Orwellian enough to make ol’ George blush – include the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The ADL is devoted to finding creative ways to cry “anti-semitism!” to any opposition to leftism. The SPLC is Morris Dees’ money making scam that raises funds from anti-white hatred, making it what Steve Sailer calls “America’s richest hate group”. You might be forgiven for thinking that the HRC gives a shit about human rights (whatever that even means), but it is actually a homosexual group that “focuses on protecting and expanding rights for LGBT individuals, most notably advocating for marriage equality, anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation, and HIV/AIDS advocacy.” Companies go ahead thinking maybe if we get the gold star of approval from the HRC, we’ll be resistant to lawsuits from gay employees. If we co-sponsor Girls Who Code events or give them money, nobody in the media will notice that all our engineers are autistic white dudes. We’ve got the stamp of approval from The Gays/The Blacks/The Wahmmens, etc, etc. so don’t attack us, we’re down with the program, we’ll comply, we’ll play ball *turns over supine*.
This is the Woke Sword of Damocles hanging above the heads of every leader, and perhaps even more importantly, every would-be leader. So those protections payments prop up an entire diversity racket, both externally (i.e. HRC, SPLC) and internally (i.e. Human Resources Department, Equal Opportunity organizations). I think an under explored part of Woke Capital is the external diversity industry; I’ve been meaning to spend some time looking into the ubiquitous Human Rights Campaign in particular, which is literally a Gay PAC. Every Fortune 500 company these days seems to be touting their HRC awards as you can see in this thread here. They’re proud of these awards that they can get by simply capitulating to the gay mafia’s every whim. Just for a moment imagine the flip side, where companies were touting their rating of 100% against immigrant labor from anti-immigration groups. *manic laughter*
So, people always bend the knee. People often take the path of least resistance. Corporate PR is used for both purposes, to show Power that the corporation recognizes its authority. It’s no coincidence that WokeCapital’s bio has read “Speaking Power to Truth, one tweet at a time”. That’s all that’s going on there, really. And recognizing that Power lies on the Left, and not on the Right, corporations take advantage of this asymmetry. You can never go wrong by signaling too far left, but you can afford to piss off righties, who have near zero cultural, political, or legal power. Just note how they go after Trump, who is ostensibly CEO of the country, when he rocks the boat!
Ok, so I’ve talked a bunch about how it’s part of a wider nefarious agenda, and even how it benefits the state (e.g. power and control). But how does it benefit the corporations, other than mitigating risk? That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I have a fully fleshed out answer to that. Off the cuff, I would say that this form of risk mitigation is expensive. Prohibitively expensive to cash-poor companies. The Googles can afford to Hire Diversity, and they therefore scoop up the highly qualified, actually capable, diversity candidates. As a result, Google isn’t too adversely impacted by the demands of the Woke. On the other hand, the plucky upstart competitor can’t compete. So, in a sense, Compulsory Wokeness is a form of gatekeeping by those in power, a large barrier to entry to stymie competitors. But I think that ultimately, this sort of thing does not help the majority of corporations in the longer term. I’ll expound that a bit later…
It sounds like the Woke Personnel Tax syncs with regulatory capitalism i.e. big corps are in favour of regulation (promoted Remain > Leave in the Brexit referendum) because the cost of paying the regulation / tax, which is predictable, they can afford / game, is much less than the risk of losing their market share / dominance to new business, which the financial / legal burden of regulation keeps at bay, either by pricing it out of entering the market or preventing it from expanding beyond a certain point.
You nailed it right here. Big corporations love, love, love cumbersome regulations that hamstring their competitors. Even if they lose out on profits, it’s worth defending their slice of the pie. Ultimately, the leftist singularity, of which Woke Capital constitutes but a portion – ends in disaster for everybody. We’re all caught up in the cyclone, and no one actor can stand against it, so everybody is scrambling to be the last one to be eaten by the alligator… err cyclone.
