There have been a lot of stories of companies and institutions folding to critical race theory takeovers. And very few counterexamples.
We’ve seen the game play out over and over again.
Internal ‘cells’ (these really do operate in ways suspiciously similar to classic leftist revolutionary cells) push aggressive political agendas on Slack and other employee workplace chat forums. When there’s any disagreement, they scream that they’re victims of hate and demand ‘accountability’ from executives. They form committees, coordinate with allies in the media, leak Slack transcripts, and initiate a crisis.
That same playbook was underway at Basecamp, a tech company that seemed likely to fall for it, except something funny happened.
Basecamp CEO Jason Fried posted his “Changes at Basecamp” post with several key points. Most notably, “1. No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account.”
“Today’s social and political waters are especially choppy. Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant. You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target. These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work. It’s become too much. It’s a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It’s not healthy, it hasn’t served us well. And we’re done with it on our company Basecamp account where the work happens. People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can’t happen where the work happens anymore.”
It’s a smart move that identifies a major vector of the problem which is critical race theory leftists using company forums to organize and radicalize, and then manufacture a conflict.
Fried’s co-founder expanded on that, “This includes everything from sharing political stories in campfire, using message threads to elucidate others on political beliefs that go beyond the topic directly, or performing political advocacy in general.”
Fried’s original post announces an end to committees, that focuses on various diversity bids, assorted workplace matters, and a rejection of the entire stakeholder ethos.
“We make project management, team communication, and email software. We are not a social impact company. Our impact is contained to what we do and how we do it. We write business books, blog a ton, speak regularly, we open source software, we give back an inordinate amount to our industry given our size. And we’re damn proud of it. Our work, plus that kind of giving, should occupy our full attention. We don’t have to solve deep social problems, chime in publicly whenever the world requests our opinion on the major issues of the day, or get behind one movement or another with time or treasure. These are all important topics, but they’re not our topics at work — they’re not what we collectively do here. Employees are free to take up whatever cause they want, support whatever movements they’d like, and speak out on whatever horrible injustices are being perpetrated on this group or that (and, unfortunately, there are far too many to choose from). But that’s their business, not ours. We’re in the business of making software, and a few tangential things that touch that edge. We’re responsible for ourselves. That’s more than enough for us.”
This is common sense. It’s also a rejection of the entire social impact garbage that has taken over much of Corporate America.
It may sound like a small thing to people outside the industry, but it’s a revolutionary statement for any company to make these days, let alone a tech company.
The expected next act of the drama followed with staged resignations, social media outrage, and media outrage. It’ll be a painful process, but likely the only way the company can survive.