Analysis, Business & Money, Charles, Left-Liberalism, Political Discussion & Analysis, Popular, Sex Roles, Social Justice Warriors
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On Battlefield V

Last year, the giant gaming company Electronic Arts released the latest version of an extremely popular military game, Battlefield V. Each release in the series takes place in a different time period; this one recreates World War II. Such games are very popular; successful titles can take in considerably more than $1 billion for their makers, and the budget for creating Battlefield V was around $250 million. So this is big business: as big as, or bigger than, Hollywood. But all mega-corporations today kowtow first of all to their real masters, the social justice warriors of the Left, not to their owners, and that, in the context of computer gaming, is what we are here to explore today.

Battlefield V, you see, is deliberately not a simulation of World War II. Rather, it is a rewrite of World War II, in which female soldiers are co-equal with men. The main publicity image for Battlefield V, featured everywhere, is of such a woman, rushing to battle with a pistol in her right hand and an M1 carbine under her left arm. Other promotional images show other women in similar poses, and the player can play as a woman. This type of ideological rewriting of “historical” military games is a new thing. No earlier Battlefield game included female characters—including games set in the present, where at least there actually are, and in the future, where they may also be, a few female combat soldiers. A deliberate choice was made, at the highest levels of Electronic Arts, to depart in this direction.

I am not here to analyze the question of women in today’s military, although it is an interesting topic, and my own position has changed over time. I used to think that women should not be allowed in combat; that it was the supreme example of ideology triumphing over common sense. I still think that, but more broadly, now I think that except in dire circumstances involving existential peril for a nation, women should not be permitted in the formal military at all, except in roles such as nurse and non-combat roles totally disconnected from the deployed military. Basically, that would be similar to the real American setup in World War II. But that’s a topic for another day. Today, we’re talking about propaganda.

To get an idea of the game, and of the ideological bent, you can look at the “reveal trailer” released by EA at the end of May 2018. The purpose, and critical importance, of such trailers is as advertising, to generate interest in the game some months before its release and prompt “pre-orders,” delivered to the consumer on the release date. Thus, such trailers highlight what the game maker thinks will be most attractive about, or, in this case, what is most important about, the game. As you can see, the video features female soldiers in the British army, along with a few men whose faces are not shown. One woman, around whom the video revolves, is apparently the squad leader. She leads the charge, riding to battle on top of a tank, leaping off to run into a house filled with enemies, yelling obscenities and orders in a Cockney accent, spraying machine gun fire and killing man after man (none of the enemies are women—surely an unintended acknowledgement of the visceral actual real-world reaction of men when women are killed). She snipes from the back of a moving vehicle and caps off her superman actions by using a makeshift spiked club to save a helpless male comrade. Nobody viewing the trailer could miss the message or view this as anything but a female-centered game, with women largely replacing men in all traditional roles.

The response of consumers to the reveal trailer was not favorable. Across the Internet, players of the Battlefield franchise, many of whom had played it for more than fifteen years (the first release was in in 2002), objected. Usually, the stated objection was lack of realism, and that was probably true for many of the complainers. The deeper reason, not so hidden, was that gamers, overwhelmingly male, didn’t want their entertainment turned into propaganda. Social justice warrior manifestos, instructing them how women really should be viewed, is not what they wanted to pay money for. For most gamers, playing these military games allows them to act out a masculine fantasy; they don’t want to break the fantasy by fighting alongside, or as, women, any more than they want to use guns that shoot flowers or grenades that shower their enemies with bubbles. Plus, of course, they are tired of being exposed to such propaganda in every area of life; they were offended that one of the last remaining outposts not infected by propaganda, where they could still pretend to be free men in a sound society, was being overrun.

