Left Print Paradox

October 15, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism, Society, Web

As we are transitioning out of magazine presentations of Left or Progressive news, news analysis and societal observation and into Internet exhibition of similar content, it looks and feels like we have been presented with several paradoxes.  Paradoxes can seem to disappear once a transition is complete.  The old world view just seems quaint.  Nevertheless, at this point in the process, many print vehicles are experiencing struggle.

Old Model
• Print
• Insight and Erudition
• Professional
• Older Demographic
• Well-researched, articulate, unique content
• Visionary individual
• Community is defined by those that share common values (alliances are with those you respect)
• Hierarchical, segregated, secretive (content is hoarded and shared for money)
• Measured delivery expecting respect for a calm and reasonable presentation
• Unique content

New Model
• Web
• Insight, Erudition, Commentary, Editorializing, Entertaining, Linking, Aggregating
• Amateur
• Young Demographic
• Aggregated, articulate, shared content
• “Wisdom of the crowds”
• Community is defined by those that share common anything (all alliances are ad hoc)
• Horizontal, diverse, transparent (content is distributed to all for free)
• Bombastic presentation expecting traffic for a unique and controversial exhibition
• Combination of unique content, experienced amateur …

The Peace, Justice & Environment Project (PJEP) has over 1,400 organizations participating in 40 online networks in 50 states.  A basic premise of the project is that by making available powerful online resources such as petitions, eletters, boycotts and online fundraising, it can allow small local organizations to have more choices when seeking to accomplish social-change goals.  PJEP seeks to enhance creativity, empowering local activists to facilitate change.  In addition, PJEP seeks to put into the hands of local activists powerful email lists, built from these online resources, providing access to allies to accomplish goals.

There is a sleeper issue regarding health care that only occasionally gets much play in the media.  My wife and I have been running small businesses for 30 years.  Good staff is integral to a healthy business.  Health care benefits are too expensive to provide to staff in a business as small as Marcia and I maintain.  This is particularly true in our case because we have a daughter with diabetes, a condition which closed off options regarding health care.

After our daughter contracted diabetes, our insurance was doubled to $30,000 a year.  We then contracted with a staffing firm to handle payroll in order …

Generation Abyss

October 12, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Social, Society, Web

In the 1960s, there was the “Generation Gap.”  Youth were perceived by themselves, their parents and society at large as feeling alienated from their parents and society.  Several new forces had emerged that were embraced by youth, forces that felt foreign to older folks.  Nonmonogamous premarriage behavior was reveled in.  Promiscuity was respected.  The Pill and an emerging woman’s movement made this possible.  Drugs were embraced as techniques to acquire insight about the self.  Music grew to become an opportunity to realize and reveal far more about the self than a desire for a mate.  The draft was vilified.  Both “small is beautiful” and a new holism emerged that embraced both immediate community and global community as necessary to a balanced whole.

Still, most of the population was not above a good story.  Reagan was elected on the premise that lower taxes meant more government services.  Reagan proclaimed that empowering the wealthy would result in increasing the resources of those with no money.  The Generation Gap seemed to decrease as Americans almost universally focused on the more and more difficult task of maintaining an established lifestyle as resources congregated with fewer and fewer people.

In the 1960s, there was a …

Driving back from Hayward, Wisconsin, where I was fishing for Muskie last July, I had an interesting experience.  I took back roads for the first two hours, watching the transition from northland to farmland, paying close attention to roadside retail, building construction, trees, foliage, birds and cloud formations.  I was by myself.  The window was down.  No radio or tape was playing.

At Osseo, I got back on the highway and started paying closer attention to the sky.  About two months earlier, my attention had turned to trees and clouds.  I have been examining these two things in more detail than has been my custom in the past.  The clouds above Highway 94 north of Madison were extraordinary.  My attention became riveted starting about 3:00 in the afternoon.

The clouds were mostly very high, and the horizon was relatively free from nearby tall trees or buildings.  Several kinds of clouds were on display, appearing in several shades of gray and white.  A rain front was to my right and rear as the front moved from Minnesota toward Illinois.  Patches of blue sky mingled with dark clouds, wispy clouds, puffy clouds and distant, flat fields of clouds.

In front of me, …

In the work of scientists, and specifically evolutionary psychologists, there are two unstated presuppositions that make their often elegant, jewel-like conclusions less valuable or useful.