Before we move on, I’ve got one last thing to say about Corporate PR. It’d be a dereliction of duty if I neglect to mention marketing and advertising. I briefly alluded to outrage marketing before (a perfect example of which would be Nike’s Kaepernick Campaign), but what I want to talk about here is the gaslighting seen in seemingly benign advertising. Basically, you’re not allowed to show normal, healthy heritage Americans in advertising, even if they’re your target demo (e.g. J. Crew). It’s all Bioleninism* all the time in advertising, for example forced interracial couples, conspicuously gay characters, people who look like the criminal dregs of society. At its most subtle, it’s just a lack of white people in advertising material published by companies from majority white nations, founded and built by whites. This is a particularly hard attack vector to defend against, because they’ve got plausible deniability, and because it’s hard to articulate criticism of it, even though all people have a visceral reaction to it. Even @WokeCapital hesitates from posting the following screenshots.
It’s hard to argue against these advertisements without sounding like a paranoid lunatic who’s obsessed with race. But if you document these companies the way I do, you can’t help but notice the dearth of white people, white men in particular, and blondes with light eyes most of all (I’m not one btw). The GAP takes this a step further and only hires unattractive people to do their modeling, the majority of whom are explicitly leftist political activists (if you want to see what I’m saying, go onto twitter and in the search bar, search “from:wokecapital gap”). Last screenshot, I promise, is this from American Apparel. It displays diversity in their NUDES collection. Diversity apparently just means brown (and fat).
What role do you see HR departments – the portals through which Demons enter our world – playing in the structural edifice of Woke Capital?
“The portals through which Demons enter our world” – I can’t disagree with a single word of that. HR is often hated, often for good reason, and as a result, our Cathedral overlords are constantly changing its name on us. Nowadays you get People Operations, Employee Success, etc. The most accurate name of all would be something explicit, like Ideological Conformity Department, Anti-Heresy Department, or Political Department. In China’s PLA, they have the Political Department run by Political Commissars, which handles propaganda, training, indoctrination, and administration. They fulfill basically the exact same role in Chinese military units that HR plays here. Talk about formalism!
Earlier I used the terms “protection payments” and “racket”; these words were picked with careful intention. A mafia is an informal shadow government, which has carved out a domain for itself to exercise power, control, and violence – likewise the invisible Cathedral. As the mafia puts one of their associates in the local union, or the communist party puts party members on the board in the State Owned Enterprise, our Cathedral has its informants and disciplinarians in HR.
HR has always been about enforcing state and corporate rules, but the problem today is much worse than just that. The tl;dr of it is that leftists have completely infiltrated academia, and are churning out a cadre of true believing leftists whose allegiance is to the Progressive State Religion. These people are being credentialed and elevated to positions of power, primarily through HR, though the scope has expanded considerably in recent years. Hence the wholly accurate statement, “portals through which Demons enter our world”.
Furthermore, HR has become a dumping ground for all diversity candidates. Your company needs more diversity, eh? Can’t find any minority engineers? Easy, just throw ‘em in Admin. That’ll keep the bad PR off your back! We’re woke! We are committed to Diversity and Inclusion! The diversity racket is quite well paid, quite a cushy gig if you can get it (e.g. you are not a white male). Chief Diversity Officer is a great way to make your executive team look diverse (basically always a black lady). So, you’ve got a ton of credentialed people whose elevated status and paycheck rely on the backing of the state religion; this is a recipe for extreme loyalty to said religion. They’ve been indoctrinated in wokeness, and given a seat at the table. But nobody is content with a token position. Eventually the cynical play comes back to bite the players. And as we’ve seen in recent years, HR has been weaponized such that it can get rid of a CEO/Founder who has fallen out of favor. Where does the power truly lie now?
I’m kind of all over the place on this one, so I’m going to stop here. If one wants a fundamental understanding and full context of the issues at play, I recommend reading Spandrell’s seminal essay on Bioleninism as a starting point, and time permitting, Moldbug’s ouevre in full.
#LGBTQ and the wider #Pride movement seems to have hacked the corporate / Cathedral interface with particular success, why do you think this is?
White men are the most competent people on the planet, but their independence and consumer spend profile makes them tricky to extract maximum value out of. So, what if we could have the competence of a white man, with the herd-mindset and profligate spending of a woman? Tada! I bring you the gay Pride movement.
Ok, I said that with tongue in cheek, but there is some truth to what I just said. Gays have no families, a ton of disposable income, and are incredibly loyal to those who validate them. This works on a few different levels. For starters, no families means they are ideal employees, since they have fewer obligations that could take them away from work. Additionally, the lack of family and stake in the future means more disposable income to spend now, making them ideal consumers of things. Finally, if there’s anything I’ve noticed about gays, it’s that they’re on average more narcissistic and insecure. As a result, anything that validates them and their feels will get them emotionally invested. Corporations have manipulated this impulse via cheap signaling, leading to greater profits and brand value.
