Capital Thinking • Issue #724 • View online
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or meditating in a Buddhist Nepalese mountain retreat nourishing yourself with nothing but water, lettuce (which is just edible water) and positive thoughts for the last few years, you’ll no doubt have been made aware, whether you like it or not, of the dire problems we all face.
What are these?
If we are to believe the MSM they are:
- Covid Pandemic
- Climate change
- Gender equality
- Stakeholder rights
- Racial equality
Setting aside the first topic, which is at this point now plainly evident to anyone that cares to do some simple math or look at actual mortality rates, a colossal hoax, we can safely categorise the balance into what the corporate world calls “ESG”.
Environmental, Social & Governance.
This idea, like so many ill thought manias of our present day, was first led by over-indebted social sciences majors who derive inner joy from controlling other people.
But it’s not these fanatics that you should worry about.
It is the folks in positions of power… the politicians, CEOs, management boards and trustees, who are too afraid to suggest that the king indeed is stark-bollock-naked.
Leaders these days are like the parents you see that cave to every fleeting whim of their child, terrified of disappointing their little angel (who is in mid-tantrum) and being seen to be a bad parent.
Instead of steering clear of social justice issues, or refraining from providing views on the impossibly complex system of our environment, and focussing instead on… I don’t know, maybe providing goods and services to the world… they go “all in” on any, and every virtue signaling opportunity they come across.
Not because they believe it, but because of what happens if they don’t.
The problem for most, who recognise the inherent cognitive dissonance, is that in even questioning it, they risk facing the wrath of their colleagues, partners, friends, and needing to explain to their husbands or wives why it is they lost their jobs… and so instead of speaking their minds, they mutter and nod their heads passively in agreement.
I get it, their incomes depend on it – at least in the short term.
A bigger problem is that – like any parent who allows their child to become a miniature tyrant – their position depends on more extreme concessions in the long run.
And a bigger problem still – i.e. where all this leads – is dooming themselves and the next generation to the sort of shortages and hardships that previously only existed for them on the History Channel doco’s about the former USSR.
By the time they finally realise this, the loss of their jobs will likely be the least of their worries, because shutting up and continuing down this path is put quite simply… communism.
For many of my fellow colleagues who manage money, this has become a now frequent exercise in appeasing the intolerant minority.
Like paying off the local mob boss for not burning down your shop.
The asymmetry in diverging from the ESG pack – the peer pressure and the ramifications of telling someone espousing this horse shit that it is indeed a load of horse shit – is too powerful a disincentive.
Most don’t care about ESG… trust me… but what are they to do when their institutional LPs come to them with a new “ESG mandate”, drafted up by Janice the red headed she-bitch in compliance, who landed her new role as “diversity officer” after bouncing onto the scene fresh out Berkley with a shiny new social science degree, a complete ticking time bomb in the company that everyone has to placate or get sued by?
(real example there, I’m not just stereotyping)
And so everyone goes along with it, no matter how far the facts diverge from the reality, no matter how compromised their integrity becomes.
Galbraith understood this.
“It is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone”
- John Kenneth Galbraith