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The Perils of Entrepreneurship

August 10, 2021

Recently I had reason to list problems I encountered in entrepreneurial ventures in which I was a principal.

About forty years ago I started a film venture, worked with a writer to define the subject of a film, purchased the film rights and identified a source of financing. These matters take time and the film rights were about to expire. I prepared to renew the rights agreement but the writer said don’t do it. I paid for renewal of the rights anyway, but the film was not produced.

About seven years ago I watched a film on cable and realized that the film on TV was the film I organized. Apparently, the writer had cut a production deal and didn’t tell me.

On another occasion I negotiated the rights to produce a film based on Russell Kirk’s Roots of American Order. A script was written and I retained a producer to conduct a preproduction survey leading to production of the film. The producer accepted a large fee for his services but balked at conducting the preproduction survey.

In 1981 I served as team leader for a “transition team” for the National Humanities Endowment and after Reagan assumed office I submitted a grant proposal to NEH whose new head was William Bennett. As I report in my new book, Ennobling Encounters, Bennett’s staff person rejected the application on grounds that “The Founding is Lockean not Burkean.”

Having served in the Reagan Administration, a “price” was placed on my head by Progressive academics who cleaned out higher education of political conservatives. With contacts in Poland, I began to raise financing for Polish projects including the organizing of a bid for the first Polish broadcast television license.

A Polish government Minister who supported our bid, became drunk, smashed his government car and resigned from office.

In 2000 I founded a for-profit Internet university and after we attained “National Accreditation” in 2008, Barack Obama was elected and attempted to destroy for-profit education. A history of that venture was published in 2017.

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