The Castle Built on Sand Starts Crumbling

Published at 20:41 on 23 July 2015

Trying to make a capitalist corporation treat workers ethically and humanely is like trying to build a castle on sand. Even if you manage to erect the castle, it’s doomed to not last very long. Even if you find an astoundingly exceptional CEO who’s both supremely dedicated to treating people well and to negotiating the obstacles to doing same that the authoritarianism of the capitalist workplace presents, no CEO lasts forever. Odds are, the next one simply won’t be so exceptional.

It’s now become crystal-clear to me that the latter has now happened at my employer. As such, I’m certain to not last there much longer. Maybe I’ll leave, maybe they’ll tell me to leave. Maybe I’ll last another day, maybe I’ll last another month or two. Those details are unclear. What is clear is that I won’t be there much longer.

It’s not a surprise that it eventually happened. Going in, I wasn’t sure if everything really was as good as it sounded from the outside. When I found that it basically was, and that I’d really enjoy working there as a result, the “castle built upon the sand” insight was, due to my personal history and my ideological beliefs, pretty much axiomatic.

The surprise is that it all happened so suddenly, within a week. In hindsight I can now see how the problems have been building for some time: individuals whose personal values are antithetical to the founders’ unique values have been hired and promoted to management roles, and those values are now no longer being honored in large parts of the organization.

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