Of all the college courses I’ve been through, I’ve learned the most in Business Ethics.
I cannot believe how insightful it is! I’ve learned about the biggest scandals in business history, like ENRON, all the way to philosophical theory, like Aristotle’s virtue ethics. I’ll give you my class notes so you don’t have to spend the $8 grand to come here for a semester…
First of all, yes, Business Ethics might sound like an oxymoron.
A lot of businesses can really suck!
The worst ones pollute the world, treat people like tools, and only care about the money they put in their own pockets.
You may be in a battle right now with a company that is trying to take your money and rip you off. You might think to yourself that you could run your own company a heck of a lot better than the ones out there already!
But I must ask you to forego your preconceived judgments and 1-star Yelp review experiences.
I want to first break businesses down to their foundational structure: Capitalism.
An ethical dilemma I was particularly interested in is the implication of capitalism.
Karl Marx’s, “Alienated Labor,” describes a concept called the Impoverishment of Labor. The premise is that if you do menial labor all day, everyday — you will be left unfulfilled.
In his time, he was referring to the laborers, or the proletariat, who would work all day and night in the factory and get little to nothing in return. Then, the capitalist class, or the guys at the top of the food chain, would sit back and rake in the profits.
He even goes as far to refer to them as “vampires sucking worker’s blood.”
Today in the States, we experience a similar fate. Office workers stay in their cubicle all day long to make nickels on the dollar for the company they are employed to.
While the big guys at the tippity top live life lavishly, the rest of us act as cogs in the machine until our impending death.
It is no wonder why Americans hate work so much!
Fulfillment in life demands more than the 9-5 grind Monday-Friday…
It is no wonder we are culture of TGIF and The Monday Blues.
We work for free-time and paid vacation days so we can enjoy life.
(At least til’ tomorrow’s morning commute that is.)
Now the way I see it, there are two options:
1. Escape work at any means necessary.
This means do just enough to get through the day job without getting fired, but not too much to the point of wanting to jump off the roof of the building. Get trashed every single Friday-Saturday and spend Sunday desperately trying to recuperate in time for the work week. And sculpt your social media to emulate your favorite twenty-year-old celebrity.
2. Live a life of fulfillment through WORK.
Spend every available second to your personal growth. Design a life around your passions. And start working for yourself instead of just working for others.
And that’s what I learned in Business Ethics.