That was then, this is now

Keynote Address 2: (Ritz-Carlton Ballroom)
Tucker Carlson, “Big Business Hates Your Family”

That is from the recent National Conservatism Conference.  Via Ilya.


I mean... doesn't it?

Just because Trump listens to Carlson doesn't mean the rest of us should also.


See here.

Carlson, like Thiel the other day, basically rails against Google. It's not hard to see why. The biggest businesses in the world are West Coast tech companies and they represent an ideology opposite to his. They are worth collectively trillions of dollars. When big business used to mean conservative, then they were okay but now that the shoe is on the other foot, it has become the enemy. Carlson is nominally a libertarian but his views are more anti-left than pro-liberty. Reactionary might be a better label.

Selling leftist ideas as indisputable gospel day in and day out will turn any reasonable person into a reactionary.

Maybe you should consider stopping doing that.

When big business used to mean conservative, they skipped the social and political commentary. I don't care how a company feels about gay pride or any other subject. Just sell me shoes.

actually, companies are taking values stances because their customers want them to. this used to be a sacred obligation according to conservatives.

however it turns out the prevailing customer value isnt conservative, so conservatives are all cranky again to find out theyre pariahs

Compare them to Adidas or Under Armour - they've left a lot of money on the table since their wokeness. It's not the customers they're serving. So be it though. It's not my company.

Conservative big businesses never skipped the commentary. Numerous small wars and coups were launched in the Americas to benefit Dole and United Fruit. Same with the wars in the middle east for oil companies and defense companies. The most obscene form of social and political commentary is when a gun is pointed at your face.

There's no evidence that any wars were started for oil companies, at least American ones.

"Of course it's about oil; we can't really deny that," said Gen. John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq, in 2007. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan agreed, writing in his memoir, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." Then-Sen. and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the same in 2007: "People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are."

No we're not. This makes as much sense as invading McDonald's for hamburgers. If they wanted the oil they could just get it from Saddam. They couldn't even muster the political force to open ANWAR. A bunch of quotes don't change the facts.

Are you high? Conservative business schmucks have been historically massively interventionist in their employees' lives. Go look at company town histories, or just read up on Henry Ford.

I swear, conservatives are historically stunted these days. Maybe that's the secret to staying conservative.

Apologies for hitting the wrong 'respond' link, I meant to respond to the gp.

Sure, sure. If being gay ruins you or deny your family benefits, it is neutral. If it means you can be treated like a human being, then it is leftism running amok.

I'm just saying a company shouldn't get involved. I'm fine with gay marriage, but I don't want to listen to some shoe company telling me about gay marriage - no matter what stance they take. Staying out of politics is neutral.

Then don't listen. See, thats how it works.

Would be nice if you could avoid it.

I have never bought shoes that preached at me. Do you live in, say, San Francisco?

Misplaced comment? We're talking companies. If your shoes are talking to you, you have other issues.

Ok, I've never had shoe salesmen preach politics at me either. Nor has a shoe company ever contacted me after I bought a pair of their shoes and given me a political lecture.

Yes, because clearly large businesses avoided taking political positions on social issues previously. Maybe we were just lucky that the civil rights movement didn't force companies to endorse positions unpopular with reactionaries with regard to their employment or sales practices.

How would "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" fare in this day and age?

That was 1971.

"The biggest businesses in the world are West Coast tech companies and they represent an ideology opposite to his."

From a political-economy standpoint, the big businessess that matter are GM, Ford, coal and steel ming and refining, retail like Sears, Wards, Kmart, Walmart, and Amazon logistics. These are the businesses that pay heads of households less and less and less over the timeframe of conservatives driving the political-economy of 35-40 states at 60-80% success in affecting families.

Yeah, California has lots of workers going down the same path as West Virginia coal miners and OH-PA steel workers, but they are brown, speak Spanish, and never were in the middle class, or factory or construction non-white workers paid twice the wages of the workers Carlson thinks of in the heartlandd.

Whose job is it to put money in the pockets of the masses who simply know how to do the work so the boss thinks they are stupid morons folowing orders?

I worked in the 70s with computer engineers on factory automation, with far less understanding of factories they walked me through than I thought. In 2002 I thought I'd learn manufacturing skills which must be all computer controlled by then. I discovered "unskilled" production workers have harder jobs than my coding or testing jobs that consumed 60-80 hours a week. I could spend a week failing to catch a missing period, that five others missed, but a production worker is a screw up if he misses a bolt or weld.

