Reinventing Aristocracy in the Age of Woke Capital: How Honourable WASP Elites Could Recue Our Civilization from Bad Governance by Irresponsible Corporate Plutocrats
Prof. Andrew Fraser
Arkos Media 2022.
Conventional conservatives have recently discovered the perils of “woke capital.” Meanwhile, Andrew Fraser has been writing about this issue for over twenty years. Back in January USA Today ran a piece explaining: “Why conservatives are fighting ‘woke’ corporations.” In the style of that publication the article reports: “Corporate is the target of right-wing America.” The story goes on to cite a report describing “American corporations [as] hyper-politicized and corrupt.” For example, “the nation’s top money managers – BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – are pursuing an ideological agenda at the expense of financial returns.”  Professor Fraser believes he has a solution for the above problem.
Andrew William Fraser [b. 1944) has spent decades studying, teaching, and writing about law, government, and economics. The volume under consideration here, his fifth book, is a revised and expanded edition of an earlier work Reinventing Aristocracy: The Constitutional Reformation of Corporate Governance (1998). He has also contributed articles to this journal as well as other publications. The Canadian born Fraser taught for many years in the Department of Public Law at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He had previously earned a BA and LLB from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; a LLM from Harvard; and a MA from the University of North Carolina. More recently, and in retirement, he earned a degree in theology. The author was one of the few academics with the temerity to publicly oppose non-White immigration to Australia. He was a presenter at the 2006 American Renaissance conference.
Fraser’s basic thesis is that a reconstituted corporate governance could be the genesis for a new aristocracy within the Anglo sphere. A mandated shareholders’ senate, self-selected among those with a certain level of ownership and a willingness to serve, would have the authority to guide corporate conduct for the common good. Eventually this corporate aristocracy could extend its influence to other social institutions. The author has admitted that such a scheme is, “to say the least, a bit off the beaten track” (xxxvii).
Fraser is rightly concerned about growing corporate power which he believes could be a larger threat to freedom than governmental authority. Certainly their increasing size, globalization, and use of technology has expanded corporate reach. For some the advantage of the author’s plan is that it would curtail corporate power without increasing state power. And malicious state power is a greater menace than malicious corporate power if for no other reason than the state’s predominant physical force. But it is difficult to imagine corporations reforming themselves without some outside entity intervening, and the state is the only institution with the potential to do so. In any case wouldn’t it be wonderful if the corporations were on our side.
The author traces the origins of the corporate problem to the division between ownership (shareholders) and control (management) which began back in the nineteenth century. Fraser repeatedly criticizes the managerial class for failure to take responsibility for their actions. But isn’t the real problem the perverted way in which managers see their civic responsibility – witness the millions given to organizations such as Jesse Jackson’s PUSH and BLM. This largess is partly public relations/protection money, but the managerial class has largely bought into the new Left’s diversity and inclusion ideology. Certainly Fraser is well aware of this, evidence the term “woke capital” in his title.
The author’s goals are worthy, but his means are questionable. I remain unconvinced by his corporate approach. He sees the necessity of aristocracy, but within a republic. He even has some sympathy for monarchy. These forms may be compatible by resurrecting the idea of mixed or balanced government which dates back to classical antiquity and greatly influenced the Founding Fathers. Mixed government includes the rule by one – a king or president, the rule by a few – an aristocracy or senate, and the rule by many – the commons or the people. Today such a design is anathema to “our democracy.”
Leadership is key to historical change that is almost always brought about by a relatively small number of dynamic agents whether they be Hellenes, Puritans, or Bolsheviks. This is consistent with the iron law of oligarchy. So the fundamental change we seek requires a new elite. But not all elites are aristocratic, and aristocracies take decades, even generations to develop. A true aristocracy would be defined not just by authority, but by civic virtue. They would lead not just politically, but also culturally. An alternative to the corporate route sees a successful revolutionary cadre becoming the new governing class that would eventually evolve into an aristocracy of civic and cultural leadership.