The first presupposition is the usually unstated position that regarding consciousness, a larger consciousness can be assumed to be not present.  This potentially influences theorizing outcomes.  There is a heavy negative emotional valence assigned to theories that presuppose a grounding consciousness.  Some of these theories, for example creationism or intelligent design, are associated with irrational, nonscientific, mythological, constituency-based belief systems.  It is assumed that choosing a nonconsciousness position enhances theorizing capabilities and that a consciousness position is associated with mythology and a respect for non-sense-based conclusions.  Dawkins’ evangelical atheism is an example of evolutionary psychology’s tendency to lump together mythology-based faiths or beliefs with nonmythology, trans-consciousness hypotheses.

The second presupposition revolves around evolutionary psychology’s unstated presupposition that patrifocal social structure is the default social frame of human evolution.  Matrifocal social structure is rarely rejected; it is just ignored.  David Buss has done sterling work exploring mating conventions among people living in patrifocal social structure.  Studies cited in many works by evolutionary psychologists ignore matrilineal or matrifocal examples.  If it can be assumed that matrifocal social …

In evolutionary theory, what is central to the thesis and what is a contingent result of the central-thesis dynamic have everything to do with the society that the theory seeks to serve.  That very sentence can be interpreted in two ways depending on whether the theorist believes in a natural-selection-reductionist or an epigenetic-cooperative-grounding frame.  Either the most useful theory survives to become the zeitgeist paradigm, according to a survival-of-the-fittest point of view, or the community forms conclusions based upon information from a variety of sources, with conclusions reflecting a larger whole.

At this time, evolutionary conjecture often suggests that human self awareness, consciousness or split consciousness, however you say it, is a contingent outcome of prodigious synapse production.  Exponential brain growth has been hypothesized to be connected to the demands of unique environments, the demands of unique social environments, or, according to Geoffrey Miller, the demands of aesthetics.  Because the productions of culture didn’t emerge until long after the creation of a brain size that made culture fashionable, it’s been a mystery why a brain would grow that big.

And then there’s the issue of dramatically different brain sizes in contemporary humans resulting in an almost universal experience of self …

My father was a collector.  He maintained a stamp and coin collection.  He also had a large collection of tools, including the various gadgets and accoutrements targeted to achieving something useful around the house.  Dad had different scissors for different uses, different kinds of tape, different measuring instruments, various ways to bind things together, assorted glues, etc.  Each little intervention had a firm location in his various drawers.

I didn’t attempt to reproduce his organizational obsession, but I did find solace in collections.  I had rocks, insects, stamps, coins, miniature dinosaurs, comics, all manner of boyhood hobbies.  None lasted past a couple years, except for my comic and dinosaur affections.  I never acquired Dad’s propensity to store and immediately retrieve everything he owned.  Nevertheless, I seem to retain a certain amount of Dad’s ability to focus.

I have friends, relatives and clients who are into sports.  Their memory for statistics is often astonishing.  I fish for muskie in Wisconsin most summers.  The ability of passionate muskie fishermen to remember the length of fish caught with particular lures in particular places in specific lakes under unique weather conditions over several decades borders on the ability of savants.

I’ve described two possible …

There seems to be at least two evolutionary processes that, at best, are tangentially referred to.  They are so simple as to often feel irrelevant.  I’m wondering how many more of these processes are floating around out there, unremarked.

One process is the back-and-forth dance between homogeneity and heterogeneity.  Over time barriers are built.  Life on the two sides of the barrier unfolds uniquely.  With time, the barrier comes down and there is a proliferation of the new as what was formerly separate builds unique hybrids.  Eventually, a new homogeneity sets in.  Then new barriers are built.

This paradigm is integral to explanations of natural selection.  Populations have to segregate to form varieties and species.  With each new species, the larger system transforms.  The dance of homogeneity and heterogeneity compels an almost infinite variety as it unfolds on many scales and at many locations over time.

The process of homogeneity and heterogeneity compels new forms upon separation and new forms upon combination.  Each new form compels the emergence of its complementary opposite, a process that operates, hypothetically, at all scales of existence.  Socially, the separation of nations encourages unique cultures.  Barriers come down and unique hybrids are encouraged.  Personally, the …


October 2, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Future, Society, Unconscious, Web

Thomas S.  Kuhn in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions describes the way that science textbooks are written that results in the destruction of student abilities to understand how science evolves.  Textbooks are written from the perspective of the current paradigm.  The history of a discipline is told as if all discoveries unfolded along a path leading to contemporary insights.  Left out of textbooks are the unique world views retained by the succession of paradigms.  Past unresolved, nonintegrated anomalies get discarded as the story of the current paradigm is told.  Anomalies are the doorways to revolutions.  With old, unintegrated anomalies ignored, science students are inducted into a society with secrets.  Disciplines become amnesiac.  Individuals within a discipline don’t know what they don’t know.