One possible analysis is that EA must have made this change to make money, by attracting buyers from an underserved market, women. But the percentage of players of such “shooter” games who are women is extremely low—between two percent and four percent, depending on what survey you look at. This includes science fiction shooters, where women are not infrequently featured as characters, so my bet is that the percentage of specifically Battlefield players is less than two percent. That is, there is no relevant market at all if the business goal is to attract women to buy the game, since women simply don’t buy such games, as is totally obvious and understandable to anyone who is not wearing ideological blinders. Perhaps there is a large unserved fetish market for men who are titillated by seeing hot women with weapons featured on the cover of a game, or within the game itself, but I doubt it. And even if that were true, a business decision would have to weigh that against men turned off by the propagandistic inclusion of women. So while every so often EA’s defenders make the claim that “fans wanted women included,” they never offer any evidence whatsoever for that claim, which is pretty obviously just a lie.

Thus, business decision is exactly what none of this was. Further proving this, when challenged, EA made no arguments at all along those lines. Instead, they offered preening ideological declarations and attacked critics as bigots, haters, and misogynists. They launched an organized campaign to denigrate and deplatform their own potential buyers, complete with hashtags like #everyonesbattlefield. They mocked their customers and burnt incense at the altar of “diversity and inclusion.” All this was done overtly and by executives at all levels, and they were explicit that their only goal was to be ideologically correct. EA chief creative officer Patrick Söderlund publicly said that “We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or.” The “cause,” of course, is forcing ideological conformity to a radical agenda through a distortion of reality.

Given Söderlund’s challenge to “accept it or don’t buy the game,” consumers quickly chose the latter. Pre-orders, which the trailer normally drives, were a total disaster. The November 2018 release was an even bigger disaster. The game was a flop, selling half what the original, 2002, Battlefield game did. EA cut its projected 2019 earnings by hundreds of millions of dollars. Its stock dropped nearly fifty percent, slicing billions from the company’s market capitalization. True, the gaming industry in general declined during that time, but a competitor shooter game from Activision, Black Ops IV, released at the same time, was the bestselling game in Activision’s history. Nobody has claimed Battlefield V was a success.

The controversy percolated in the background of gamer circles, but only in the background, during the second half of 2018. It was confined to the background by an well-organized and funded campaign to attack anybody who dared criticize the game. Rather than address any complaint, or offer business rationales, EA and the social justice warriors dominant in the entertainment and media worlds immediately shrieked that the real problem was misogyny. Gamers, we were told, hate women. There was much talk of “angry white men” (though what “white” had to do with it was not explained). In other words, the response was that the gamers should shut up, and that they must abase themselves, admit their sin, and bow down before the brazen idol as a condition of being allowed to talk in public. Naturally, speech to the contrary was aggressively censored. For example, Reddit, which calls itself “The Front Page of the Internet” and is a main location for the types of young men who play such games to communicate about such matters, promptly banned any mention of the topic, and various media outlets rolled out articles attacking complainers.

When not merely mouthing social justice warrior cant, the most common claim by defenders of EA (not by the company itself, whose only response was to wrap itself in the glowing cape of social justice warriordom), was to note that (a) all shooting games are unrealistic in many ways, such as usage and effects of weapons; (b) complaints were only about the particular unrealism of a feminized World War II military; so (c) complainers must hate women. This is the rankest sophistry, though mostly it wasn’t meant as a serious argument, merely as a prop to hide that what really matters is “the cause.” The unrealities that characterize shooting games have always characterized shooting games; it is a function of the limitations of simulations, combined with the need to make changes to increase the entertainment value. Nobody would buy a game which, like real war, is mostly boredom. But the goal of designers has always been to increase depictional realism as computer power increases, a goal that has largely been met (as can be seen from the reveal trailer), while making necessary modifications for entertainment value. The unreality complained of here is different—it adds no entertainment value, but harms the experience, by deliberately decreasing realism for purely political reasons, wholly unrelated to the game itself, or to the entertainment of the players.

Scrambling for a fallback defense, defenders of the game pointed out that a non-trivial (but relatively very small) number of women did serve in the Soviet armed forces in World War II, though they did not note that was due to a unique combination of the existential nature of the crisis and Communist ideology. The vast majority served as medics, but a miniscule number sometimes engaged in combat (the precise details are hard to ascertain, between Soviet lack of records, Soviet secrecy, and modern Western attempts to use this as a political lever to support the ideologically driven goal of women in modern combat). Regardless, this is also a dishonest defense of the game, since Battlefield V features no Soviet soldiers, or fighting in the Soviet Union—it takes place in Crete, Normandy, Norway, and the Ruhr. To place women soldiers on the frontlines in the British army is, of course, ludicrous. No women fought as combat soldiers in any army west of the Rhine.

