ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell, a man with many unread issues of The Economist in his bathroom, has a habit of using his Twitter account to explain that all sorts of terrible things are just fine so long as capitalists can profit from them. Racism? Totally cool if the market says it is. What about the abhorrent conditions that Nike creates for its Chinese factory workers? Also totally fine:
Rovell sent that tweet off almost three years ago, but it resurfaced last night and gave ol’ Darren even more opportunities to express his post-human worldview. Get a load of this shit:
This is as pure an ideological expression as you’ll ever see anywhere, tautology presented as wised-up reading of How Things Work. Rovell’s argument is that the price of labor in certain East Asian economies is artificially low due to government policy; that due to this workers have no choice but to work in inhumane conditions for little money; but that, because people aren’t being literally forced to do anything at gunpoint, it’s okay, because the market is good. Put another way, powerful capitalists like those at, say, Nike use their influence to affect law and diplomacy, creating conditions in which people have to suffer, and their suffering is okay because that’s capitalism at work. (It is, though not the way he probably means it.)
The irony here is that in the process of mounting his usual “that’s what the market demands” defense of Nike’s inhumane wages and working conditions, Rovell has actually put forward as effective an attack of capitalism as anyone could make. Here we have a true champion of the brands not only acknowledging that Nike takes advantage of an artificial market in China and admitting that its workers lead “very sad” lives, but actually unable to put forth a stronger defense than “What capitalists do is good because it was done by capitalists,” and bragging about his stupid Emmy nomination in the process. This man will one day make communists of us all.