A very peculiar thing is happening to time and space.  We are experiencing an elimination of time and space in societal relations.  As individuals, we are experiencing a shift in identity.

Several hundred years ago, we had no watches.  In Western society, a vague sense of linear time accompanied those with access to resources.  They could tell the time.  For the rest, church bells bonged out the hour.

Fifty years ago, we all had analog watches that …

I recently read that six percent of scientists consider themselves Republicans.  Geoffrey Miller, in his recently released book, Spent, observed that a very small minority of evolutionary psychologists support a conservative agenda.  Miller takes deep exception to the disparagement of the disciplines of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology as the science representatives of contemporary, conservative social movements.  Miller targets Stephen J. Gould as a prime fabricator of what Miller sees as this inappropriate fiction.

Frankly, I was shocked to have it proved to me that evolutionary psychologists were not almost universally conservative.  The foundations of evolutionary psychology and conservative politics seem so alike.  In both cases, the prime mover of the system is reduced to the simplest premise with an emphasis on individual or gene motivation, not relationships or the impacts of larger systems.

I can easily see how these scientists don’t share many beliefs of social conservatives.  Evidently most scientists are atheists or agnostics.  This makes them liberal compared to a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian.  However, to me, atheists like Richard Dawkins seem as close-minded as any ethnocentric, Bible-thumping minister.  I don’t really get the evangelical atheist frame of reference.  The strident atheist is still aggressively claiming he or …


September 30, 2009 | 3 Comments

Category: Art, Society, Unconscious, Web

It’s interesting how influential barriers and speed of communication are upon systems and their abilities to achieve goals.

With a brain, I observe dramatically different forms of consciousness exhibited depending upon varying degrees of communication between cerebral hemispheres.  Seamless communication suggests primary process, animal, autistic, nonreflective consciousness.  Inhibited communication compels self-conscious, self-aware, often confused, alienated and modern, reflexive frames of reference.  A single society may profit from both paradigms.  We need our artists, mystics, businesspeople and politicians.

In our society, I also observe dramatically different forms of consciousness exhibited.  Different individuals within a society may produce a balance, thus offering a society a multiplicity of forms.  Still, a society may produce tendencies describable by how influential barriers and speed of communication are upon societal systems and their abilities to achieve societal goals.

In an individual, seamless cerebral communication may prevent the emergence of individual-driven creativity with no relative experience of different times, different places or what a thing may be if a thing is not.  In a society characterized by massive barriers and poor communications, a disappearing of those barriers may have an opposite effect.  Instead of a diminution of self awareness, a society without barriers that follows a society …

Reverence for Anonymity

September 29, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Society, Web

Once we finally began to move away from kings and queens that were gods and goddesses, monarchs or emperors that were also deities, cults of individuality began to flourish.  It is no mistake that a cult of individuality thrives where there is hierarchy.  To deify an individual there has to be a social climb.

The U.S. exhibits one extreme form of an individuality cult; some would say it is a particularly virulent form.  We have worshiped an ability of individuals to transcend circumstance and achieve reverence and respect.  There have been positive and negative aspects of this social frame.  We have not had a thriving model of the commons or a belief that it is good for all if each citizen begins adulthood warm, fed, healthy and educated.  It has been relatively easy for status-quo Americans to choose selfishness while we’ve experienced the rich gains that come from offering attention and adulation to the individual.  It definitely makes for great stories.

It is not obvious yet, but the American cult of individuality is in decline.

Seamless communication destroys barriers.  Barriers enhance focus on those that control information or resources.  A cult of individuality extolling the successes of individuals requires stratification …

If changing the rates and timing of human maturation results in more or less self awareness or degrees of split consciousness when cerebral hemispheres and corpus callosums adjust to varying levels of testosterone and estrogen, then might there be a macro, universe version of this process?

