Canadian-based “athletic wear” maker Lululemon, which went public in 2007 and is now worth an estimated $45 billion, just stepped forward as the latest giant corporation to exhibit towering hypocrisy.
As The Guardian’s Edward Helmore reports, the company recently started promoting, of all things, an online yoga workshop that it cross-celebrated as, somehow, an event to “resist capitalism.”
You got that right. Not only is it a yoga seminar being put on by a private company that makes $100-a-pair yoga pants (more on one facet of that history later), it’s a capitalist-based, for-profit company that exists only because of the resource-connected, labor-saving, efficiency-awarding, customer-driven free market called “capitalism.”
Objections to the company’s promotion of the tutorial, due to be hosted by yoga instructor and company brand “ambassador” Rebby Kern later this month on Zoom, center on apparent contradictions between aims of a class teaching people how to 'resist capitalism' and Lulelemon’s multibillion-dollar market capitalisation.
And, of course, theirs is not just the old-line Marxist attack on capitalism, as in the battle between the pampered and wealthy, property-owning “bourgeoisie” and the “working class.” That’s a bit of a hard-sell for a company that collects billions from selling of expensive stretch leotards to the nouveau riche.
Nope. Though it, like original Marxism, preys on envy, the Lululemon tactic runs along the lines of postmodernist Cultural Marxism, wherein any described “power differential” or “inequality” is tied to what the Marxist narrators claim is “systemic” X, Y, or Z evil. And said “systemic evil” is always, always, a result of free markets.
So, in this case:
The Canadian-headquartered international company, valued at $45bn, suggested participants will be able to learn how ‘gender constructs across the world have informed culture and the ways violent colonialism has erased these histories to enforce consumerism’.
Yes. You’re FORCED to buy things. It’s the old Marxist saw that the “owners of the means of production” force people to work for them and force consumers to buy their products – all of which can be figured out as false in a few seconds, and has been shown to be false not only by market competition catering to the consumer, but also by economists such as 19th and early 20th Century Austrian scholar Carl Menger. It was Menger who explained that the consumer is the one who determines the value of a product, and can buy or withhold payment at any time.
Only government makes people pay against their will.
And “colonialism” has not left some amorphous “capitalist/consumerist” legacy that drives people, lemming-like, to “buy” whatever businesses sell. If that were the case, competition would never arise, prices would not be driven down to cater to consumer wants, labor-saving inventions would never be adopted, and even things such as product reviews would never exist.
Thankfully, people all over the world recognized that the Lululemon idea was not only toweringly hypocritical, it was also absurd, and, to their credit, the typically left-wing Guardian (itself always asking for donations that can only be given to them thanks to the surplus capital that free market competition allows people to save), mentioned some of these salient observations. For example…
’Lululemon IS capitalism. It is literally a privately-owned corporation that raked in half a billion dollars in pure profits last year, merely by selling overpriced yoga pants to women willing and able to pay for this luxury. All this begs the question … WUT?’ wrote Amy Swearer with the rightwing Heritage Foundation.
’Lululemon hosting a workshop to resist capitalism while selling us $180 yoga pants is peak 2020,’ wrote Kevin Duffey on Twitter.
Mattea Merta also pitched in: ‘WHY are you pushing an anti-capitalist Marxist workshop when you ONLY exist because of capitalism?’
And we, too, can get out the word, and tell our friends about this Lululemon nonsense. Perhaps it will capture more attention than their last flap, which, The Guardian’s Helmore notes, popped-up in 2019:
Last year, the Guardian revealed that Lululemon sourced some clothing from a factory where Bangladeshi female factory workers claim they were beaten and physically assaulted.
And then there’s the 2013 controversy over the not-so-cool comments of the Lululemon founder…
Lululemon is no stranger to controversy. In 2013, founder Chip Wilson was forced to resign after saying the company’s signature leggings were not made for women ‘without a thigh gap’.
But Wilson must not have been in control of his own words. It must have been capitalism that made him say that.
You be the judge. At least you can choose not to buy their clothing if you don’t want to.
That choice, brought to you by capitalism.