So that’s the saga of Battlefield V. Such propaganda by giant corporations is not an isolated incident; yesterday Gillette rolled out an expensive advertising campaign for men’s shaving products that revolved around “toxic masculinity,” how men are evil, and how by feminizing themselves they can be better. Why? Certainly not to sell men’s shaving products. Giant corporations offer such advertising constantly, spending money so they can lose more money by turning off their customers. Examples are legion, and getting more frequent.

How can we explain this? What rational decisionmaker would deliberately spend hundreds of millions in order to lose hundreds of millions? To answer that question, we must examine it from the perspective of two separate (if overlapping) groups: social justice warriors and corporate insiders (i.e., officers and directors). As to the former, their goal in service of their poisonous ideology is that the Gleichschaltung that they have successfully (but temporarily, I am sure) imposed across much of American society must not be permitted to have a single exception. Nobody may escape. Any and all people who present themselves in public, or have any role in society, must worship at the altars of their extremist and anti-reality ideas. Men as a class, and young men in particular, are regarded as resistant to their ideology, central to which are demands for the feminization of men, the denial of masculine virtues, and the exaltation of non-existent female characteristics. Any resistance to this program is characterized as misogyny, or increasingly as the non-specific fantasy category of “toxic masculinity,” in both cases something to be crushed. And for current purposes, what matters is that the Left especially hates that gaming, due to the demographics and political leanings of its participants, is one of the last bastions of resistance to the SJWs, hence the campaign against male gamers of which Battlefield V is a centerpiece.

The claim that misogyny drives objections to extremist SJW propaganda is easily disposed of. Not just because as I outline above it’s provably untrue in specific cases, but also because young men are, as a moment’s thought will make obvious, known for the exact opposite of misogyny, in the natural order of things. Though the Tinder-esque decay of culture, of chivalry and proper morals, the result of the Left’s agenda of societal destruction, has given many young men today an instrumental view of women, that is still not misogyny, but rather very badly misdirected appreciation. What young men need to restore a proper approach to women is not hectoring from social justice warriors in pursuit of an extreme ideology of sexual fluidity, but a return to formation by other men in the masculine virtues and strengths, which together with feminine virtues and strengths, make up a strong society. It is restoring the balance that is needed. And to the extent there is hatred in this mix, it is not the hatred of misogynists, but hate directed at normal masculinity by a subset of women and a group of feminized men.

Of course, young men do tend to be easy to whip up to hatred, even though the reaction to Battlefield V is not an example. Nuance is not their specialty. This is why young men form the backbone of street-level support for demagogues throughout history. We see caustic manifestations of this same tendency today, in direct reaction to the dominance of the Left and its hatred of and oppression of masculinity, most recently in Gavin McInnes’s Proud Boys, successfully (it appears) suppressed by coordinated action of the Lords of Tech and leftist-dominated local governments. My bet, though, for good or ill, is that is far from the last we have seen of such groups, the responsibility for which is purely the Left’s.

The SJWs also try other approaches to discredit any pushback on their agenda. One is to pick through the Internet statements of their opponents for some statement everyone would agree is beyond the pale, and then to highlight it across all their platforms, falsely claiming it is representative. With young men, you don’t have to look very far to find such a statement, especially when online such statements are anonymous, not to mention it’s not necessary for the purpose to determine if any given statement is meant as a tasteless joke. And when they find one, the SJWs make no effort to first prove it is not a statement planted to support the Left, analogous to so-called hate crimes on college campuses, the vast majority of which are hoaxes perpetrated by leftists. Another is to claim that any objection to their radical ideas is in fact an objection to a totally different, uncontroversial, idea. Thus, they make such claims as that “feminism means a man can choose to be a woman; gender is a social construct.” When that stupid idea is challenged, the argument offered in return is not how and why that can possibly be true, but rather some variation of “feminism just means that women aren’t inferior to men; how dare you question feminism?” At the end of the day, though, none of these approaches are what matter to the SJWs—all that matters is that everyone conform.

