Vivek Ramaswamy: When I think about the health of a democracy, really any democracy but especially American democracy, it’s really simple. It is the percentage of people who are willing to say what they actually believe in public. And right now we are doing abysmally on that metric.
And when I reflect on it, first personally as a human being, I wasn’t free to say what I actually believed as CEO. That’s why I had to separate my voice from my company. But now I am a citizen and I’m not going to mince words about what I think we need to do about the cultural epidemic that we’re that we’re facing as a people.
What you have is a bunch of people in my generation, a bunch of woke millennials get together with a bunch of big banks, together they birth woke capitalism. And then they put Occupy Wall Street up for adoption, and that’s really when wokeness met capitalism, that’s when it went from a fringe theory in the academy to becoming supercharged with the potency of capitalism.
And when it mixed with capitalism, that’s when wokeness became….
Tucker Carlson: Talk about an axis of evil. I mean this might be the ugliest most dangerous alliance in American history. I can’t think of anything more destructive than what you just described.
Vivek Ramaswamy: Yeah and it’s the funny thing is it’s an arranged marriage but not of love. It is more like mutual prostitution because each side in this marriage secretly has contempt for the other. They have secret contempt for the other. And any marriage in which each side secretly disdains the other isn’t going to end well. But right now it’s working because each side is getting something out of it.
Tucker Carlson: Can we skip to the part where they eat each other and we enjoy it.
Vivek Ramaswamy: Well there’s a part that comes in between them, which is where this, uh, this bilateral arranged marriage actually turns into what I call a threesome, which is the Communist Party of China getting in on the act, right? So they see what’s going on here with this arranged marriage and they say, okay, this is actually an opportunity and the opportunity is this: if we can get those companies to criticize the United States in the United States but stay silent about our actual human rights abuses here in China, we can do the thing that we could have never done with our nuclear arsenal, and that is to undermine the moral standing of the United States on the global stage. So they got in on this act.
There’s a Chinese word for wokeness as you well know: baizuo, which literally refers to all
white people, they used to laugh at us, but it’s not just a joke. They are now using that as a
geopolitical tool to say, oh, Nike and Disney and the NBA and Marriott, you want to criticize the United States, have at it. If you criticize China, we’re going to build a great Chinese wall and you can’t enter our market. But if you criticize the United States, we’re going to roll out the red carpet to you.
And by the way if you’re airbnb, we’re going to roll out the red carpet if and only if you give us the consumer data that you gathered from your progressive consumers who love it when you post a black square on Instagram, a condition for airbnb’s entry to China. That’s a little little-known secret that the Wall Street Journal reported on last year.
But that’s how this game is played.
Tucker Carlson: You’re upsetting me. [Laughter]
Vivek Ramaswamy: It it makes my blood boil.
Tucker Carlson: I know all this. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it as clearly explained as you just did.
Vivek Ramaswamy: Well I spent a year and a half thinking about it for the book so I better be able to tell you a little something about it. But it is maddening to watch the way in which they’re playing us like a Chinese mandolin. And it is working. And the way they’ve done it is they have turned these corporations into Trojan horses that undermine the United States from within because they are now the new international arbiters of moral justice.
And so China can go to the UN and if they’re pressed about the Uyghur human rights crisis by European, by the EU, as they were last year, the first thing that comes out of Xi Jinping’s mouth is, actually black lives matter shows that the United States is no better. But now you don’t have to take it from Xi Jinping, you could take it from Nike, you could take it from the NBA, you could take it from Disney, the neutral arbiters of moral justice who actually make a better buck because they can enter the Chinese market if they shut up about China but they criticize the United States.
But for China they get something out of that trade, back to that mutual prostitution. It’s now a three-way prostitution where China is able to get something out of it, which is the people who are known to criticize injustice, never criticize injustice over here. That creates this false equivalence between Chinese nihilism and American idealism, and when that happens, Chinese nihilism wins every time. Thank you Lebron James, thank you Disney, thank you NBA. That’s the world that we live in.
And so that is what I call the birth of this woke industrial complex. It is a new leviathan, a new monster, that is far more powerful than what Thomas Hobbes might have envisioned 400 years ago, and it is the biggest threat to individual liberty today. It is not big government alone. Its conservatives are reciting lines that they memorized in 1980, thinking that big government was the threat to individual liberty. Maybe it was in 1980. It’s not today. It is this new hybrid of big government and big business and big government not just in the United States but big government in places like China, co-mingled with big business creating the actual threat to our liberty and our prosperity.
And it’s really hard to know what to do about it when we have spent the last 40 years defending the castle of capitalism from the front door without recognizing that that castle was invaded through the back door from woke activists to the Chinese Communist Party. And I think the defining challenge for us as Americans today is how do we actually sterilize that castle without burning the whole thing down.
Transcribed by William Brighenti, CPA
The Barefoot Accountant