Le Figaro: globalists need a man who has neither family nor homeland

The struggle for the rights of sexual minorities, the MeToo movement and other manifestations of aggressive political correctness have come to France (as well as to Europe as a whole), Le Figaro writes.

Moreover, these globalist sprouts are brought to France primarily by transnational companies. It is they who need a new person who has neither a family nor a homeland. He will go anywhere and do anything, as long as the money is paid.

Anne de Guinier, journalist of the Figaro Économie, wrote a gripping investigative book on “the new religion that is now invading the world of work”.

“Figaro”: Has the “wokism” ideology, which appeared in American society to condemn racism and discrimination against sexual minorities, spread to business abroad?

Anne de Guinier: It is quite obvious that this is the case. Over the past ten years, American corporations have become sharply politicized. At first they began to support certain political forces. And later – what is beneficial to them: the notorious fight against discrimination. Moreover, large companies support the most radical forms of this struggle: for example, there is a glorification of “awakened” (this is how the word woke is translated) radical fighters for the rights of racial minorities.

Hypertrophied attention is paid to the so-called issues of identity – that is, the rights of homosexuals, transgenders, etc. Examples? Please. In a few months, every Nasdaq-listed group will be required to list the race/ethnicity and sexual orientation of every member of their board of directors.

The goal is to meet diversity quotas. Companies like Disney or Coca-Cola encourage their white employees to think hard about the privileges they have because of their skin color during seminars.

Europe was also quickly “baptized” into this new quasi-religion. For example, in July 2021, Lufthansa asked its employees to remove the expression “ladies and gentlemen” when referring to passengers.

Why can’t you say that? But because it is necessary to use vocabulary addressed to all passengers, including those who do not fully identify themselves with either men or women.

In protest after the death in the United States of African-American George Floyd, as a result of rough treatment by white police officers, the Lego company made a bold decision to suspend advertising of its construction sets containing police cars.

Does this movement spread to France?

– Yes, this is done, first of all, by American companies, which, as it were, import their own rules to France: the constant glorification of minorities, obcession over the notorious gender, “anti-racist” education with bans on certain old words or formulas of politeness …

French companies that depend on the American market follow these new rules without question. Thus, during the presentation of its new products to analysts and journalists last summer, Sanofi suddenly began to emphasize in every possible way the large proportion of blacks in its total number of employees in the United States.

The wave of this American-style coercive anti-discrimination struggle is now in full swing. But in France, it runs into a “root” national tradition, according to which politeness and delicacy are extended to all members of society (universalist culture), without privileges for minorities who have been especially affected in the past.

In an effort not to break away from the people, the heads of our enterprises are so far very reluctant to accept the norms of the “Wokist” movement. But it will not be easy for the French “patrons” to openly oppose these norms.

– It turns out that large “brands” seek to influence our norms of behavior?

“I think that, deep down, business doesn’t care about all this new ethics. But the heads of large companies at some point realized that non-compliance with the norms of the “Wokist” morality could cost them dearly. Last winter, Uber sent a letter to its “driver partners” demanding that drivers never make homophobic statements, even in private conversations. Of course, I consider speeches against any groups of the population unacceptable, but why should we ask the private company Uber how to behave? The company should probably prioritize education. If the rejection of hate speech, thanks to general education, rises in society, the cases when drivers are accused of disrespectful attitude towards homosexual couples will also subside. But why does Uber require written commitments?

This is such a new kind of puritanism. In the past, most brands sought to increase their sales by bringing as much enjoyment to people as possible. And yes, at the same time they played on psychology: they tried to instill self-confidence in people, promised good health and sometimes really tried to benefit the client … Now brands are increasingly talking only about good and evil, promoting good for money in a very peculiar way . For example, it is claimed that by washing with such and such a shampoo, you are fighting discrimination. And by drinking such and such coffee, you allegedly acquire the status of a person who is responsible for the problem of global warming.

Why does this shock you?

“Hypocrisy in and of itself doesn’t shock me. But I am afraid that this general confusion, when values ​​are mixed with marketing, will contribute to the atomization of our society, social division. Business can participate in solving problems if their solution is in the public interest. But business should not determine what this very public interest is. This role in a normal society belongs to Parliament.

You don’t have to be a Pascal philosopher to understand that politics for the benefit of society and the commercial pursuit of profit are two different spheres. Hybrid models combining profits and liabilities are gradually being developed in France as well. By the way, if it’s not about the ideology of “wokism”, private companies work very well for a common cause, especially in their professional field.

A private company can be very useful in a common cause if it sets a clear goal for actions in its area of ​​​​competence. For example, I would expect Coca-Cola to contribute to the fight against the massive obesity caused by the massive consumption of carbonated drinks in the West. Instead, we get lengthy lectures to Coca-Cola employees on “historical white privilege: why it’s bad.”