Okay, this is WAY out there regarding an exploration of hypothetical biological processes and their possible application to universal processes.  Nevertheless, there is a website that explores the possible ramifications of evolutionary developmental biological theory as regards the ontogeny of our universe.  These folks posit that if you can apply the theory of natural selection to how the universe acquired its characteristics, then you can do the same thing with complementary theories of evolution that suggest that the environment can influence evolution in a single generation.

What I’m playing with here is the suggestion that each of us exhibits split consciousness, which is enhanced by having two cerebral hemispheres that are not the same size with a corpus callosum small enough that it inhibits communication between the two hemispheres.  I’m presupposing that consciousness already exists, consciousness evidenced by primary process, defined as awareness of only one time, one place and no negatives.  With the …

There seems to be a connection between physics and an understanding of how split consciousness emerges from consciousness in human ontogeny.  I don’t know the connection between a physicist’s insights regarding the relativity of time and the invention of the atomic bomb.  Still, if my conjectures are correct regarding the rate and timing of maturation (testosterone managing the rate and estrogen the timing), then we have in our hands a possible understanding of how split consciousness originates.

I presuppose that consciousness exists.  Consciousness is a feature of the universe and existence (and nonexistence).  Humans evidence split consciousness when, during early development and maturation, maturation is managed by changes in rate and timing.  If, indeed, we can observe testosterone and estrogen directly affecting maturation, then we are in the position to observe the emergence of split consciousness under varying ontological circumstances.

It is possible that we can control, adjust and modify self awareness.  That which we have identified as peculiarly human, that which makes us special and unique, may be understandable and manageable.

Without the presupposition that consciousness is a feature of the system, the emergence of split consciousness is instead the emergence of consciousness.  This suggests an existential crisis second …


September 24, 2009 | 2 Comments

Category: Art, Ontogeny, Unconscious

Over the last year, I’ve experienced an integration of society and biology as I’ve observed the dynamic whereby neoteny and acceleration influence biological and societal evolution in identical ways.  Barriers between several disciplines have come down as I’ve seen heterochronic dynamics merge formerly separate models, interpreting endocrinological, neuropsychological, anthropological, evolutionary biological and psychological processes as a single, seamless whole.

I am not particularly smart.  I’m a slow learner and have trouble with anything involving mathematics.  I’m technologically impaired, though I have some facility with certain pieces of design software.  I do have a relatively unique relationship with my unconscious, not uncommon among artists and mystics, but perhaps unusual in someone exploring biological and social models.  I often feel like I’m being led on a treasure hunt, guided by an impish, loving unconscious.

I’m having that feeling now.

Last night, I kept waking up with an idea that seems to want to be integrated into the biological/social model that I’ve been calling “The Theory of Waves.”  The recent addition to the model, estrogen controlling the timing of ontogeny, has been compelling me to turn my attention to physics.

Somehow, a part of me is convinced that physicist’s insights regarding the relative …

Lifting Veils

September 23, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Auto-Biography, Biology, Estrogen

There is this thesis that I’ve been playing with.  Like the experience physics theorists have described, it seems too beautiful to not be true.  Nevertheless, Stephen J. Gould has described the trap biologists sometimes get themselves into, the dogged pursuit of a beautiful thesis that turns out to be false.

The thesis I am now exploring has been developing since late 1997.  It has grown deeper with time.  Earlier immersion in works by William Irwin Thompson and Riane Eisler prepared me for what followed.  It started out as an exploration of how Darwin’s theory of sexual selection juxtaposed with Chris Knight’s explanation of matrifocal human evolution.  This insight was joined by Gould’s description of heterochronic processes, associated with Norman Geschwind’s studies of cerebral lateralization and Annett’s discoveries regarding handedness distributions.

Darwin, Knight, Gould, Geschwind and Annett each offered pieces that suggested an integrated whole.  Sexualselection.org describes the thesis, introduced in 1998.

I struggled to write a larger, cogent overview of the thesis but a combination of deep disappointment around failed attempts to start conversations with academics (many polite responses, little enthusiasm) and the need to make a living (my former business took a dive) propelled me to put my theorizing …

Present Reflections

September 22, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Auto-Biography

Healing hearts can take a lifetime.  For many of us, it seems like a central responsibility in life is paying attention to our selves, mirroring our selves, listening to our selves in ways that we can finally feel embraced.

This can take a while, particularly if our personality structure tends toward self obsession.

