A popular bit of wish-casting among conventional conservatives has been the line “Go Woke, go broke”. This is the unfounded belief that the companies embracing the latest cultural Marxist fads are being punished by the marketplace. It has become a Pavlovian chant among the sorts of people who comment at sites like Breitbart, whenever they do a story on a major brand jumping on the identity train. The fact that no one has gone broke does not seem to register with them.
This is why Hollywood, which should be the most sensitive to the marketplace, proudly embraces the latest cultural Marxist fads. Contrary to the claims in this post at the Daily Mail, Hollywood knows they have no fears of going broke. They have been siding with the cultural commissars since the dawn of the mass media age. Watch an old Chaplin film and his communism jumps out, even without sound. Watch a film like the Manchurian Candidate and the politics are plain.
One reason Hollywood has no fear of going broke is they know most people will find a way to look past the propaganda. They can pack a superhero movie with a lot of propaganda, as long as they also pack in the special effects. The people rushing off to see this stuff are too culturally illiterate to catch the messaging anyway. Even if they do see it, they happily filter it out so they can enjoy the explosions and cartoon fight scenes that are the main draw off these shows.
There is also the fact that people have to watch something. The reason Soviet cinema was hugely influential on American cinema is because it existed. Even in the most repressive regimes, entertainment flourishes. Stalin understood the power of movies, he was a huge film buff, and not just because of the propaganda. He knew, as all authoritarians know, the people need their entertainment. This is why he supported Soviet film and so much of it was produced.
The Soviet citizens were happy to consume it. The typical urbanite in communist Moscow consumed party product then waited for the next party product. Sure, the stories were wrapped around popular communist themes, but they also had all of the human drama and plot twists of any other story. Obviously, there was no box office, but the party kept track of what was popular and rewarded those filmmakers who were popular with Soviet audiences.
This has always been the paradox of marketism. The people who preach the power of the marketplace never look up to notice that the market does not work like their libertarian textbooks claim. The cereal aisle at your local market is not a bizarre full of vendors demanding your attention. It is a couple of cereal makers, one main link in the supply chain and strategically planned shelf space. Your decision was made for you long before you discovered the joy of Cap’n Crunch®.
The reason is, not all consumers are the same. The guy with power commands more attention than the guy with no power. Every Soviet filmmaker thought first of what Stalin would like and then what the party would like in the same way that Hollywood frets about what the cultural commissars are thinking. The reason is the people who insure and underwrite films care about those things too. The “me too” movement revealed that Hollywood is an effect, not a cause of culture.
This is why the ad makers have erased white men from their ads. The people making the ads do not care about the consumers. Why should they? They are not the customer for the ad maker. The customer is the bitter, middle-aged single woman decorating the C-suites at the corporate client. They need to hear they are empowered; despite the fact they have pointless jobs as ornaments. The ad makers know their business, so they sell them ads that tell them they are important.
That is one aspect of this explosion of cultural madness. The last thirty years has seen an explosion in credentialed luxury people. These are people who went through the credentialing system, told at every step that their life not only has meaning to them but is vital to the world, only to find themselves doing busy work. Ask the diversity officer what she does for a living and the shame on her face is obvious. At some level, she knows her life really has no meaning whatsoever.
Of course, to many it is just a grift. Watch a video on the life of a pornographer and you see the same ethical reality you see with many of the people pushing diversity. Robin DiAngelo is a grifter and she has always known it. She is not morally troubled by her grift, because she has the moral compass of a pimp. The big diversity conferences look like a white bread version of the Players Ball. The reason is the people involved at the top of the game have the mentality of a hustler.
This falseness is why the “diversity” is usually ridiculous. When they cast a black actor to play Henry VIII, it is not for diversity. Sure, in their pitch meeting the people plotting this will make the proper noises, but that is just part of the process. This is just the easiest, laziest way to tick the box and get attention for it. Otherwise, nothing has to be changed, as the “diverse” version is just the previous version with different costumes and the costume is the actor’s skin.
A good recent example of this is the Amazon series The Wheel of Time. It is a fantasy show based on a novel series of the same name. When it debuted it got some press for its diversity, but that lasted a week. The reason is the industry sponsored fan sites care as much about diversity as the writers, which is not much at all. What mattered is the sensitive psyche of the harridans at their one client, Amazon. They wanted lots of skin tone, so they were shown lots of skin tone.
That is why the diversity is shallower than the writing and dialogue. All of the characters are stock figures from the fantasy series casting company. In fact, other than skin tone, the series is less diverse than an NBA team. This is a fantasy show so the writers could have produced a variety of different and complex races, but that would be more trouble than it is worth. Once Amazon saw the cast, they quickly signed the show for a second season, because the right boxes were ticked.
A truth of life is that all societies are hierarchical. Democracy and capitalism are very clever ways for the elites to drug the masses into thinking they have a say in how society is managed. There is always someone in charge of every human group and America is no different. Those people have embraced this weird religion we call wokeness and they intend to impose it on society. The marketplace is not going to magically protect you from this madness.
On the other hand, it does tempt people from the fog of democracy and the marketplace into the sober reality of human organization. Before these cultural pogroms launched thirty years ago, the typical right-winger was sure all he needed to do is vote harder and buy the right brand of cereal. Despite their rhetoric, the typical left-winger also bought into the myth of democracy and the marketplace. They thought the will of the people mattered to the decision makers.
Now, the right is increasingly skeptical of democracy and the marketplace. Reality is beginning the breakthrough and that is largely due to the wokeness. The old Left is also having to reevaluate their view of these things. The political divide is forming up around the old “who? whom?” partisanship. There are those with power and access to power and those who have no power. The people with power wear wokeness like it is a symbol of party rank. Everyone else now gets to see it.
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