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Thursday, September 18, 2008

What about this election? Who is Barack Obama? Who is John McCain?

by Bruce Camber

Not too often will you find us touching the third rail of politics within Small Business School.  (Editor's note: But sometimes we must)

I am stridently independent; I grew up distrusting politicians. Perhaps I heard my father say a few too many times, abusing Lord Acton's famous quote, "Power corrupts; political power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Hattie is a partisan (very conservative), so we try not to impose our political views on others. Besides, the website and the television show are all about how one creates an abundance of value such that a business emerges and how it becomes sustainable. It is not about the people who believe they can lead a nation and the world.

The website -- -- and the show are all about our universal struggle to answer the question, What is life? ...that's about how each of us creates meaning in the world.

Good people try to make this little world of ours a better place. Bad people, the "not-so-good," arrogant, or narcissistic, think, "It is all about me."
Yet, as this election unfolds, I find myself less and less confident of both parties so I had to stop and ask "Why?"

The Key Questions about life:
There was a philosopher in the 1700s, Immanuel Kant, who reduced life to four simple questions:
- Where did I come from? (the past)
- Who am I? (the present)
- Where am I going? (the future)
- And what is the meaning and value of my life? (the evergreen, eternal, first principles)

Answers to questions open the way to develop a relation. Now, in the nitty-gritty world of business, it is often said that for anyone to do business with you, that person must know you (past), like you (present), trust you (future), and believe you (evergreen).

Every question renders an answer, opens the way to more questions that render answers that build upon knowing, liking, trusting and believing. These dynamics of going deeper within answers is actually little understood. As children, we all played with "Why?" until we were asked to stop the silliness. We've been conditioned to rebuff anyone who asks "too many questions." But, is it silly to want to reach deeper and deeper within any subject-as-given?

The answer, "Of course not," is ever-more heightened with the total collapse of space and time -- the paradigm shift ushered in by a world-wide-web -- so increasingly there are no traditional boundaries that separate any of us and any piece of information about us.

We have only begun to understand what this means.

Questions & Answers (Q&A).

I believe there is an actual structure to the Q&A; I call it an epistemology of interiority. It comes out of my work in the foundations of physics and theology; and it drives the first principles of this show/website. Real answers create the continuity conditions that build real relations, and those relations become actions or the dynamics of a day. The lack of deep answers leads me to make this observation about Barack Obama's candidacy:

If Obama were to lose this election it will be because people either do not know him; or, they do not trust him; or, they do not believe him. Nothing more; nothing less. All the words we use and the actions we take matter.

Editor's Note: This article was first published as a blog.

Other pages that refer to President Barack Obama are here:

1.  Barack Obama is no angel -- from September 17, 2012

2.  A letter about the US deficit from July 16, 2011

3.  A homepage about the US Dollar and question about Barack Obama from the Summer of 2010

4.  Wayne Root on Barack Obama from June 26, 2010

5.  Stimulate small business development from January 2009