So that’s why and how social justice warriors relate to Battlefield V. To them, it being a commercial flop is not a disaster at all. The goal of increasing ideological conformity has been achieved at zero cost to themselves. Their behavior is not surprising; when you live to impose your ideology on others, you naturally take actions to achieve your goals. But why corporate insiders would cooperate is less obvious, aside from that some of them are personally infected with the SJW virus. The reason is because each and every corporate insider, director or officer, who cooperates in the SJW program personally benefits and pays no cost at all.

Really, on a corporate governance level, this behavior exists for the same reason executive pay is grossly excessive, a topic Steven Clifford ably addresses in The CEO Pay Machine. Both behaviors are examples of the agency problem, the separation of ownership and control. Corporate executives are legally required to act in the best interests of the company’s owners, the stockholders. (They can take into account, within limitations, other goals as well.) In theory, benefiting the stockholders will usually lead to performance rewards for executives. But the stockholders in large corporations have only the most indirect form of control, though electing directors, and those elections are almost never competitive. In practice, stockholders are passive investors, and directors and officers run the company for their own benefit, limited only by the possibility of a lawsuit for gross self-dealing. Unsurprisingly, this leads insiders (directors and officers) to line their own pockets at stockholder expense. To combat this, various mechanisms, such as payment in stock, are used to align the incentives of insiders and stockholders, such that when insiders line their own pockets they may also be lining stockholders’, though these mechanisms meet with varying amounts of success.

In recent years, however, the extremist creed today referred to with the cant words “diversity and inclusion” (tomorrow it will be different ones) has taken hold among directors and officers. Such ideological goals have nothing to do with benefiting stockholders and there is no way to pursue them without harming stockholders, so no mechanism can be created to align incentives. Directors and officers, though, can and do line their pockets in two ways by advancing this ideology with stockholders’ money. Within the corporation, through indoctrination and external social and legal pressure, individual executive advancement has been made heavily dependent not on job performance, but on whether an executive has furthered SJW goals, both inside and outside the company. And outside the corporation, an insider receives even more rewards by advancing this pernicious ideology, the more rewards the more of the stockholders’ money he spends. He is praised by the news-setting media, invited to the choicest social events, given the public approbation of those he regards as his social equals and betters, offered seats on the boards of other corporations, and pursued with outstanding new employment opportunities.

Conversely, an executive who is seen to refuse to spend money in that way, or, worse yet, can be tied in any way to any type of social conservatism, inside or outside the company, gets none of these things. His career is instantly over; at best, he may keep his current job, but probably not. If he entered the company insufficiently attentive to Leftist social ideology, he has been endlessly reminded of the need to conform by the object lessons of those who failed to do so, accompanied by constant direct indoctrination by the harridans from Human Resources. It is no different than Mao’s Cultural Revolution, with fewer dead people. Only the most obtuse, or those on the autism spectrum like James Damore, fail to get the message, loud and clear, and do not conform. They pay the price. The natural and obvious, in fact inevitable, cumulative effect of this type of soul-deadening ecosystem is the type of business decision exemplified by Battlefield V.

So, really, it’s simple. People respond to incentives. We can expect to see more of this, more demands for enforced conformity to a monolithic leftist line, profit be damned, until the stranglehold of the Left over the culture is broken. Lately, I have been optimistic; I can sense the burbling of magma beneath the surface of our culture, inevitably, sooner rather than later, erupting in force, both destructive and creative, but either way, ending the Left’s power. Or perhaps it’s just the Mexican food I culturally appropriated for my lunch that I feel. I hope it’s the former. Now I, too old for shooting games, am going to fire up a flight simulator game, and try to forget about this for a while.

21 Comments

  1. Charles,

    Extending the logic of the last few paragraphs, it seems clear that private investors “own” these companies but don’t have control, and that control is relatively more important in terms of settling the value of ownership question, versus deriving some kind of short or long-term material benefit.

