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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

For these CEOs, the problem isn’t just the media and external critics: The wokeness is coming from inside the building. At dinner parties, they ask each other the same question: How do we keep woke activists off the payroll? “It’s the first thing they want to talk about these days,” a vice president at a venture-capital shop told me. “It’s the crazy, activist, political stuff. I’ve not met a founder who doesn’t think it’s a problem. There’s a state of what the fuck?”

Peter Savodnik

28 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • George Atkisson

    So these CEO’s, at the top of these multi-million corporations, are helpless in the face of woke activists. Give me a f*&king break. They have chosen to appease the Twitterati and bask in the praise of the Media to keep their social status. Then bitch in private?

  • Ian

    As soon as enough CEOs realise this whole thing is all about distracting from a lack of merit and basic competency, it’s over. Never known a good programmer whose mission is to teach the world to be transgender. Screw them, and the horse they rode in on.

  • bobby b

    Sounds noble and well-aimed and all, but in the exempler companies he lists that tried this, didn’t all of those efforts eventually crash and burn? CEO’s gone, apologies issued, policies withdrawn . . .

    I don’t think anyone’s trembling in fear of this movement yet.

  • Mr Ed

    1. Don’t recruit non-STEM graduates (not perfect, but a start).
    2. Do recruit straight from school and train them yourself (again, not perfect).
    3. Scrap internal HR, it can be outsourced in the main.
    4. Scrap marketing and social media departments.

  • lucklucky

    “So these CEO’s, at the top of these multi-million corporations, are helpless in the face of woke activists. Give me a f*&king break. They have chosen to appease the Twitterati and bask in the praise of the Media to keep their social status. Then bitch in private?”

    Yes they are. First they are well aware of the Political Violence from the Left is protected by the Police. Second they need people that are coming from Marxist schools – paid by everyone – that are indoctrinating them.

  • John B

    ‘ How do we keep woke activists off the payroll? ’

    1) Interrogate and retrain or fire those who recruit for the company to ensure Wokes are not hired in the first place.

    2) Carry out corporate-wide employee review, set standards of conduct that excludes Wokism, fire any that won’t/don’t comply.

    It’s called management.

  • Ted Treen

    Their (the Left) strategy has worked. See:-

    It started over 50 years ago, and is now so embedded it’s hard to devise a counter-strategy at this stage which will return sanity.

  • Stonyground

    The company that I used to work for before I retired was just beginning with various bits of corporate nonsense in the last few years before I left. It turned out OK because I moved my retirement forward a couple of years to get away from the place.

  • Name withheld to stop the woke finder general

    I work for a company most Samizdataists (datas?) will know – multinational although small with a bigger UK presence. We are increasingly woke but only outside of the technical teams (my area) who are left working twice as hard looking on in bemusement.

    Speaking out against such things would of course be extremely career limiting. Latest examples are an LGBT panel that we were encouraged to attend – my cohorts being far too busy despite that fact in the 10 years of working there I’ve worked with gay guys, gay girls and trans people with no one giving a cr*p (which is of course how it should be).

    We’re still involved with Stonewall and now encouraged to add pronouns to everything.

    My personal highlight was explaining to a very confused Indian team member why config values differed between versions of software -it was because the value for master had been renamed.

    Being STEM based is no cure for this creeping wokeness – I really have no idea how and where I could develop my career and simply work with people whose motivation was doing a good job and not identity politics. Possibly some startups or from the article the crypto space (although I have separate reserves about that.)

  • staghounds

    They talk about it among themselves, like some white people used to talk about Negroes buying a house down the street.

    If you have to CTA and whisper, you’ve lost.

  • I work for a company most Samizdataists (datas?) will know

    The correct technical term is Samizdatista/Samizdatistas.

  • Fred Z

    People want religion but Christianity has destroyed itself, Islam is more and more clearly mostly for violent nutjobs, the eastern Asian religions are apparently too weird for us.

    So a lot of people have chosen Wokeness.

    Corporate fiat will not get rid of religion.

  • JohnK

    Don’t employ graduates.

  • I got touched by the leading edge of this (fortunately, not fanatical) when we were populating the new wing of the museum with exhibits. “All this stuff — which dealt with electricity and magnetism in the life sciences — comes from Europe and North America. Find things that weren’t invented by Westerners. Africa, especially.”

