Has anyone noticed the connection between “Wokeness” and corporate cronyism”? What about between “stakeholder capitalism” and “economic Fascism” like we saw in Mussolini’s Italy or Hitler’s Third Reich, or in any totalitarian Marxist State? Our own country was founded on Judeo Christian Enlightenment ideals of individual liberty and the belief that we are united as a people by our shared faith and virtue. There is a natural tension between individual liberty and “E Pluribus Unum”, that can only be resolved by standing fast to our Founding Principles. “All men are created equal” and “that we are endowed by our Creator” defines our uniqueness in God’s eyes and specifically where our Rights as Individuals come from. It is the culmination of 15,000 years of Western history that runs through Israel, Egypt, Athens, and Rome, Through Magna Carta and our own Founding during the high points of the Enlightenment and The Great Awakening and The Industrial revolution. These 1st instances or principles are what define our own individual claim on liberty, and because we all share those principles, they also form the bases of our shared commonality as Americans. I always marvel that the Father of our Declaration—Thomas Jefferson, and The Father of Capitalism—Adam Smith who wrote the “WEALTH OF NATIONS” wrote those documents in the same year—1776.
Historically most countries define themselves by a single ethnicity, language, or religion. Martin Luther King’s dream of each person being defined by “the content of their character and not the color of their skin” has been a dream held in the hearts of all men of all colors, ethnicities, religions and races since the beginning of time. The hope of liberty for the Galilean servant, Pharaohs captives, the human bounty of the Norman, and the African chattel slave, and the 80 million people today living under conditions of slavery and non-voluntary indenture hood—200 million if one counts political prisoners around the world—China has a lot of people, has and will always be a fire in the hearts of all men that even the most vicious despots cannot extinguish though even today we are seeing people in government, businesses and our church leaders, try to assume control of our individual sovereignty—even in Idaho USA.
Woke essentialism believes that one’s genetically inherited attributes are the true essence of who you are. If we define ourselves only by the color of our skin or our ethnicity, or gender or sexual orientation we then begin the process of dividing ourselves. Without common principles—1st instances—and a common virtue we are divisible. Political policy and politics can be debated. Our principles should not be compromised when Providential truths are at stake. The problem with wokeness is that it doesn’t answer the question of “who am I?” The greater problem is that it denies our access to a common destiny. We can all improve ourselves through hard work, education, making prudent and temperate decisions for ourselves and our families and businesses. If we all see each other for our superficial genetic differences without understanding each person’s opportunity to leverage the “quality of our characters” we are not moving forward as individuals or as a society. We Americans must reject essentialism in favor of E PLURIBUS UNUM and individual sovereignty in pursuing our individual hopes and dreams—whatever that means for each person. The liberal progressive argument has been refuted by the American People. Donald Trump proved that. The cloistered political and business elite sees one pathway to their ultimate aim—the consolidation of power. By combining capital and political philosophy with utopian promises of security and safety, politicians no longer must take their arguments through the people, but rather we find corporations and the corporate elite exerting control over the ruling class who are supposed to be accountable to the people through elections. But in two instances politicians and the business economic elite have circumvented the will of the people. This is especially true in Idaho. Through corporate campaign contributions, PACS, behind the scenes schmoozing—or in some of our politicians’ cases “snoozing”, at the Governor’s Cup, the impact that one individual voter has in a district over their representative is minimized.
The second instance of crony capitalism is far more dangerous than the first. Inauthentic corporate stewards may take up a social call to justice in order to sell more tennis shoes, or Starbucks coffee, or a TV package to China for basketball games. And what happens when democratic idealism comes into conflict with revenues for the corporation? Could government ever “call in a favor” by providing an access to a market in exchange to turning a blinds eye to child labor and childhood slavery practices. What about those who torture political and religious prisoners? Why for the life of me would someone like LeBron James, or Mark Cuban not speak out against the abuses by the Chinese government against millions of people—including the harvesting of organs from Christian and Muslim prisoners, and then choose to speak in support of CRT(Critical Race Theory) and BLM(Black Lives Matter) that are based on a Marxist political and economic philosophy, the antithesis of the political and economic model of governance that allowed for their successes individually and in businesses. And finally, when they ask their employees to participate in a culture that supports these agendas, is that not the ultimate form of coercion? What happens if you work for Mr. Cuban and speak out against BLM or Chinese abuses? Should you just keep your mouth shut and your head down? Is that liberty? No need for the 1st Amendment when corporations do your dirty work.
In Idaho, we have many of our corporate elite and lobbyists sleeping in the same bed as our politicians—I am speaking figuratively not literally, but the former is not beyond one’s imagination. Our large hospitals have received billions of dollars of Federal and State funds through several transfer mechanisms over the past 20 months. Many of these monies were allocated by order of the Governor and not by the legislature. These hospitals are again due for an additional $450million of CARES ACT and even Infrastructure funding. Is there a hospital administrator or employed hospital physician who is willing to speak out against the Governor’s Emergency Covid orders, or any of his public health directives? In fact, two of the three advisors on the Governor’s Covid advisory board represent the hospital industry—one administrator and one lobbyist. Another member —Dr. Hahn who has done an incredible job, is a State Employee. No ICU nurse, no private physician, no one representing individual patients, on the Board. Eight sets of eyes looking at the problem with one brain (mindset). As President Lincoln said “if everyone at the table comes up with only one solution to the problem, then no one is thinking”.
One final thought about corporate wokeness. 6 months ago, a CEO at a local hospital penned in a newsletter that hospital employees should read WHITE FRAGILITY by Robin DeAngelo. Several members of the medical and nursing staff objected to the article. The recommendation was that the article be a focus for hospital wide discussions about white privilege and systemic racism. There is a context for this and here is my recommendation. St Al’s is a Catholic hospital—the social justice movement did have its origins in the Catholic Church. Would it not be appropriate to provide that context? If one had a political agenda maybe not. Maybe it has just been a long time since that CEO has read The Bible or The Catholic Catechism, or Rerum Novarum.
“Do Unto others as you would have others do unto you”. “What you do to the least of my brother, you do unto me”. “The Story of the Good Samaritan”
“Social Justice demands respect for the dignity of the individual”. There is much more but here is the “meat” of my argument. In 1850 Fr. Luigi D’ Azeglio expressed ideas and his opinions about the sources of poverty and discrimination against the poor. One of his students was to later become Pope Leo XIII who would write the definitive and early defining document regarding Catholic Social Justice. In that document he specifically renounced “communalism” and communism. He defined the virtue of justice as being applied to individuals and not to groups of individuals. He defined the relationship between labor and capital and extrapolated on the responsibilities of stewardship and private property. Pope Leo understood the very destructive nature of feelings of superiority (pridefulness), exclusiveness, and the central role that evil has in progressing these ideas especially when they turn into actions. There was nothing about “whiteness” or Critical Race Theory—which had its origins in post Viet Nam legal writings.
So, when CEOs, politicians, educators, and those in the media take it upon themselves to “virtue signal” just exactly what virtue are they practicing? They have a right to ask for our money to invest or buy stuff, they have a right to ask for our vote. They have no right, duty, or business asking us how to think or speak—or not think or speak or what too read or not read. They should speak out for themselves and not shield themselves with the cloak of “corporate virtue”. Their employees should be able to do the same. So should any individual citizen.
It is time we all become “woke” to those who are trying to steal our liberties. United—held together by a shared virtue, we must stand.
MAGA”Fight Like Hell”