When ImpactHub first announced that they were coming to Salt Lake City, it didn’t take me long to roll my eyes. They’re basically a franchise co-working space (79 locations and counting) wrapping themselves in a vague mission statement of supporting businesses seeking to change the world. It all felt very forced, as if community building among entrepreneurs was some kind of magic cloneable formula. Still I was content to merely go Jennifer Lawrence on them since they were more-or-less harmless.
Now, however, it looks like ImpactHub has let the facade fall. They have recently partnered with Alliance for a Better Utah, well-known for their clown-like antics, in a “Movies That Matter” series of events. The latest entry? “The Brainwashing of my Dad”, a movie that unapologetically claims a wide-spread conspiracy in the media to force right-leaning viewpoints upon an unsuspecting public. This is a film so obviously slanted that the irony of calling itself a documentary should be causing heads to explode. This is alongside fare that claims “holy crap is third-world Cuba awesome” and an attempt to turn an apolitical documentary on a horse drive from Mexico to Canada into a statement on public lands policy (which, from the trailer, it is absolutely not).
I get that ImpactHub’s mission statement is supposed to be building businesses that drive social change. Unfortunately, they seem to define “social change” exclusively in terms of socially progressive politics. Entrepreneurship and building a business are supposed to be apolitical endeavors, but they seem intent to push things the other way.
And this is why I say that Alliance for a Better Utah and ImpactHub are totalitarian. They are pushing more aspects of our lives into being political, aspects that not long ago had nothing to do with politics. It’s no longer enough to run a business that makes customers happy with a good product. Now you have to also pander to a political orthodoxy. Merely omitting support for those positions is now grounds for riling up the social mob, something they readily recognize as bad in Trump’s neo-Brownshirts but not in themselves.
With progressives obtaining the upper hand in the culture war (and don’t let them pretend for one moment that they were not combatants), we’re starting to see them engaging in the same ugly behaviors that their opponents often would when they had the upper hand. Few things are as predictable as the oppressed taking a turn at being the oppressor.