How Bad is “Woke” Capitalism?

On September 14, 2021, at approximately 9:45amET, this article was modified to include the examples from James Damore and Sasha White.

I just had the strangest experience I’ve ever had reading a book. Before I read it, I hated Woke, Inc. with a passion. Then I read it.

On September 2, Bob Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives’ CEO and publisher, sent me a blog post by the former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss, introducing an essay by the former biotech CEO Vivek Ramaswamy. It was a preview of, or an excerpt from, Ramaswamy’s new book, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.

I found this essay to be highly objectionable. I told Bob so. But he urged me to review the book anyway.

Having panned it so badly based on only a brief introductory essay, I felt obligated to read it. When I did, my impression was 180 degrees different – almost.

I will explain why I had such a negative impression initially later. In the end, it turns out that what incensed me was only a minor flaw in the book, though an important one in a broader sense. It does not detract much from its main message. Unfortunately, it is a flaw that is likely to be heavily used in marketing the book.

I’ll begin with what is good about the book – in fact excellent. It comprises at least 90% of the book. I’ll get to the problem later on.