Would Fraser’s corporate senates be the seed germ for a new aristocracy? He writes: “Denunciation of the managerial regime serves no useful purpose unless it arises out of a movement aiming to create a new ruling class” [emphasis in the original] (xxxiv). Thus his proposal can only be accomplished as part of a wider radical change. He reiterates that “the restoration of . . . a WASP ruling class will require much more than the stand-alone reformation of corporate governance” (xlv). Well, it is good to have a plan because the corporate may be the institution most resistant to change when change comes. The present globalized managerial elites of woke capitalism have “endowed the demonic power of revolutionary Communism with a new lease on life.” The Left is “now in bed with corporate oligarchies” (xxxviii). The combination of Left-wing fanaticism with cold-heart capitalism is a malevolent mixture.
The author believes Whites are now “the new kulaks in the global racial revolution” (xli). The Kulaks, of course, were the more prosperous and progressive Russian and Ukrainian peasants who became scapegoats for the shortcomings of communism. They were wreckers and spoilers, the saboteurs of the socialist dream who needed to be crushed. This leads Fraser to the topic of biological Leninism or bioleninism, a relatively new and interesting term. To secure his revolution Lenin needed to dispossess, drive out, or kill the best Russians of his generation. The neo-Marxists of today may have similar plans for the White middle class because “White European-descended peoples” could “provide the biocultural seedbed for a rival counter-revolutionary ruling class” (xli). It’s good that, at least in the above passage, Fraser refrains from using the term Anglo-Saxon or the acronym WASP. He is an Anglophile which is fine, but those designations are too restrictive to be useful within an American context where the largest European ethnicity is German. Madison Grant, the great racial ecologist writing hundred years ago, had little use for the term Anglo-Saxon. Writing fifty years ago the prescient racial theorist Wilmot Robertson thought the acronym WASP was redundant and unflattering. There are no non-White Anglo-Saxons, and wasps are nasty buggers, especially if they are wearing yellow jackets.
Several pages later Fraser again narrows the parameters for his revolutionary strategy: “One indispensable prerequisite for a renewed WASP ascendency . . . is the concomitant rebirth of ethno-religious spirituality in a post-creedal Anglican church” (xlvi). Okay, here is where the professor goes more than just “a bit off the beaten track.” But he is half right. Along with political change we desperately need a “concomitant rebirth of ethno-religious spirituality,” but I hardly think even a “post-creedal Anglican church” is the vehicle for this rebirth. True – a religion must have an element of faith, otherwise it is just a philosophical system or ideology. So we need faith in a higher power, but moving forward any spiritual rebirth should be largely naturalistic, based on science and the western aesthetic. Talk about cultural continuities of long duration as the Annales school does: Venus de Milo represents feminine beauty that can still be appreciated 2100 years later.
The above discussion pertains to the Preface and Introduction of Reinventing Aristocracy. Much of the main text expands on issues previously raised. In chapter one Fraser restates his goal “to reinvent the theory and practice of aristocracy” (1), even if this scheme “seems utterly quixotic” (2). The author appears conflicted as to whether a reformed corporate governance will be the genesis of this new aristocracy, or just one of the manifestation of a new political-social paradigm. If it is the former than I agree the scheme seems “utterly quixotic.” Fraser believes that “civilizing capitalism is not a matter of subordinating the corporate economy to the state” (3) although this appears to be the logical solution. Let businesses tend to business. Corporations are economic organizations, so it is natural that they would have a strong incentive to maximize short-term profits and long-term corporate value. The problem is corporations have taken their eye off the economic ball and embraced the neo-liberal, neo-Marxist political agenda. Politics makes strange bed fellows.
In Chapter 2 – Corporations and the Economic Logic of Efficiency – the author returns to the subject of a mixed system of government. The monarchy, the aristocracy, and the people constitute the “natural social orders of a mixed and balanced polity” (35). The division into threes brings to mind the work of the French philologist Georges Dumézel who saw a tripartite model as deeply embedded in western psyche. He dates this ideology back to Proto-Indo-European culture with its division of the sacral, the martial, and the material. Christianity was westernized with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The three orders – those who pray, those who fight, and those who labor – were central to medieval thought. Today we have the three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial – as well as three levels of government – federal, state, and local. The forms remain, though the content has become corrupted.