Concurrently, this plays exceptionally well with another demographic that Woke Capital loves: the Single Woman! For all intents and purposes, you can basically substitute gay for 21st century single woman and most of the above still applies. Feminism has also hacked the Corp/Cath interface with great success, and for many of the same reasons. Additionally, single women love their pet gays, with all the sentimental #LoveWins #LoveIsLove schmaltz, so pandering to #Pride is kind of a two-fer (whereas pandering to feminism doesn’t appeal to gays, or men in general really).
I could go off the rails here and expound on the Single Woman Question; is feminism just a conspiracy by lesbians and ultra high status men to get fresh pussy? (Yes). Does Woke Capital encourage the destruction of family so they can get more hours/loyalty from workers, while getting them to buy more useless crap? (Yes). It’s short sighted, but they care about quarterly earnings more than quarter century earnings, so might as well say fuck the future and extract maximum profits now. Besides, a lot of the higher ups are now childless women and gays, so extra double fuck the future, let those breeders’ kids deal with the problems the barren and gays cause.
It has been speculated that the @WokeCapital twitter account is a Russian Psyop – is there any truth to this rumour, is the Kremlin putting your kids through college?
The paychecks are nice for sure, but is it too much to ask that they send me an Anna Chapman, or something? Where are the honeypots collecting kompromat to keep me in line? The KGB seems to have lost its edge, smdh.
@WokeCapital has a sister account, @WokeReligion, which documents the pozzing of traditional religions infected with the parasite of progressivism. It’s fascinating how enthusiastically ancient religions debase their core tenants and capitulate to progressivism, in order to seek status and protection within the wider political / cultural economy. Can you say a bit about @WokeReligion and its connection to @WokeCapital?
Sure, I’m glad you brought this up. Let me backup just a second. Something worth mentioning is that we have a state religion of Progressivism, and all these Woke Orgs are faithful to it. What we lack is formalism, so many people don’t even realize what religion they’re practicing! Organized Religion is Progressivism wearing the skin of various dead faiths (Catholicism, Reform/Conservative Judaism, Mormonism, Protestantism, etc). Spandrell has had a lot of insightful things to say about humans and religion, and the need for a new religion. Many people have described the process at work here, wherein an org gets “woke”; call it Conquest’s Second Law, Vox Day’s SJW convergence cycle, Entryism, Cordyception whatever. Basically, progs who hate an org infiltrate it, kill it, gut it, and wear its skin whilst making a mockery of everything it once stood for. Oftentimes it’s done through frog boiling.
Now the flip side of this is public perception of the org. People, generally speaking, can’t perceive time. They just don’t see it. There’s no context, no perspective, everything that is now is how it always was, and always will be. We’ve always been at war with East Asia!
The Left rails against the corporations (Walmart, defense contractors, Wall Street), the military, and the police, despite all of those institutions being gutted by leftists *decades* ago. Halliburton feminist-poasting, 4/5 large defense contractors run by women, it doesn’t matter. The Right doesn’t recognize its own enemies, and the Left doesn’t *openly* recognize [the corporations] as friends. They’ll certainly do their bidding, ala Clinton and Goldman, Obama and Goldman, etc, but never openly recognize them as friends, because that gives up the game. Corporations are Bad, Religion is Bad, and anything Bad must be on the Right. The Right still panders to Big Corp, not realizing that the Corporations hate them. It’s always right wing mega corps in the popular (mis)conception. This misconception is what I set out to right with WokeCapital. Know thy enemy!
Likewise, the Church has been similarly gutted. I can’t tell you how many churches I see with “Refugees Welcome”, “Black Lives Matter” and even Pride flags hanging from their steeples. So yeah, the Pope’s a communist now, of course Catholicism is for washing the feet of Muslim invaders! If you aren’t for that, you aren’t a Catholic. And you see, either people get with the program, or stop being Catholic; either way, the institution is totally destroyed. But at the same time, when it fits the narrative, the Catholic Church is a buncha regressive right wingers that need to be defeated. They have a problem with child abuse. In reality, they have a problem with homosexual pederast priests, but we can’t say that or the narrative falls apart. Non-orthodox Judaism is similarly afflicted, maybe even worse. These Woke Religions use the Christian/Jewish Brand to advocate for Progressive politics.
