Wall Street loves Kamala Harris. According to the Wall Street Journal, which ought to know, “Much of Wall Street cheered” her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate. No surprise there. Despite Bernie Sanders and his followers, Wall Street and big business are at home in the Democratic Party. Big Tech in particular has reason to celebrate Harris’s selection, as she has close ties to Silicon Valley.
There will, of course, still be some kayfabe. The WSJ notes that financial big shots “expect her to take some swings at Wall Street…But they said they won’t take it personally.” Harris does not want a socialist revolution, even if she throws some red meat to the Bernie wing of party. She knows that big business and big government can get along quite well—there is money to be made off of big government, and big business is often best positioned to make it.
Nonetheless, and despite what her fans in the media are claiming, Harris is not a moderate, and being comfortable among the wealthy and unperturbed by inequality is not centrism. She is a radical, even if, as Emily Jashinsky notes, we lack a good term for those who “blend cultural radicalism with liberal corporatism.”
Harris, a California Democrat to her core, is an archetype of this political species of woke oligarchs. That is to say, she wants taxpayer-funded abortion on demand until birth, radical environmental policies, strict gun control, and incessant identity politics. She is eager to have the government enforce all sorts of new edicts on ordinary citizens, while going soft on hardened criminals. To top it off, she is an anti-Catholic bigot.
This combination of economic corporatism and cultural radicalism does not balance out to centrism. The WSJ reports that Harris has “managed to impress a Wall Street set that tends to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” but calling Wall Street fiscally conservative is a stretch. The titans of business and finance tend to be short-sighted regarding federal spending and debt, and they love government handouts.
Furthermore, when Wall Street and big business deploy the language of the free market, it is often to undermine the rights and liberties of the rest of us. The cultural left has found that it is easier to control big corporations than a patchwork of smaller, independent businesses (even socialists are denouncing mom and pop businesses as worse than big chains). And the left is eager to use its burgeoning economic power to enforce its orthodoxy on social issues, especially as regards race, class, and sex.
We are witnessing the establishment of a new oligarchy in which the left controls both big government and big business, using the latter to discipline the population and punish dissidents in ways the former cannot. Not only are many corporations quick to acquiesce to the mob, they are bringing the mob in to run HR. Meanwhile, tech companies routinely display double standards as they punish and silence conservatives who use their platforms.
Coercion, not persuasion, is the goal, with dissidents losing platforms, opportunities, and jobs. Many on the left are happy to serve as agents of oligarchy if it gives them economic power they can use as a weapon against their political and cultural opponents. Cancel culture is not so much the free market at work as it is a management coterie using its economic and organizational power for what it sees as social justice.
Of course, this zeal for justice rarely extends past the water’s edge. Many of the corporations that are loudest about social justice are also doing business with some of the worst abusers of human rights in the world, especially China. Harris, as a political embodiment of this, may sometimes say that China should be held accountable, but she opposes efforts to do so, from tariffs to reminding people of the source of the current plague.
American entanglement with China is supposedly justified in the name of free trade, but there is nothing free about trade with a totalitarian regime that steals, cheats, counterfeits, and even uses slave labor. The Chinese government has absolute power over all Chinese economic activities and entities, and uses it to bully American companies. From Hollywood to Apple to the NBA, Americans are doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party in order to maintain access to Chinese markets and cheap Chinese labor.
This overseas exploitation is complemented by efforts to import exploitable workers into the United States. Employers use the H-1B visa system as a new form of indentured servitude that allows them to undercut American workers. They also encourage illegal immigration to ensure a permanent underclass of even cheaper, even more easily abused workers—some rise above it, others sink, but those pushing for more do not really care either way, so long as the supply continues.
There is nothing moderate about any of this. The embrace of cultural radicalism and corporatist economic policies by the financial and business elite has been devastating to American workers, families and communities. It has elevated China while weakening America.
Kamala Harris’s embrace of woke oligarchy does not make her a centrist, it just makes her radicalism more dangerous.