We live, as you may have noticed, in the age of "woke" capital. They're not just selling products, they are selling something more than that, and you see it everywhere.
You see it in every movie, every commercial, and every press release from the diversity division of your local HR department. The message is always the same. Companies aren't just soulless profit-seekers; they are more than that. They have values. They have principles. They care. They care probably more than you do.
Once upon a time, corporate America flattered its customers. Now, they dare you to be as virtuous as they are.
But is that real? Are they actually virtuous? Or is all of this a cynical pose? We will let you decide.
Consider this: Last Friday, Daryl Morey, he is the general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team sent what seemed like a noncontroversial tweet. He wrote this: "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong." That's it.
Now China, as you may have seen on television, is now trying to crush Hong Kong and it's not hard to pick a side. China, it is rarely noted (but it is true), is a racist ethnostate that bans dissent and murders its political opponents. You'd think every American would stand with Hong Kong without even thinking about it. But not the NBA.
The NBA is on China's side. So Morey was forced to delete his tweet. He may, in fact, lose his job over this. The NBA issued a statement making it clear that under no circumstance do they support Hong Kong or human freedom.
Instead of exporting American freedoms to China, our ruling class instead imported Chinese authoritarianism here.
On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emerged to clarify. He repeated the refrain of every person who opposes free speech. Sure, you're free to say what you think, but you aren't safe from the consequences.
"The long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression," Silver said. "Daryl Morey as the general manager of the Houston Rockets enjoys that right as one of our employees. What I also tried to suggest is I understand that there are consequences from that exercise, in essence, his freedom of speech, and, you know, we will have to live with those consequences."
Oh. So, it's that hard to say that we support freedom against the fascist government of China? Apparently, it is.
Steve Kerr is the coach of the Golden State Warriors. On the question of American politics, Kerr, you may have noticed, has no problem speaking his mind. He embraces the hard left social policy that suddenly is so fashionable among rich people.
He doesn't hesitate, for example, to demand stricter gun laws for the rest of us. In the words of one fawning media outlet -- and there are many -- Kerr speaks truth to power. All right.
So what truths was Steve Kerr ready to speak to China? Well, none, it turns out. Not a single truth to the government of China. Choosing between freedom and fascism turns out to be a really confusing choice. Who knows what the right answer is? As Kerr pointed out, it's really above his pay grade.
"It's a really bizarre international story and a lot of us don't know what to make of it," he said. "So this is something I'm reading about just like everybody is, but I am not going to comment further."
Yes, not going to comment further. It's a "bizarre international story." In other words, Steve Kerr is a phony. He is brave when the crowds applaud, but when money is at stake, he shuts up and obeys like the cowardly little corporate stooge that he is. It is hard to imagine how a man like that can look himself in the mirror at night. And yet he is not alone -- hardly.
There are countless Steve Kerrs in corporate America, all of them happy to sell out their country and lick the boots of their Chinese masters for pay. Activision Blizzard - that's a major video game company - just banned a top player from one of its games because he gave an interview supporting the demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Just last year, right outside of Washington, the hotel company Marriott fired one of its employees. Why? For "liking" a tweet that recognized Taiwan as a country. That's it. That tweet offended China. So Marriott did the bidding of the fascist and fired him. That actually happened.
This is common, by the way. In Hollywood, pandering to China is so common, so flagrant, that the show "South Park" produced an entire episode mocking it. "South Park" was banned in China after that episode. You've got to respect its creators for making the episode anyway and Comedy Central for airing it.
Most companies in America, we are sad to say, would never do that. Why? You know why? China has 1.4 billion people. Companies want access to that market. If it's a choice between supporting the United States, our country, and our people or getting rich from China, it is no-contest from any company.
For decades, neoliberals assured us that it was our duty to embrace free trade with China. As the rest of us sat passively by, they allowed China to steal our technologies and snatch up our properties in our cities, driving up rents, decreasing the rates of homeownership and destroying millions and millions, of course, of our manufacturing jobs.
Making a communist country vastly rich would be worth it, they assured us, because China inevitably -- these things are always inevitable -- would become much freer and more democratic as well. That was inexorable, because capitalism always leads to democracy. Remember that? They would nod as they said it.
They were lying. It turned out to be completely false. Instead of exporting American freedoms to China, our ruling class instead imported Chinese authoritarianism here.
Thirty years later, ordinary Americans are poor, wages haven't moved, and all of us are less free. But China and our neoliberal elite are a lot richer.
It turns out that fascism, whatever you think of it, is pretty good for business. That ought to worry you.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Oct. 8, 2019.