Children have regrettably become the new PR front in the race to sell as many exploding items to the Pentagon as possible.
The manufacturer of ‘sophisticated air dominance weapons’, Raytheon, have announced a wholesome partnership with the Girl Scouts of America. Considering the volume of child consumers (victims) of said weapons, it makes sense to mimic demographic trends across the supply chain in line with New Age holistic corporate culture.
The newly-woke company which boasts products named the ‘Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle’ and the ‘HARM missile’ announced their plans to ‘prepare girls in grades 6–12 to pursue computer science careers, including cybersecurity, robotics, data science and artificial intelligence, among others’.
The partnership will have ‘a specific focus on girls from military families’, of which Raytheon will ensure a steady supply through their influence over Washington. The Intercept reported last year that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s concerns over civilian casualties in Yemen were tempered after the State Department legislative affairs team made clear to him the commercial importance of the US-Saudi coalition invasion to Raytheon. That team was led by a former Raytheon lobbyist, whom faced no regulations blocking his path moving from a job at a company that profits from weapons sales to a job at a government which controls demand for and awards contracts for weapons.
This isn’t the most egregious example of woke-washing we’ve seen this year. NBC announced jubilantly that a ‘Sisterhood of Spies’ now hold all the top jobs at the CIA, finally providing Central American death squads with that special administrative female touch they have been silently demanding.
Public Relations departments of the largest corporations now instinctively rely on images of social justice to sanitise toxic and exploitative business practices; the technique’s entrance into the orbit of government and state capitalism was inevitable.
Political struggle has been softly abandoned facing the obvious futility of enacting profound structural change in the neoliberal age, and its images and tokens which once meant something are now being used to sell war and every product adjacent to it. The fleeting emotive contortions that images of civil rights heroes evoke within us can be used to sell coffee to college students just as easily as it can lubricate the cogs of political terror, from the fabrication of a domestic apartheid police apparatus to the Saudi Air Force.