For me, forgiving myself, being present to myself, respecting the feelings that I experience has been necessary to be able to be open to others, or at least to feel myself feeling open to others.  I suspect I love more often than I am aware of, engaging in stealth affection, hiding my attraction to others from myself.  I can’t imagine how it is that so many people love me if they haven’t experienced that I, at least to some degree, love them back.

Where am I going with this?

When I am aware of what is going on in my chest, where affection seems to center itself, it is usually asthma.  I have been pumping adrenaline into my system through inhalers, on and off, for 50 years.  It is no big surprise that I tend to dissociate from chest experiences, feeling like every hit of albuterol is …

Physicists maintain a reverence for process that transcends deity, the metaphors that deity is associated with and the battles that sometimes result from deep commitment to metaphor.  Physics is a relatively nonmetaphoric undertaking.  Reverence for process connects physicists across the world.  There is evidence that this state of reverence, this respect for the awe-inspiring mathematics of the universe, often results in the practitioners of physics having an experience of everything being connected.  Transcendence without mythology.

In the biological sciences, most practitioners are still enamored of the implications of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), studies revolving around epigenesis and the work of heterochronic theorists such as Matsuda have not been integrated into a general understanding similar to that engaged in by the practitioners of physics.  In biology, interconnections are viewed as contingent upon random circumstance leading to complexity.  In physics, interconnection is often viewed as evidence of an integrated whole.

In biology, a central focus is natural selection’s insistence that the variation of progeny produced by a coupling is random, unrelated to environmental effects.  Alternative theories (evo-devo, epigenesis and Matsuda) suggest that there may be little that is random in the proliferation of life upon earth.  Physicists …

Where Twitter Leads

September 18, 2009 | 4 Comments

Category: Future, Society, Unconscious, Web

There is a process that we engage in that is characterized by our observing changes in information over time, noting trends and estimating where we will be in the future.  Our lives are filled with charts that provide an image of where we may end up at some particular point.  Usually what is implied is something scary.  Gore’s pictorial representations of greenhouse gases are an example.

I engage in a similar process, focusing on patterns that reflect both personal experience and my social environment.  What interests me are evolution, transformation, consciousness and interconnection.  The news might suggest some specific thing is bound to get worse because there is an evident pattern to support the conclusion, and then it focuses on that thing because it drives viewers to return.  I also have a criterion for what I focus on.  My criterion is that what I follow has to be interesting.

So, reality has little to do with what the media choose to share.  Reality has little to do with what I choose to focus on and write about.  Still, whether a song describes reality isn’t as important as whether the song succinctly expresses feelings and a point of view.  That is …

PJEP Update

September 17, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism, PJEP, Web

The Peace, Justice & Environment Project now covers 50 states serving over 1,400 organizations.  Our first fundraiser on July 4th was a success.  Where do we go from here?

I began working on this project over three-and-a-half years ago.  It started with my seeking a way to flip Moveon’s model by supplying local activists an ability to create actions and develop powerful lists with the potential to propagate those actions across wide areas from the bottom up.  Marcia and I experimented with Moveon techniques locally.  We were effective, quickly building an 1,800-person activist list, driving people to events, getting media coverage.  Would it be possible to develop a system where the lists were shared by all participating organizations in a state?

Programmer Rod Homor and I worked out a web application that we were able to test statewide in Illinois with the new Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice.  It was well received.  It was an online commons offering participating organizations an ability to form ad hoc coalitions with other organizations around the state.  Organizations shared network resources (a central email list) when enough organizations voted support for one another’s projects.

I took the show on the road.  First Minnesota, …

Comedy Feng Shui

September 16, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Society, Web

“As emphasized throughout this case study, Zapotec women hold strong roles economically, socially, and in the kinship system.  The father is almost always living in the Zapotec matrifocal household, and relations between husband and wife tend to be highly egalitarian.  It is not only acceptable for women to exercise… authority in their everyday lives, it is currently expected and encouraged.”  (The Isthmus Zapotecs: A Matrifocal Culture of Mexico, Beverly Newbold Chinas, 2002, p. 87)

Comedy can offer insight not easily accessed through other cultural venues.  Growing up, I noticed that the main male characters in The Honeymooners, The Flintstones and in my own home exhibited a decidedly nondominant male exercising a belief in male dominance.  This seemed to be essential to the joke.  Males behaved like they were in control.  They weren’t in control.  This seemed funny.

