In Irvine Welsh’s The Acid House, a middle-class couple name their baby boy “Tom”, because Middle-class, professional, socially-aware, politically correct people … use those old proletarian craftsperson names. This anecdote does much to explain the otherwise puzzling the bromance between globalist mega-business and Marxist radicals.
How did the Masters of the Universe get into bed with the filthy commies? When did the Marxists get so cuddly with the planet-destroying capitalists?
Considered in the light of both history and the aspirations of both groups, it makes perfect sense. It also bodes very, very ill for Western liberal democracy.
The first history one needs to understand is that of Marxism in general, and Communism in particular. Communism was the great cause of the left in the 20th Century. With its utopian promises and class hatreds, as Orwell noted, it was immensely appealing to coddled, bourgeois intellectuals in the West.
But even as early at the 1920s, it was plain that the grand theories of Marxism were failing. The “inevitable” revolutions failed to happen The “increasing misery of the proletariat” only happened in Communist states, while workers living under Capitalism enjoyed steadily-growing prosperity.
Marxists had some ‘splainin’ to do.
Of course, the theory couldn’t be wrong, so instead they jury-rigged an excuse: Western culture engendered a “false consciousness” in the proles, who were just too dumb to realise how great Communism really was.
So Marxist theorists like Gramsci, and later the Frankfurt School, decided that the best way to destroy Capitalism was to white-ant and wreck the entirety of Western values which supported it. The flag-bearers of Marxism had to slowly, but steadily, capture the cultural hills, from the education system to the media. They called this the “Long March Through the Institutions”.
But by the closing decades decades of the century, the murderous enormities of Communism were so undeniably horrific, that even the most intransigent French intellectuals finally had to admit that they had been wrong. Moreover, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the triumph of the West made it unavoidably plain that Marxian economics were nonsense.
But it was too much to expect that the left would just embrace the Capitalist West they had railed against so long. The Long March rolled on, but leftists changed tack, went underground, and adopted a new strategy. “Post-modernism” was born.
Post-modernism is a self-contradictory mish-mash of prolix gibberish. Naturally, “intellectuals” loved it. More importantly, post-modernism reduces everything to a ruthless struggle for power. Rationality, science, truth, objectivity: all thrown out and replaced with a blunt statement that there is nothing but power.
Armed with this philosophy of naked power, the left set about putting it into practice. The Long March became a blitzkrieg in the academy. Having established a salient of leftist hegemony in education, the Long Marchers prepared their next assaults.
Meanwhile, for the last twenty years or more, large corporations have increasingly drawn their managers from, or indeed often been founded by, a generation who have been thoroughly inculcated in an education system trampled underfoot by the Long March. So, though no more or less greedy than any other generation of capitalists, the new managerial class is thoroughly steeped in a leftist world-view.
Yet, they don’t want to actually give up the billion-dollar lifestyle of the globalist elites, so instead they assuage their consciences by duly paying lip service to politically-correct Social Justice nostrums. Even when the management types aren’t themselves sauced in the PC mindset, they place themselves at the mercy of the likes of marketing consultants. Marketing being part of the Communications discipline at universities, it is overwhelmingly dominated by Post-Modernists and outright Marxists.
And so the Long March continues.
In any case, in the modern era, kowtowing to the Social Justice agenda is often a matter of survival for corporations. Woe betide the company or executive who falls foul of the online SJW mobs. Run an ad with the wrong-coloured child in a tshirt branded with the wrong slogan, or have an executive who says the wrong thing in public, and corporations are mercilessly slaughtered by foaming Twitter-mobs. Starbucks became so cowed from having their windows regularly smashed by black-shirted thugs that they cravenly abased themselves before the altar of leftist GoodThink.
Thomas Sowell notes that the “intelligentsia”, the foot-soldiers of the Long March, are distinguished by the fact that they deal in ideas, not concrete things. This is a critical distinction: when an engineer’s theories are wrong, things fall over, or explode, for all to see. The wacky brain-farts of the intelligentsia are never subjected to the blunt empiricism of a collapsed bridge. As big business becomes increasingly dominated by professions which deal in ideas rather than things, the Long Marchers have seized their opportunity.
No less than the old-school Communists, the Long March left prize power above all else. Rather than the barrel of a gun, they have realised that now power comes from the boardrooms of globalist corporations. Behemoth global corporations increasingly deal in abstract information rather than tangible products, and their CEOs are graduates of academies dominated by left-wing ideology. The result is a gruesome coupling of the previously antagonistic monsters of Marxism and globalism, producing a hideous, Lovecraftian monstrosity of gibbering madness which daily threatens sanity of the world.