King Cotton, Redux
The Morning Call looks at the corporate heirs to the Confederacy
If you take a look at the very well-done cover of my new book, The Dictatorship of Woke Capital (see below), you’ll notice that the picture is a parody of the easily recognizable logos of three very prominent “woke” companies: Disney, Amazon, and Apple. I note here two things about that cover. First, I had nothing to do with it. The exceptionally talented folks at Encounter Books put that together, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s a really GREAT cover, if you ask me. Second, and more to the point, those three logos/companies were not chosen at random. They foreshadow the last three chapters of the book, each of which charges one of those companies with rank hypocrisy and patently ANTI-ethical behavior.
Of the three, two – Disney and Apple – are pilloried in large part for their ongoing relationships with the CCP. One of them – Apple – has a thoroughly symbiotic relationship with the Butchers of Beijing. Without the CCP, Apple would probably cease to exist. And likewise, without Apple, the CCP would be in serious trouble. Apple CEO Tim Cook talks a good game about human rights and human dignity, but his company has a disgraceful record on both inside China.
Given this, we were unsurprised when we read the following New York Times exclusive from late last month (emphasis added):
Nike and Coca-Cola are among the major companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, according to congressional staff members and other people familiar with the matter, as well as lobbying records that show vast spending on the legislation.
The bill, which would prohibit broad categories of certain goods made by persecuted Muslim minorities in an effort to crack down on human rights abuses, has gained bipartisan support, passing the House in September by a margin of 406 to 3. Congressional aides say it has the backing to pass the Senate, and could be signed into law by either the Trump administration or the incoming Biden administration.
But the legislation, called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, has become the target of multinational companies including Apple whose supply chains touch the far western Xinjiang region, as well as of business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Lobbyists have fought to water down some of its provisions, arguing that while they strongly condemn forced labor and current atrocities in Xinjiang, the act’s ambitious requirements could wreak havoc on supply chains that are deeply embedded in China.
If somebody is whining to Congress about supply chains “deeply embedded in China” it’s a good bet that person either is or is in the employ of the aforementioned Tim Cook. There are very few, if any, Western companies more reliant on China and its murderous leaders than Apple. Cook – and it was mostly Cook, not Jobs – bet big on China and would lose that bet in spectacular fashion if the would-be Abrahams Lincoln in Congress tried to free the slaves in Xinjiang.
Think the use of the word “slaves” is over the top, a touch inflammatory? Maybe. Or maybe not, as this report, published Tuesday by Agence France-Presse appears to indicate:
Hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority labourers in China's northwestern Xinjiang region are being forced to pick cotton through a coercive state-run scheme, a report has said.
The research published Monday by Washington-based think tank the Center for Global Policy is likely to heap more pressure on global brands such as Nike, Gap and Adidas, which have been accused of using Uighur forced labour in their textile supply chains.
Rights activists have said Xinjiang is home to a vast network of extrajudicial internment camps that have imprisoned at least one million people, which China has defended as vocational training centres to counter extremism.
The report -- which referenced online government documents -- said the total number involved in three majority-Uighur regions exceeds a 2018 estimate of 517,000 people forced to pick cotton as part of the scheme by hundreds of thousands….
[T]he think tank report said labour transfer scheme participants were heavily surveilled by police, with point-to-point transfers, "military-style management" and ideological training, citing government documents.
"It is clear that labour transfers for cotton-picking involve a very high risk of forced labour," Adrian Zenz, who uncovered the documents, wrote in the report.
There is, we think, a profound irony in the fact that the CCP’s defenders in this country have just recycled the Confederacy’s excuses for maintaining slavery. “Supply chains!” they all scream, echoing the plaintiff cries of the plantation owners who insisted that ending slavery too abruptly would destroy not merely the South but the entire global economy. Yes, yes, slavery is bad. But just think of the economy! (Or the cell phones, the tablets, the NBA jerseys, 1/5th of all cotton fabric used in US manufacturing, etc..)
Cook, the wokest of woke corporate leaders, is the modern-day James Henry Hammond, threatening the supply-chain dependent world unless the slaves and their master are left alone:
Without firing a gun, without drawing a sword, should they make war on us we could bring the whole world to our feet. The South is perfectly competent to go on, one, two, or three years without planting a seed of cotton. I believe that if she was to plant but half her cotton, for three years to come, it would be an immense advantage to her. I am not so sure but that after three years’ entire abstinence she would come out stronger than ever she was before, and better prepared to enter afresh upon her great career of enterprise. What would happen if no cotton was furnished for three years? I will not stop to depict what every one can imagine, but this is certain: England would topple headlong and carry the whole civilized world with her, save the South. No, you dare not make war on cotton. No power on earth dares to make war upon it. Cotton is king.
At the risk of repeating ourselves: the CCP is evil. Period. And anyone who does business with the party and thus covers for the party’s wickedness should be considered accessories to evil, at the very least.
No matter how many hundreds of millions of shareholder dollars they spend to soothe their guilty consciences.