America is underwriting its own demise.
Woke Capital apparently wants to hasten it.
Coming on the heels of a letter from titans of American industry to the Biden administration calling for it to jettison punitive China tariffs post-haste and resume trade negotiations with Beijing, BlackRock’s research arm recently urged investors to increase their exposure to the PRC by 2 to 3 times.
The world’s leading asset manager of some $10 trillion in assets did so 18 months after China helped foist a pandemic on America and the world that has caused incalculable damage in blood, treasure, and sacrificed liberty and justice.
It did so after China crushed Hong Kong, clashed with India, antagonized Australia, and as it threatens a takeover of Taiwan.
It did so in spite of the fact that Xi Jinping is currently waging a jihad—euphemistically referred to as a “regulatory crackdown”—against China’s largest businesses, U.S.-listed ones that saw $400 billion of market value lopped off this summer.
It did so surely knowing those funds ultimately redound to the benefit of the sworn adversary of the United States that seeks to supplant it and reign as the dominant world power.
It did so notwithstanding all the U.S. government has done for it, BlackRock having been dubbed the “fourth branch of government” for its political and pecuniary ties to the feds generally, and the quasi-public Federal Reserve in particular.
And it did so irrespective of its claimed fealty to progressive investing principles.
Former Trump administration deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, one of the principal architects of the administration’s China strategy, broadly captured the symptoms of Woke Capital’s China addiction, and exposed the hypocrisy of the likes of BlackRock, in a recent piece in Foreign Affairs.
“The retirement savings of millions of Americans currently finance Beijing’s military modernization and support Chinese companies that are complicit in genocide and other crimes against humanity. Even as Beijing was systematically expelling foreign journalists from China and making the country’s investment climate increasingly opaque, stock index providers such as FTSE Russell and MSCI continued to add Chinese companies to their indexes, sometimes under pressure from Beijing. Because many American funds benchmark their investments to those same indexes, billions of U.S. dollars automatically flow to Chinese companies, including those that Washington has sanctioned or subjected to export controls.”
This issue is so systemic that until the Trump administration forbade it, the retirement funds of federal employees were being funneled into malevolent Chinese companies as well.
Meanwhile, many financial firms pledging allegiance to “environmental, social, and governance” standards (ESG) demonstrate that those concerns don’t stretch beyond America’s shores.
As Pottinger says:
“Some money managers … eschew investing in Western companies that don’t meet … ‘ESG criteria’ … but happily invest in Chinese companies that feature atrocious records in all three categories. There are U.S. university endowments, for instance, that could deliberately decide to invest in only ESG-compliant companies in the United States but simultaneously invest in a raft of Chinese firms that flout all accepted standards of corporate governance and environmental stewardship.
“Chinese firms contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions, ocean plastic pollution, and illegal fishing than do the companies of any other country on earth. As for social responsibility, a wide variety of Chinese companies—from leading technology firms to manufacturers that export globally—work with Beijing’s security apparatus to track, incarcerate, and extract forced labor from ethnic Uyghur and Kazakh Muslims. With respect to corporate governance, CCP cells, operating mostly in secret, wield significant and often decisive control over Chinese companies—making a mockery of Western standards of corporate transparency and independence.”
When it comes to the likes of BlackRock and its peers, it’s “ESG for thee, but not for Xi.”
American—increasingly in-name-only—financial firms, which lubricate the global economy, epitomize the woke elite, who reject the very system from which they have so richly benefited.
That the rest of that elite—our political class, media, academic institutions, and so on—are literally and figuratively invested in, beholden to, or at minimum afraid of running afoul of China, is at root a symptom of an existential crisis that threatens to undo America far before we ever get around to doing all that is necessary to counter Beijing.
The existential crisis concerns our understanding of who we are as a nation, our confidence in its purpose, and our resolve to do whatever is necessary to defend and protect it and cultivate its greatness.
A pervasive America Last mentality of “wokeism,” decadence, and decline prevails over the commanding heights of society. It’s born of a sort of moral narcissism, as Roger Simon has termed it, under which our elites confess their sins of power and privilege while supporting paternalistic policies falling hardest on those for whom they claim to care most. The elites virtue-signal without bearing any cost—on the contrary, they end up further ensconced in their preeminent societal position.
Unserious as this cynical charade is, it may prove fatal.
A nation that prioritizes politics over merit, rewards mediocrity over excellence, protects the connected and targets the contrarian, permits tyranny under the guise of health and safety, privileges foreigners over citizens, and inculcates an ethos of national self-loathing aimed at undoing the system on which it is based, no matter the resources and capabilities of those laboring under it, will be poised to crumble well before it gets around to confronting its global foes.
Domestic peace and prosperity will erode, morale will recede, the will to survive—let alone thrive—will be extinguished.
The zeitgeist of wokeism, decadence, and decline will defeat us before China has a chance to say “kowtow.” That our putative leaders already kowtow in word and deed—indeed are actively aiding, abetting, and enabling our worst enemy—demonstrates the extent of the rot that has already set in.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.