This announcement is, I think, very promising for Castalia House, its readers, and its supporters. The stars are coming into alignment for Castalia to become bigger than any of us had ever imagined:
Penguin and Random House merged three years ago, in 2013, and today Penguin Random House’s CEO, Markus Dohle, sent an anniversary letter to employees in which he congratulated them on their hard work, but more importantly, detailed how that work is affecting people throughout the world.
“Along this road, we have continued to write our story, telling the world who we are, what we do, and why we do it,” Dohle wrote. “Equally important is how—especially in today’s dynamic and complex world, with unprecedented societal events impacting all of us.”
“Publishing is undeniably a force for good,” Dohle continued. “But working in an industry that is inherently a service to society, we risk subscribing to the notion that this is enough. It’s not. We ought to do more—and we can—by taking advantage of our capacity as Penguin Random House to drive positive social, environmental, and cultural change, locally and globally.”
Allow me to remind you of a certain quote that you may find to be relevant in this circumstance.
“Society should treat all equally well who have deserved equally well of it, that is, who have deserved equally well absolutely. This is the highest abstract standard of social and distributive justice; towards which all institutions, and the efforts of all virtuous citizens should be made in the utmost degree to converge.”
—John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, 1861
The only substantive changes Penguin Random House is going to be making will be negative, to their bottom line and their share price. The entire mainstream publishing industry has “dinosaur buggy whip” written all over it. It’s astonishing that they can’t seem to see it yet.