You Can’t Be an Entrepreneur and NOT Believe in Evolution

The Urban Fitness Movement, a yellow and black banner in a local city park. Five fat middle-aged people face off against a dreamer.

Legend has it America was built by dreamers. Maybe it was. Maybe it was built by hard working free and slave, trying to do something to get thru the day. Maybe some thought about the opportunity to dream and then to work hard on the weekends, at night, or somehow to squeeze some of their labor into capital, and then work doubly hard and make a little something, a farm, a shop, or whatever a thing of their own. Of course, most of the ones that really managed to make it big were the ones who managed to exploit their fellow workers, or managed to be born to one of those hard scrabble types who had fought to gain purchase on a tiny hilltop of commerce and raised their children to not be labor at all. These children of immigrants, of sharecroppers of near slave or slave factory workers, and especially the grandchildren of the same, felt little or no compulsion to make sure the labor of others was fairly compensated.

Afterall, they were the Ownership Class, not to be confused with the mindless drones who turned the wrenches, swung the hammers, plowed the row. These 2nd and 3rd generation folkss, and not a few first generations who were able to harden their heart against their fellow man, built great empires, exploiting labor, government, the earth and the air itself.

But I didnt come here today to talk of Capital exploiting Labor. Whether dreamers built and continue to build America, or whether grinding work that kills dreams is the source of our greatness I will leave to others to pursue.

Today, I want to talk about the capitalism I knew and loved growing up. The capitalism that scared me, scarred me, and gave me hope, and tore those hopes, only to make me a more careful dreamer, but a dreamer all the same.

I am thinking of the dreamer in the park, with the banner and the hopeful fat people. I am fat, but I did not stop to join the soon to be certain global empire of fitness, never mind that a 1/3 of the world needs a decent meal to move towards fitness, and another 1/3 needs to eat less carbs whether they exercise or not. The dreamer can see his/her empire when it is not visible to anyone else, the great dreamer can show it to others before it exists. I have built so many empires in my mind. I have built a few in real life only to watch them crumble. Not that I am a bad entrepreneur, well over 90% of all ventures fail within a year or two, and if you have any lack of knowledge, any lack of sufficient funding (and it takes a lot of funding, even for a shoe string business), and especially if the whims of fortune for your world change (1992) (2001) (2008) and many before and many after, your odds are still better than the lottery, but you are probably getting closer to 99 to 1 against you.

Do these odds stop the dreamer? Of course not, just as i play the lotto twice each week, knowing I will never win… But what if I did? What if the dreamer is the one who clicks, the one whose name replaces Sam Walton or Mark Zuckerberg or whoever?

I dug out an old poem that I wrote for my father about 20 years ago. It seems both apropos of this blog as well as Father’s Day:

Entrepreneur’s Log

Slick slick wheels,
A rusty gearbox
And God’s own very first
Blowin’ oil
And unleaded
Into a cloud of dreams,
For which I borrowed all
I could on enthusiasm.

This here load
Is the beginning
Of my vast, far flung
Empire of the Sun.

Distributions centers
In Dallas and Des Moines,
Semi crisscrossing
These forty-eight,
And freighters loaded,
Lord knows I’ll ship
‘Round the world.

I have to get
My load of dreams
Off the shoulder
And down to New Orleans,
Those fools in Memphis
Don’t know a thing.

I just wonder how
The world made it
So long without
My perception and understanding
Of the wants and needs
Of the ordinary man.

Yes sir, i got no more money
But for a tow and to get
This rig arunnin’,
I’ll give ten percent.

That’s like a piece
Of a gold mine!

Yes sir, this is
your lucky day.
Ok, twenty-five, no more,
Now be reasonable
I’m giving you half of an empire.

For a half a day’s work.

Yes sir, and Empire of the Sun.

Well, then drive on,
You’re just as dumb
As them fools in Memphis,
I’ll get there somehow.

Yes sir, officer,
I’ll be moving this thing
Right along any minute,
Seems to be a slight problem
For my Empire of the Sun,
temporarily, it won’t run.

Anthony Watkins

(to every dream and dreamer,
for every time the world laughed at us,
remember, as long as we have the dream,
they are the fools!
But this poem is most especially to my father,
who taught me how to dream)


About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
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3 Responses to You Can’t Be an Entrepreneur and NOT Believe in Evolution

  1. Working title reflected a slightly different direction I thought blog was going to take. Forgot to replace it. The whole evolution question kind of got buried.

    • Kevin mcLaughlin says:

      I was hoping to read more about evolution. My own belief is Mankind badly over-evolved, an aberration that has over populated the planet with our kind.

      Reading your blog, in the direction it took, I thought about Jeb’s recent comment that immigrants breed well and are happy to assume low skilled labor jobs; it sure was true of the Irish. Now we’re pretty much running this country, much to my mixed emotions. Proud that Obama and Biden have Irish blood.

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