For several years, I worked with a Feng Shui master.  I drove out to his home in a far southern suburb of Chicago a couple times a month.  We drank tea.  He occasionally made recommendations.  I don’t remember him talking much.  Mostly he offered the perspective or position of not taking seriously something specific that I was at the time taking …

Coming Attractions

September 15, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Uncategorized

Slowly my mind is moving in the direction of a video presentation.  Yesterday, my son Elia and I discussed some features of a video that would outline this multiscale, multidiscipline theory of evolution.  Elia composes music and is a photographer.  Listening to some of Elia’s compositions yesterday, I could feel shifts in scale while in my mind’s eye I was watching visual shifts in scale as a narrator described multiscale evolutionary theory.

For example, there is the classic circuit board blending into a city street, or leaf veins becoming a river system becoming a path of stars.  I’m seeking to layer these visual images/metaphors, superimposing similarities of structure while changing scale.

I read somewhere that there are 22 scales or levels between tiny super strings up through atoms to molecules to genes, individuals, species, up through ecosystems and solar systems all the way to galaxy clusters and our universe.  I’m now imagining Elia’s music taking a listener/viewer up and down the scales of experience, leaping from one scale to the next through imagery that metaphorically connects the levels, sometimes pausing to describe a particular process.  Patterns that I specialize in that operate on several levels will be described.

A fundamental …

“The classified ads (and stock-market quotations) are the bedrock of the press.  Should an alternative source of easy access to such diverse daily information be found, the press will fold.”  Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, p. 207, 1964.

Marshall McLuhan studied the effects of speed and time on social change.  One of his seminal insights was that media mold how we perceive the world, not only by the content that is distributed, but by how specifically media enhance our ability to access information.

It has become evident that the media are about politics.  How we communicate influences the distribution of power and authority.  More powerful than any political manifesto is the way that the words might be conveyed.

There are three foundation, democratizing power centers.  Education controls the ability for an individual to synthesize information.  Voting integrity empowers an individual to act upon the information.  Media enhance access to information.  With fundamental transformations in media, education and voting integrity get a boost.

What we are observing now is an exponential increase in the speed and quality of information distribution.  Everything is changing as a result of this transformation.

Theorists Shirky, Rheingold and others describe the result of barriers coming down …

Research Update

September 11, 2009 | 2 Comments

Category: Autism, Social Structure, Society

I’m working with Nithya and Elia on two separate but related projects.  Nithya is exploring the possibility that there is a correlation between breast cancer and matrifocal society.  It looks like she’ll be concentrating on Dravidian communities in India.  I hypothesize that many matrifocal societies are characterized by high-testosterone, high-estrogen woman, and I am estimating that certain diseases and conditions will be more common among that hormonal constellation, including breast cancer.

About a week into conducting research, Nithya noted that an unusually large number of matrifocal societies are island communities.  She suggested Founder Effect, or an ability for unique features to proliferate in the absence of competition.  I told her to explore whether mountainous communities possibly show a similar propensity.  The Basques would be an example.  Both islands and mountains have shown unique language structures.  I’m wondering if islands and mountains might harbor ancient social structures, relatively unmolested because of unique geography.  It would not be farfetched to consider that matrifocal social structures mainly inhabit terrains that are difficult to attack.  This would support a hypothesis that matrifocal social structures are precursors to patrifocal social structure.

We also talked of creoles.  Nithya noted many matrifocal island societies in the Caribbean.  …

Small Business

September 10, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism, Society

The American Left, divided on many issues, maintains one deep division not often talked about.  Many in the American Left despise business.  Doing so, they alienate supporters, making it more difficult to accomplish goals.

In high school and in college, I harbored a deep prejudice against business.  I’m not talking about just corporations but small businesses run by a single person or a family.  My father ran a girdle and bra factory on the west side of Chicago, on the fourth floor of a factory building that is now art studios for the University of Illinois.  The factory had maybe 50 employees.  My father was passionately dedicated to achieving respect by running a successful business.  His whole life revolved around the factory’s health.  He worked six days a week.  When business was good, my dad was relaxed.  When business was bad, he was preoccupied and irritable.

Dad’s politics revolved exclusively around his business.  What he perceived as good for the factory was good for him.  He would never consider voting for a Democrat.  He concluded that Republicans wanted him to succeed and Democrats wanted to use him to support those that didn’t have the resources or ambition to have their …