The Political Spectrum


Even though the election is over…divisiveness in America is as high as ever, if not at all time highs.

We’re seeing it hurtfully in terms of bias, bigotry, and hate all around us:

– Protests, outright hostility, and violence (some sponsored) between left and right.

– Murders of police officers and African Americans betwixt the rise of Black Lives Matter.

– Calls for justice to “Lock her up” and defiant calls of “Not my President!”

– Labeling of people as bigots and racists amidst calls to “Make America Great Again.”

– Conspiracy theories of links with Russia juxtaposed with Wikileaks of collusion against Bernie Sanders

– Powerful political machines, operatives, media handlers, fundraising, advertising, and big data to “get out the vote” for your candidate. 

– The blue wall falling in the election as working-class whites abandoned the party they felt abandoned them.

– Gender glass ceilings, pay differentials, and inequality going up against the hope of a first female President of the United States. 

– Growing income and wealth inequality of the elites and trade imbalances with other nations amidst Occupy Wall Street and a nostalgia to return our manufacturing, jobs, and main street to America. 

Divisiveness of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, wealth and more are showing up in the positioning of people along the broad political spectrum. 

This spectrum spans from ultimate control and dictatorship to outright chaos and anarchy, and with lots of options in between. 

So where do you fall on the political spectrum yesterday, today, and how about tomorrow? 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

>Adam Smith and Enterprise Architecture


Adam Smith, known as “The Father of Economics”, is best known for his “laissez-faire” economic theory. Smith believed in the right to influence your own economic progress freely, without the puppet strings of guilds and/or the state. His theory caught on and changed much of Europe into a free trade domain, allowing the emergence of the entrepreneur. Smith’s work helped to build the foundations of free market economics that includes:

  • Capitalism (an economic system in which the means of production—land, labor, and, capital—are privately owned and operated for profit, and in which production and distribution of goods and services are determined through the operation of a ‘market economy’—free markets and free pricing system)
  • Libertarianism (belief that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property)
  • Free Trade (trade in goods and services between or within countries flow unhindered by government) (Adapted from Wikipedia)

“Smith laid the intellectual framework that explained the free market and still holds true today. He is most often recognized for the expression “the invisible hand,” which he used to demonstrate how self-interest guides the most efficient use of resources in a nation’s economy, with public welfare coming as a by-product. To underscore his laissez-faire convictions, Smith argued that state and personal efforts, to promote social good are ineffectual compared to unbridled market forces.” (

Here’s the User-centric EA question…

Based on Adam Smith’s framework for an efficient free market unencumbered by the state, how are we to view enterprise architecture planning and governance “hindering” the organizational end-users from making the ‘best’ choices for what systems, products, and standards they want to purchase or use? Based on Smith’s notion of “laissez-faire”, doesn’t the end-user know best? And won’t they make the most efficient use of corporate resources? Why does EA ‘interfere’?

The answer is…

The end-user does know best and we do need to let them ‘guide’ decision-making. However, there is a difference between letting them guide decisions and pursuing their own interests completely unimpeded. We do not have to use a great amount of imagination to recognize the wasteful spending on redundant solutions, stove-piped data and applications, and inefficient processes that would exist.

  • Taken to an extreme, if all users in the enterprise would purchase and implement whatever business and technology solutions they desire, without any form of governance what-so-ever, you would have total chaos!

So the User-centric EA view is that we put the user front and center in the decision process. We work diligently and ongoingly to understand user requirements. And as architects, we work to satisfy those requirements by rationalizing them, enforcing enterprise standards, developing enterprise solutions, and looking out for the greater good of the enterprise. This is the great EA balancing act!