The Business of Revolution: Corporations Cash in on OWS

The revolution is on, dude!  And leading from behind in this free-for-all of anachronistic anarchy are many of our brothers and sisters residing in those cozy corporate executive suites who are oh so eager to show their solidarity with America’s upper middle class malcontents.

Ben & Jerry’s, the one-time hippy-dippy ice cream store that is now just another subsidiary of the corporate conglomerate, Unilever, certainly couldn’t wait to scoop out some old-fashioned PR by playing the public role of Occupy Wall Street provocateur.  Back in October, they were quick to toss their curds and whey at the motley Occupy Wall Street marathon as they geared up to milk the crony capitalist cash cow.  The company website proudly displays their pledge of support for the street freaks, rapists, pedophiles, thieves, anarchists, bums, and other assorted flavors of flotsam that have floated to the top of the Occupy cesspool.  

Mark Steyn, in a post entitled Revolution, Inc., once again pins the tale on the progressive Democrat donkey.  It would seem that manning the barricades can be good for business and Occupy Wall Street turns out to be just another cheap corporate commodity.

Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever. What’s that? It’s an Anglo-Dutch multinational (stand well back) corporation. They produce a big chunk of everything in your kitchen and bathroom. Twelve of their brands have annual sales of over a billion euros per product, and, as I’m sure I don’t need to point out, a euro is well north of a buck these days.

They brought in a Unilever guy from Norway to be Ben & Jerry’s CEO, and neither Ben nor Jerry holds an executive position with the company, any more than Uncle Ben (no relation) and Aunt Jemima do with their respective corporate masters. I suppose they could have renamed the operating unit UniBen or JerryLever, but instead they decided to keep the whole tie-dye peace-pop cherry-Garcia vibe going.

Long before Ben & Jerry’s, the record companies established the general esthetic…..”You say you want a revolution?” Sure.  Agitating for permanent revolution proved the best way to ensure corporate continuity….And, if you can make it work in the rock biz, why not in ice cream? Indeed, the default political position of your average CEO — “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” — was pioneered by a generation of Brit rockers raising awareness for fashionable causes while sheltering their royalties beyond the reach of Her Majesty’s Treasury.   Mark Steyn

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