Religion & Liberty Online

Samuel Gregg on the bankruptcy of woke capitalism

Should corporations hitch their businesses to leftist causes, such as suppressing the Betsy Ross flag? At Public Discourse, Acton Institute Director of Research Samuel Gregg writes that “woke capitalism feeds on deep confusion about the nature and ends of business.”

Gregg describes how businesses contribute to the common good by fulfilling their own ends, which generate wealth and prosperity for society. He adds:

Woke capitalism, I suspect, is only in its early stages. Progressives understand its effectiveness in herding American entrepreneurs and businesses into the pursuit of liberal concerns. Many business leaders—sometimes for reasons of expediency, or because of their personal embrace of liberal ideology or lack of courage—consider it the way of the future.

They are wrong. Instead of making business woke, we should not let our moral horizons be clouded by sentimental humanitarianism. We must critique woke capitalism clearly and forcibly, remembering that business exists to realize the particular economic ends that constitute its specific common good. The very integrity of business as a distinct form of voluntary association that makes a particular contribution to society’s overall well-being is at stake.

You can read his full article here.

(Photo credit: Dontforget789. This photo has been cropped. CC BY-SA 4.0.)

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson (@therightswriter) is an Eastern Orthodox priest and served as Executive Editor of the Acton Institute (2016-2021), editing Religion & Liberty, the Powerblog, and its transatlantic website. He has extensively researched the Alt-Right. Previously, he worked for LifeSiteNews and, where he wrote three books including Party of Defeat (with David Horowitz, 2008). His work has appeared at, National Review, The American Spectator, The Guardian, Daily Caller, National Catholic Register, Spectator USA, FEE Online, RealClear Policy, The Blaze, The Stream, American Greatness, Aleteia, Providence Magazine, Charisma, Jewish World Review, Human Events, Intellectual Takeout,, Issues & Insights, The Conservative,, and The American Orthodox Institute. His personal websites are and His views are his own.