The Rise and Fall of Woke Capitalism and the ESG Score

The Woke Capitalism Agenda and ESG Score

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of companies taking a more active stance on social issues. These companies, which are often referred to as “woke” companies, are using their platforms to raise awareness about important issues such as racial injustice, LGBTQ rights, and climate change.

There are many reasons why companies are becoming more woke. Some companies believe that it is the right thing to do, while others see it as a way to attract and retain customers. Still others believe that it is a way to improve their bottom line.

The Woke Capitalism Agenda

Whatever the reason, the rise of woke capitalism is having a significant impact on the way that businesses operate, from advertising to hiring. Companies are now under pressure to be more socially responsible, something very loosely defined, and they are being held accountable for their actions.

Did Budweiser Really Get Woke and Go Broke?

Budweiser has been in the news recently for a number of reasons. In April 2023, the company announced a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This partnership sparked a backlash from conservatives, who accused Budweiser of promoting transgender ideology. 

As a result of the backlash, Bud Light sales have declined for six weeks in a row and  has been downgraded by analysts at HSBC. And it officially dropped as the U.S.’s #1 most-consumed beer. in May 2023.

But it doesn’t stop there. Other companies that have taken similar steps have also experienced a backlash of their own.

Who Else is Woke? Other Woke Companies and Corporations

There’s a fine line between social responsibility and appeasing an angry mob with an agenda. Here are some companies that attempt to walk that line:

  • Ben & Jerry’s: This ice cream company is known for its progressive social stances. Ben & Jerry’s has been outspoken on issues such as climate change, gun control, and LGBTQ rights.
  • Nike: This sportswear company has been a leader in the fight for racial justice. Nike has released several ad campaigns that have addressed issues such as police brutality and racial inequality. Meanwhile, 23% of all Nike shoes are made in China, which has marginalized an entire racial/religious group known as the Uyghers in the western part of the country, where they live and work in a modern day concentration camp. Over half its products are made in Vietnam, one of the few official communist countries in the world, besides China, Laos, and Cuba.
  • Starbucks: This coffee company has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights. Starbucks has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality, and it has also offered benefits to same-sex partners. And Starbucks infamously expects its customers to provide a living wage for its own employees through autogratuity and tip creeping.
  • H&M: This clothing company has been a vocal supporter of sustainability. H&M has pledged to use only recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030.
  • Adidas: This sportswear company has been a vocal supporter of women’s empowerment. Adidas has launched several campaigns that have addressed issues such as gender equality and violence against women. Adidas makes 20% of its products in China and 21% in Cambodia, a country that has conveniently had the same “President,” Hun Sen, for the last 37 years, and factory workers often get visits from encouraging them to get out and vote. Ok, so it’s probably more than just a pep talk.

These are just a few of the many woke companies out there. As the trend of woke capitalism continues to grow, it is likely that we will see even more companies taking a public stand on social issues. 

But will they actually address fundamental, underlying wrongs and respect universal human rights? 

Enter Blackrock.

Blackrock: the World’s Largest Hedge Fund Behind the Woke Agenda

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with over $10 trillion in assets under management. The company has a significant influence on the behavior of businesses, as it is a major shareholder in many companies. 

ESG Meaning

BlackRock uses an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) score to assess the performance of companies on these three dimensions. The ESG score is used to inform BlackRock’s investment decisions, and it can also be used to influence the culture and behavior of businesses.

ESG Score Determines Who Gets the Money and Investments and Who Doesn’t

BlackRock has been criticized for using its ESG score to pressure companies to adopt “progressive,” or “woke,” policies. For example, BlackRock has been criticized for pressuring companies to divest from fossil fuels and adopt policies that promote diversity and inclusion. 

However, BlackRock has defended its use of the ESG score, arguing that it is simply trying to invest in companies that are sustainable and responsible.

There is no doubt that BlackRock has a significant influence on the behavior of businesses. The company’s use of the ESG score is likely to continue to shape the culture and behavior of businesses in the years to come.

How does Blackrock use its ESG score to influence businesses?

  • Voting on shareholder resolutions: Blackrock is a major shareholder in many companies, and it has the right to vote on shareholder resolutions. Blackrock often votes in favor of shareholder resolutions that promote ESG goals, such as resolutions that call for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or to adopt more inclusive hiring practices.
  • Engaging with companies: Blackrock also engages with companies directly to discuss their ESG performance. Blackrock may meet with company executives to discuss their ESG goals, and it may also send letters to company executives expressing its concerns about the company’s ESG performance.
  • Divestment: Blackrock may divest from companies that it believes are not meeting its ESG standards. This can be a powerful way to pressure companies to improve their ESG performance.

Blackrock’s use of the ESG score and their stick-and-carrot approach have been controversial. Some people have argued that Blackrock is using its power to pressure companies to adopt “woke” policies. Others have argued that Blackrock is simply trying to invest in companies that are sustainable and responsible, though I’ll be honest, I have not heard many regular people argue that.

It is likely that Blackrock’s use of the ESG score will continue to be debated in the years to come. However, there is no doubt that Blackrock has a significant influence on the behavior of businesses. The company’s use of the ESG score is likely to continue to shape the culture and behavior of businesses in the years to come.

Blackrock Downgrades Shell Oil Because of Poor ESG Score

In 2020, the investment firm BlackRock downgraded its rating of ExxonMobil from “A” to “BBB” due to the company’s poor ESG performance. BlackRock’s downgrade led to a decline in ExxonMobil’s share price of over 5%.

