Cast as a milestone in what the New York Times recently termed an “anticapitalist” march through America’s elite business schools, Wharton’s move parallels the advance of what critics call “woke capitalism” in boardrooms, already illustrated in the vast majority of major U.S. companies touting their ESG bona fides in regulatory filings, and every Fortune 100 company having adopted a DEI program.
“Stakeholder” capitalism, ESG, etc. are all just ways for management to avoid accountability. If your job is maximizing shareholder returns, you can be judged a failure or success. If your job is instead a mishmash of buzzwords and conflicting goals, you cannot. Like the political class’s love of transnational institutions — no pesky electorate to account to — it’s all about maximizing their freedom to do as they please, at the expense of the lesser classes.