    If the private stockholders don’t own the company, and the directors and managers are following an explicitly political agenda, can we make the case that these companies effectively are nationalized and publicly owned?

    Would you take that step and say many US public companies have been transformed into de facto “State Owned Enterprises”?

    Or is that still a bridge too far at this point?

    • Charles says

      Well, much of the actual profit, even if reduced by the separation of ownership and control, still goes to the stockholders. And the benefits don’t go to the “nation,” but to left-wing causes or, often, to specific left-wing groups (e.g., the evil SPLC). So yeah, I’d say bridge too far at this point–though, if the government keeps going the way it is, maybe not for much longer.

  2. I won’t push it further as it likely is a bridge too far. However, because of the tax inefficiency of paying dividends, most of the profits wind up back inside the companies as retained earnings, where they are typically mismanaged on poorly thought out acquisitions or stock buybacks at high prices, etc.

    There was a time in this country where people owned businesses to put cash profits in their pocket. But now the game is Hot Potato Profits that you clip off when you need to by selling your business to someone else for capital gains (which are taxed).

    So, it still seems gimmicky from the standpoint of private value of ownership.

    • Charles says

      Oh, I agree. Extremely gimmicky, as is that stock market valuations are largely based not on business fundamentals, but on monopolies, regulatory rent seeking, and interest rate distortions. Not a good way to run things.

  3. Bartolo says

    The EA story is a new battle in an old war. GamerGate anyone?

    Here is the product description of “SJW Always Lie”, by Vox Day (staunch Christian, a bit eccentric but often astonishingly ahead of the curve), released in August 2015:

    “Social Justice Warriors have plagued mankind for more than 150 years, but only in the last 30 years has their ideology become dominant in the West. Having invaded one institution of the cultural high ground after another, from corporations and churches to video games and government, there is nowhere that remains entirely free of their intolerant thought and speech policing.”

    VD constantly brings up examples of what he calls “convergence” (his translation for “Gleichschaltung”, not a bad one in my view [I am a German-speaker]).

    By the way, I know our dear blog proprietor Charles likes *actionable* advice, and Vox Days offers some in his book (and I assume in the follow-up book “SJW Always Double Down”, although I have not read that one) regarding how to deal with the SJW pest (which is Bioleninism at work, btw, I am sorry about the hostile and stupid reaction at Bloody Shovel’s regarding this blog’s owner’s opinions, especially since I am the one who tried to bring about some sort of intellectual cross-pollinisation; this kind of internecine fighting bodes ill for our cause and is beneath us; no wonder the left keeps beating us).
    As an example of Vox Day’s prescience: one of his main rules, repeated over and over again, is “never, ever, talk to the press; no exceptions”. And now think about the way King has been crucified by the New York Times in a cross of transparent lies.

    • Charles says

      I actually intended originally to include a complete analysis of GamerGate in the post, in part to educate myself. But I discovered it is, as Wikipedia says, “tortuously complex.” No doubt the basic issues are much the same, and therefore simple, but the chaff surrounding it, deliberately in many cases, made it unproductive to add.

      I’m familiar with Vox Day, and of what I know, generally approving. An even less even-keeled Kurt Schlichter, I’d say, but in some ways that’s a compliment. His rule on the press is interesting, and certainly seems sound. On the other hand, I saw Bannon the other day saying that he ONLY talks to the mainstream press, never the conservative press. Leaving aside his own baggage with the conservative press, for someone unflappable like Bannon, who is used to being lied about to his face, it might be a good strategy. Maybe he insists on not being edited or summarized, which would be a good rule along the same lines. Someone like Peterson (whom I assume you are referring to) does not necessarily have the luxury of ignoring the gatekeeper press, though, summarized or not. If one is trying to get traction in the current environment, it may be necessary. Someone who is extremely good can come out ahead, on balance, I think. And as the gatekeeper press loses its credibility with an ever-greater percentage of the population (though it will always retain a large segement), this trick is more likely to work.

