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Saturday, June 17, 2017

How did the corporations turn Left?

The theme of the June 9th post about Muslims -- that those who evoke fear tend to get their way -- brings to mind the way corporate America has turned Leftward.

As recently as the 1980's and 1990's, corporations were by and large conservative places. People who work for a living tend to be naturally disinclined to pay higher taxes to provide a more comfortable living for those who don't.

And those who believe in what used to be called the Protestant work ethic tend to be disdainful of those who ignore it.

But somehow, in the past 25 years or so, all that seems to have changed. How did that happen?

It seems to be because that was the path of least resistance. A company exists for one reason, and that is to make money. And any sort of controversy -- especially one involving an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit -- can only detract from that purpose, so companies will do whatever is necessary to quietly quash whatever distracts form their primary mission.

When companies get sued, or boycotted, for the lack of diversity in their workforce, it scares them. No corporation wants to be singled out as controversial in any way, since alienating any part of their market could conceivably hurt sales. So they gamely try to hire more minorities and woman, regardless of fit. And they dutifully hire diversity officers to insure compliance.

(If you ever doubt that corporations avoid controversy, listen to the pap their PR departments put out. Corporate-speak is inevitably soporific and bland, and pays lip service toward vague ideals no one -- especially lawyers -- can argue with.)

The Left is far more likely to sue than the Right is. Suits brought by women or minorities alleging discrimination are far more numerous than suits brought by white males alleging reverse discrimination. Especially when the currently acceptable standard of "proof" is a mere imbalance in numbers.

And as the ranks of employees swell with those who owe their jobs to affirmative action, or unofficial quotas, the personalities of the corporations themselves shift Left.

The Left is also far more likely to complain about any sort of negative portrayals of any sort. Which is why we see so many advertisements featuring cool black guys and nerdy white guys. And ads featuring smart women telling clueless men what to do. Companies know that whites and males are safe targets simply because they don't squawk about things like that.

It's simply the path of least resistance: the squeaky wheel gets the corporate grease. The Left plays by different rules, and so inspires more fear, and so gets their way.

All of these corporations, of course, are also mirroring larger cultural shifts. As the colleges became bastions of political correctness, they churned out more and more graduates who unquestioningly viewed the world through a Leftist prism. And some of those graduates ended up in the corporate world.

We now live in a world where corporations put their muscle behind liberal causes and not conservative ones. Why? Because the latter would draw protests and bad press and boycotts and lawsuits and eventually, resignations. The former simply pass unnoticed -- just business as usual.

It's hard not to feel that that state of affairs has come about simply because they fear the Left more than they do the Right. A basic sense of self-preservation dictates acquiescence to those who threaten to bring those protests and boycotts and lawsuits.

Look at what happened to Brendan Eich, who had to resign as CEO of Mozilla after it emerged that he had contributed $1000 to a group supporting a gay marriage ban in California. Keep in mind, gay marriage was something the majority of the population -- including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- was against as recently as 2008.

Such a forced resignation simply wouldn't have happened to a CEO who supported a liberal cause. Think other corporate executives took note of this?

Maybe it's time for the Right to start playing by the rules -- or lack of rules -- of the Left.


Jokah Macpherson said...

In 2004 when I was in my business school prerequisite organizational behavior class, we had a group project where we had to contact several corporations and ask them various organizational behavior-type questions. One of the corporations my group picked was a regional company mainly known for one distinctive soda brand. If you weren't from a particular state you probably wouldn't recognize it but they were widely known and very successful in a single state with this one brand. So anyways, we ask them the question about what measures they take to ensure diversity in their workforce. There was a pause on the other end of the line, and finally the representative said, "We don't."

"You don't?"

"Yeah, we don't do anything. We don't really care about that sort of thing."

I had to admire the honesty and the willingness to go against the current. If the company had been much larger, they probably would not have been able to get away with it.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
I admire the honesty too, and agree that if they'd been larger, they'd have been a target. But even as a successful smaller company, had you been a member of the press rather than a B-School student, I doubt they would have been that honest.

Anonymous said...

Another from the "Liberals" is this "Corporations have great control over government decisions and policy"
Ok that is true, they do. So is making the government even more powerful a good idea? And who keeps giving them more control and power? A government with enough power to let them, one voted in by you, the people.

It's important to strike a balance between too much control or complete anarchy.
But as the old saying goes, many disasters in history big in scale and number sometimes come from bad law instead of no law. The biggest, slavery, the holocaust, the Belgian Congo, gulags in China and Russia, and *Mao's famine all were done by legally existing organizations.

It doesn't matter if a person was chosen in an election or is a dictator, Kim Jong Un has been elected by the fact the people of North Korea don't just get up and roll his tubby ass down a hillside. I understand they've been indoctrinated, and it sounds like victim blaming, but this stuff can only happen if people let it. People are uncomfortable with change.

