Disney higher-ups have been found admitting to indoctrinating children in radical sexual and gender ideology. The Carhartt work clothes company required its more than 3,000 employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, despite conceding that “we are aware some of our associates do not support this policy.” Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., the third-largest soft drink company on the continent and owner of Snapple, acceded to George Soros-financed activists and pulled ads for conservative Sean Hannity’s prime-time Fox show during Donald Trump’s first year as president.
This is but a tiny sample of businesses in America going woke in recent years. Many of them apparently think they’re eradicating racism, embracing diversity, and keeping up with the times; obviously, they’re forgetting or disregarding the millions of consumers who support and defend traditional family values, but less appreciated is that these firms, by supporting the left’s extremist cultural agenda, are also ingesting a slow poison to wither away their own, and everybody else’s, economic freedom.
Few, even among conservatives with an eye on political affairs, realize it, but wokeness is a clever adaptation of Marxism for circumstances in the twenty-first century, now that social media facilitates the left’s instantaneous slander of those who stray from the radical party line. It has its roots in Goethe University’s Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, as it is now called. What began as a straightforward Marxist study group refocused in the 1930s under the influence of leftist academics like Max Horkheimer toward a mission to “examine the entire material and spiritual culture of mankind” and ultimately revolutionize the entirety of society. This meant straying beyond class differences in fomenting conflict to other social distinctions; today, that means race and sexual deviation.
And there is no question that Horkheimer was a genuine locked-and-loaded Marxist revolutionary. “The revolution won’t happen with guns,” he declared nearly a century ago, “rather it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their educational institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move toward universal egalitarianism.”
Fast forward to today: Charles A. Price, associate professor in the Department of Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Temple University’s College of Education and Human Development in Philadelphia, describes the shift in focus perfectly clearly, stating that “in order to understand modern society, you have to pay attention to the power relationships among members and groups. First, we got critical legal studies, which challenged the idea that the law is fair and impartial. As that tradition developed, there were other scholars who came along and said, ‘We need to go a step further and add race because race and power in the United States are inseparable.’” So critical race theory developed and, according to Price, has now “become a tool and a political struggle … [Critical race theory] has an activist orientation and partially grew out of this understanding that social movements can generate change.”
Claudio Corradetti, associate professor of political philosophy and international relations at the University of Rome, who studies the role of capitalism in society, has also described, if not altogether explicitly, the link between Marxism and today’s omnipresent fanning of the flames of group division. He cites critical social theory’s “unmasking wrong rationalizations of present or past injustices” such as regarding race and sex vis-a-vis “the normativity of utopian idealizations.”
And the liberal University of California at Berkeley’s website states that the courses of its program in critical theory “(a) explore the concept of critique in German idealism and Marxism; (b) provide intensive exposure to the Frankfurt School and its legacies; and (c) robustly engage contemporary forms of critical theory, as well as to debates on social norms.”
In addition to wokeism’s emphasis on group identity carrying over from Marxism’s class identity, another important resemblance to the ideology of Soviet Russia and Xi Jinping’s China is wokeism’s abhorrence of the norms of rational discourse. Twitter mobs canceling their targets may not produce actual blood, but the similarity to the intolerance of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution is undeniable. American companies embracing wokeness, moreover, is paralleled in the Chinese Communist Party’s exploitation of capitalist practices.
What’s more, Fredrich Engels, Karl Marx’s early collaborator, was just as hostile to the institution of the traditional family as woke activists are today, mockingly claiming that the father in the home represents “the bourgeois and his wife represents the proletariat.”
Vladimir Lenin described how communists were allowed to engage in internal debates, but that once a decision was made by the party, dissent was not tolerated, to the point of the dissident losing his life. “The principle of democratic centralism and autonomy for local Party organizations implies universal and full freedom to criticize,” Lenin stated in an instance of doublethink that George Orwell may well have been thinking of when he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, “so long as this does not disturb the unity of a definite action; it rules out all criticism which disrupts or makes difficult the unity of an action decided on by the Party.” Debate behind closed doors, but be silent in the open air.
American businesses are embracing Marx’s doctrines in a new guise, with race and other sources of disparity replacing class. The objective is the same for woke fanatics as that of any communist: to tear down our civilized, ordered society based on liberty—including destroying those very businesses that are today serving as useful, self-destructive fools.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.