Just read of 2000 finished cars being scrapped because parts were not properly cleaned for a day causing bad welds that will cause many to break in half in a decade if put on the road. Probably one guy caused 40 million in damage. Lucky one guy, probably paid $50k noticed in a day. I was finding problems with engineers paid over $100k each to cause and then discover after weeks.

People like me got paid more and more while our jobs got easier while the common workers get paid less as their jobs get harder.

But hey, cost cutting is a conservative priority. Which is better, cutting the cost of paying a million workers or cutting the costs of paying 100 workers coming up with ways to cut the costs of a million workers?

Better yet, we're automating away those common workers to make them not so common!

"Which is better, cutting the cost of paying a million workers or cutting the costs of paying 100 workers coming up with ways to cut the costs of a million workers?"

The point is to create value so the former if I'm reading it right.

carson: When big business used to mean conservative, then they were okay but now that the shoe is on the other foot, it has become the enemy.

Well, yeah. I mean, taking your statement at face value, should Big Business makes itself systematically your political enemy then, yeah, they're the enemy. Why would a conservative movement treat them as an ally if they're not one? If the left generally likes the state, is there some hypocrisy that they should not like an authoritarian right wing state that puts the screws on them?

It looks more like he's just saying that Big Business today is mostly against reasonably functional family structures. And one would presume, in their marketing, and in their actual policies towards employees and so on.

And if they have actually changed to be like that, then saying that they have is simply true.

I think that's pretty hyperbolic though.

In terms of the above comments about how conservatives are inconsistent on how much corporations should speak, the last time business was robustly pro-conservative was probably at least 2-3 generations ago. You're talking a whole different set of people in conservative politics over that time, so it's hard to ascribe any hypocrisy to them.

The media and entertainment sector do. Not sure about the rest. What's been disconcerting is how readily the tech sector and elements of the financial sector have co-operated to attempt to prevent the right from communicating and organizing (making use of guidebooks composed by the $PLC, a collection of known grifters). Big business certainly ain't my friend.

That's because you don't have any friends.

There are none so blind as those who will not see:

How can you be such a fucking moron?

Thiel was ranting about Google because he will soon IPO Palantir into the same market, and Google's DeepMind is his biggest competitor in the space. Mr Libertarian wants the FBI to look into Google because he wants the government to act as his muscle to handicap a competitor rather than letting the market decide who's product is better. Then "Mr. Libertarian" of course got his goon in the White House to tweet about a possible investigation into Google before opening bell, an act so transparent that the market easily saw through it and Google closed up/higher than the market. And let's not forget what Thiel's underlying accusation was ... Mr Libertarian was saying that global company was insufficiently comfortable doing business with the US Government.
With "libertarians" like these, who needs crony capitalists?

Are we really to believe that Thiel, who was fleeing America for New Zealand citizenship because he was angry Obama was sitting in the White House, American patriotisim runs any deeper than his alleged libertarian beliefs? The only underlying principle in Peter Thiel's actions or words is self interests at that particular moment.

For contrast to the carnival barker, here is a wonderful profile of Cowen's friend Raj Chetty (titled, appropriately, American Dream): I love this sentence: "Chetty thinks about revolution like an economist does: as a compounding accumulation of marginal changes." For a lift, read the profile. For our sake, let's hope Chetty doesn't go back to where he came from.

Big business has many corrupt players, Tyler, and there is a principled conservative argument to be made here that doesn't involve reflexively bashing business like they do on the left. Whether Carlson has made that argument is another story.

Different ideologies see different problems in big business.

It's an indication of how much "Big Business" has moved to the left to have alienated the right in this way. Partly they're chasing customer loyalty on the left, but partly this is due to younger managers, ad executives, etc. having grown up and been educated in a restricted culture where conservative views were simply absent (or actively policed against).

How did the last generation of conservatives fail to educate the next generation of business leaders?

Vietnam War. Conservative students and the working class went to the jungle, while young men from the affluent left sought out grad school for the deferment. From there, they disproportionately moved into and eventually captured the professoriate.

". Conservative students and the working class went to the jungle, while young men from the affluent left sought out grad school for the deferment. "

Look at these conservative heroes who sacrificed their lives to fight in Vietnam for America.

George W Bush
Dick Cheney
Donald Trump
Rush Limbaugh
Bill Kristol
Ted Nugent
Mitt Romney
John Bolton
Newt Gingrich

Conservatism has a long tradition of serving the country when called upon in the draft.

Tom's answer was off a little.

The left successfully moved in on, and subverted, public schools (government sponsored child abuse) and higher education (including B schools), both of which are little more than nation-wide left-wing indoctrination camps. Want evidence? Look in the mirror.