    Modern electrical and magnetic stuff was developed by Westerners. But the director kept nagging. I put him off with an acupuncture doll and set of needles. The Chinese invented a compass long before the West did. The ancient Egyptians lived in Africa and used the electric catfish in therapy. On a trip out to the Grand Canyon, I met a woman whose son carved and painted Kachina dolls. “Could he make a Lightning Kachina?” Well, such a thing wasn’t common, but he could do it, and did. Lovely thing, and it finally sated the director’s lusts. The artist didn’t mind the money, either.

    I’d hate to be given that job today, We had one SJW back then, and she was a sufficient pain that we needed no more.

  • Don’t employ graduates.

    I know someone from a largish company who goes out of his way not to hire grads for non-STEM roles unless he knows them personally, albeit the excuse he gives is a perfect détournement. And he has been doing that for about ten years now.

  • Paul Marks

    Partly the CEOs believe in this stuff themselves – and partly it is FEAR, after a CEO can be “cancelled” as well.

    “Mr Smith – you once said that eight year old children should not be given the help they need to transition, TRANSPHOBE, TRANSPHOBE, TRANSPHOBE”.

    Or “Mrs Smith – you once said that hard work was important, you RACIST, you WHITE SUPRECACIST!”

    The Mr or Mrs Smith would be forced to give an apology, most likely on their knees, before being forces to resign anyway – their own “friends” and children would spit at them.

    For many years people have treated the growing power of the Frankfurt School of Marxism in the education system (and all other institutions) as a sort of joke “Political Correctness gone mad – Ha! Ha! Ha!”,

    All the mockery and laughter over the last 40 years has achieved nothing at all – and now the Frankfurt School Marxists dominate just about every institution, government and private.

    The West essentially committed suicide – whilst laughing and making weak jokes about “bar-bar green sheep” and so on. It allowed its sworn enemies to take over the education system and everything else – whilst pretending it was all “just a joke”.

    Notice that they do not even call the Frankfurt School Marxists, Frankfurt School Marxists. They use names such as “Woke” or “Social Justice Warrior” or “Progressive” or even “Liberal”.

    Under the “Ha, ha, ha, it is political correctness gone mad, ha, ha, ha” most people were too SCARED to even call the Marxists by the name Marxists – and tried to pretend that the obvious intent to enslave everyone was “just a joke” which the young would “grow out of” – even when “the young” were 60 or 70 years of age.

    Someone can wave their Communist Party membership card in front of their faces (like the totalitarian Professor on “SAGE” – who says that ALL her colleagues support creating a “fairer society” via “government policies” – and that is at the heart of everything that SAGE suggests) and ministers will still pretend (perhaps even to themselves) that they are not dealing with totalitarians out to enslave the West.

    So much for just employing “STEM” graduates – as if the Frankfurt School of Marxism was ever going to leave mathematics and the physical sciences alone.

    The “scientific advice” from the “Stem” people is all about a totalitarian political agenda – they even SAY SO. And still most people pretend not to notice, or make weak jokes whilst laughing and giggling.

    Fight back. Stop treating this as a joke – it is not funny. Fight back.

    The first step to fighting back is to call them by their correct name – Frankfurt School Marxists. Always call something by its correct name – that is important.

    When they come out with their “anti racism, anti sexism, anti homophobia, anti Islamophobia, anti Trans Phobia” and-so-on address them by their correct name, Frankfurt School Marxists, and accept that their aim is to utterly destroy the West.

    Respond accordingly.

  • Paul Marks

    You can not reason with them, they have no mercy and no conscience, you can not compromise with them.

    Destroy them – or be destroyed by them.

    One problem with business people is that they tend to think like Carthaginians (out to make-a-deal) – rather than like Republican Romans.

  • The Pedant-General

    go on PdH: what excuse does he give? We need to know this stuff!!

  • “Helping working class people up who do not have access to higher education”… “helping minorities up who do not have access to higher education”… “helping women up who do not have access to higher education”… yadda yadda yadda.

    He could not care less what their class, race or sex is, just as long as they seem appropriate for the job & were not grads. It helps that he is a hard target as well (I can’t elaborate why, sorry).

  • staghounds

    This would be a perfectly lawful company work rule in the U. S.-

    “Hostile Work Environment Policy-

    We have determined that discussions of some topics may create a hostile environment among employees and customers. Therefore, employees are forbidden to discuss the following subjects in company property, using company communications, on company time, or when representing the company at remote locations such as job sites or conferences. The only exception is the making of complaints to the H.R. department.

    Sex, Sexuality, and Gender
    Politics and Politicians
    Personal Finances
    Immigration, Migration, and National or Ethnic Origin

    Employees are also prohibited from displaying in a manner visible to an ordinary observer, on their persons, clothing, or vehicles, any words or
    symbols referring to the above described subjects.

