How Wokeness Captured Big Business

Article subtitle: 
A review of Stephen R. Soukup’s "The Dictatorship of Woke Capital"
Article author: 
Rupert Darwall
Article publisher: 
Epoch Times
Article date: 
27 February 2021
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

... What explains the greening of Wall Street and corporate CEOs becoming woke and dissing the system that made them rich? In part, it is a cheap way of buying protection—especially when shareholders are paying, as is the case with Marc Benioff, multi-billionaire CEO of Salesforce. “Capitalism, as we know it, is dead,” Benioff declared in the New York Times. Described as “one of the modern-day robber barons,” ...

Wokeness is not a system of morality with universal applicability. “...

“The Dictatorship of Woke Capital” provides the best account so far of how finance capital ended up on the woke side of the culture wars. The book’s great strength is tracing the lineages of woke back to their sources. Soukup identifies two principal streams. The first, an all-American affair associated with progressives such as Richard Ely, Woodrow Wilson, and John Dewey, gave rise to the administrative state and the creation of a class of professional administrators unaccountable to voters and “trained in the ‘science’ of administration to manage society more rationally and carefully than the masses would, if left to their own devices.”
The second has its origins in Europe, with an assortment of Marxists and post-Marxists such as Antonio Gramsci, György Lukacs, and the Frankfurt School. It then proceeded, in the words of the German 1968-er Rudi Dutschke, on “the long march through the institutions,” the New Left successfully colonizing virtually the entire American system of higher education..
If anything, Soukup underplays the impact of Herbert Marcuse and the New Left. They had repudiated vulgar Marxism because the American working class refused to play the revolutionary role that Marx had assigned it, opening the way for the New Left’s rejection of industrialization and what a leading critic of the Frankfurt School called an “aesthetic repugnance for industrial society.”...
The culture wars are in reality a class war waged against the working class and all those whose livelihoods depend on their work—in manufacturing, transportation, and farming and, most of all, in the energy sector....