Once upon a time, the raison d’être of US companies was to simply make a buck. Those days are long gone. Today, corporations are in the business of radicalizing the country by taking sides in cultural standoffs.
Just in time for the Fourth of July festivities, which this year celebrates the 243rd anniversary of America’s independence, Nike decided to ignite a political firestorm the size of a Chinese fireworks factory, thereby further dividing the nation.
According to this warped logic, anything that came to fruition when slavery was still a thing – up to and including the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776 – is eligible for eradication in history’s great dumpster fire.
Incidentally, the ex-athlete starred in a 2018 Nike ad where he was featured before a huge American flag as the narrator said, “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything.” Does “sacrificing everything” include the very country of your birth, as well as the very flag it represents? Is that really the sort of controversial message a US corporation, built on the solid foundation of American freedom and ingenuity, should be endorsing?
Without subscribing to any absurd Illuminati conspiracy theories, it would seem that the largest US corporations have an agenda that goes far beyond the simple capitalistic ambition of turning a profit. Much like the Silicon Valley titans of tech, many Fortune 500 companies simply cannot resist expressing their political views, especially in these turbulent ‘Times of Trump’ when so many otherwise intelligent people have lost their minds. After all, what could be the purpose of a corporation endorsing a fiercely contestable message that alienates at least 50 percent of the American population, not to mention their consumer base?
The Gillette Company provides perhaps the best example of a corporation abandoning its primary mission – in this case, selling razor blades and shaving cream – to endear itself to the social warrior lunatic fringe.
Even ice cream companies now feel the need to flash their political identities while diving headlong into the cultural bloodbath. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, for example, last year unveiled their ‘Pecan Resist’ brand, handcrafted to appeal to those Americans who are “fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda.” Yum! And just like that, the subsidiary of the globe-straddling Unilever Corporation alienated millions of US Republicans who just want to enjoy a good bowl of ice cream, much like their Democratic counterparts. Again, the question must be asked: what kind of corporate strategy actively aims to lose half of its consumer base? Or have these corporations morphed into such vast money-making empires that they can afford to not give a good damn?
For better or for worse, corporations today have come to dominate nearly every aspect of our waking hours, to the point that it is nearly impossible to imagine performing the simplest tasks without them. Now it seems these monstrosities have become confident enough in their economic and political power that they can lecture consumers on modern issues now dividing the nation. That approach seems to have very little in common with the spirit of capitalism, itself a complicated and controversial project, without the need for gratuitous virtue signaling that exasperates so many people.