A new survey by the Cato Institute has major implications for woke capitalism. The survey has revealed the extent to which the artificial corporate monoculture has poisoned our discourse and made it perilous for anyone outside the left to be open about their views.
One of the key take-aways from the survey was that 62% of those polled said they were afraid to openly discuss their political opinions. The numbers get worse the further down the political spectrum you go: 77% of self-identified Republicans felt that they could not be honest about their politics, whereas 52% of self-identified Democrats felt the same way. The only group that felt they could be honest about their views were “strong liberals.” Liberals, moderates, and conservatives all feel to some extent that they have to self-censor, and that if they were honest about their political views, their careers would suffer.
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this report is just how many respondents, particularly those on the left, reported being willing to punish their political opponents. Half of self-identified “strong liberals” said they would support firing Trump donors (only 36% of “strong conservatives” said they would support firing Biden donors). There is also a distinct generational divide – younger Americans are more willing to punish Trump or Biden supporters than older Americans.
The problem of an artificial ideological monoculture is exceptionally prominent among the well-educated. According to the Cato study, if you’re a Republican with a graduate degree, there’s a 60% chance you are worried that being open about your politics could cost you at your job, while only 25% of post-graduate Democrats felt the same way.
In summary, virtually every major political group feels some amount of external pressure to keep their mouths shut, and a troubling proportion of people find the idea of firing people because they donated to the wrong politician defensible – and these problems are particularly severe for young, well-educated people. While political bias within corporations is an extremely widespread phenomenon, the big tech companies – Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – are almost endemically left-wing, and these Silicon Valley companies are disproportionately likely to be run by young people.
In light of this study, the widespread ideological monoculture in big tech is not a shocking anomaly. The cause is obvious: Conservatives cannot openly challenge any dogma of the political left, because they might be fired, as happened to James Damore at Google, if they tell the truth. An internal group called “FB’ers for Political Diversity” was formed inside Facebook, consisting of 100 employees who believe that the company was systemically biased against conservatives. A senior engineer at the company wrote in a memo, “We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views [….] We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.” Undoubtedly, a culture that forces conservatives to form tiny support groups would influence how a corporation operates. According to 2ndVote, which tracks political bias in business, Facebook is almost monolithically left-wing.
*Source: 2ndVote. Scale from 1 to 5, 1 being the most left-wing, 5 being the most right-wing.
On everything from abortion to religious liberty, Facebook is completely embedded within the left. There is no viewpoint diversity at these companies because they make no effort to encourage dissenting or deviation from the accepted doctrines.
They may be deeply committed to diversity in a facile and superficial sense, but they have no concern for diversity in its most meaningful sense: diversity of viewpoint. It is not considered desirable by corporate management to maintain a workforce that consists of people who view the world differently. When shareholder rights groups have tried to fix this problem through resolutions that support ideological diversity, corporate management shoots them down. Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and Google all rejected shareholder resolutions calling for more ideological diversity, evidently preferring to let their workers stay in petrified silence than do anything that might allow moderates and conservatives to speak freely.
The conservative movement should find this report deeply concerning. It indicates that left-wing bias in corporations is even more widespread and deep-seated than we thought it was. As far as we can tell, companies such as Apple are doing nothing to make employees who disagree with the consensus feel comfortable being honest about their views. It is now incumbent upon investors to pressure woke capital, particularly big tech companies, to protect and promote ideological dissent. The left-wing monoculture in corporations is both bad for business and offensive to human dignity. It’s time for shareholders to push back and stand up for real diversity.