The Author

Jesse S. Smith is the author of Principles for a Self-Directed Society, available online from Basementia Publications.

I’m just a regular guy who happens to have had a lot of interesting experiences that shaped my way of thinking.  I’m interested in the politics of social stratification: because I’ve been poor for most of my adult life; and because I’ve witnessed third-world poverty first-hand.  I have a lot of goals and plans, both for myself and for the world at large.  My book was perhaps a bit idealistic, but isn’t that kind of wonderful?

Personal Statement

June 23, 2008

On any scale of real income or accumulated wealth, I am a member of the lower class, and as such I am well qualified to discuss issues which affect “ordinary Americans.”

Too often in the modern political arena, when a prominent personage dares to overtly speak the bare truth regarding the long and bitterly divisive struggle for peace, basic rights, prosperity, and environmental restoration, that person is promptly attacked from all sides, and called “elitist” or “out of touch with the lives of ordinary Americans.”

As an unelected free citizen, I am beholden to no one and may speak my mind without fear. My life experience, augmented by research and consideration, qualifies me to speak the truth about our imperfect sociopolitical and economic systems, and about the difficult long-term processes which must be undertaken in order to accomplish true reform.

Experience and Education

I am a husband, a father, a home owner, and a small business owner. I have worked in a variety of industries, and have been, among other things, a union member, a factory worker, a cook, a clerk, a music teacher, and a website developer. I grew up on a farm in a small rural community where the economy was based on farming and the timber industry. I have attended Catholic school, public high school, community college, and finally Whitman College, where I earned a BA in English and spent my junior year abroad in Scotland.

I have traveled through parts of Western Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Just prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I lived for a year in a slum district of Cairo, Egypt, an experience which is the subject of an unpublished autobiographical work.

Published Work

In 2006 I wrote a lengthy Introduction to the Basementia Publications printing of President Eisenhower’s final address, a book appropriately titled, The Military-Industrial Complex. The introduction turned out to be at least as long as the speech itself, and was carefully footnoted with numerous citations referencing official sources including the Department of Defense’s budget.

In September 2008, my book Principles for a Self-Directed Society was released by Basementia Publications. The book is a complete re-thinking of an earlier work simply titled A Guide, and is extensively researched and footnoted.

My earlier published work includes several works of short fiction which appeared in the Blue Moon, a literary compendium published annually by Whitman College.