BlackRock’s downgrade was based on a number of factors, including ExxonMobil’s high greenhouse gas emissions, its poor record on human rights, and its lack of diversity and inclusion. BlackRock’s downgrade sent a signal to other investors that ExxonMobil was a risky investment, and this led to a decline in the company’s share price.

ExxonMobil has since taken steps to improve its ESG performance, but the company’s share price has not fully recovered from BlackRock’s downgrade. This example shows how a negative ESG score or rating can hurt a company’s financial performance.

Other Companies Hurt by ESG

While most of us probably won’t shed a tear over the following companies being penalized for not pleasing Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, it’s still worth noting which ones have lost money over a negative ESG rating.

  • Facebook: In 2021, Facebook’s ESG rating was downgraded by the investment firm MSCI due to the company’s role in spreading misinformation and hate speech. The downgrade led to a decline in Facebook’s share price of over 3%.
  • Nestlé: In 2022, Nestlé’s ESG rating was downgraded by the investment firm Sustainalytics due to the company’s use of child labor and its poor record on water management. The downgrade led to a decline in Nestlé’s share price of over 2%.
  • Walmart: In 2023, Walmart’s ESG rating was downgraded by the investment firm ISS ESG due to the company’s poor record on employee safety and its use of plastic packaging. The downgrade led to a decline in Walmart’s share price of over 1%.

These are just a few examples of how a negative ESG score or rating can hurt a company’s financial performance. 

How the “Woke” ESG Score/Rating is Really Just Communism, Rebranded

The term “woke” is often used to describe people who are aware of and actively work to challenge social injustice. Communism, on the other hand, is a political and economic system in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

There are some similarities between the two concepts. For example, both wokeness and communism emphasize the importance of equality and social justice. However, there are also some important differences. Wokeness is not a political or economic system, and it does not advocate for the abolition of private property.

It is therefore inaccurate to say that wokeness is “just communism rebranded.” While there are some similarities between the two concepts, they are fundamentally different.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between wokeness and communism:

A social and political movement claiming to right historical wrongsA political and economic system claiming to empower the worker
Outwardly emphasizes equality and social justiceAdvocates for the abolition of private property, elimination of free speech, and in some cases, religion too
Does not have a central governmentHas a central government that owns and controls the means of production, media, and banking

Neither diehard, self-identifying communists nor “woke” social justice-minded people in capitalist countries will agree on everything. However, they don’t have to, and here’s why:

As you can see above, Blackrock is technically a capitalist component, but they are setting an agenda and are a dominant player in a market where the federal government bails out companies in Blackrock’s hedge funds

So, there is most definitely an aspect of government centralization in both the political and economic domains. Because if Blacrock says you’ve been naughty, then you might not get access to all that free, printed money during the next lockdown, where the government sends armed troops to shut down your business.

Don’t think it could happen? It already did for a few years over the flu. Prove me wrong.

Conclusion: Woke Capitalism and ESG Can GTFO

It’s clear how ESG can be leveraged to manipulate a company’s behavior when it will result in real, monetary losses to their executive leadership and shareholders. It’s also an easy way to keep your most competent workers stuck locked out of the work force as they seek equity, rather than equality.

Woke capitalism is a growing threat to our freedom and our way of life. It is important to be aware of this threat and take steps to combat it. One way to do this is to use our wallets. We can choose not to support companies that engage in woke capitalism.

Boycotts are a powerful tool. They can hurt a company’s bottom line and force it to change its behavior. In some cases, boycotts have even led to the collapse of companies.

We must not allow woke capitalism to grow unchecked. We must use our wallets and our voices to fight back. If we do not, we may find ourselves living in a world where woke capitalism is the norm and freedom is a thing of the past.

Here are some additional ways that readers can combat the unfair ESG score and woke capitalism:

  • Vote with their feet and their wallet: When choosing where to shop, eat, and work, readers should consider the ESG scores and woke policies of the businesses involved.
  • Divest from companies like Blackrock: If you know that the world’s biggest slush fund, excuse me, hedge fund, is putting your butt over a boiling cauldron, simply take your money out of their funds. No excuses. Do you need more encouragement? Blackstone, Blackrock’s counterpart for other industries, regularly buys up foreclosed properties and houses to 1) keep them off the market to maintain artificial scarcity, and 2) convert them to rent-only properties to ensure the next generations won’t own their own houses. It’s literally happening right now!
  • Speak out: Readers can contact companies and let them know that they do not support woke capitalism.
  • Support organizations that are fighting against woke capitalism: There are a number of organizations that are working to fight against woke capitalism. Readers can support these organizations by donating money or volunteering their time.

By taking these steps, readers can help combat the unfair ESG score and woke capitalism. Indeed, with the prospect of central bank digital currencies on the horizon to deal with the deindustrialization, the resulting rise of the service economy, and the inherent opportunity to implement a social credit score, ESG takes care of the other vital aspect of implementing a social credit system– controlling the producer-side of business and the economy.

When you factor in that all of America’s once freedom-loving and prosperity-supporting, meritocratic institutions are now susceptible to the woke agenda, considering half of the US’s attorneys general wanted to sue KIA and Hyundai in a woke class action lawsuit that blamed the car-makers for all the hoodlems in America stealing their cars, we’d better all make a stand now or none of us will have a job or a car to drive to work left.

And KIA and Hyundai’s decision to settle for a measly $200 million in that case all but ensures Americans and all the many foreign elements it has allowed in for the last 50 years can operate with impunity.