This is a tough one for Marxists to understand, but the political reality has been apparent for quite a while: small business remains generally conservative, but big business is mostly on the Left. How can that be?
The answer is partly economic. Conservatism favors open competition and innovation. Big business is, for the most part, on the other side of those concepts. The easiest path for the largest companies is to partner with government, erecting roadblocks to upstart competitors in the form of expensive regulations, and blocking innovation so that small competitors have little choice but to sell their inventions to more established companies.
Big government likes this arrangement, too. It is easier for the government to collaborate with, and to control, six banks, say, rather than one thousand. In the modern world, big government likes big business, and vice versa.
These thoughts are prompted by a couple of things and will give rise to a couple of posts.
First, a number of major companies are boycotting Facebook and other social media. I can think of several good reasons to stay off Facebook, but the troubling reality is that much of corporate America is withholding its ad dollars because of Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to free speech, which I think is probably genuine.
Coca-Cola on Friday announced it will be pausing paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days.
The company clarified it was not joining the official boycott, but said “we are pausing” advertising.
In the week since a group of organizations have called on Facebook advertisers to pause their ad spending during the month of July, more than 90 marketers including Verizon, Patagonia, REI, Lending Club and The North Face have announced their intention to join, according to a running list from Sleeping Giants. The group of organizations includes the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.
The boycott has to do with “racism,” which, as it has continued to decline in our society, has increasingly become a corporate obsession.
“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” Coca-Cola CEO and Chairman, James Quincey, said in a statement. “The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”
The beverage giant has been posting quotes about diversity and ending systemic racism on its Twitter account, including support for NASCAR’s only Black driver, Bubba Wallace.
A normal person would say that Coke’s support for Bubba Wallace hasn’t ended well, but that is not how corporate America views it. Big business’s boycott is explicitly directed toward limiting freedom of speech:
Unilever joined brands like Eddie Bauer, The North Face and Patagonia as part of a campaign forcing the social media network to more stringently police hate speech and disinformation by taking a number of actions, including creating a “separate moderation pipeline” for users who say they’ve been targeted because of their race or religion…
Following Coca-Cola’s announcement, Levi’s and Dockers said they will be pausing all advertising on Facebook and Instagram through “at least” July: “Facebook must take actions to stop misinformation and hate speech on its platforms. It is an unacceptable affront to our values. We and Dockers are joining the #stophateforprofit campaign and pausing all ads on Facebook.”
I’ve never met anyone who has come out in favor of hate speech, but we all know that in 21st Century America, “hate speech” is a term of art. It refers to pretty much anything that challenges the left-wing narrative to which a small minority of Americans, but pretty much all reporters, professors, and corporate HR and marketing executives, subscribe.
In the corporate world, there is no such thing as left-wing hate speech, even though it is left-wingers, not conservatives, who have rioted and burned down considerable swaths of American cities. Likewise, “misinformation” comes only from the right. The New York Times’s 1619 Project, the prime instance of misinformation of recent years? It is anti-American gold, as far as big business is concerned.
The current boycott of free speech by Coca-Cola and many other companies is the latest evidence that America’s largest corporations have gone over to the far Left–largely out of economic interest, to be sure, but probably also due to sheer ignorance.
Part II to come tomorrow.