This week saw the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I must admit, I’m not moved often, but I was here. When we think about the hail of machine gun and artillery fire these guys willingly walked into to storm those beaches, we come to the conclusion that they were tough as nails, but even the toughest guys can’t defeat time. This was probably the last big D-Day anniversary where veterans would still be alive for commemoration. The magnitude of the events of that day 75 years ago, and the scarcity of its surviving veterans, made for a truly moving experience of remembrance.
(See also: An overview of Operation Fortitude, the deception campaign which enabled the success of these men.)
Think of what these men went through in the fight against totalitarianism. Now think about our own time. Are there totalitarian actors which threaten our freedom in the 21st century? Obviously you know the answer is yes.
The forces of 21st century totalitarianism aren’t coming with panzers and stukas. The assault is more devious. They aren’t intent on exterminating certain groups of people (yet), but they’re far more cunning. Their goal is less a physically “pure” Reich than an ideologically “pure” Orwellian state which ruthlessly enforces thought conformity. These forces have invented a new weapon, woke capitalism, and it is without question their most dangerous one yet. Woke capitalism is the greatest threat to our freedom in the 21st century.
A Definition of Woke Capitalism
As always, you should be careful when it comes to labels, but a definition of woke capitalism is needed to continue, so here goes:
Woke capitalism can be defined as the act of a nominally profit-driven enterprise piggybacking on the “social justice” movement for monetary and/or social reasons.
The crucial distinction here is that while firms engaging in woke capitalism do seek profit, that is no longer their raison d’etre. They hope that “getting woke” can bring them monetary reward, but being “woke,” and punishing those that aren’t, is its own reward.
As always, virtue signaling and asserting status over a benighted group is a key pillar of the totalitarian mind. At times, it’s more important to the forces of woke capitalism than money. This is why they’re often willing to sustain flat sales or even monetary losses, and why the mantra of “get woke, go broke” isn’t as effective as its advocates would like it to be.
In woke capitalism, the social act of virtue signaling is as, if not more, important than monetary gain.
The Mark of the Beast
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. – Revelation 13-11:18
No, the world isn’t ending in the 21st century. No beasts are coming out of the ground, but I always found this passage from Revelation eerily descriptive of woke capitalism, particularly with regard to big tech and tech censorship, which is the most egregious aspect of the practice and which most directly threatens our freedom.
The modern, 21st century economy cannot be untangled from the internet, and with more traditional jobs going overseas or being automated, more people than ever depend on securing gigs or patronage via the internet. This is the rise of the so-called “gig economy.” Access to platforms to promote your brand and receive payment is crucial.
Yet, as we now see with the #Voxadpocalypse, that access is being increasingly cut off. The tech monopolies are the most thoroughgoing woke capitalists. Unlike say, Gilette or Nike, which might simply be trying to piggyback on something they think is popular, Silicon Valley is ground zero for woke capitalism. So when some typist for a rag mag like Vox attempts to assert pressure on YouTube to censor people he doesn’t like like, he has a sympathetic voice at least, an active ally at best. Of course, the #Voxadpocalypse purge went far beyond its initial target, Steven Crowder. Purges always do. The high tech of the 21st century doesn’t change the basics of human nature.
The result is that it’s now become harder to make money on YouTube than it was before, further squeezing the masses beneath the tech plutocrats. The #Voxadpocalypse was merely the latest evolution of an increasing wave of tech censorship since 2016. The message is clear – toe the line or lose your livelihood.
Woke capitalism isn’t merely responding to market conditions, it’s trying to create them by cutting off any avenue of making money other than through official channels in service of official ideology.
Of course, this goes beyond the #Voxadpocalypse and tech censorship. We saw that with Disney threatening to boycott Georgia for passing unofficial laws.
These forces are banking on people ultimately going where the money goes and sadly, that is a strong bet.
Almost literally, woke capitalism is trying to create a world where you will not be able to buy or sell unless you carry the mark of the beast. The mark comes in your proclamation of loyalty to the official ideology.
Hand in hand with this economic suppression comes censorship of political speech and filtering of unofficial information. The effort underway from the tech monopolies not only seeks to purge dissent, but ideally for them, makes dissent from the official ideology impossible to perceive. They hope to achieve this universal groupthink through effective filtration of search results and social media feeds. The internet and social media is the new public square, but only a few people control the platforms, and they hope to construct them in such a way that opposing voices are simply impossible to carry.
The purge that came this week, on the very anniversary of D-Day, should tell us how great the threat is. Those men sacrificed so that our freedom wouldn’t be taken from us by a totalitarian dictatorship. Are we to let new totalitarian forces – concentrated in private, as opposed to public hands this time – spit on their legacy and take our freedom from us in the 21st century?
This is not an exaggeration. If you’re forced to conform to an increasingly restrictive ideological groupthink in order to make ends meet, you’re not living in freedom. If you’re unable to exercise your rights to influence your community’s cultural and political discourse, you’re not living in freedom. If some geek that works for a rag mag like Vox can overthrow your life because you hurt his feelings, you’re not living in freedom.
I have much more to say about the impotence of libertarianism on this issue, but I’ll save it for later. For now, let’s come to the conclusion that it’s time to break up the tech monopolies and recognize that internet access is crucial for the economic, social, and political livelihood of the nation and all of its people, and as such, the internet providers must remain neutral. The other “woke” firms should slow and stop their activities after that. Only then will freedom be secured, only then will the siege of this poisonous Silicon Valley tech culture end, and only then will we be able to look back on this second decade of the 21st century as the dark age that it is.
Read Stumped for more about the power of social media – and how plutocratic interests will be served if it’s censored.