Everything started with a tweet. Mesut Özil knew the risks, in December last year, when he decided to offer a startling, public denunciation both of China’s treatment of the Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority in the region of Xinjiang, and the complicit silence of the international community.
Friends and advisers had warned Özil, the Arsenal midfielder, that there would be consequences. He would have to write off China as a market. His six million followers on Weibo, the country’s largest social network, would disappear. His fan club there — with as many as 50,000 signed-up members — would go, too. He would never play in China. He might become too toxic even for any club with Chinese owners, or sponsors eager to do business there….
A few days after Özil went public, the Premier League’s two broadcast partners in China, CCTV and PP Sports, refused to air an Arsenal match. When the latter did deign to show Arsenal again, its commentators refused to say Özil’s name.
His avatar was removed from video games. Searching the internet for his name in China brought up error messages. (It was reported his Weibo account was disabled, though that was not true.) Very deliberately, though, and seemingly at the behest of an authoritarian government, Mesut Özil was being erased.
A 2018 California Supreme Court case led to a contentious labour law known as AB5, which required dozens of industries to reclassify their freelance workers as employees with benefits and job protections. There was an immediate backlash, and the state legislature responded by creating exemptions for a slew of freelance occupations…
Enter California’s Proposition 22, a November 3 ballot measure created by transportation network companies (TNCs) to counteract AB5. Its primary bankrollers – Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash – have spent an unprecedented $188.9m to get it passed – and counting. The rideshare and food-delivery giants are outspending the No Campaign – backed by labour unions – 20 to one. The measure is designed to keep drivers categorised as independent contractors, but with some modest new benefits…
“Uber and Lyft rely heavily on a churn-and-burn workforce, and those drivers likely won’t fight for an employee classification,” said Tia Koonse of the UCLA Labor Center, who co-authored studies on the nature of gig labour in Los Angeles County and California more broadly. Koonse’s research shows that an increasing number of drivers are sliding into full-time work for an average of 13 months, and those workers tend to be older, immigrants and people of colour supporting their families. But full-time hours don’t necessarily come with a living wage, and UCLA’s latest survey found 80 percent of gig workers could not meet their household expenses.
The interesting thing about the increasing overt political messaging and participation by large corporations is the effect they have had on the left. Black Lives Matter is a $1.6B organization now, hardly the ‘little guys’ they pretend to be. Whatever nonsense the idiot on the street burning down businesses believes, there are some people making a TON of money off of the outrage of the ignorant. The list of donors reads like a list of blue chip stocks on the Dow Jones, which is strange considering that the ostensible ‘institutional racism’ would include the major business institutions donating to the organization. Outrage is not only mainstream, it is an ad campaign and most of the Karen’s out there screaming don’t even realize it.
The real prize of woke capital has nothing to do with the people it pretends to advocate for. Ultimately if you look at the numbers (they all have), and have a profile of your most likely customer/end user (they all have), the majority of these companies are simply looking for the soccer moms, ignorant suburbanites, crybaby Millennials and clueless Boomers. If…let’s say…blue people represent 65% of your population and a whopping 84% of the total buying power of your economy and green people are 16% of your population and represent 8% of the total buying power of your economy then who is your market as a Fortune 500 company? The blue people. They have the disposable income and specifically if you are a name brand or luxury item you must have them as customers to remain financially viable. Without getting into the weeds, the reason woke capital exists is that it makes fiscal sense. Its a marketing strategy to drive sales and customer loyalty by appealing to the ignorant and clueless’ myopic sense of sympathy.
The above article sparked my interest because it has received almost no media attention but shows the real north star of woke capital, making money. China is a huge market and the reason the NBA, a bastion of wokeness, couldn’t backpedal and apologize quickly enough is because they want to continue to have access to that market. Similarly, the Premier League went so far as to not just cancel, but erase a huge soccer star from the league. The same league that gleefully supports Black Lives Matter and the chaos happening in Nigeria right now. It makes no sense from a philosophical perspective, but total sense from a marketing perspective. Uber, Lyft and Doordash are dumping $188M into California to protect their ability to classify their employees as independent contractors. You know the ones, the very diversity they support via tax-deductible 501(c)3 donations that have nothing at all to minimizing tax exposure. It’s not about Black Lives Matter, it’s about convincing lily-white Karen she’s a better person for buying Sprite since they support the vibrancy that exists outside her gated and economically segregated neighborhood and school district. Woke capital is ASPCA commercials writ large. Laugh at your woke friends and family in the upcoming holidays, and make them defend their position as corporate chattel. After all it’s so very brave to be mainstream.