Anyway, I created WokeReligion for the same reason I created WokeCapital. To teach the Right that these institutions they trust, that they grant legitimacy to; these institutions are dead. They’re animated dead, zombies, controlled by a brain parasite that hates its host. You can’t cure dead, so we need something new. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to really give the WokeReligion account as much attention as it deserves, but I feel like a lot of others have this covered. More people are paying attention to the WokeReligion phenomenon, as religion is tied much closer to identity. In a sense, it’s also a bit narrower in scope, as there are only a handful of gigantic mainstream religions, while there are thousands upon thousands of corporations.
If I had more time, I’d probably start up WokeSportsball, WokeNGO, WokeScience, WokeGovt, WokeMilitary, WokeLawEnforcment, etc… WokeMedia, well, I think the public is already woke (pun intended) to that.
What is the single most significant thing you have personally discovered through running the @WokeCapital account?
I think the most significant thing I discovered is one of my own personal shortcomings. I consider myself pretty, uhh, for lack of a better term, Darkly Woke. Or Darkly Enlightened. Whatever you want to call it. I thought I grokked the fundamental mechanisms at play in the West. America Was a Communist Country; The Cathedral; The Puritan Hypothesis; Cthulhu Swims Slowly, But He Only Swims Left; Bioleninism; HBD; The Red Pill/Sexual Market Dynamics; The various ethnic tribes and their motivations, obscured as they may be; even the limitations of all the aforementioned cognitive frameworks/lenses. Despite all this, I was unable to truly understand the magnitude of the Woke Capital phenomenon until I gave it a name. I intuited that the corporations were part of the Cathedral more or less, but wasn’t able to refine my understanding until I started this account. This is like what Steve Sailer, Peace Be Upon Him, talks about with regard to the Hate Hoax phenomenon, basically weak-form Sapir-Whorf (i.e. linguistic categories and usage influence thought and decisions). So, if somebody like me – someone who is hyperaware and really pays attention to this kind of thing – didn’t really understand it before dedicating time to it, how is your average person, your right-leaning or right-curious normie/NPC supposed to see it?
I guess if I had to broaden my answer, I’d say the most significant thing I learned is that documenting this stuff is important. And not just the outrage PR generating Woke Cap gambits, but the everyday Diversity and Inclusion signaling, Unconscious Bias, Privilege, etc. more subtle conceding of frame to the radfems/critical race theorists/<name your flavor of SJWs>. Doing the boring, often horrifying work and putting it out there, this is important. Far more important than any commentary or theory I have to add. The meme is out there now. Woke Capital is now A Thing. People can point at the work @WokeCapital has done and say, “just take a quick glance at this and you’ll immediately understand what Woke Capital is”.
And guess what? People *are* doing just that. I get a lot of reader submissions. I love when I see some wokecorp signaling and then the top reply or even multiple replies are simply “@WokeCapital” tagged by my readers. Believe it or not, some big and influential people follow me. It’s truly an honor… I’m just a simple shitpoaster, but this brand has really resonated with some (and not just on the Right).
How do you think the phenomena of @WokeCapital might come to an end? What political or economic developments could bring about a disentanglement of Capital from the Cathedral?
It’s still early, and a lot can happen. The trouble with predicting the future is that it hasn’t happened yet. 20 years ago, nobody would’ve believed that we’d have corporate sponsored Tranner laws, or Resist! themed ice cream from Unilever (by way of Ben and Jerry’s). Earlier you asked about how all this Woke Capital benefits the corporations. I’m not sure it necessarily does. Corporations are kind of in a bind where they have to play ball or be destroyed, and if they play ball they might still be destroyed anyway. In the case where a CEO doesn’t want to play ball, he can be removed from his position by an activist board. You don’t even have power over what you’ve built. So how does this all end? We will not see an end to this until we’re broke, or get a new religion, or both. I can think of a few scenarios how we get there.
