These days, hypocrisy appears to be a necessary aspect of membership in America’s corporate ruling class.
Though instances demonstrating this observation have been legion over the past few years, they continue to mount up yet more, and major corporations remain as blissfully lacking in self-awareness — or as coolly Machiavellian, depending on your perspective — as ever.
The latest company to add to the Corporate Hypocrisy Sweepstakes is clothing retailer Patagonia.
Patagonia Pretends to Care About Democracy
On April 6, Patagonia put out the following shockingly tone-deaf tweet: “Actions speak louder than words. We’re donating $1 million to groups working to defend our democracy and your right to vote. Join us in taking 3 important actions.”
The tweet then includes a link to an article that encourages business leaders to donate to political activists and take measures to “stop future restrictive voting laws.” This reference is clearly to Georgia’s recently passed election security bill, which merely put things like mandatory ID verification for absentee ballots in place. The only voting rights which this bill “restricts” are those of people who are not legally allowed to vote anyway.
Thus, Patagonia would have you believe that supporting left-wing political causes which are backed by and serve to enhance the power of the elite makes you a supporter of “democracy.”
Well, conservative commentator and prominent gun-rights advocate Dana Loesch wasn’t having it.
In response to Patagonia’s tweet, she pointed out just how tone-deaf this massive company is. “Patagonia has 13 factories in China, which has internment camps, forced labor, and literally no democracy — and that’s OK — but Georgia expanding access is just TOO FAR, MAN.”
In further tweets, Loesch went on to roast the company for engaging in lame and meaningless virtue signaling. Despite refusing to pull its factories out of a communist country, Patagonia has the nerve to tell us all that “Actions speak louder than words.”
What “Democracy” Really Means to These People
Those who have observed this sort of phenomenon over and over are certainly crying out for an explanation of it. Could it really be that these corporate CEOs are so blind and decadent that they could tweet out something like “Actions speak louder than words” and be so tone-deaf as to completely ignore their own actions?
The answer to this riddle lies in how America’s elite establishment thinks of “democracy.” When the elite speak of “democracy,” they do not mean what ordinary people mean by that term, which is everyone’s right to vote for the kind of government and the kinds of policies that they think best represent them.
Rather, to the current crop of America’s elite, “democracy” is a system where they remain comfortably in power and through which they are always able to steer the perceptions of the masses to support what they do.
That’s why Patagonia can claim to support democracy while operating in China. To those who run Patagonia, “democracy” is the control over society of people from the same social milieu as themselves.