“Democracy is the power of equal votes for unequal minds” Charles I
In a democracy, every vote is supposed to be equal. If about half the country supports one side and half the country supports another, you may expect major corporations to either be equally divided, or to try to stay politically neutral.
This is not so. If it takes a position on the hot button social issues around which our politics revolve, almost every major company in the UK that is not explicitly conservative leans left.
In a country where Conservatives get around half the votes why should this be the case. Asking why companies are woke is like asking why people have two arms,
One reason Woke Capital is getting so much attention is because we expect business to be more right-leaning, and corporations supporting the party of more taxes and laws/ rules seems odd.
We are used to schools, non-profits, mainstream religions, charities etc. taking liberal positions and feel like business should be different. But business is just being co opted into a larger trend.
Companies are woke, ( left wing) on social issues relative to the general population, because institutions are woke. So the question becomes why are institutions woke?
“Democracy is the power of equal votes for unequal minds” Charles I
While all votes count equally on polling day, at all other times some citizens matter a lot more than others. Let’s say I vote Conservative every four years, but otherwise go on with my life and rarely think about politics in the intervening period.
You, on the other hand, not only vote Labour, but give money to campaigns, write to your council when major legislation comes up, wear pink hats, and march for BLM or Free Palestine in the streets or write emails to institutions when you’re outraged about something.
Looking at this as an ordinary desire, in which people simply rank what they want to happen, we are about equal. I prefer right of centre to socialist, while you have the opposite stance. But when we think in terms of primary desires – how bad people want something to happen – it’s different. You are going to be much more active than me.
Most people are relatively indifferent to politics and see it as a small part of their lives, yet a small percentage of the population takes it very seriously and it is their identity. Those people will tend to punch above their weight in influence, have a louder ‘voice’ and institutions are more responsive to them.
Elections are a measure of ordinary preferences. As long as you care enough to vote, it doesn’t matter how much you care about the election outcome, as everyone’s voice is the same. (The Conservatives have won more elections than Labour, and certainly more than the Liberal/ LibDems. We could say then, reasonably, say they are more responsible for the current state of things than any other party!)
But for everything else – who speaks up in a board meeting about whether a corporation should take a political position, who protests against a company taking a position one side or the other finds offensive, etc. – primary utility matters a lot. Only a small minority of the public ever bothers to try to influence a corporation, school, or charity to reflect certain values, whether from the inside or out.
In an evenly divided country, if one side simply cares more, it’s going to exert a disproportionate influence on all institutions, and be more likely to see its preferences taken up in the time between elections when most people aren’t paying much attention.
In simple terms, the theory presented here says liberals win because they care about politics more. Is there any way we can verify this is indeed the case?
One piece of evidence showing that the left simply cares more about politics comes from Noah Carl, who has data here showing liberals are in their personal lives more intolerant of conservatives than vice versa across numerous dimensions in the US and the UK. Those on the left are more likely to block someone on social media over their views, be upset if their child marries someone from the other side, and find it hard to be friends with or date someone they disagree with politically. Here is a graph demonstrating the general point. (I know its Trump/ Biden but it demonstrates the point well).
Not letting politics interfere with personal relationships is a sign that politics isn’t all that important to you.
Another way to understand this is to consider the media and academia. Generally, these are professions that have terrible career prospects, and they draw people with high IQs who could expect to be making a lot more money doing something else.
But for those who make it in these fields, individuals get to have an influence in society that is disproportionate to their status or income. Of course, the media makes it harder to be a right-wing activist through doxxing, etc., and so that might explain to some extent why the right is less politically active.
Eric Kaufmann wrote a report showing political bias in academia here . While he is right that this exists, his data make clear that even non discriminatory liberals would still dominate the profession. He finds that in both the US and the UK, there’s a ratio of about 10:1 to 15:1 for left-wing to right-wing PhD students, and smaller but still substantial gaps among Master’s students.
People go into academia and journalism for generally idealistic reasons. Some conservatives might be turned away from these professions for political reasons, which poses a “chicken or egg” problem. . Thus conservative media tends to see the rise of completely incompetent outlets like GB News
Democracy and Political Ideology
There’s a great irony here. Conservatives tend to be no fan of pure democracy, and believe in individuals coming together and forming civil society organisations away from government. Conservatives are extremely bad at gaining or maintaining control of institutions compared to liberals. It’s not because they are poorer or the party of the working class but because they are the party of those who simply care less about the future of their country.
Labour and socialists generally are the party of both the most active and least active. Yet while being adequate for winning elections, the future belongs to those at the undercarriage who really want to change the world. The SWP types whose placards you always see at just about every march or demonstration in the last 40 years or so!
Do you want to give government more power over corporations? None of the regulators will be on your side. Leave corporations alone? Then you leave power to Woke Capital, though it must to a certain extent be disciplined and limited by the preferences of consumers. Start your own institutions? Good luck staffing them with competent people for normal NGO or media salaries, and if you’re not careful they’ll be captured by your enemies anyway, Here is Robert Conquests second law to underline this.
And the media (remember the post grad journalists above?) will be there every step of the way to declare any of your attempts at taking power to be pure fascism, and brush aside any resistance to your schemes as righteous rebellion, up to and including rioting and acts of violence. (Brixton, Toxteth, St Pauls riots- Broadwater Farm, Croydon 2011, BLM, the Colston statue in Bristol, the Rhodes building in Oxford, the ‘decolonising’ of academia etc)
Perhaps political activism is a sign of a less well-adjusted mind or seeking to fill an empty void in one’s own life. Conservatives may tell themselves that they are the normal people party, too satisfied and content to spend much time or energy on changing the world. But in the end, the world they live in will ultimately reflect the desires and values of their enemies.
Democracy does not reflect the will of the people, it reflects the will of the activist class, which is not representative of the general population. Proving, as Mencius Moldbug said, “Cthulu swims slowly, but always to the left”.
Populists need stop playing by rules that were designed to keep them out, they need to employ a more centralised and heavy-handed government. The goal is liberation from elites, who aren’t the best citizens, but those with the most desire to control people’s lives, often to enforce their belief system on the rest of the public, and also not become like elites in order to fight them, so populists don’t have to give up on things like careers and starting families and devote their lives to activism.
Some might feel that a stronger, more centralised and powerful government is too contrary to their own ideals. In that case, however, they’ll have to reconcile themselves to continue to lose the culture war in the foreseeable future, until they are able to inspire a generation to do more than just vote once every 4-5 years. As if to underline this in a timely fashion, on the 17th, just three days ago the Conservatives tweeted this. It doesn’t seem either conservative or right wing!
I’ll just leave it here