For one, it looks to as though the Cathedral is cracking up. It got high on its own supply, fully embraced Bioleninism, and is now hurting for competent people. It’s dysgenic, the people who fell for the memes are largely failing to reproduce. Boomers are on their way out, and Millennials are going to start taking over the reins of some of these orgs. Does anybody really think that western Millennials will be able to keep things going? Complex systems are incredibly difficult to build, somewhat less difficult to maintain, and quite easy to destroy. The entire West is coasting on the accumulated capital of previous generations, burning its inheritance in a wild bonfire. Eventually, what can’t be sustained won’t be. Even Google can’t continue to operate when it’s 99% diversity and 1% hated-talented-engineer. And at some point, the locusts will have nowhere else to go, no one else’s capital to burn. This is the slow decline into a Dark Age, best case being Brazil where things kind of still work, and worst case being Venezuela or South Africa.
Another scenario is that we get a new religion that allows us to function in productive ways. Don’t ask me how we get from here to there. That’s Spandrell’s department. Trump’s been by far the most effective at fighting the Cathedral, and the best he’s been able to do is not be totally destroyed while the country moves inexorably Left faster than ever. The Cathedral is as weak as it’s ever looked in my lifetime, but they will not go down peacefully, and they won’t let us leave either. If things can be turned around peacefully, that is the ideal.
A third scenario is what may come if Trump fails; a Stalin or a Cromwell comes and puts a stop to the madness, perhaps preceded by a bloody conflict or crackdown. Not a desirable outcome, but leftist singularities are notoriously difficult to stop, just ask the victims of the Khmer Rouge or Red Guards… if you can find any.
35 thoughts on “On Woke Capital”
Thanks, I guess. Spot on. Sure glad I’m out of corporate work. HR is evil Catbert, Adams called that early. Even Silicon Valley consulting is getting this bad. Pre-election, I was walking around with a bloody tongue. So I understand Havel’s greengrocer. But the election schadenfreude made up for it. Still, this redpill is very bitter.
Ideology Analysis | “Woke Capital”: A response to Parallax Optics
Notes on the politics of advertising.
The mechanism described in this post – an interview by Parallax Optics with the Woke Capital Twitter account – seems largely correct to me. I tend to see certain overt political themes as being a sign of corporate degeneration rather than being the cause of decline (“Get woke, Go broke”). This is partly because the company I worked for that was most into woke advertising was also in the perilous financial circumstances, but I knew the decline came before the wokeness (the company was also run by a girl).
However, “woke advertising” is not entirely irrational or ideological. To an extent, corporate advertising accurately represents actual demographic shifts. It is not just an attempt to shape a possible direction of political travel. The corporate world sees the future as lying in the non-Western world – since that’s where the mass of people are – and desires mass migration to keep the debt-consumer-welfare economy on the road (how long that can last before “collapse” is debatable). Last I read, London’s primary school cohorts are 20% white British: the corporations are correct that the future is ethnically non-Western, even in many Western countries, and they’ve adjusted their marketing accordingly. If anything, white people are overrepresented in some corporate advertising relative to their presence in many major Western cities.
Further, it’s worth noting that there were protoypes for woke capital: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, The Body Shop, and Big Issue. These were all profitable – so far as I know – but they never quite reached the mega corporate leagues. Their market was explicitly Boomer progressive types, and they represented a dry run for many themes that we now see in the mainstream corporate world. The actual market for people who like this type of advertising is probably the same as for The Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Big Issue. This market is sizeable (basically Guardian readers)and it’s rational to target this group – though it’s far from the majority of consumers.
So some woke advertising is rational, but you’ll not see the far right – where most critiques of woke advertising emerge – mention this because they have their own cognitive biases. They can’t accept there’s a rational basis to some woke advertising, because that would mean acknowledging that their political vision is no longer possible – the organic indigenous nation, if that was ever viable as a unit of political organisation, has vanished. Those of us with an interest in the truth, no matter how cold, are fine with exploring this possibility.
An unintended consequence of this shift in advertising and, more importantly, in cultural products like movies is to free white identity from capital. When the “white man” (viewed as particularly evil by the left and wokeness) disappears from advertising and cultural products (largely already achieved in the BBC etc) he will actually be the first human type to stand completely outside capital – outside the creation of his ancestors. This could prove to be destructive to that system, since the system has effectively given up ideologically conditioning a section of the population. Where and from whom will the white man get his identity if he is no longer represented in mainstream cultural products? Enter social media, YouTube, and charismatic figures from the outer right – nude bodybuilders, perhaps.
