Earlier today, I received a comment for one of my most popular posts, which I rejected to post, which said the following: “Just stopped by to say your take is horrible. ‘Go woke go broke’ translates most accurately to ‘don’t create anything that makes white people uncomfortable’. Nobody owes you anything.” This man seems to have greatly misunderstood why it is that go woke go broke is sound but often ignored business advice. Today, let us explore the error of his reasoning and those of people who seek similarly–far too many of whom are in positions to greenlight unprofitable and worthless entertainment–so that we may better understand the relevant sound principle that undergird the entertainment industry, which is namely to entertain as many people as possible.
The first logical fallacy that I would like to comment on in the aggrieved comment left on my post is that it reasons from false premises. The false premise here is that I believe artists and entertainment companies owe me anything. They do not owe me anything; they are not in debt to me, and I am not entitled to entertainment that suits my own perspectives, identity, beliefs, or opinions. I am perfectly capable of entertaining myself without any help from anyone else. The converse, however, is also true. I do not owe any entertainer or any entertainment company anything either. I am not obligated to support any artist or any work of art that I choose not to patronize for any reason or no reason at all. If I feel that a given artist or work of art is not worth my time, money, and attention, or any other currency I may happen to possess, then I am free to ignore it and consign it to the memory hole as if it never existed whatsoever.
One of the realities that many people are reluctant to recognize is that show business, however unusual a business it may be, is still a business. Business exist at the sufferance of customers. If a business cannot find sufficient customers, it goes out of business. This is a trivial, fundamental reality, that should be obvious enough that it does not need to be stated. Unfortunately, we live in times where no reality, however fundamental or trivial, can safely be assumed to be known by people who opine on subjects they know nothing about, an occupational hazard many of us (myself included) are all too aware of. Companies that alienate their potential customers lose a great deal of business. This is why going woke makes companies go broke, because it turns people who would be happy to pay for your products and services into people who are hostile to what you have to offer. This is a mistake. It is a very common mistake among people who should know better, and among people whose inability to recognize such a fundamental reality causes them to act so strongly against their own interests.
Most people are aware that entertainers are not people who live like ordinary people. We are generally aware, because the media makes us aware of it on a regular basis, that these people live lives of considerable luxury but frequently adopt political positions that are hostile to the well-being and comfort of ordinary people. We are also generally aware, also thanks to the media, that these people generally live disordered and immoral lives. Most of the time, we are willing to ignore this or at least suppress our native hostility to such people assuming they give us a good reason to patronize them in some fashion by listening to their music or watching their movies or television shows and so on. Yet when such people go out of their way to insult us by mocking our identities, trampling our principles and beliefs in the mud, and telling us outright in many cases that they do not want us as their customers because we hold tenaciously to principles and beliefs that they do not agree with, we are often insulted for taking them at their word and ceasing to be their customers and patrons. As a result, when such people lose popularity for themselves and their works, they do not accept that they are themselves responsible for the hostility that comes upon them as a result of their own unproductive behavior.
Why is it that going woke makes business (and frequently entertainers) go broke? It is because such virtue signaling and political posturing is accompanied by insulting alienating massive amounts of potential customers. Such behavior lacks business sense. To the extent that one wants a profitable career in entertainment, one has to go about entertaining people. Frequently this requires flattering them and catering to their tastes, beliefs, perspectives, and opinions. He who pays the piper gets to call the tune, and it is the customer of entertainment who pays the piper. If you do not make what is appealing or enjoyable to one’s audience, one loses one’s audience. If one loses one’s audience, one is no longer able to make a living as an entertainer. Again, these are not complicated or difficult principles to understand, but fundamental and basic aspects of business that ought to be within the grasp of even the most uneducated jongleur. Why these principles are viewed as a “bad take” rather than an “obvious reality” is an indication of the fact that politics blinds people to even the most obvious truths, such as the truth that those who make a living off of entertaining ought not to put away their sacred labor of entertaining in order to adopt the hectoring tone of a lecturer in moral philosophy, a task for which they are seldom qualified either as moralists or philosophers.