      Oh, no worries at all about Bloody Shovel. It was interesting, though frankly on the disappointing side. Worth trying, and I appreciate it!

    • lhtness says

      At the very least, your comments over there led to at least one new reader of this blog. (There’s a lot to read, and everything I’ve seen so far is interesting and well-written.)

  4. I have always wondered why the corporate executives would go along with sjw ideologies, as I am unconvinced by the conspiracy theories floating around listing how the executives are being blackmailed over various past “racist” and “metoo” accusations.

    Your explanation of them simply building social capital at the expense of shareholders wealth is better, in my opinion. Thanks.

    • Curt says

      “Your explanation of them simply building social capital at the expense of shareholders wealth is better, in my opinion”
      The reason corps go along with SJW nonsense is because:
      1) Large parts of the knowledge-economy workforce has been indoctrinated in the Liberal religion, and so corp leadership risk causing internal strife inside their employee-base and furthermore losing employees. I’ve seen financial firms (small, medium, and big) enact all sorts of ‘we are all good people’ bylaws to give the impression that the firm is onboard with the Liberal religion. And in many cases the leadership of the firm is even a true believer in the religion.
      2) Litigation. The primary purpose of HR is to ensure that no employee (past or present) sues the firm. There is an army of rapacious lawyers out there looking to sink their teeth into a ‘civil rights’ case against a firm. The litigation causes all sorts of negative secondary effects. So corps bend over backwards to make sure that they tick all the boxes that make them seem like ‘good people’ who would never violate the Liberal religion.

      • Kid B says

        Or maybe it’s just that their internal research concluded that they will make more money by fronting as “SJW-friendly” than by ignoring them. And maybe most people in the US tend to have a fairly consistent moral system that sees real life-threatening issues–like unarmed people of color being killed by police before their chance of due process proclaims them guilty or not–as a problem worth starting a nationwide conversation about.

        Maybe the act of putting on a pleasing mask for your customers is as old as capitalism itself. Maybe most huge and powerful organizations (like US corporations) have consistently proven beyond refutation that nothing is sacred to them and making more money is more important than what people of some group (less likely to pay as much as much as a competing group, mind you) think and feel.

        Power don’t give a fuck what anything experiences except that which it can use to grow itself.

        • Charles says

          “Nationwide conversation,” in any context, is SJW cant for a propaganda campaign based solely on emotion, demanding compliance without argument or dissent. It is a top-down structure beloved of the Left; it has nothing to do with what “most people” think or want.

          • Kid B says

            Innocent unarmed people being murdered by police officers because those officers shoot people of color based solely on an emotion (the unconscious fear of people of color) when they were not in imminent danger is a Fact, not a prejudiced emotion. The nationwide conversation I mentioned cited these murders as one impetus to push the issue into the mainstream. Emotions are sure tied up in that, if my neighbor got shot because of something so arbitrary as skin color I’d be pretty worked up too. That is no reason to ignore the facts supporting the “SJW” activation.

            Furthermore, no one is demanding compliance with anything except Human Lives. This shouldn’t be hard to grasp. Most of us in the US believe in the innate value of human life. Skin color does not determine the inner value of a human being. We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.

            I just can’t not mention the mind-bending absurdity of the phrase “top-down structure beloved of the Left”. What “Left”? The center-right policies of the Democratic party? Or the progressives that have no major party and therefore have far less power? By “top-down” do you mean the party with the Strong Leader (TM) using unilateral executive orders to go directly against the wishes of Congress? (that guy ain’t Left) Or do you mean the very uncommon attempt by courageous politicians to Divert a measly portion of the federal taxes we already pay FROM the normal, common, “business as usual” state-sponsored corporate welfare TO programs that benefit regular people in tough situations (i.e. taking from the rich “Top” to give to the poor “-Down”)? I must ask because it appears you haven’t taken the time to read about Marxism or Anarchism or Syndicalism etc. from respected members of the respective ideologies. If you had you would know that Marx advocated for a stateless society, that Anarchism is entirely based upon challenging hierarchy and organizing all power structures from the bottom-up (it’s where the distinction “top-down” and “bottom-up” came from), or that Syndicalism is about organizing society around the well-being of the common workers that truly power it. Popular leftist sentiment in any group I’ve been a part of outwardly rejects Lenin and Stalin for their authoritarianism. We are against that, and all forms of hierarchy.

