Meet the Next George Soros
Unilever's Paul Polman uses corporate weight to push progressive causes, globalism
Leftist billionaire George Soros is well-known the world over for his efforts to promote progressive causes. Paul Polman is far less known, but when Soros (who is 86) finally shuffles off this mortal coil, it is Polman who may be Soros’ successor as the world’s leading billionaire left-wing activist.
Polman is CEO of Unilever — an Anglo-Dutch consumer goods corporation which sells everything from food and beverages to soap and other hygiene products. Some of its most popular brands include Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, Hellman’s (of mayonnaise fame), I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and Axe body spray.
Polman warned of “serious consequences” if the U.K. gained independence, one of which was that the price of ice cream would increase.
In February, Polman was asked in an interview with Fortune Magazine how much of his time he actually spends running Unilever versus how much time he spends lobbying pet political causes.
“To me it is the same,” Polman said. “I don’t separate that. I think it is an integral part of the way we run our business.”
Upon taking control at Unilever, Polman dragged the company into a decidedly progressive, political direction. He launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan soon after arriving. In 2012, he helped organized the “Inclusive Capitalism” conference in London and is currently a member of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, which grew out of the conference.
CIC is funded by a practical who’s-who of the open borders community, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Rothschild family.
In an essay Polman coauthored in preparation for the 2014 conference, he wrote that the goal of “Inclusive Capitalism” is to “redefine capitalism and build a sustainable and equitable global economy” — i.e., harness its power for progressive political ends.
In 2015, Polman authored an op-ed for CNN titled “The business case for tackling climate change.” In February 2017, The New York Times described him as “a sustainability evangelist.”
Unsurprisingly, Polman was one of the lead voices in “Project Fear” — the efforts of corporate globalists to scare British voters into voting against Brexit and national independence from the E.U.
In June 2016, shortly before the Brexit vote, Polman — who isn’t British — went on U.K. television and told the British people that “it’s ludicrous to think you can be alone in the U.K.” Polman warned “serious consequences” if the U.K. gained independence, one of which was that the price of ice cream would increase.
“We are actually creating employment in the country here because of the open borders with Europe,” insisted Polman.
Polman also sits on the Ukraine Investment Council with George Soros, an organization created to open up Ukraine to Western investors that was established following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
But despite the constant praise he gets from progressive publications and activists, Unilever under his leadership has major blots on its record when it comes to some of its business practices and the ways in which it treats its employees.
Unilever is expected to be fined by the government of South Africa before the end of the month because it colluded with competitor Sime Darby Bhd to price-fix certain products. In 2011, an expose by the Irish Times revealed that female Unilever employees in Kenya were forced to use roughly half of their €3-per-day salary to bribe their supervisors not to sexually harass them.
In 2014, the Daily Mirror (of India) reported that Unilever was keeping employees on its tea plantations (it makes popular tea brands such as Lipton) on rolling short-term contracts in order to avoid providing them with pensions or health benefits. Last year, Polman had Unilever settle a decade-old dispute with workers in India who suffered from Mercury poisoning from exposure at Unilever factories.