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Support Groups in Santa Fe
by Paul Hibbert

Support Groups in Santa Fe

In this wondrous city of Santa Fe (The City Different) in of The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico), one is dumbstruck when one glances at the section of the pages of The Santa Fe New Mexican called Que Pasa? by the number of 'Support Groups' that are advertised. By actual count there are 110 such groups, many of which meet multiple times per week. They encompass the whole gamut of human dysfunction, ranging from the expected ones of alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive gambling, cancer support, etc. to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Co-Dependents Anonymous, Pet Loss Support, and on and on.

I am certainly not trivializing the seriousness of any of these disorders but what has me interested is that so many of these groups exist in such a small city. Santa Fe is hugely socialistic, liberal and 'new age' with examples detailed in Tibor Machan's  article, 'Socialism in Santa Fe':
http://solohq.com/Articles/Machan/Socialism_in_Santa_Fe.shtml

Santa Fe has a population of 67,000, is the capital of New Mexico, but more significantly, is the third largest art market in the U.S., behind New York and Los Angeles. There are over 300 galleries. This indicates to me that the percentage of artists in this small city must be absolutely enormous compared to those other two megalopolises and leads me to ask the question is there a correlation between socialism, liberalism, new age, art (the distinctive features of Santa Fe) and human dysfunction?

One can make an argument that socialism and liberalism are pretty much cut from the same cloth and that for purposes here they can be considered equivalent, and that 'new age' is compatible with them. Art seems to be in a different category, though. I know a number of artists some are objective and others are non-objective but it isn't apparent to me that their style correlates with their political or social beliefs but I think their outlook is typical of the population as a whole.

Please don't misunderstand me I love the art scene here and it was part of my decision to retire here; but the overwhelming, oppressive presence of liberals takes the edge off the enthusiasm. In any group, if they don't know my philosophy, they assume that I have seen Fahrenheit 9/11 and approve of it and that a $10.50 minimum wage for 2008 is just peachy.

As an Objectivist, it is tempting to conclude that socialism leads to human dysfunction, but this one unproven case isn't enough to draw such a broad conclusion. Perhaps all this phenomenon demonstrates is that individualists work out their problems by themselves rather than relying on others for support. However, it could be the subject of sociological research.

I have half a mind to phone the New Mexican and con them into running a couple of ads:

Support Group Addiction.  If you belong to more than two support groups, you may be addicted. For more information phone 466-xxxx between 3 and 6 p.m.

Support Group for Un-Weaned Adults. Learn how to combat the constant public criticism; after all, it's nobody's business but yours and your mother's.
For information and meeting times phone 466-xxxx, except at meal-time.

Dimes to dollars they'd print them.

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In case anyone wants to peruse the Santa Fe arts scene, here's a good site:

http://www.collectorsguide.com/sf/sfall.html
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