          • Charles says

            Such shootings certainly do happen. How often is unclear. But my point is about the term itself, which is used for a wide variety of leftist initiatives, such as gun control, in the manner and for the purposes I said.

  5. Kid B says

    If I were a slave master, and you were my slave, and I told you that I don’t want you to be in pain, so I said that if you ever scream in pain I will drop what I’m doing and make sure you are safe before forcing you to do more of my work…would that promise make you the “true master”? Is it not most likely that I, a slave owner, would use my power to ensure our status does not change, even going so far as to make promises painting me as “benevolent” to demoralize you into believing that you are better off under my “care”? Does power not first act in accordance to the perpetuation of its existence? Does it not stand to reason that gaslighting would be in normal usage amongst any power more inclined to grow itself than help others?

    That said, how can you honestly claim that the ultra-powerful corporations (many of them more powerful than almost every government/state that has ever existed) are more behest to what is essentially a social-moderation force than they are the people who literally make the decision to accommodate the social-moderation force (or to not)? It doesn’t take an economics scholar to see that the power of wealth gained is much greater than the power lost by accommodating a popular social attitude. In fact it is a basis for capitalist social interaction to wear a smile over gritted teeth. It is basic economics that (within free society) one can only make money off those willing to buy from you, and that pissing off 10 people in exchange for 5 new sales is not worthwhile when by simply choosing the other side (arbitrarily, of course, since power will lie in order to maintain itself) would result in the opposite: 5 pissed people and 10 new sales. Regardless of what most chairpeople and executives believe, ALL evidence consistently and repeatedly shows that they will sacrifice their core values to appease the profit-gods aka shareholders.

    Just to spell it out in case it’s hard to understand,
    TL,DR: Ultra-powerful mega-corporations that accommodate “SJWs” do so because their absurdly-detailed studies clearly show they will grow more in power
    by accommodating “SJWs” than they will by not accommodating them. It is a rule set by power designed to gaslight others and simultaneously further entrench their power. It is demonstrably false that “SJWs” have any more power over corporations than the corporations allow; the corporations never moved out of their dominant positions.

    Furthermore, seeing how smart you are yet how clearly obvious your lie is demolishes any chance of me trusting you. That’s a shame, considering your brain.

    • Charles says

      You clearly have no idea whatsoever how an actual business runs. I can assure you that businesses do not make decisions on the basis of “absurdly detailed studies.”

      • Kid B says

        Yes, they do. It’s called “marketing”. There’s a pretty well-rooted field of academics all about it.

        Come on now. You can do better.

        • Charles says

          Ever hear of the agency problem? Again, you have no idea how a real business works.

  6. Kid B says

    So you’re saying the corporate powers are principal to the agency of the ever-evolving “PC” culture? I agree. Would you mind tracing the accountability of power with me?

    Assuming corporate structure usually consists of: Owners/shareholders provide the means of production and distribution, executive officers make common daily decisions and implement plans, and a board of directors helps bridge the gap caused by the agency problem.

    So in your example, you point out the massive profits possible with proper marketing of a AAA game, and imply the willingness to include “SJW” ideals in their games is more importantly an example of corporations submitting to their masters than an example of people in power (over mass production/distribution) using said power (marketing to “SJWs”) to stabilize and grow said power (manifested as money in modern society). I would like to point out why the latter explanation is more important (they are both true to very different degrees).

