The Inevitable, Abysmal Failure of "Wokenomics"

It’s a maxim you’ve likely heard before, one that succinctly summarizes the danger that social justice propaganda poses to American businesses. Its effects can be felt from the Hollywood Box Office to the sales of multinational corporations. The phrase is catchy, pithy, and, most importantly, accurate: Get woke, go broke.


American companies—whether to garner attention, receive applause, or project their own corporate politics—have increasingly embraced leftist political ideology. They have, in today’s modern political lexicon, become “woke.” The business practice has become so prolific, in fact, it’s hard to go a day without witnessing yet another corporation pay lip service to the tenets of progressivism.

Wokenomics, or woke capitalism as it’s often called, is a business strategy that has been tried ad nauseam in today’s corporate sphere. The result, however, has always been the same: inevitable, abysmal failure.

More than anywhere else, Hollywood has consistently (if inadvertently) refuted Wokenomics as a viable business tactic. Producers, actors, and directors—united in their zeal for left-wing proselytizing—consistently churn out movies laden with progressive nonsense. And time after time, these movies bomb hard at the Box Office.

Even the once-beloved Terminator franchise wasn’t immune from the devastating scourge of wokeness. The latest installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, was heralded as the franchise’s “most feminist film.” The movie’s director, Tim Miller, boasted that, with its strong feminist themes, Dark Fate would scare the boots off of misogynistic internet trolls. In one sense, Miller wasn’t entirely wrong. The movie did indeed terrify people, namely the film’s financial backers. For all of its progressive bona fides, the movie bombed enormously, with projected losses totaling an astonishing $130 million.


But Hollywood isn’t the only place Wokenomics has been tried and failed. Gillette, the men’s razor company, released a viral, social justice-laced internet PSA condemning men for their so-called “toxic masculinity.” Unsurprisingly, Gillette’s decision to criticize and demean a large portion of its target demographic didn’t sit well with its prospective customers. Following the company’s advertising venture into woke virtue-signaling, Gillette witnessed its valuation plunge $8 billion.

Wokenomics, it would seem, prioritizes political pandering over sound business practices. And as companies like Tesla clearly demonstrate, the results are all-too-often catastrophic.

Elon Musk’s electric car manufacturer is undeniably popular with members of the political left—and for good reason. Tesla and its founder have achieved peak wokeness. Musk is an adamant climate change activist, and his company actively lobbies the federal government for the policies progressives love, including an expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit.

But for all the time he spent advocating for the left’s climate agenda, Musk apparently forgot to forge successful businesses. Despite reciting the left’s talking points and pursuing the progressive agenda, Musk’s companies have continued to flounder.  

After settling a major lawsuit with Walmart over defective products, Tesla is now facing a massive lawsuit from its own investors following the merger with SolarCity, a failing, indebted solar panel manufacturer that was chaired by Musk himself. The decision was a huge, unnecessary, and dangerous gamble for Tesla to undertake, and it very nearly cost Tesla investors everything. Worse yet, Musk allegedly understood that SolarCity was a terrible investment for Tesla. According to recently revealed court documents, Musk knew at the time of the acquisition that SolarCity faced a severe liquidity crisis. But, apparently blinded by his progressive desire to advance green energy, Musk went forward with the deal regardless.


Clearly, potential investors and the federal government alike should be wary of buying into Musk’s enterprises. For him, woke ideology takes precedence over all else, including, apparently, the survival of his company.

Unfortunately, Musk Inc., Gillette, and the entirety of Hollywood are just the tip of the iceberg. More and more, companies are placing the left’s political preferences ahead of sound business strategy. They believe it beneficial to virtue-signal their conformity to progressive groupthink, but they are sorely mistaken. We already know what the end result will be, and it isn’t pretty. It’s the truism that stands the test of time: Get woke, go broke.



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