Previously, white male identity was channeled into fighting fascism (and anti-liberal ideas more generally) in the service of liberalism: authoritarian and quasi-fascistic instincts were directed towards fighting fictional “commie-Nazis”, the totalitarian hybrid ur-monster, as per the Die Hard film series and similar cultural product. This approach by liberalism, canalising authoritarian energy, has been noted by Slavoj Žižek on the left and Jonathan Bowden on the right.
But this ideological conditioning is in the process of being abandoned. We can see this shift in casting debates around James Bond, where the white man’s vanguard role in defending liberalism from totalitarianism may be taken over by a black man. Similarly, many action films –as happened with the way the English were typecast as anti-American villains in Hollywood films half a century ago – are being recast with the white man as the devil.
The system’s ideology has decided white men aren’t even needed as a violent, authoritarian vanguard role to defend liberalism. This has probably come about because the priestly class in the West – the ideologists who create cultural products like movies – has become almost completely detached from the soldierly class that defends them.
Up until the 1990s, it was quite likely that people working in Hollywood, PBS, the BBC, and so on would have had some contact with the military and police – either through conscription or some kind of para-military training in school or university. This didn’t mean they liked the military or the police, but they had some appreciation that the liberalism they promoted was sustained and protected by radically illiberal organisations. There was a grudging respect and appreciation that without the “fascists” of the military, gay rights and other liberal causes would be crushed by authoritarian states like the Soviet Union.
What has happened since the end of the Cold War is that the priestly class has massively expanded thanks to the opening up of higher education This class has had little to no contact with the military and police apparatus. Conscription has vanished, and military cadet organisations are fairly sparsely distributed. There are a great many people running around with degrees (priestly qualifications) who have not the slightest idea that their advanced ideological pronouncements on gender fluidity, race fluidity, and the virtues of Islam are protected by an authoritarian soldierly class (who are, in fact, effectively engaged in constant military combat with Islamism).
This means that the ideology that coordinates Western societies is no longer constrained by even a modicum of realism. Consequently, contemporary leftist ideology is vociferously attacking the very people who defend them, whereas before space was left open to direct authoritarian tendencies in a safe way and system friendly way.
The question: has the system’s ideology accidentally rejected its Praetorian Guard? The Western militaries are still largely composed of white men, and they see themselves denigrated or ignored in cultural products. Last year, the authorities broke up a neo-Nazi terror ring inside the British military. That’s unprecedented. For the first time since the 1930s, Britain has a proscribed far-right terror organisation in operation and, furthermore, in operation within its military. This year, a similar ring was broken up in the German military. This indicates, at least to my mind, that the Western militaries are profoundly disillusioned with the current ideological class. If there are soldiers who are prepared to form neo-Nazi terror groups in Western militaries, there are probably many, many more who are dissident from or strongly opposed to the hegemonic ideology in other, more respectable, ways.
If this is a sign of things to come, the system may have made a major mistake…time will tell.
Returning to the wider issue of woke advertising: The old right favours production (particularly from smaller producers), debt reduction, and spending within limits. This, combined with traditional morality, makes for a stable population.
What we have in the UK is a system, based on Keynesianism and neoliberalism, that marries finance capital (completely fluid and global), a consumer debt economy, a welfare state, and ever-liberalising moral codes into a kind of self-reinforcing loop. People are turned into debt slaves, don’t reproduce, and are replaced by new masses from the non-Western world. Beauty, stability, continuity, and transcendent values are destroyed in this process. The question is how far this system – sustained on debt, ideology, and phoney currency – can continue…especially since it also undermines the high quality human capital required to keep the show on the road.
It is this system in particular that requires woke advertising and woke capital to sustain itself. Woke advertising is, therefore, self-undermining.
The ideological process, as described by the neo-reactionary writer Mencius Moldbug, is self-reinforcing. The endless changes to social mores developed in the universities and progressive media (boys wearing make up, for example) serve a consumer economy where everyone has everything already (except property ownership) and the challenge is to keep people spending. I once read an article about the problems of advanced economic stasis in Japan, the author mentioned the appearance of dog hotels and similar phenomenon as means to get the Japanese to spend money when they had everything already and were saving too much. Really, this is what boys wearing make up etc is all about: how the hell do you open new markets when everything is tapped already?