    What is the stated objective of all capitalist organizations? Profit. More money. That is the foundation, the will of the organization: To attract ever more money. This makes sense. However to leave the will of an organization at mere “profit” is ignoring the primary driver of the people powering these organizations, namely the drive to provide for the needs of ourselves and our loved ones. While there are exceptions with some executives, most of them feel normal human feelings and have their own active human experiences which inform their fellow human reality. Apply this understanding to this thought experiment:

    You are the new CEO of EA. The first full product you oversee is the new Battlefield game. Hell , for fun let’s get racy: US Civil War. Let’s say for steel-manning you are a civil war buff and value historical accuracy over features and modes but under the addictiveness factor. Yahoo Business has been throwing feminist-slanted articles up for months, but now the Wall Street Journal published not one but two articles on the topic, an opinion piece (anti-fem but libertarian so he is accepting and moving on) and a statistical analysis of various aspects of public feminism and their effects on several industries, including Digital gaming. The resulting analysis, from a capitalist perspective, is obvious based on historical evidence from past PC incarnations: this PC movement of modern feminism and anti-racism shows no indication of a possible threat to the accumulation of capital. For what few business models the movement makes obselete, three more will be discovered within months. The analysis is thoughtful and relatively complete compared to the lacking arguments of Yahoo Business. You feel relieved that there aren’t any major negative effects of feminist pandering in video games, since the market share lost is outweighed by the market share gained.

    However, this still doesn’t sit right with you, as you’ve always had a stink eye for the “SJW” type. Being a civil war scholar you know no females fought in either army, but you also know there are female figures of history that didn’t fight but could easily be put in the game. You also have sitting right on your desk a report about the projected sales impact of a plethora of small, easy-to-implement changes you must approve before going gold next week. The “random female historical figure who didn’t actually fight” alone projects a 13% increase in lifetime sales through attracting more females into the audience. All else is decided, all left is the historically–innacurate woman.

    Doing the math shows that, assuming a hit and assuming the rest if the year goes as planned, could triple your 7 figure income with the performance bonus and stock options. This is significant in your financial life. However, your values and ethics as an amateur historian are very important to you, not to mention a genuine worry about a potential degradation of society.

    How would you make this decision? To me it makes sense to balance the personal importance of both actions and the personal importance of the outcomes. Furthermore, if you decided to betray your values, would the financial power received as a result be more important to you? Most importantly, which decision would most benefit the material conditions of your loved ones?

    The decision by EA to pander to PC culture was not arbitrary or a mistake. It was deliberate for the purpose of making money, regardless of how the ones deciding felt about it personally. If their data didn’t suggest more money by including PC bs, they wouldn’t have. If there is a corporate problem with betraying morals by pandering I would suggest it is caused by the unstable lack of moral character amongst those with corporate power, not by a movement that, as I said before, essentially amounts to collective social-moderation (which does have power but only indirectly through influencing paradigms unlike the direct power corporations have over almost everything we get access to use or consume).

    In conclusion, capital fuels all material power and is the de facto resource for liquid power in present society. The accumulation of capital therefore takes ultimate precedent over all other known forms of power in the eyes of a corporation, so it can grow in power through use of reinvesting the liquid capital. The end result of prioritizing capital is the consolidation of more power. The end result of prioritizing values is 2 minutes of moral smugness and far less power. The only sane decision of anyone in the same situation with the same economic incentives is to throw values out the window in favor of growing their power and benefitting their loved ones. The only role Leftism played in this or the real scenario is influencing the further extension of heightened moral awareness the world has been experiencing the past century.

    • Charles says

      What evidence do you have that is not all pure fantasy? Certainly, EA offered no such financial analysis, nor could they, as I showed. And you still obviously know nothing at all about how a real business, big or small, operates, or about the agency problem, for that matter. You should stick to marching for change with the three other members of your Trotskyite tendency.

      • Kid B says

        Corporations are not required to post such data, and doing so would be giving away for free what they spent money on. Releasing such a report would be detrimental to the business, and you know this. Any corporation not using their resource of capital to research market changes and public reception of marketing decisions would be foolish, and you know this too. I feel like you are intentionally misunderstanding my arguments.
        The agency problem is well understood by critics of capitalism and proponents of the worker-ownership business models.
        Trotsky’s only good idea was to allow freedom of religion, and thank you for the personal attacks.

        I started commenting with a snarky tone, but I never personally attacked you, rather I have extended the benefit of the doubt for basic understanding. You have repeatedly insulted me. This is me asking for a little more respect.

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