Book Project: The Politics of Health

Obesity and disease in America stems from the food supply. The Politics of Health suggests that they result from corporate control of our political system.

Originally published 2004

As I wrote in How I Became a Health and Political Activist, it was a long time before I realized just how much damage was being to done to American health by our food supply. Once I did, I became a health activist. From there, it was only a matter of time until I understood how corporate control of our political systems makes it virtually impossible to solve the problems. At that point, I became a political activist — or, more accurately, a proponent of political reforms.

In 2004, I spent 5 months researching and writing a book. As my eyes began to open to the systemic connections between things that are going wrong in our world, it began to seem that every newspaper article, every TV news story, provided further evidence for the maladies. The book began to rapidly expand its scope, as a result of can only be described as an “embarrassment of riches” with respect to evidence that tended to prove its case.

In fact, it eventually became clear that General Systems Theory could be used to illustrate and explain the interlocking network of connections that produced our current system — not one in which people are actively creating the problems, but one in which no one has both the incentive and means to solve them. But it is precisely that combination which is necessary to resolve the dilemma. At that point, the book had grown into a 9-volume series — one that still needs to be resurrected, and eventually published, if only as a warning sign to others, as a way of showing how General Systems Theory can be used profitably for social analysis.

My idea at the time was to bring the book out in time to influence the 2004 election. But as that date became impractical, I created this website both to begin gathering support for the solution-concept, to get the analysis out into the public record, and to give me a place to write about current events so that the book could focus on the main themes without being distracted by every news story.

Once the site was created, I went back to working on the book, but soon ran out of money. It was necessary to go back to work — but at the same time difficult to do so. After having seen the inevitable disaster to come, how do you get yourself motivated to keep painting the deck chairs? The solution was to put the book aside, so I could begin to forget the details.

The problem, of course, is that the book needs to get out into the world. The analysis needs to be reviewed, examined, and double-checked. The solution — the only possible solution I have adduced after five years of concentrated thought on the subject — needs to be promoted. Developers need to be recruited. Above all, the concept needs to be implemented.

But as it currently stands, the book is a good seven months from being finished. It is a very rough draft. So I was torn between the need to finish the book, and the need to eat; between the need to focus on the message, and the need to forget about it so I could stay motivated enough to make a living.

The solution was provided by Doug Engelbart. He encouraged me to post the draft form of the book to the web. (Thanks, Doug.)  That draft needs to present the main thesis presented, supported by some of the embarrassing wealth of evidence that backs its claims. 

Copyright © 2004-2017, TreeLight PenWorks


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    1. America Needs a Political Overhaul | June 3, 2017 (6:01 pm)

      […] Book Project: The Politics of Health […]

    2. Designing a Voting Advice System | May 11, 2017 (9:26 pm)

      […] the issues, read Taking the Money Out of Politics. That work summarizes the conclusions reached in The Politics of Health — an early draft of a book that uses general systems theory to analyze the interplay of […]

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