A possible solution that would break this loop: another major war to destroy capital and unproductive forms, force the use of constructive industry (aircraft, tanks – not services), leave space for rebuilding, and to restore traditional morality (essential in wartime). War is not, of course, a pretty thing – though it does open up new directions and new energy.
And maybe, as alluded to by the theorist Nick Land, Bitcoin – being like gold – will undermine the fiat currencies and hasten the decline of the phoney economies.
What is certain is that woke advertising contains within it the potential to alienate a war-like class within the societies that use it most. This may leave these societies militarily weakened – a state that often precipitates war – or vulnerable to undermining from within.
Does woke advertising work in its political objectives?
Up to a point.
I believe that advertising – apart from certain cars and computer gadgets – is basically aimed at and influences women. I don’t think men are really affected by advertising or even pay attention to it – except in an analytical way. Men are more shaped by films, video games, and books. Women make the majority of spending decisions in a relationship and are the big shoppers.
People who watch a large amount of television – particularly women – will often end up literally programmed, singing jingles to themselves and so on. A surprising number of men will just go along with what “the misses” wants – probably this is at the root of many transgender kids (a failed shit test by the husband. “Honey, I’m going to cut your son’s balls off.” “Whatever you think is best, sweetheart.”).
Advertisers, door-to-door salesmen, political canvassers, and religious cults have long known that “get the women, and the guy will be nagged into it” is a good approach…it still works, though less so in an era where fewer people are in couples or stable relationships (this could be a significant factor for the survival of the current system).
The people who are going woke are mostly females within the corporate-state hierarchy, and the most receptive consumers for this material are also female – almost everybody else is progressively alienated by woke advertising. Can the system hold? Only if the most crucial people within our current system are women, and that’s – the delusions of some work advertising aside – highly debatable.
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Gotcha: Everyone will have a homeland but whites of European descent… Well, suppose that some won’t go down without a fight? What then, defeatist? If you can have an Ethnostate in Israel for Jews, you can have one for any race or religion. If you don’t think whites will fight for one, then you haven’t read any history book…
@Tom X Heart It’s strange because I consider myself pretty far to the right but the rationality of woke marketing techniques as you describe it seem pretty clear to me, particularly the part about shifting demographics. So much so, I was rather surprised the WC account runner didn’t mention them Of course, those same demographic shifts were probably also partly in thanks to corporations and their NGO attaches, but nonetheless… The potential for profit exists there. I do also tend to think that most modern Leftists aren’t so opposed to capitalism, and that capitalism itself isn’t the lynchpin of conservative values it’s portrayed as.
Capitalism—when allowed to be free—inclines to the right because it results in inequality and a hierarchy of money or property. Left and right are relational and situational terms, so capitalism was, in a sense, leftist when it finally displaced feudalism many centuries ago.
The merchant class displaced the military class in leading society, and this was a somewhat democratic and levelling development. This means that rightists, particularly traditionalists, will always feel ambiguous about capitalism because it destroyed many traditions and hierarchical structures: the domain of money over the domain of blood. This is now so long ago that most people don’t see it, and the whole struggle over hierarchy has moved on to socialism or liberalism versus capitalism.
Those objections aside, the point remains that capitalism—basically natural human activities like bartering and property holding refined to a great degree—always creates a hierarchy of some kind, although whether or not it is a superior hierarchy to a military hierarchy is open to debate. Socialism and Communism attempt to destroy hierarchies and create new hierarchies despite themselves—capitalism is comfortable with inequality and hierarchy in theory and practice, even if it’s not the hierarchy many people (socialists and aristocratic rightists) want.
What exists in the West at the moment is a form of capitalism that is highly constrained by state interference and guidance. This system was dynamic enough to win the Cold War against Soviet socialism, since that system was completely moribund. But, nevertheless, the state-corporate hybrid undermines the competitive and dynamic aspects of capitalism (see, bank bailouts). The Western system isn’t in great health, especially compared to ruthless systems like China’s national capitalism. Consequently, the West’s corporate-state hybrids bend leftwards in places.
This is why leftist ideology can nestle in large corporate bureaucracies, but it cannot find much traction in small businesses or family businesses. Large parts of the corporate bureaucracy are non-mission critical and exist to service the demands of the state. In a sense, the West has something rather like the economic policy of fascism: a state coordinated, not nationalised, economy (though it doesn’t serve the fascist goal of curating a national organic community).
