Book Review: ‘Woke, Inc.’ by Vivek Ramaswamy

Unmasking the Profitable Side of Social Justice

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Book Title: Woke, Inc.
Author: Vivek Ramaswamy
Publisher: Swift Press
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-1800750937
Date Published: Jul. 07, 2022
Price: INR 393

Woke, Inc by Vivek Ramaswamy Book Cover

Book Review

The term ‘woke’ has undeniably entered the mainstream lexicon, and its meaning has evolved. In Vivek Ramaswamy’s thought-provoking book, “Woke, Inc.,” he explores the multifaceted concept of wokeness and its intersection with corporate interests. Ramaswamy’s central thesis revolves around “Wokenomics,” wherein corporations leverage progressive ideals for profit and power. In today’s world, where social justice issues are often intertwined with capitalism, the book “Woke, Inc.” by author Vivek Ramaswamy offers an insightful examination of a pressing cultural phenomenon and the consequences of its co-optation by corporate interests. It’s a book that invites readers to reflect on the more profound implications of the word ‘woke’ and its role in shaping our society.

Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur with a background that includes prestigious institutions like Harvard and Yale and experience at Goldman Sachs and founding his biopharmaceutical company, Roivant Sciences, brings a unique perspective to the discussion. He asserts that corporations are not merely selling products but are also selling a new standard for thinking and living in America. By aligning themselves with social causes, they can influence legislation, manipulate consumers, and stifle dissent. This phenomenon, as Ramaswamy argues, weakens democracy by polarising citizens and concentrating political power in the hands of a corporate elite.

The author astutely examines how the concept of “woke” has evolved from its original meaning of being alert to injustices, particularly anti-Black racism, within the Black community. As the term entered the mainstream through movements like Black Lives Matter, it has taken on varying interpretations and political affiliations. It can denote an awakening to issues of inequality or be used pejoratively to criticise perceived oversensitivity and political correctness.

One of Ramaswamy’s primary concerns is the misleading facade created by corporations through virtue signalling. Virtue signalling is a public display of moral character or social consciousness. While individuals might engage in this behaviour for self-gratification, corporate virtue signalling is often a calculated marketing strategy that exploits socially conscious consumers. Ramaswamy contends that this practice can harm a wider audience.

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In “Woke, Inc.,” Vivek Ramaswamy challenges us to scrutinise the blurred lines between genuine social justice efforts and corporate interests. His book provides a critical perspective on the impact of Wokenomics, urging readers to question the true motivations behind corporate virtue signalling and to be vigilant in navigating the complex landscape of wokeness.

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