In Chapter 3 – Corporations and the Political Realities of Power- Fraser recognizes that “the modern business corporation is governed not just by the economic logic of efficiency, but also by the political realities of power” (75). Doesn’t this suggest that rather than self-regulation, government intervention will be needed to reform corporate governance? Shareholders are usually a large, diverse group, geographically dispersed, and often with limited interest in the enterprise beyond economic gain. Capitalism, a very dynamic economic force that is also capable of being socially injurious, requires strong government regulation, perhaps corporatism.
In Chapter 4 – Corporations and the Constitutional Genesis of Civic Authority – the author concedes that: “To propose that a class of bourgeois shareholders be transformed into a senatorial elite is to risk one’s political credibility” (123). This in view that “we face the ’coming tyranny of an economic regime of unaccountable rulers, a totalitarianism not of the political sphere but of the economic’” (126). To me this evokes an image of masses of consumer wage slaves, without clear ethnic, cultural or even sexual identity, held in debt bondage to international capitalists.
Though radical, Fraser is essentially conservative. He points out that when formulating a governmental structure “we have the historical memory of countless untried and failed alternatives still available to us” (130). Sounds probable, but it would have been interesting to cite some examples of these untried or failed alternatives that may now work in new environment. The Right should always seek guidance and inspiration from the past, but present conditions and future aspirations need to be paramount in our thinking. A bit further on Fraser quotes Alain de Benoist: “The Right has lost its main enemy: Communism. The Left has chosen to collaborate with its own: capitalism. Having long since committed itself to uncontrolled capitalist development, the Right’s defense of the traditional values of family, patriotism, and authority has been confused, hypercritical and ineffective” (153). Like an unrequited lover, the Right remains loyal to corporate capitalism, a system that has turned against it. Fortunately this uncritical attachment may finally be loosening as evidenced by the USA Today article cited above.
In the Epilogue: The Rebel in Paradise Ltd., the author indulges in some wishful thinking, as most of us do from time to time. He believes there are some “rebel capitalists ready to become the vanguard of a reflexive and responsible ruling class” (173). Who are they? Where are they? More musings: “It may be . . . that objective conditions for a spontaneous spiritual awakening are ripening in the old White Commonwealth countries” (176). Perhaps so, Fraser knows the old Commonwealth better than I, but I see little indication of this in neighboring Canada.
Reading Reinventing Aristocracy is a bit like panning for gold – you will find some valuable nuggets, but you’re going to have to work through a lot of granular material. This is partly due to repetition, and as mentioned above, some seeming contradictions. Is Fraser’s new corporate elite the catalyst for radical change, or merely one manifestation of that change? Capitalism is portrayed as both a hostile force and the source for constructive leadership. The process to go from the former to the latter is not entirely clear. On the plus side it is good that the author highlights the threat posed by international capitalism, and the fact that change comes from changing elites. I would like to learn more about ethno-religious spirituality and bioleninism. The book is most likely to appeal to those interested in business law, economic and legal history, and adjacent issues.
 Jessica Guynn, “Why GOP declared war on wokeness,” USA Today, January 6, 2023, B7.
 Also by Andrew Fraser: The Spirit of the Laws: Republicanism and the Unfinished Project of Modernity (1990); The WASP Question: An Essay on the Biocultural Evolution, Present Predicament, and Future Prospects of the Invisible Race (2011); and Dissident Dispatches: An Alt-Right Guide to Christian Theology (2017).
 For a discussion of Western ethno-spirituality see: Nelson Rosit, “Ernst Haeckel Reconsidered,” The Occidental Quarterly, v. 15 no. 2 (Summer 2015) 81-96.
 Here Fraser quotes Gary Teeple, Globalization and the Decline of Social Reform (1995).