If capitalism was let “off the leash”, then more hierarchical forms would become apparent. The large bureaucracies, like the HR departments, would be (mostly) laid off and leftist ideology would subside.
I actually think we’re living at a tide turning moment in history. The move towards egalitarianism that started with the English and French revolutions has stopped and is in retreat. Communism, particularly of the Pol Pot variety, was the absolute low point.
The progression was roughly:
It strikes me that we reached the absolute bottom in the mid-1970s (Pol Pot and many victories for the Communists), since then the historical momentum has been towards hierarchy. Communism is no longer seriously considered (nor is socialism), so we’re on the ascent now. We’re rolling back nationalism and liberalism and moving towards new hierarchies—-perhaps a caste of military AI overlords? I don’t know, but the historical trajectory is in reverse. We’re witnessing the death of liberalism and nationalism at the moment (the populist surge of Trump etc is a death rattle for these movements).
This makes sense if you think of our current era as that of post-modernity. As with a thinker like Heidegger, modernity was refined or distilled into a form that actually reanimated Medieval or pre-modern thought forms in a new way. Liberalism, capitalism, communism, and so on belong to the 19th and 20th centuries: high modernity. This rational, egalitarian, and law-bound way of looking at the world is over.
If we assume that post-modernity started in about 1980 (is foolish to place date on epoch, but this is roughly right), then we are about where modernity was circa the English revolution. Post-modernity will see the re-emergence of pre-modern forms in new guises: barbarity, inequality, feudal relations, religiosity, mysticism, and so on (conforms with Spengler’s civilisational theories). The liberal right has long criticised this post-modern tendency towards “subjectivity” on the left (see, Bloom) as undermining reason, but the advent of Trump etc shows that the right has also entered post-modernity and become beast-like.
Conclusion: Lose your mind and come to your senses.
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I agree with most of your points but I think your conclusion suffers from viewing history as linear. The evidence that history follows a cyclical pattern is strong.
Nationalism reasserts itself itself during periods like the one we are in. The idea that all of the very strong nationalist movements are a death rattle has no evidence to back it up. Only if you believe the woke warriors will stay in the ascendancy does that make sense. We are likely to face a savage financial crisis soon (we have debt that is not payable all around the world) and the signs of a major war are getting strong. If these two events happen the woke will be swept away as nations focus on survival.
It’s possible post modernity will emerge at the end of this: two of our current generations (Millennial and Boomer) are incapable groups. Gen X are not exactly inspiring either.
Gen X have never been inspiring. They are, however, practical and survivors. it’s why Gen X gives so few F’s about Millennials and their constant crying about unfairness.
Gen Z are inspiring. They are the new heroes.
This will end with the coming bust cycle – there will be a corporate bond crisis and meritocracy in hiring practices will have to be embraced or else the corps will fail.
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One contributor to an industry’s support for Prog initiatives may be it’s reliance on the US Treasury purchasing its stock, or, in the case of the nonprofit industry, its benefactor’s stocks
Both political parties “goose” the DOW, but America’s National Socialists are particularly fond of it.
After Obama’s 8-year long spending spree, it is impossible for individual investors to value stocks accurately. And GE, big Media, et al can’t go cold turkey on all that easy money. Hence the band plays on…
US Army is Woke AF:
Came upon this article now as of 5/23/19 . Enjoyed it thoroughly . So true , so true .
I,ve just recently arrived at the NRx juncture. This is the second interview I’ve read on your site. Glad there is someone making sense of it all. Also glad there are some conclusions as to how it may pan out (even if it is a choice of three). Looking forward to future pieces too. Well done
Hi Andrew, glad you made it here and thanks for reading. Set yourself up in Twitter if you’re not already on it as there’s lots of discussion there to get you up to speed.
Woke Red Guards marching under the edgy resistance (sarc) banner of the Big Tech Bolsheviks and eager Karens with their fingers on the quick dial report-a-deplorable-kulak hotline won’t equal very much capital outside of the Branch Covidian cloud cuckoo cult of delusion.
The reality iceberg is up ahead of the unsinkable ship and the band is in a thrash metal gallop mode by this point.