Mises Wire

The Putrid Underbelly of Woke Capitalism

Corporate intrigue reached a fevered pitch on May 6, 2023, in Omaha, Nebraska, when a shareholder was arrested during the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway. The shareholder challenged the affiliation of Warren Buffett with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bill Gates’s association with Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted in Florida for procuring a child for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute, and who reportedly committed suicide in a New York jail while facing charges for sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.

Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), stood to offer proposal number eight, which called for the roles of Berkshire CEO and chair to be separated and held by two persons. Flaherty argued that the separation of roles was necessary so that Berkshire “would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s personal political activities.” Speaking of Buffett, Flaherty stated:

He’s donated tens of billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Bill Gates explained when the couple was still together, “although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett.”

If “woke” culture is a disease, then philanthropy is the virus.

The Gates Foundation bankrolls the teaching of Critical Race Theory around the country, including that math is inherently racist.

The Gates Foundation offers a Gender Identity Toolbox which asserts that gender is the result of “socially and culturally constructed ideas.”

This is a lie. Gender is not a cultural construct. It is a genetic and biological fact. (emphasis mine)

Flaherty was interrupted by a Berkshire representative and pleaded to the chair (Buffett) to be allowed to continue. Buffett agreed that Flaherty could continue but warned him of the three-minute time limit for shareholder proposals. Flaherty then proceeded to throw down the gauntlet, until his microphone was shut off:

We know how much Bill Gates cares about children. He met and traveled with Jeffrey Epstein many times after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

The Gates Foundation had a huge influence over the COVID response fiasco.

Bill Gates defended China’s COVID policies and still discounts the possibility that the virus originated from a lab, even though U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. The Gates Foundation may be the largest single donor to the “dark money” machine known as Arabella Associates. . . .

It funds causes like defunding the police that are making American cities unlivable.

Money goes, too, to groups conducting—

At this point, Buffett declared from the stage: “You crossed the boundary.” Two security guards grabbed Flaherty by either arm and escorted him from the room. Flaherty was arrested and charged with trespassing.

The arrest of the Berkshire shareholder, apparently for merely mentioning Jeffrey Epstein in connection with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, coincided with a series of Wall Street Journal articles exploring Epstein’s calendar and a trove of Epstein emails and other documents. The Wall Street Journal revealed numerous Epstein meetings with high-profile contacts, long after Epstein served time for soliciting a child prostitute and was registered as a sex offender. Represented in Epstein’s calendar and emails are such notables as William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021; Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist; Jess Staley, former Barclay’s CEO; Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn; Larry Summers, professor and former Harvard University president; Woody Allen, filmmaker; and Noam Chomsky, leftist MIT linguistics professor, among others. These and other meetings may reveal that many businesspersons and woke philanthropists were ensnared by a child sex trafficker.

The scene at the Berkshire annual meeting also followed on the heels of the lawsuit filed against JPMorgan Chase by the US Virgin Islands. Attorneys for the US Virgin Islands claim that the bank materially aided Epstein in his child sex trafficking scheme and is seeking damages for their clients. Four billionaires have been subpoenaed in the case so far, including Google cofounder Sergey Brin; Hyatt Hotels CEO Thomas Pritzker; real estate tycoon and owner of U.S. News and World Report Mortimer Zuckerman; and venture capitalist and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. Curiously, the US Virgin Islands has also attempted, without success, to serve a subpoena to Google’s other cofounder, Larry Page, whose whereabouts remain unknown and who obviously does not want to be found.

It should be remembered here that Google has represented the leading edge of woke capitalism, with its leftist ranking algorithms and its employment of “machine learning fairness” that corrects for so-called algorithmic unfairness by misrepresenting reality with affirmative action results. Clearly, Google’s founders did not rely on algorithms to identify and eliminate pedophiles from their list of business contacts.

While the US Virgin Islands asserts that JP Morgan Chase facilitated and possibly bankrolled Epstein’s pedophilia ring, US Republican lawmakers have claimed that the US’s largest bank has a penchant for cancelling the accounts of conservative and religious groups. The bank maintained its financial relationship with Epstein until 2013, long after he was convicted of sex crimes, yet recently cancelled the accounts of such groups as the National Committee for Religious Freedom. The bank’s touted “diversity and inclusion” policy has apparently included pedophiles but excluded avowedly Christian groups.

Much more has and could be said about why high-profile businesspersons, philanthropists, academics, and even intelligence officers had relationships with Jeffrey Epstein. For example, some have claimed that Epstein and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell were Israeli spies who ran a honey-trap operation to steer US policies in Israel’s favor and against US interests.

As the Wall Street Journal asked:

Epstein was a former schoolteacher. How did he become a billionaire? What was the source of his wealth? Was he paid for providing women or girls to his friends? Was he a blackmailer? Were women or girls an enticement to invest in his projects?

Finally, there’s the ridiculous, implausible matter of Epstein’s death in federal custody on Aug. 10, 2019, which 3½ years later remains under investigation by the Justice Department inspector general, only feeding conspiracy theories.

But the main question for our purposes is: How is that nearly all major corporate heads and influential members of society have simultaneously gone woke? Could it be that whoever controlled Jeffrey Epstein sets the agenda through the use of blackmail, directing these corporate heads and other leaders to convert to wokeness, while steering their philanthropy to designated ends, including the funding of critical race theory and the LGBTQIA+ agenda? In other words, is our capitalist class controlled by whoever oversaw Epstein’s thirty-year entrapment operation?

In addition to revealing the moral rot that has permeated the US establishment, the Epstein connections also show that those who claim the woke moral high ground, and impose woke policies on the rest of us, are perhaps the most corrupted people on the face of the earth.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute