Am I getting old and fuddy-duddy? Has becoming a father changed me? Or has the world changed a little since I was a child? And by changed, I mean going mad over the woke phenomenon which has infected all parts of society, from investment to school children.
The latest furore in the woke wars is all about children identifying as animals and inanimate objects while at school. The UK media has discovered a plague of such behaviour, much to nobody’s surprise.
Apparently, teachers are required to support such identity dysphoria by reinforcing it. Children are meowing in response to questions from their teachers. And anyone who points out the emperor has no fur is in deep trouble.
Those of you who are worried about woke teachers playing the Pied Piper of Hamelin have got it all wrong. Of course, the children don’t really think they’re aardvarks or a Moon, as some of them claim. They are just having fun at our expense. And their ability to do so is probably a sign of intelligence and innovation.
There is no better way to teach critical thinking than forcing the absurd onto someone. Those who wake up and take advantage of this should be celebrated for forcing the issue.
If it takes children to shake us out of our woke delusions, so be it. That’s what happened in The Emperor’s New Clothes, after all…
Another facet of the woke phenomenon I’ve noticed is in nursery rhymes themselves. They’d already been cleaned up since the Brothers Grimm, much to Germans’ disappointment. Nobody gets eaten alive anymore.
But things are getting a bit ridiculous, with the woke version of Humpty Dumpty featuring Humpty Dumpty getting caught in a baseball mitten by a teddy bear instead of breaking into parts. Jill’s brother Jack faces an equally melodramatic fate.
I spent a good half an hour looking for ‘original nursery rhymes’ and ‘traditional nursery rhymes’ on Spotify, YouTube, and elsewhere at 5:00am one morning. I only got more irritable than I already was over the complete lack of violence. Not that my one-year-old needed more of it after kicking me in the head for the previous five hours.
Edging a little closer to financial markets, we have Anheuser-Busch, which tried to harness the woke movement to sell beer. Who would’ve thought this would backfire…?
The old ‘go woke, go broke’ rule struck, with Bud Light sales crashing badly — down 30% at one point. Ironically enough, the response was described as a ‘wake-up call’ by an Anheuser-Busch executive.
A wake-up call for the woke…? What is this? Are we living in the film Inception, with layers of dreams upon dreams to hide objective reality?
In similar strife to Anheuser-Busch, we have Disney, although you might at least expect that company to be woke. And woke they are, with all sorts of cultural appropriation efforts to promote the image of diversity. Which has resulted in poor financial performance and a series of cinematic bombs.
But the woke mob’s most important campaign is climate change. And they’ve been busy.
The UK Government is looking to ration the sales of petrol and diesel cars, before banning them in 2030. The effort to drive more electric vehicle sales has become an effort to prevent other cars from being sold at all — a hint of where all this is going.
If they really go through with this, I’ll be flying to London to buy every car I can get my hands on. Can you imagine what’ll happen to used-car prices over the next few years?
But even in the arena of climate change, the woke are going broke. The media has cottoned on to how dodgy the carbon offsets market is too. Not to mention what gets labelled as green energy.
Being accused of greenwashing and similar practices have forced the woke into the corporate boardroom closet, with companies keeping offset programs hidden to avoid accountability.
Companies are adjusting for a future where the climate crusade gets oiled down too. BHP Group’s [ASX:BHP] plan for net zero will see it increase emissions in the short term. Woodside Energy Group [ASX:WDS] is investing billions into future oil production.
As I see it, companies are punting on net zero being abandoned before their commitments to net zero must be acted on, because we all know it’s just not plausible.
In short, if we transition out of fossil fuels at the rate anticipated by politicians, we won’t have enough energy full stop. That’s what the Australian Energy Market Operator and the CEO of NSW grid operator Transgrid are warning about.
To some, this is, of course, the solution itself. If green energy can’t live up to our needs, we need to cut energy consumption, meaning our standard of living. The CEO of the UK’s power grid is suggesting that UK homes should get ready for intermittent energy in the future.
Whether the world’s power providers are failing to plan or planning to fail, or both, you need to be ready for what woke means for your quality of life.
While the woke tells you that your EV will one day be a battery for the electricity grid, I suspect you’ll be running your car’s diesel engine to keep the lights on and the fridge running instead.
Unless, of course, we transition right back to those fossil fuels to keep the grid up and running…
Enough examples of the ‘go woke go broke’ backlash. The question is whether all of this is an investment trend. Should you buy companies that go anti-woke and sell those that go woke? Someone is buying all those high-emissions divestments of companies trying to go green, after all…
Investing in ‘sin’ stocks is a long-established practice. Alcohol and tobacco stocks are famously high performers since their vilification.
Perhaps oil, coal, and gas stocks will be the standout performers of the decade, not just 2022.
Investors considering such an opportunity have another obvious place to look. It’s not like much of the world is caught up in woke ideology, it’s just the West. If it’s going to cause trouble, just invest in the places that aren’t playing along.
Japan is top of that list. Their obsessions with conformity are the opposite extreme of our diversity at all extremes. My children will need letters explaining why their hair isn’t black if they go to school where their mum did.
I’d love to know how a Japanese teacher would deal with a child in the UK who reportedly identifies as a dinosaur.
But, given that Japanese parents routinely send their four-year-olds to the grocery store down the road, across the river, and a few stations along on the tram, I’m not so sure I’d endorse their way of doing things either.
In the end, going woke is about being able to afford it. Children in the West can afford to pretend to be a cat for a few weeks. The West can afford renewable energy projects and the whopping power prices that follow. But much of the world cannot afford such things in their attempt to get off the poverty line. This will prevent them from trying.
If you believe in ‘go woke, go broke’, invest in the stock markets of nations that’ll ignore the madness.
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia Weekend