It appears as if big B schools teach budding big B execs to run their products by Colin Kaeperich (Betsy Ross' American flag is racist!) or Ilhan Omar (America is genocide and colonialism!) for their approval.

I'm a veteran. Proud of it especially when I get together with others. Almost 50 years later,. . .

Anyway, I have big problems with Bill Kristol and Willard Romney (on your list). Not because they managed to avoid going to Vietnam to take the opportunity to get (f@#king) killed for (f@#cking) nothing. Them little bastards never were coming here to destroy things like Oman and AOC are trying to do. The real war was and is here. Thank God we have the names on your list (not Kristol and Romney).

I wouldn't wish war even on you, though you remind me of a hundred dirt bags.

...that your heroes listed above all played the coward while you had to go fight?

Doesn't it bother you that you're a massive faggot?

If your only response is that not *every* conservative went to VIetnam, you're basically conceding my point.

Alternately conservatives just suck ass at engaging the new economy or coming up with new ideas in general, partly because they are addicted to a persecution complex.

I hear in this mad, mad days we live in Blacks can eve sit inside a bus. Imagine it!!

Not sure what the relevance of this is thought to be, but Big Business largely just avoided the Jim Crow South, so as to avoid having to take a position on segregation issues. That's one of the reasons the area was so poor.

I see, they were real neutral back then. Well, at least now we know what people demanding "neutrality" want and what kind of world they are working for. Making America Great Again as in the good old times, indeed.

Who says the side they would have picked was the one you support?

Government was mainly responsible for racial segregation in transportation, not business, but that doesn't fit the tedious narrative:

Did anyone read through the program? It is chock full of the term "nationalism", like every other event and speech has "nationalism" in it. That is mildly disturbing. And no, I don't think loving one's country is a bad thing, which is why patriotism is superior to nationalism. Since conservatives have abandoned patriotism, I suppose its only natural they would turn to nationalism.

Since conservatives have abandoned patriotism,

What's notable about the social-liberal element in our time is an almost constitutional inability to make an utterance that's not either (1) an exercise in pomposity or (2) a red herring or (3) a flat-out lie.

I farted.

I can smell it.

In other words, Derrick let loose a brain fart.

It's amusing to see how much the left has resorted to calling any disagreement with them "un-American." Perhaps the Democrats can bring back the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate all un-woke activities.

Or the Republicans can hold another tiki torch rally to tell Americans to "go back to their country."

I’m just spitballin here but maybe, just maybe, Tucker Carlson is following the Rush Limbaugh playbook and molding his views to whatever leads to the most eyeballs/ears. RW talking heads prefer to lead from behind and their particular ideology is VERY flexible.

Or, most likely, conservatism doesn’t actually mean anything but “anti-left” ala Caplan. The Obama/Trump years have solidified this view for me.

' conservatism doesn’t actually mean anything but “anti-left” '
That is the money shot.

Big business is just a collection of amoral entities under selection pressure to accumulate resources. No reason for your family to fear them more than a pack of wolves or the tsetse fly. It's not like they are out for you personally.

Suppose Big Business did hate your family, what would that look like?

Would it mean adopting a working culture that made it ever harder to rise to power within it while also having said family? Would it require those with career ambitions to geographically abandon extended family and to live in areas notoriously difficult for raising families? Would it mean requiring long delays on family formation while you got credentialed, worked with little remuneration while getting your foot in the door, and then place huge amounts of time and effort on career growth rather than investing in your family? Does corporate culture act like it hates your family?

Would it mean selling products which have strong correlations with family strife and dissolution? Would it market products known to be destructive to thousands of families relentlessly? Would it market products that consume time in great quantities at the expense of family time investment? Would it routinely mock and denigrate your family roles for cheap publicity?

Would it mean lobbying for policies which are good for the business, but bad for your family? Would it support seeking a larger supply of labor via immigration? Would it support visa restricted immigration of labor that is less able to defy corporate diktat without having legal or financial issues? Would it argue for child care subsidies for the people it wishes to employee rather than for all Americans and all child care arrangements?

I believe businesses are amoral and are just maximizing money, power, and prestige for those in positions of power within them. Yet, this formal indifference seems to be giving rise to a lot of behaviors that are, at best, perceived to be hostile to families. I mean what exactly are the pro-family things that business endeavors to do? Provide a cornucopia of goods and services? I guess, but that seems pretty neutral at best for supporting families as opposed to other societal arrangements.

Because everything is political these days, and particularly because Big Business has decided to be political we might ask how corporations compare to families. The majority of American families (even if we include everything except single adults living alone) have priorities that diverge significantly from business. If we take a slightly stricter view of "family" as either parents or married, we find business diverges even more from the median family.

After all, both the median parent and the median spouse are vastly more religious than the country as a whole. Both are vastly more likely to vote Republican. And even within the Democratic party, marrieds or parents tend to be right of their unmarried and childless peers. When it comes to the expressed preferences of the median "family", the median corporation is in opposition most of the time. On the many issues where the nation is split near 50/50, business comes down on the side with more single, childless people the vast majority of the time. And hence they are ever more often backing the partisan politics opposed to the wishes of the majority of families.

There is nothing wrong with this, and certainly nothing illegal about it, but I would be shocked if large organizations that are disproportionately filled with the single and childless who are located in regions that are disproportionately single and childless and who are busy virtue signalling to academia, politics, and other left bastions that are disproportionately single and childless managed to somehow not end up at cross purposes for the majority of families. And frankly I would be shocked if this antagonism did not spill over into emotional terms.

Certainly, I am always told that this sort of analysis is why [Structure X] is antagonistic, if only implicitly, against racial minorities. I see no reason why parents or spouses would feel any differently.

That's a lot of butthurt, hun.

Do you actually think that pointless insults are a good way of persuading the unpersuaded? Or is your goal in life just to increase hostility by spreading vituperation?

I thought this was a good comment. I'm not sure I agree with everything, but it's thought provoking. Where I work we've made a number of decisions that make life much worse for people with families, with the aim of making it easier to recruit 23 year-olds.

But don't we always hear how companies are run for the benefit of the senior managers at the expense of the (young) workers and the (anonymous, off-stage) owners? Does that fit?

Of course it does. How did the senior management get to their positions of power?

Spending years at a selective school getting the right credential. Moving cross country, or internationally, to build their value to the company. Relocating to some major metropolis where rents are terrible, people cannot afford families, and commuting times are terrible unless you cram into tiny quarters (often with unrelated roommates).

They paid their dues.

Now they reap the benefits. If they moved the corporate headquarters to somewhere more family friendly they would have to uproot. Their friends, among the rich and powerful would stay behind. And they might not be close enough to take in the fine culture to which they have become accustomed.

What if they stopped propping up college degrees and elite credentials? Well I could be wrong, but somehow I think a lot of backscratching goes on that level. Getting their 1.4 kids into an Ivy is a lot easier if they play the game. Take some professors star student on as an entry level, he just happens to evaluate your kid's "personality".

Or suppose the high and mighty opted not to corporately celebrate every turn of the wheel away from traditional morality. Maybe don't sponsor the glam-themed Pride float or defy the social pressures to boycott states that are less repressive than anything coming out of China. Well, now there would be some social price to pay. Nobody in power is going to be snubbed for signing on to the LGBTified Express, but you can bet that signing onto to anything that might be construed as opposing the fullness of queer normalization will dry up dinner party invitations and social ties.

For the senior management the concerns of the masses don't really resonate. They can afford to buy out of the things that are challenging for merely mortal families. What they worry about is losing social capital and you can rest assured that as a class they will continue to sign on for marijuana legalization, low alcohol taxation, smoking bans, affirmative action, greenwashing, and all the other proclivities of the high and mighty.

As I always say, if any of the stuff corporate America does when it ventures into American domestic politics actually mattered, they would start first with their relationship to China and every other repressive regime on the planet. The fact that C-suite execs will glad hand tyrants like Xi while going ballistic over "heart beat bills" (which are supported by a majority of Americans depending on specifics) tells us that this is not about deeply held personal convictions. It is about signalling.

Corporate execs are simply an extension of the elite where they live. Sure they might have a few odd ideas about taxation, but their families can afford corporate policies and they like being able to socialize with the famous, educated, and powerful.

"if any of the stuff corporate America does when it ventures into American domestic politics actually mattered, they would start first with their relationship to China and every other repressive regime on the planet."

This only makes sense if corporate America has as much leverage over China's government as they do with the US government. They don't. China also provides them their profits and they will not bite the hand that feeds. I get that you don't like socially liberal businesspeople and that is fair but what ideas do you have to nudge them towards behaving less amoral? You wrote a lot, a bit emotive at times, but I couldn't piece together any possible directions to go to achieve this.


China is by far not the only place that US firms show this hypocrisy. Coca Cola, for instance, has vastly more leverage in Madagascar than they do in any US state bar Georgia. Yet Madagascar has a worse LGBT history than any US state; oh and periodic bouts of mass violence. Or we could go with places like Burundi or Eritrea, the number of dictatorships in the world is pretty high, yet the sanctimonious corporations will gladly work with tinpot dictators who contribute very small amounts to the bottom line. Many of them even have the death penalty on the books for Sodomy, some even enforce it. Yet this never stops US corporations from working there.