It is no use blaming the guys at the top of a crappy corporation for everything, though to be fair they are often bastards, but they were chosen because they were bastards. Who buys their low quality products out of loyalty and refuses to switch to a better company? Who votes people into office who supports their existence? The problem is not too much capitalism, it's too little, there is not enough competition in the free market to continue the process of natural selection. Every so often newer better companies should beat older ones because they have better products/services or better inventions. But I haven't seen much, and the pharmacutical industry is one of the worst areas:
And many new non-drug treatments are being experimented with like electrical implants for parkinsons. They companies behind them should be beating out the old. But people won't switch over, the government subsidizes the big pharma companies, the government we voted in.

Like the existence of the penny, many countries have eliminated it or a similar version since the value is too low. But it's kept around in the USA because of the Zinc lobby and the fact the government keeps them on welfare to keep making more. Each penny costs 2 cents to make, natural selection has not occurred, the laws of the market are not at work.

In Thailand you can see a very degenerate system, ice has to be manufactured and sold in large bags since not every village can afford fridges for each home, they may share on large communal fridge with only just enough electricity to keep ice frozen but not make any, also milk has to be provided for schoolchildren in the bagged form. The way it is set up is one company has complete monopoly over the sale of ice and milk in each province, this is feudalism.

*(Concerning Mao's famine in china killing 20 million, I am ambivalent whether that was murder, manslaughter, or Hanlon's razor.)


John Craig said...

Ga --
No question, people are often (though not always) complicit in their own enslavement. I wouldn't say, btw, that Kim Jong Un was elected, since it wasn't as if the people of NK had a choice. (In fact, I can't tell if you were saying that from your sentence.) And all communist governments are in effect dictatorships since there aren't elections worthy of the name with two viable candidates.

And yes, habit is a powerful thing. Change can be upsetting, even change for the better.

Douglas Carkuff said...

I work for a large, well known consumer goods corporation and it is rife with "diversity" programs and training "opportunities". The recent push has been for "sexual diversity" and implicit in all of this that all of us white guys (and anyone who isn't a white guy is a victim in some way or other)are the bad guys. They have programs and special recognition and events for every possible subset of "minority" - women, Latin, African, Native American, LGBTA, Pacific islanders and whatever else you can think of. And they have programs for us oppressor types so we can open our eyes to our unconscious biases. What strikes me is that only group truly singled out are heterosexual, "cis" gendered white males. But, of course, they also advocate "straight talk", which, in fact, is the last thing they really want. I might also point, as big as they are in advocating for "alternative" sexuality, the one, single un-discuss-able taboo and the one verboten topic is anything having to do with normal sexuality - because, you know, heterosexuality oppresses women. After, we all know that normal sex is something men do to women and something they women merely tolerate if they don't find the man completely repugnant. All normal sex is rape. Andrea Dwarkin taught me that.

John Craig said...

Douglas --
You just made a great case for how the only really "oppressed" people now are cisgendered white males. They're the only ones who don't get special treatment, special other words, they're discriminated against. Now if you were to point that out to a liberal, they would spit out, ha, they're not oppressed, look how much better they do than anyone else. The honest reply to that, which isn't allowed these days, is, well, that's because they're better at stuff than anyone else -- they're better at inventing things like cars and airplanes and refrigerators and TVs and computers. Somehow, nobody else was able to invent these things; Asian men in some cases improved on them, or made refinements, but nobody else was able to come up with them. So wouldn't it stand to reason that whites would also do better at starting successful corporations? But of course, if you actually pointed that fact out, you'd lose your job.

Now, it so happens that cisgendered white males can "afford" to be discriminated against, in the same way that the USA can "afford" to take in immigrants who have mayhem in mind, just because they're bigger and more successful, and will survive the onslaught.

But that doesn't change the basic dynamic about who is able to get these corporations going in the first place. Even in Silicon Valley, which is a Democratic stronghold almost as much as Hollywood is, all of the biggest corporations were started by white males: Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google. (Yahoo was co-founded by an Asian male -- and eventually run into the ground by a white female -- but that's probably a second tier company.) Somehow that embarrassing fact keeps staring all of us in the face, despite everybody's best attempts to ignore it. And if you look at all the second tier tech companies like Netflix, they were all started by white males too.

As far as Andrea Dworkin's famous line, well, if you think about its implications, what she's really saying is that the vast majority of women ENJOY being raped. BTW, have you ever seen a picture of Andrea? And have you ever heard that story about how she claimed to have been drugged and raped at age 52 in Paris? Almost no one, including her allies, believed that story. She's a classic example of a feminist who preferred to view all the personal turmoil in her own life through a political lens.

Anonymous said...

I was saying that the fact they don't roll his tubby ass down a hill means they've all indirectly elected him by letting him live. Any dictatorship requires the constant complacency and support of people down below to keep the guys on the top, never tipping them over. Every year that goes by where nobody does anything is to me an unofficial re-election.