    This is a place of work, not argument. Leave the things that divide us outside.”

  • the last toryboy

    Bit off topic. I’ve followed this blog since it was set up about 20 years ago – I was just out of uni then. I remember the Guardian recommending this place. I don’t comment that much but I’m here!

    Samizdata I always assumed was a bit tongue in cheek. But these days, with antiwoke news and info on anti lockdown protests, it really is living up to its name as this info simply isn’t widely disseminated by our compromised media sometimes.

    It’s quite depressing that in 20 years we’ve gone so far backward. I think if we described 2020 to our 20 year ago selves I wonder if we would’ve believed just how bad it would get.

    Maybe GBNews will help a bit, if it survives.

  • Paul Marks

    the last toryboy.

    Perhaps GB News will help – we shall have to see.

  • A subplot in Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” is the active-manager-style proprietor of a major US newspaper discovering, greatly to his surprise, that he is not really in charge of it. The subordinate who has served him compliantly for years has been staffing the main positions with a bunch of shared-background, shared-values left people. One day, the proprietor suddenly wants to do more than print news and make money – there’s a particular story in which he has a freedom agenda. But it is very much not the agenda of people in key positions all over his paper. Although the novel has a happy ending for its hero and heroine, it does not for the proprietor – after a prolonged, heroic struggle, he is broken by the people he thought worked for him.

    That story is set in the inter-war years.

  • Me Ed’s rules (Mr Ed, June 18, 2021 at 6:38 am) are wise. I will add some (one per comment).

    5. Review your recruitment material. Is it devised to detect and weed out the unwoke?

    Here are two oldish anecdotes.

    1) Well before the millennium, I knew a software company whose recruiters always included an essay question (purportedly to test articulateness and reasoning – and doubtless it also did). The list of topics always included some safe neutral ones and some like ‘Classic Children’s books with outmoded attitudes’, ‘Capital Punishment’ and suchlike; no prizes for guessing what happened to the hiring chances of anyone who picked a contentious topic and displayed any contentious opinions. (These days, that kind of thing is mandatory or subtler – since Blair’s ‘hate’ speech laws of late 2021 if not earlier, what graduate could be so naive as not to see the minefield HR had planted?)

    2) Sometimes of course, the weeding is the unconscious side-effect of assumptions. A colleague of mine once applied for a civil-service job. Tests included having a group of applicants discuss a range of topics as they were raised one after another by the watching pair of examiners.

    As the discussion continued, she and another candidate quietly realised they had a similar sense of humour. The next topic was raised: “How can we reduce prison overcrowding?” She looked at her fellow-candidate. He looked back at her. There was a moment of silent eye communication – let’s do this! “Shoot them”, she said. “Give them AIDS”, he replied. The horrified, utterly unprepared faces of the examiners acquitted them of having intentionally asked this to weed out any righties – they were genuinely so far inside the bubble they were truly gobsmacked by such a response.

    Although the civil servants (unlike the HR of the software consultancy) had not planned it, the effect was the same: she ended up working for me, not Sir Humphrey Appleby. (She was by no means especially right-win, more just a graduate with a sense of humour, but that was more than enough for the civil service.)

  • 6. Check out the social media of graduates who apply to you?

    The one-sidedness of cancel culture has a side-effect: the lower-level woke do not know to hide. For very little money (or maybe for nothing but the free speech of it), perhaps a firm could have a few well-chosen retired employees quietly search the social media of candidates and report back any informative twitfacing.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – Niall.

    The “practical” people such as Gail Wynand (the character in the book) who think that everything is about money – tend to get torn to bits.

    Yes the left like money – they are often corrupt and take bribes and so on. But that does not mean they do not have a “faith” – and their Collectivism is their religious faith.

    “They will not destroy me – it would cost them a fortune, they would destroy the city and there would be mass starvation if they destroyed business”.

    Then that is what they will do – they will destroy the city (or the county, or the world) and lots of people will starve to death.

    Collectivism is their faith – giving them bribes will not save you, not in the end.

    “But they will die themselves – they will starve to death”.

    Yes – so what? Telling them that they will starve to death will not make change course.

  • Paul Marks

    Read the e.mails of Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago – some of them have come to light due to a lawsuit.

    Read them – and understand that Mayor Lightfoot (as utterly insane as she is) is a “moderate” compared to what is coming.

  • BFFB

    Thus far I have managed to avoid any creeping wokeness both in corporate and everyday life by virtue of working in the Middle East and Far East for the last ten years where nobody gives a crap about that shit.