Pitchfork Papers - A weekly reflection from a poet manqué who stumbled into the world of business and finance and is still looking for the exit.

pitchfork is an agricultural tool with a long handle and two to five tines used to lift and pitch or throw loose material, such as hay, straw or leaves. The pitchfork is simplest of implements and every farmer has one. For all their simplicity, they are useful for turning over and separating material that is too heavy or dense to be worked by hand. The long handle together with the two tines make it possible to lift, separate and aerate with ease . The analogy should be obvious.

Pitchforks have another symbolic personality. They were often the only weapon available to those lower down the social food chain. When, in less enlightened times, the burden of taxation, oppression, starvation, injustice, coercion and willful disenfrachisement had reached intolerable levels, those who sought change and redress, whose frustration and desperation led them to take their protest to the streets, would arm themselves with the only tool that gave them a smidgeon of leverage in the combat zone. Angry citizens with pitchforks used to be a thing.

My Pitchfork Papers are my tool for lifting heavy subjects with the aim of getting some air into them and separating concepts that require me to break them down into manageable chunks in order to work with them. The wet grass of quotidian existence in all its complexity and density requires lifting and separating and my words and this series of essays are the implements I use to perform the task.

That said, the lifting and separating, the aeration is considerably enhanced by enthusiastic helpers, who add perspective and often bring their own implements to the comments sections here or by writing to me directly by email or on Twitter or Linked In

Who should read my Pitchfork Papers?

If you are interested in questions that arise from the world of small business, financial and financial fluency, leadership in all its various guises, strategy and thinking about the future, then you will regularly find essays that cover some aspect of those subjects. I write with a unreserved passion for human scale, intimate organisations and am highly sceptical of growth for its own sake. I have a strong libertarian bent, which is getting stronger by the day as I see us walking in the diametrically opposite direction and a visecral dislike of being told what to think by anyone. I have deep love of literature, art, history and poetry and weave all of thsoe into my writing at the drop of a hat. I am reasonably economically literate and am drawn particularly to the Austrian School of economic thought, which colours my view of business and the world at large. I do my own research and form my own opinions and am sensitive to manipulation. All of this will be reflected in my writing in one way or another.

If you are comfortable with all or most of those attributes, then you will, I hope, find something to entertain and inform you here, hopefully at one and the same time.

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Whether you subscribe or don’t, I really very much appreciate your comments, critical feedback and assistence with the heavy lifting. I am with Joan Didion when she states that she writes so that she knows what she is thinking. I do the same and your comments help me think better.

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Steven K N Wilkinson
I am an Englishman living in Ireland. I am Founder & Managing Director of Good & Prosper Ltd an education, consulting and investment company based in Co. Wicklow.