A quote by Solzhenitsyn:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

And many dictatorships started out with needed popular support, even if nobody casted a ballot the guy could only rise to the top because people let him and believed in him.

The original v for vendetta comic book speech, quite unlike the movie. The movie changed it from being about anarchism versus fascism to liberalism versus neoconservativism. The writer of the comic book, Alan Moore, didn't watch the movie after seeing the script. I am not an anarchist, but there is truth in what he is saying in this particular work.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Okay, gotcha re: NK.

I do think it's hard to rise up when you're living in a dictatorship. How does an uprising start? When friends start discussing plans for a revolution together? You never know when someone is going to turn you in. In East Germany, STASI, the state security apparatus, used to encourage children to turn in their own parents if the parents said anything against the government. That sort of government encourages paranoia, and a sense of helplessness.

In all honesty, if I lived under a system like that, I'd probably just put my head down and try to get along as best I could. Or, I might try to escape. But I wouldn't try to start a revolution, given that my chances of success would be infinitesimal.

Anonymous said...

If it gets really bad and you have nothing left to lose, you the secret police will end your life, may as well take one out with you though.

But you have to have knowledge or start off with some idea of what is really going on. The issue is complacency. Spartacus decided to lead slave revolt because he was born a free man and knew how shitty it was to be a slave compared to being free. But deep down inside everybody may know just how shitty it is, it just doesn't rise to the surface.

If I lived under a dictatorship and uneducated, I would keep my head down, because everyone is doing that. Humans are naturally complacent bastards, we can't reconcile our dual nature of individuality with collectivity.

But there have been times when someone did take some people out with them or did fight back. Some towns in mexico have been giving the cartels big headaches since they started fighting back against with their own armed militias, and I read a story of some hitmen sent after an elderly guy there (he was in a wheelchair maybe,), he killed 4 of them with his hunting rifle from afar before they got him.

In these examples it requires being knowledgeable, easier if you were once free like Spartacus, managing somehow to pull together resistance which is very very risk, or you no longer care about dying, helps if you are already an old man.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Well, I'm no Spartacus, or Maximus.

I have to think that what you've described, to a certain extent, describes the mental state of Hopkinson, the guy who shot those Republicans practicing baseball this past Wednesday. Hodgkinson was 66, probably figured he didn't have much more to live for, maybe he had even recently been diagnosed with a serious health condition, and he just figured he would take as many of the opposition as he could with him.

Mark Caplan said...

Strike a blow against the mafia state and the state will arrange to have your mother gang-raped, or your little girl tortured. The individual has almost no chance except when a once-century revolution mysteriously bursts forth, and even then freedom flames out quickly. America and the West is a miraculous exception to the rule.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Agreed, people in general don't fully realize it how good they have it here, today. And not only politically, but medically, technologically, transportation-wise, etc.

Steven said...

I agree with the article and am as irked as anyone here by the modern virtue signalling obsession with equality and diversity and the false assumptions underlying that worldview.

However, since I am a bit of an argumentative prick, I decided to focus on the one line in the whole article I could stat an argument about :-D

"People who work for a living tend to be naturally disinclined to pay higher taxes to provide a more comfortable living for those who don't."

In 2016, UK government spending was 761 billion. Unemployment benefit cost 2.7 billion and then you can add housing benefits for the unemployed on top of that which is also quite small. Given how much is made of people who are too lazy to work, I'm a bit astonished by how trivial the spending on them is. It makes me think it comes from a place of principle rather than economics. Anyway, these are the only ones I assume someone might have a moral problem with and I think the sentence I quoted involves a moral judgement. Or is it pensions (154 billion) or benefits for the disabled you have a problem with? Are working people really disinclined to support the elderly or disabled?

John Craig said...

Steven --
I've seen statistics that show that in the US, once you add up all the benefits that are available to the unemployed, welfare recipients make a better living than people who work full time for minimum wage but get no benefits. I can't quote you chapter and verse, but I have seen those breakdowns.

I know of no one who is disinclined to support the elderly and disabled. Most of the antipathy towards welfare recipients is aimed at the able-bodied who regard being on the dole as a permanent lifestyle, and who make little effort to find honest work, and at women who actually have more kids in order to receive more benefits.

I think there has to be a bigger gap between those who work for minimum wage and those who make welfare a lifestyle. I know all the arguments against raising the minimum wage, and I understand their merits, but something has to be done to encourage more people in this country to work, I'd say a combination of raising the minimum wage and cutting back welfare benefits. I'd also like to see a law passed requiring any mother who already has two children to go on contraception (Norplant or the like) before she receives any more benefits.

Steven said...