And maybe they should. Maybe engagement is the best strategy. But let's be consistent. If ICE is a bridge too far for McKinsey, then what the hell are they doing working for the House of Saud? Or Turkey? Or Uganda?

I see no way to resolve the problem. Corporations are located into wildly atypical areas with wildly atypical Americans because a lot of social changes make this the most efficient arrangement. Stepping off the academic credential track would require coordination that would most likely run afoul of collusion laws.

Ideally, we would have a cultural change. Liberal business people would appreciate the diversity in their own country. They would sacrifice some profits and some social cachet to build out the unfavored zip codes. They might even stop recruiting so heavily off a handful of signals and hire up a bunch of evangelicals (who are after all about 1/4th of the population) and allow them to actually have proportional power. Basically treating the minorities it has become socially acceptable to antagonize like their corporation treats other minorities would be consistent and very helpful.

But I see no law that will not be suborned. I see no regulatory scheme that will not get captured. My guess is that large swathes of the country will end up on electoral paths that make Trump look pleasant until either they or their opponents break. Either classical liberalism will revive with a rediscovery of actual tolerance as a virtue or we will watch daily life slowly reflect political polarization until one side truly wins. Hopefully it will not be too bloody.

Holy cow! Who stretched your sphincter a mile wide? I saw the other comment about butthurt and ignored it. I was wrong.

Weirdly ironic how many comments reacting in this thread with a tone of bitter and shrill rage and rather pathetic attempts at schadenfreude.

Not really a good look when you're accusing others of reacting emotionally out of hurt feelings.

Use vaseline. It goes on real cool. How do I know? Your boyfriend told me so.

Of course, Carlson isn't attacking business, but rather the left that has supposedly captured business. Or so he wants his true believe to believe. Conspiracy is the sauce that Carlson, Trump, and Fox News sell, and there are lots of purchasers of the sauce. He/They are speaking to an audience of true believers. The enemy is the left, the left that has taken over the academy and government, and now is taking over business. True believers have a fight on their hands, a fight to save the country from the left, a fight that may require casualties. It's a just fight because the left hates your family. A patriot must protect God, country, and family, and the left is after all three.

Well the left captured the Arts ages ago, has captured the Universities and Colleges, and appears to have captured prominent tech corporations. We know multinationals are amoral: they will gladly replace local citizen employees with someone abroad making a few dollars less an hour. So why shouldn’t patriotic Americans be worried that big business WON’T also be captured?

What you call 'capturing' is really just the people who run things increasingly disagreeing with reactionary dumdums.

No, universities and the arts are run by people well to the left of center. J. Haidt can tell you all about it. On the other hand, people right of center run industry, finance, the police, the military, and until recently organized religion.

Patriotic Americans have nothing to fear if they continue to bring record profits to big business.

It's not that large tech corporations were captured by leftists, but that the vast majority of their staff and executives already started that way. The American conservative coalition has been doing an amazing job at becoming as unattractive as possible, especially with the anti-immigration ideas. Your typical tech worker will deal with immigrants of more nationalities in a random work week than your average Trump voter can name.

When they see the right rile against immigrants and the college educated, they just see a frontal attack. It's not hard to see why they'd vote in a very different direction.

Yup this. People are all talking about whether Trump will get re-elected and it doesn't even matter; it's game over. The future has been decided because the right decided it didn't want to be a part of it.

Strange conference. I didn't see any conservatives on the list.

Woke capitalism certainly hates the people who look like Tucker.

If someone happens to go to that conference, could he please let us know what there is “beyond libertarianism”? Thanks in advance.

TC, i thought you were into trad caths like Douthat as your new contrarian heroes now?

I guess it's cool to dunk on Carlson due to his non-MSM FP consensus views but he says some legitimately stupid crap such as rants against the metric system in defense of the antiquated US system.

Only a truly mushy Centrist can save us now: " "By manipulating millions of data points, I could weave possible futures"...He brought the same mentality his work as mayor of South Bend, "Shaped by my consulting background...I arrived in the office wanting to get concrete things done."

The National Conservatism Conference had a real diverse, CONTRARIAN set of viewpoints and speakers from Peter Thiel to Ambassador John (aka to Trump "Michael") Bolton.

This group of contrarians should be praised not criticized!

Carlson is a fascist and a medievalist and a moron. His popularity is part of the political right's death rattle.

Does anyone have a transcript of the talk. What did he actually say.

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