Posted by: Staff | 04.29.2010

Conscious Capitalism or 21st Century Communism?

SEBASTIAN SMITH ’11

Dr. Rajendra Sisodia came to Beaver on April 15th to talk to the community about the best approach for capitalism to take to create enthusiastic workers, large company profits, and a positive impact on their community. Dr. Sisodia is a professor of marketing and founding director of the Center for Marketing Technology at Bentley University, located in Waltham. But this is only a small portion of Dr. Raj’s career, he is also the founder and Chairman of the Conscious Capitalism Institute. Furthermore, he has a PhD. in marketing and business policy from Columbia University.


Dr. Sisodia’s main message was that businesses need to focus less on profits and more on improving the world with their skills and experience. His most concrete message was, “Happiness comes from work that matters, profits ensue from doing the right thing.” A warm idea Dr. Raj portrayed for us was the improvements that can occur for the laborer in the companies that adopt a conscious capitalism standpoint. He first pointed out the famous restaurant chain and common phrase ‘thank god its Friday,’ when he first came to the states he did not understand why most Americans did not enjoy work. He then suggested that workers under conscious capitalism should now use ‘thank god its Monday,’ but he was quick to point out that is a poor reflection on your weekend. Finally he insisted if a business is healthy and conscious, its workers will all say, ‘thank god it is today!’ This is the perfect display of conscious capitalism, balance and happiness.

Junior year history focuses on issues following the World Wars, mostly involving the Cold War. This was a war between Capitalism and Communism headed by the United States and the Soviet Union. Capitalism eventually won and the world has seen great growth and prosperity since. However the global recession is an economic reminder that capitalism needs to be changed. Until this point capitalism has been about overcoming competition to gain substantial economic success. Unfortunately overcoming competition usually has negative impacts on a group of people, a community, or in the worst case, the consumer. Conscious capitalism is the solution to this growing issue; Dr. Raj stressed consciousness, meaning being aware of your surroundings and your effect on it. Companies that work with the community and focus on helping people through products and labor will find their profits will most likely grow faster than before.
However, many students voiced their opinion that Dr. Sisodia’s ideas were just a different form of communism, supported by the fact that Sisodia focused on the fact that business leaders were being paid far too much and their earnings did not reflect their work integrity. He enjoyed explaining why the company Whole Foods did not pay employees more than 19 times the base pay salary while most companies pay 25-30 times base pay causing CEOs to earn tens of millions of dollars. His best line on this subject was “If a CEO gets paid 1 million in one company and 10 million in another business, does the latter CEO do his job 10 times better?”
The most important part of this article is your opinion. Please comment and tell the world what you believe. Do you agree with my statements? Do you agree with Dr. Rajendra Sisodia’s conscious capitalism or do you think he is supporting hidden communism?

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