I agree its harmful to incentivise being on the dole and wrong not to reward people who work, so I'm with you on that. What you said there seems eminently sensible. It was just the idea that someone would want to pay less tax for that reason when supporting the feckless just doesn't seem to be a significant part of what your taxes are spent on (unless my cursory research was inadequate, which is possible).

I can understand the general desire to pay less tax and there is something appealingly elegant about a minimal government with simple books. I just haven't been able to convince myself that healthcare or education would be better done by the private sector or that the harm done by the welfare state is greater than the harm of not having one.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I don't think anybody feels there should be absolutely no safety net. It's a matter of degree. And when I said that the working are naturally disinclined to support the non-working, that was just one aspect of wanting lower taxes, although it seems to be more of an emotional flashpoint than, say, Medicare. But you're right, welfare benefits are a relatively small percentage of government spending. When you look at the pie charts, interest on the national debt and military spending are the two biggest chunks, as I recall. But somehow the biggest arguments always seem to swirl around entitlements.

Steven said...

I know you're more interested in stuff like immigration and affirmative action and obviously you lean towards lower taxes which is more associated with the republicans but do you actually consider yourself a libertarian? You seem to be fairly centrist and pragmatic when it comes to economic matters, as well as not particularly interested in those sorts of issues.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I actually don't even lean towards lower personal income taxes so much as I'd just like to see government waste cut down. Of course, every politician says that, and none of them do anything about it, part because they're part of it. I would like to see lower corporate income taxes, just for the sake of bringing corporations back to this country. Look at how well Ireland is doing now with their low corporate taxes. But I actually believe in a MORE graduated income tax, i.e., I don't think $467,000 should be the threshold for the highest rate; I think that as long as you have a graduated rate, there should be higher rates for people who make $1MM, $2MM, and $5MM a year. Which is not to say I favor higher rates overall, either, merely more graduation.

I used to consider myself a libertarian, but not really any longer. Not sure what I'd call myself now. The problem with libertarianism is that it only really works if everyone is a libertarian. Plus the actual official Libertarian Party in this country seems to promote all sorts of nutty things like open borders, which I"m completely against. Not sure what I am anymore.

Anonymous said...


I think it was Hanlon's Razor due to philosophy of Leninist-Communism and Mao Zedong's megalomania, the idea of "human science can change nature to bend to our will and competition is a detriment to society" was flawed as the parties manipulated socio-scientific studies to suit their party's agendas and quotas.

Regarding the famine it was the abhorrent philosophy of "competition is evil" leading to "meet our quotas or else" leading then to "Half of the population must die so the other can eat their fill" once farmlands tended by peasants were left fallow once workers were sent to mining camps and dies to starvation after.

I remember a paper I read on this subject where some Russian state-sponsored scientist in Russia falsely concluded that crop yields can be increased by planting seeds closer together because plants do not compete for resources. A contributing factor to both a famine in Ukraine and later in China.

It makes me wonder how many lies we are told by state-sponsored scientific programs for the sake of keeping a party in power.

- Crashie-J

Anonymous said...

To Mark, the perfect person to strike any blow is someone with no friends or family. The elderly guy who sniped 4 cartel hitmen dead and wounded 2 more was a loner in the middle of nowhere who was wheelchairbound and close to the end of his life. He had hardly any money or possessions.

Solzhenitsyn said:
"You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again."

If they've already taken everything from you, they've killed and destroyed everyone and everything close to you, they should be afraid if you decide to go out violently.

To John:
A shame that fatty shooter didn't book a vacation in North Korea and roll fatty Kim the third down a hill, if he really had nothing left to loose then go after someone who deserves it!


John Craig said...

Ga --
The Lefties in this country hate the Republicans far more than they do a foreign dictator like Kim Jong Un. Look at Obama and Valerie Jarrett: they reserved their personal animosity not for real monsters like al Baghdadi or Khameini or Un, but for any Republicans who stood in the way of wealth redistribution in the US.

Anonymous said...


You said,

"Even in Silicon Valley, which is a Democratic stronghold almost as much as Hollywood is, all of the biggest corporations were started by white males: Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google."

Yet Paul Allen/Ballmer, Larry Ellison, Zuckerberg and Larry page and Brin are Jewish.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Jews are white, though they tend to consider themselves a people apart. But yes, they are far more likely to hold liberal values, or at least espouse them for everyone else.

Anonymous said...


Jews are not white. There are just too many genetic differences between Jews and whites. There is a reason most people can tell Jews apart from whites within seconds because of the unique facial peculiarities that Jews have (e.g. unusual space between nose and lips, size of lips, nose shape, distance between eyes, etc). There is often different hair texture and specific diseases unique to Jews just like sickle cell is unique to blacks. Even different vocal chord shape that produces a distinct sound. It's endless.

There are 3 main races: Caucasoid, mongoloid and negroid. However Indians, Persians, arabs and Jews fit into their own category than the main ones.