Corporations are woke because, at first, they had to be, in fear of being sued. Then, after the “solutions” to prevent monetary loss took hold, it was because they wanted to be. Now all citizens must be woke.
This story is well known on the Reality-based right; this is a handy summary of our doom for those not familiar with it.
It is true, and can be admitted, that attitudes towards blacks in some areas of the States in mid-Twentieth Century were poor and unjustified. Instead of correcting these attitudes through cultural means, the government (which includes the media and so-called non-governmental organizations) decided to correct them through law. The Constitution said freedom of assembly (association) was paramount. The government added, by force of law which they were forbidden by law to add, “free association, but not if there is wrongthink.”
Forced association happened quickly. Blacks were bused to non-black neighborhoods and made to mingle. Armed federal troops enforced these rules.
It became illegal to “discriminate” because of race (which academics to this day say doesn’t exist, except the white race, which is evil). Yet it was difficult to prove anybody made decisions, i.e. discriminated, because of race. A corporation could say “We did not hire this black man because he is unqualified” even if, in their heart of hearts, they did not want to hire this man because he was black, and even if it was true the man was unqualified.
Courts quickly moved to define “discrimination”—now a bad word—statistically. “Discrimination” against individuals no longer had to be proved. Instead, it was sufficient to show “not enough” blacks were hired. This was the real beginning of the insanity. If “discrimination” was limited to actual demonstration of individual race-based decisions, the madness could not have spread far because of the difficulty of proof.
Defining “discrimination” statistically turned the presumption of innocence into the presumption, indeed proof, of guilt. The problem is obvious: what positions are subject to “discrimination” complaints? Ambiguity in job descriptions made this messy. What denominator should be used to prove a “disparity”? The ratio of blacks to non-blacks who live in a three-block radius of the corporation? Four blocks? The county? State? Country? This year? Last? Those holding certain experience and credentials? Which?
It became almost impossible to be innocent of “discrimination” statistically. Lawsuits and their judgments were too costly to bear. So corporations, especially larger ones that could afford it, began to preemptively institute race quotas. This was the beginning of wokeness.
Race quotas must needs be tracked, and tracking requires trackers. Thus the start of corporate zampolit, a.k.a. human resources and Diversity directors.
Race was almost simultaneously expanded to sex, and other categories, but race and sex were the largest “identities” to be tracked—at first. The story of statistical “discrimination”, quotas, and empowering quota trackers is the same for sex, and later for other “identities”.
The problem became finding bodies to meet the quotas. In simple factory jobs, this was somewhat easy. In more complex positions that required experience, ability, and what we used to call education, it was not easy. Standards had to be, and were, lowered—with corporations proclaiming simultaneously standards would not be lowered, and that they weren’t really necessary anyway. Lowering standards is costly, so again only the larger corporations could absorb the cost, and (this is a pun) the smaller companies who couldn’t.
Quotas were most blatant in education. Academics are notorious snobs, so at first they could not bear direct infusions of unqualified women and non-whites into their own departments, which still had standards. So they created new departments (and sub-departments): Studies departments. Standards for placements into these departments were largely belonging to the proper race or sex.
These quotas seemed to fix statistical “discrimination”, and administrators were satisfied. But the situation quickly became a problem because these departments to be considered real had to have students. How to get them? Wokeness accelerated when taking Studies courses became mandatory. And it accelerated again when it became apparent that being awarded a Studies “degree”—“degrees” being necessary for entry into polite society—required no intelligence or ability.
The inevitable happened. Quotas expanded from the gross levels—across the corporation or university as a whole—to individual departments within the institutions. It expands still, because as long as “discrimination” is defined statistically, it will never disappear, and will forever arise everywhere, through changing definitions of numerators and denominators and “identities”.
Obviously, “discrimination” expanded well beyond race and sex. Even sex itself had to be defined into what it was not (thanks Neil Gorsuch!), a form of lowering of standards.
The more quotas spread and become necessary, the more quota trackers that are needed. Thus the greater power of zampolit, and the further weakening of standards.
Yet wokeness would never have spread far if it were not for the tacit premise of Equality. The military, for instance, to meet their sex quotas had to pretend there were no important differences between the sexes. Or in behavior for those who defined their “identities” based on non-procreative sexual desires. Leaders at first faked their belief in Equality, and many still do, but as the “degreed” woke came up through the ranks, the belief became sincere.
Just about everybody now believes in Equality to some degree. Not just in the sense that people should be treated the same under the law, but that all people are “really” the same at base; it’s only that their circumstances are different. If circumstance were identical, outcome would be identical, or nearly so. Small departures from Equality are allowed to be spoken of, but these departures narrow and become fewer the more wokeness spreads.
There was never, not ever, any evidence for Equality; indeed, all observation in all of history is against it. But it is still believed. Inequality implies irreparable, inescapable disparities, and these cannot bear to be thought of. It is “unfair” that Bob was born tall and manly and intelligent and Sue was born small and feminine and dim. These differences can be eradicated, though, through law or force. Mothers used to say “Life is unfair”. Now they say “Sue.”
As the “identities” to which “discrimination” applies necessarily expand, because everybody wants to be a Victim, there being no higher class of being, corporations must become woker. They do so because the zampolit, and even ordinary employees, hired are more often true believers, and because it becomes costlier to avoid wokeness. Thus a corporation (this is a famous Stone Toss joke) devoted to selling burgers will feature in its advertisement a mixed race pair of men engaging in sex-like activities.
The woke are litigious. The corporation’s ad allows them to bypass a lawsuit or other disturbance. The ad upsets the Reality-based (or just “based”), but what can they do? Sue the corporation for displaying perversion? That’s x-ophobia (where x is a variable). All the based can do is bitch and withhold their patronage, which costs the corporation very little, especially as the oligarchy expands and options tighten. All credit card companies are now woke. Can you live without one?
The based can sue for “reverse” “discrimination”, which as a cultural warfare tacit may be licit, but it comes with the tacit premise of Equality, which if it isn’t recognized corrupts even the based.
Appeasement won corporations breathing room, and it saved them money initially. But, of course, appeasement will cost them more in the end. Get woke, become broke. A hilarious example is Boeing. A wag (I lost the original link) posted Boeing’s series of Vice Signaling tweets showing how committed to Diversity they were, that quotas were now at a peak, and that they were enthusiastically ensuring Diversity would only grow. Next to this was a series of news articles about their new planes falling out of the skies.
Wokeness is now everywhere. No field of human endeavor has escaped. Veils are being drawn over Reality with increasing vigor. Even Congress will eliminate hurtful Inequality words like father and son.
The end will not be soon. The greater the wokeness, the more true believers there are. Mostly among the young, but also the old with respect to earlier areas of wokeness. How many “conservatives” will now speak against homosexuality, for instance? How many will speak against transgenderism in five years?
Corporations will, with varying degrees of success, portion off Reality-based from woke departments, probably by hiding them in “special projects” sections. The love of money is still stronger than love of Equality. The stealth is essential to avoid quotas and lowered standards. This will be easier for richer entities, with smaller ones failing or being absorbed into larger ones.
The genuine end comes when the strain against Reality becomes too much to bear, as with Boeing. Competition from Asia can only hasten the break.
I got the picture for today’s post from Woke Capital, whom everybody should follow.
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