An Historical Downpour: Buying back Goliath's soul Friday July 8, 2005, 0 comments

An Historical Downpour is a new featurette of Rain. It won’t be common, but once in a while I will feature something I wrote on a different blog under a penname. I hope you enjoy.

Originally posted as “Buying back Goliath’s soul” at 12:15PM on July 5, 2004.

I have been called a number of things in my life – neo-hippie, tree hugger, communist… some I can’t (and won’t) list here. People like these terms applied to anyone who dares to think that the world doesn’t revolved around money. To anyone who thinks there might be a better way.

The strange part is that I am a pretty firm believer in the concept of capitalism. Few things motivate people better or faster than the prospect of making money. Money allows us to live life more comfortably, and that’s almost as powerful a motivator as starvation or survival.

If I believe in capitalism, how can I be called a communist?

It is true that a company can make it big by not caring about people or the environment. Companies have been doing this for ages. Look at Microsoft. Or Nike. Even Apple, though they are better than some. “But that’s capitalism at work!” some of you will scream. And yes, it is. And that’s cool. I just happen to believe there’s another way, an “ethical capitalism.”

It is possible for a company to be successful without exploiting its employees, its customers or the environment. I have no figures to support this, and it is possible that maybe a responsible company can’t be as successful as what I can only term an irresponsible one, but that’s a function of the definition of success.

To most companies, success means constant growth, per share earning increases quarter over quarter and increased market share. Penetration into new and untapped markets. Bigger bucks. No whammies. Small minded thinking for short term gains. But what if success is also the ability to pay employees a generous and fair salary, provide them with benefits and opportunities which encourage them to take pride in the company they work for and customers that aren’t just pleased with the product, but feel like they’ve had a part in creating it. What if success is finding a way to make environmentalism not only ideal, but profitable?

The world has to get off the constant increase bandwagon. Logic dictates that way is a dead end road. There’s only so much money, so much market, and so much karma. It’ll all go pear-shaped eventually, and then we’ll be defining success in terms of survival, not comfort.

The success of a company should not be judged only financially, but karmically as well. There are no shining examples to support the ethical capitalism model, but there are so many examples (some close to my heart) of great potential wasted and opportunities lost to the lure of the “quick buck” that it has to be possible.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

Provoking a response is different from saying something significant.”
- Unknown

Twitter

  • There’s an important difference between an inexperienced developer and a bad developer. Tuesday December 3, 2019
  • This is utterly unacceptable, GO Transit. Should we expect an apology for the inconvenience, coupled with a statem… t.co/lSux4a9mbM Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Note that it wasn’t even possible to discuss this with someone at Union. Instead we were just given a card with the… t.co/b6BtE7uUUW Thursday November 21, 2019
  • And why did she feel justified in chastising them? She ever ejected a guy off the train who stepped through the doo… t.co/rdWrnDA3AA Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Why didn’t anyone announce the carriage was closed while the train was pulling in? Or even once the doors had opene… t.co/AWJz8RM0aD Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Then she yelled at them over the loudspeaker to tell them how rude it was to have tried to hold the doors open and… t.co/SYDQ0NCUpF Thursday November 21, 2019
  • She just shut the doors on them with barely 3 seconds warning (including one woman who got her bag knocked into the… t.co/9kydaITveC Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @GOtransit, want to explain to all the people who didn’t get on the Lakeshore East 4:10 today train why it was… t.co/4w4lbSMQCa Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @devinwenig. It was great to be a part of the @eBay family under you. Though I left that family more than a yea… t.co/qChpcb22Dr Wednesday September 25, 2019