SOLAR PLEXUS

A site devoted to to understanding the world we live in and to making a difference.

Important Notice

Originally Solar Plexus focussed on Israel and the Middle East. I have in recent months widened the focus of my interests to include comment on South Africa and world-wide political trends.

Informed commentators have expressed disquiet at the intensification of partisanship and the polarisation of politics in recent years. In the words of the Pulitzer Prize winner, Peggy Noonan, “rage is all the rage, and it’s dangerous.” Freedom of expression and the exploration of ideas is being shut down by virtual mobs on social media and real mobs on university campuses and on the streets. Such political theatrics inevitably spill over into real violence and fanaticism.

Never has it been more vital for thoughtful people to have alternative sources to the mainstream media and other heavily partisan commentary. Possibly the world as a whole, as well as specific regions and states, are at critical thresholds of collapse while public opinion is being manipulated around personalities, fake news or ideological crusades.

There is no simple or single answer to these global trends.  But the prosperity and stability of a complex and entangled world increasingly rests on the foundation of serious information, ideas rooted in reality and critical thought. I promise to do my best to bring you that.

Some of the material you may endorse. Some will jar or disturb you, as it does me. But I hope to engage a wide range of readers in a joint vital journey of discovery and personal growth.

Since this site is focussed on what is conventionally called ‘politics’, the contents will mostly focus on political matters. But politics does not exist in a vacuum. It depends on the scientific, technological, psychological, material, cultural and sociological context in which it is embedded. Hence we will go outside the formal boundaries of politics to explore anything which enlarges our understanding.

One disadvantage of taking a ‘detached’ view of politics is that it fails to engage with the practical and morally charged issues which confront us on a daily basis. This site will remain concerned with the concrete challenges that threaten and challenge us in our daily lives. But I’m not a doomsday addict. We are an adaptive species and the sheer momentum of collective life tends to stabilise even volatile situations. Institutions, strong leadership and ‘good’ cultural norms can kick in to lead us away from the brink.

This site will try to reflect that and I always welcome, indeed encourage, feedback – positive or negative.

Now to more practical matters.

As a reflection of my change in focus I have been publishing in Politicsweb. That has been both a good and bad experience. Good in that I have some pressure to produce something publishable and coherent. Bad in that I cannot use Politicsweb to distribute important and stimulating material from other authors and try out ideas on a more informal basis.

Also Politicsweb is primarily a South African site and since my concerns are broader, with a continuing  interest in Israel, that is also an unwelcome constraint. I’ve tried out MailChimp as a distribution medium but it suffers from too many disadvantages – and I have a working, though imperfect alternative, Solar Plexus itself.

But I want to simplify and enlarge my readership simultaneously. The way I hope to accomplish this is as follows:

  1. Try to send this introduction to a very wide e-mail contact list, some/many of whom may be either uninterested or actively object to hearing from me. At the same time I will post this to Solar Plexus.
  2. Those who feel it may be worth trying out MUST SUBSCRIBE on the Solar Plexus link provided in this e-mail. Please don’t postpone or wait for me to repeat this mailing. I can’t. From henceforth I will only publish on Solar Plexus (and in Politicsweb or elsewhere) without any separate e-mail notifications except to a small group of correspondents.
  3. Those who subscribe to Solar Plexus will be notified automatically of each new posting and can go to the link provided which will simplify my life considerably and free more time for the tasks of research and writing, not to mention cogitation.
  4. Remember, Word Press, which serves as the platform for Solar Plexus, allows you to unsubscribe (or indeed join or re-join) wholly at your discretion. So you will never be trapped in a spamming situation.

I really hope this works. To a significant extent it depends on YOU, the recipient of this e-mail. If you have any difficulty you can write to me direct at his e-mail address.

NB. Sheila and I are going overseas for a couple of weeks tomorrow so please allow a decent lag period for the site to get going properly. But use this opportunity to subscribe – it’s free and retractable.

Best wishes

Mike Berger (SOLAR PLEXUS)

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