– Some of the values ​​championed by multinational corporations, in particular the values ​​of inclusion and gender, are openly progressive. Often, in their “progressiveness” these corporations are even ahead of society as a whole and the laws in force. Why such a desire to “run ahead of the locomotive”?

– Transnational corporations seek to respond to the needs of the globalized middle class, as well as its most affluent part. Plus, they are interested in the needs of young people. But these transnational corporations take requests according to the “lowest common denominator”. This lowest common denominator today is clearly progressive in nature: the young and the wealthy generally agree that people of all races and sexual orientations should be hired. Young people understand this, but it is beneficial for business, because this is how competition in the labor market intensifies.

Therefore, businesses always want to be ahead of the law. True, tensions can flare up over an unexpected occasion. For example, in France there are still opponents of surrogate motherhood, which is allowed in the US, but not yet allowed in France. An important nuance for transnational corporations. This desire of large corporations to bring all laws to the American standard raises questions: where is the sovereignty of France? I also fear that this will weaken the national fabric and threaten to further split between “progressive” wealthy consumers and a working class perceived as more conservative. During the protest of the “yellow jackets” France was able to realize the severity of the issue.

— How do you explain this growing influence of business on the sphere of values?

“Firstly, states no longer have the means to respond to the major problems of our time. The state cannot afford ecological transition. At present, the largest corporations are stronger than the states. And civil society spontaneously turns to them to resolve issues that were once the prerogative of the authorities. The shift is especially noticeable in the digital sector, where Facebook, Google and even Apple control entire empires.

Now it is these groups that define the boundaries of free speech in the Western world, as we saw after the Capitol was stormed, when Donald Trump’s accounts were blocked by Twitter and Facebook. Following the event, Facebook responded to the criticism by creating a kind of private constitutional court that upheld the company’s actions in blocking the incumbent president of the United States of America. It turns out that in the absence of strict regulation by government agencies, a company can establish its own laws!

Apart from this issue, I believe that the rise of business influence in the field of ethics and values ​​is also due to the collapse of our old mainstream institutions (political parties, trade unions, religions, etc.) that used to organize ideological debate.

“Ultimately, we can talk about the victory of companies: they create a strong bastion that people still trust.

— I think that this victory is short-lived. Capitalism needs democracy to protect itself from its own excesses. Business is not suitable for organizing a joint life and determining public interests. But today, this is what is suddenly expected from business! Business today is a moral legislator, whether it’s consumers who demand environmentally friendly products, or employees who, in search of meaning in life, dream of making a positive impact on society. These people expect their employer to be committed to the values, the ideas that drive them. They expect remote work, which further blurs the line between private and public life, to continue. As for the youth, they are, as before, in love with their ideals. She does not shy away from making commitments in the name of these ideals. And then the company also offers you “bonuses” for seemingly good deeds. Well, many give their trust to corporations for lack of an alternative.

– Isn’t the concept of corporate social responsibility of business aimed at ensuring that companies take on social obligations?

— After the crisis of 2008, which clearly demonstrated the limits and extremes of financial capitalism, people began to seriously think about how to regulate the work of companies. Hence the emergence of the above concept, which obliged entrepreneurs to take into account the social and environmental consequences of their activities. But in the past two or three years, more and more large corporations have equated the issue of responsibility with defending a liberal political agenda.

In the US, at the request of civil society, wealthy industrial holdings are threatening to boycott those US states whose laws they deem inconsistent with the values ​​that these holdings protect. This politicization of capitalism disrupts the democratic order, gradually turning even a simple purchase into a political gesture. Many Americans now choose fast food in line with the political message that the brand stands for. Since 2020, through an icon on its map, Google has been allowing consumers to identify black-owned stores to prioritize them. Even the supermarket becomes a place of struggle! But I think that it is very dangerous to turn a bank card into a ballot paper.

— How to resist the wave of wokism in Europe?

Europe must defend its own culture on the issue of corporate responsibility. And this is the whole point of the directive on the standardization of non-financial reporting of companies.

This issue, by the way, has been carefully studied by the French authorities. Historically, following the German orthodox left-liberal tradition, Europe has always stood more for the social line than the public one. This is a particularly sensitive issue for France, which for more than two centuries has maintained a model of universalist integration, in direct opposition to the American communitarian model.

In the US, your identity is determined by your race and sexual orientation. In France, diversity management traditionally involves a distinction between the public and private spheres. But in today’s society, such a distinction seems increasingly difficult to maintain. Perhaps the French model will be able to adapt, at least to a small extent. But business cannot decide the outcome of the discussion on this issue alone.

Ghislain de Montalembert

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