- - Thursday, January 23, 2020

We really shouldn’t denigrate the left or reject their ideas out of hand. After all, they are effectively schooling modern capitalists to substitute the phrase “socially responsible growth” with “profit.”

Entrepreneurs appear to have learned the lessons of the left: that today’s youth will buy into just about anything as long as it promotes at least one of four magical concepts: “sustainability,” “inclusivity,” “social responsibility,” or “mitigation of climate risk.” If you doubt me, just listen to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink (or, for that matter, any of the poobahs at Davos being interviewed recently).

The power of the politically correct concepts of sustainability, inclusivity, social responsibility and climate risk rests on their emotional appeal, that is, their ability to capture and hold our attention without forcing us to think. In fact, much of educational curricula today assumes critical thinking is passe, that learning is all about experiencing one’s emotional response to one’s identity. Thinking critically has become such a buzzkill for youth that selling to a stoned audience is preferred, as it is much easier to emotionally manipulate your audience when it can’t think straight. The Democratic Party has demonstrated this as fact: By combining the emotionally charged concepts of sustainability, inclusivity, social responsibility and climate risk into a single idea, the Democratic party has effectively sold almost half of today’s youth on the misery of socialism.

Don’t be surprised if future Davos poobahs begin singing the siren song of socialism. If and when that occurs, will it be because they’ve carefully thought it through or because they, like so many in business, education and the arts, have simply capitulated to the left?

KEN BECKERT



Abingdon, Md.

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