Saturday, May 30, 2009

On Business & Stuff

First, the stuff:

Grist Journal is featuring Adam O. Davis.  His personal site is over here.  The poems are really great, and the interview is both smart and entertaining.  


I've been thinking about a few things have been in the news about the economy lately--car companies, fellowship positions, journals.  Things like that.  The job market--academic and otherwise--is pretty horrible and small presses that rely on grant money and other not-for-profit sources are hurting.  

You know all this.  

Thinking on these issues, I came across a place in Gandhi: An Autobiography.  The Story of My Experiments with Truth, where he directly addresses these issues in what I think is the context that is most relevant, and so I share it with you.  On page 198 of the Beacon Press Edition, he writes:

"A public institution means an institution conducted with the approval, and from the funds, of the public.  When such an institution ceases to have public support, it forfeits its right to exist.  Institutions maintained on permanent funds are often found to ignore public opinion, and are frequently responsible for acts contrary to it...The institution that fails to win public support has no right to exist as such.  The subscriptions that an institution annually receives are a test of its popularity and the honesty of its management; and I am of the opinion that every institution should submit to that test."

Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai.

Support the companies, presses and journals you believe in.  If they are founded an operated with the intention to serve the community and provide for our world, they deserve the support.  
If they exist simply for the sake of taking your money and adding it to the pool of free money which is managed by people who have no personal stake in the integrity or quality of the product or service, perhaps they do not deserve your patronage.  


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