Bring back common sense!
And once you’ve watched, consider this book — which I have not read:
I don’t often recommend books I haven’t read — I’ve pre-ordered it — but this one was strongly urged on me by a brilliant billionaire friend, and written by a brilliant budding billionaire, so if you’re a brilliant billionaire, you may well like it. Even if you’re not, it may be of interest:
A young entrepreneur makes the case that politics has no place in business and sets out a new vision for the future of American capitalism.
There’s a new invisible force at work in our economic and cultural lives. It affects every advertisement we see and every product we buy, from our morning coffee to a new pair of shoes. “Stakeholder capitalism” makes rosy promises of a better, more diverse, environmentally friendly world, but in reality, this ideology, championed by America’s business and political leaders, robs us of our money, our voice, and our identity.
Vivek Ramaswamy is a traitor to his class. He’s founded multibillion-dollar enterprises, led a biotech company as CEO; he became a hedge fund partner in his 20s, trained as a scientist at Harvard and a lawyer at Yale, and grew up the child of immigrants in a small town in Ohio. Now he takes us behind the scenes into corporate boardrooms and five-star conferences, into Ivy League classrooms and secretive nonprofits, to reveal the defining scam of our century.
The modern woke-industrial complex divides us as a people. By mixing morality with consumerism, America’s elites prey on our innermost insecurities about who we really are. They sell us cheap social causes and skin-deep identities to satisfy our hunger for a cause and our search for meaning, at a moment when we as Americans lack both.
This book not only rips back the curtain on the new corporatist agenda, it offers a better way forward. America’s elites may want to sort us into demographic boxes, but we don’t have to stay there. Woke, Inc. begins as a critique of stakeholder capitalism and ends with an exploration of what it means to be an American in 2021 – a journey that begins with cynicism and ends with hope.
But to be anti-woke is not to discount the terrible injustices that existed when our nation was founded, on most of which we’ve made dramatic progress (slaves are free! women can vote! gays can marry!) yet have a lot further to go — and a moral imperative to go there.
Canceling Matt Damon doesn’t help. If anything, it gives the forces that resist progress something legitimately to oppose (excessive wokeness) while side-stepping the real issues. On the real issues, progressives are right and those who justified slavery (just read the Bible!) or fought women’s suffrage (just read the Bible!) or fight LGBTQ equality (just read the Bible!) or try to whitewash January 6 (just watch FOX News!) or discredit Black Lives Matter (just watch Fox News!) were and are wrong.
So I leave you with . . .
CASTE IN THE CLASSROOM
Two teens in Massachusetts wonder why they’re the only Black or Brown students in their calculus class. As they talk to “The Professor,” a friend’s uncle, he walks them through the development of this country’s racialized caste system and how it has become manifested in our school systems. The Professor enlightens them about some of the knowledge Africans brought to this continent and imparted to the wider population, only to have credit for these accomplishments ripped away. He describes the building of the US economy on the backs and wombs of enslaved Africans, white fear of rebellion, and white suppression of Black literacy. The teens learn how these systems of oppression continued post-slavery through sharecropping, peonage, imprisonment, convict leasing, and the ever-present threat of white violence. From the Jim Crow South to the de facto Jim Crow North, the Professor introduces a framework from civil rights and education activist Bob Moses called “sharecropper education”— a system in which the quality of children’s education is proportional to the roles they are assigned at birth by caste. As they examine statistics from their own school district, the teens wonder how their community compares. Lastly, the boys and the Professor imagine some solutions to redesigning their district and the US education system writ large.
Finally, the two immediate tragedies . . . Haiti, which we could have done nothing to prevent, and Afghanistan, which is much more complicated — but excruciating. It is ironic that this was the one place the former president actually expressed support for the current president (except to say he would have left faster).
One’s heart aches for the people of Haiti and Afghanistan.
Quote of the Day
Necessity never made a good bargain.~Benjamin Franklin
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