Friday, April 14, 2023

Wokeness, Managerialism, and Entrepreneurship - By Ryan Turnipseed

 I was recently at an introduction to management class that’s required for my undergraduate degree, and the topic of diversity and leadership arose. All the usual cards were pulled, and I will paraphrase a few: “If you want to be a good leader, you must realize the benefits of diversity.” “There are more male leaders than female leaders in business, and this needs to be rectified.” “If you want to move beyond the stagnation of only having White males, you’re going to have to find new methods of hiring and leading that have cross-cultural application.”

To anyone who has kept up with the degradation of education as it has slid ever leftward, this may seem relatively basic. These quotes are only referencing racial diversity and a gender gap, after all. I mean, can you remember the last time when gender gaps were the big issue for the woke instead of, say, mutilating children? These simple arguments and demands for equality and “representation” have been so thoroughly demolished. We know that they don’t want any real diversity, which one could find outlined in an essay from Rothbard. We know that even if they weren’t malicious in their demands for equality (at this point they irrefutably are), the reality of equality would be unnatural and nightmarish. The calls for equality are usually associated with some crises, and the proposed solutions, as most know by now, are fraught with misdirection and ulterior motives (more like power-grabs).

The fact that these tired old arguments, flaws and all, have wormed their way into business schools and the accompanying literature is more than expected. In fact, it’s old news. Rather, I want to focus on a different aspect that really highlights the egalitarians’ fundamental misunderstanding, or willful misconstruing, of the market, specifically by leaving out the entrepreneur.

In the mainstream of business theory, particularly management, the entrepreneur is left out entirely in any meaningful sense. In these introductory courses, and I’m sure the rest of the literature, “entrepreneurship” simply means being creative and starting new ventures. It is entirely separate from the Austrian view, which holds that the entrepreneur, whomever may inhabit that function, bears uncertainty in the pursuit of profit by predicting market outcomes. In doing this, the entrepreneur must produce value for consumer, and not just any value, but more value than the other available options. To accomplish this, the entrepreneur must produce something which satisfies the wants of consumers, which leads to the entrepreneur establishing a firm. The firm is the organization of the means employed by the entrepreneur in his production process. That is its primary purpose.

Using this knowledge, the answer to the above criticisms about more men in leadership than women and about workforces being supposedly too white and male becomes “so what?” Either this is what the consumers value most, explaining why the entrepreneurs are successful in doing this, or this is not what consumers want, so instead of complaining, the academics should pursue the profit which they are so sure would result from a change in these standards. If there are then moral objections to the way these firms are organized, as with any moral objections to businesses and firms, the focus should be on the consumers, who receive value from the business and firms, rather than the focus being on the businesses and firms outright.

But we still have not captured the mainstream thought process. Everything written above is logically derived, sure, but it doesn’t explain why business schools, businesses, and firms are being targeted. When the entrepreneur is removed from consideration (not in a theoretical concept, like in the evenly rotating economy, but as an error), the purpose of firms and production becomes murky at best and entirely lost at worst. As we see with most modern business philosophy, by removing the entrepreneur, the firm is reduced to a simple cultural institution to be molded and controlled for social power, and this is seen no better than in the World Economic Forum’s stakeholder capitalism. Firms can no longer exist to allow entrepreneurs to attempt to provide value to consumers, because the entrepreneur is gone. They instead default to being a pawn in a game of politics, reduced to being purely social and political in nature. Understanding this, why wouldn’t the woke or any other mainstreamer target firms in their quest for power? This isn’t even a wrong move either. If their ultimate goal is control and power, they don’t need to understand what they are losing by curtailing entrepreneurship through their misconceptions. The results of having every major business on their side, along with the state and academia, speak for themselves.

The market, if it can even be coherently defined without the entrepreneur, becomes a similar social institution, as it is now just a collection of social institutions called firms. Under the mainstream understanding, then, the market must be controlled in the pursuit of power. As a result, economics in the business schools becomes purely about the allocation of resources and planning thereof and not the analysis and reasoning of the actions of people. This is because having students devoted allocation and planning is necessary for centralized power. By contrast, having students understand human action and being able to analyze it is dangerous to that centralized power.

Now that we understand the errors springing forth the simple mistake of ignoring the entrepreneur, the institutional takeover of business schools and business literature by the woke becomes less sudden and surprising. There was a weakness in the lack of an entrepreneur, and the woke have exploited this to no end. If we don’t correct this error, pulling the woke and any other centralizing cancer up by the root, everything will only get worse. What new directions will they take these decapitated, zombified firms? Do we really want to find out? No! This problem must be solved!