About

My name is Sean Goonan and I created this website, The Foundation Press, to be a platform for my philosophical book The Foundation for Exploration. The website will also feature information about my political candidacies. Please read about my background below, as well as the authors/books that have influenced me the most.

I was born in 1993 and grew up in Western Massachusetts. Ever since I can remember, I have always experienced the world through ceaseless contemplation and introspection. As a kid I was quiet. I observed people’s behavior and the strange world around me, where it seemed that everything had already been figured out, and I tried to discern how to act and tried to understand why the world was the way it was.

I attended George Washington University (GW) in Washington DC for three years (2011-2014). I was drawn to the rigid structure, rationality, and simplification of human nature that economics provided, and I was intrigued by its obscurity and apparent importance in the construction of society, so I majored in it figuring that it would also provide me with a satisfying career.

As time went on, the basic simplifications that economics provided were not enough for me, and the careers I was looking forward to seemed soul-destroying and counter-productive. I was isolated during my time in Washington DC. I didn’t like the people at GW or in DC (except for a few people) because I felt they were a noticeable breed of shallow, power-hungry, and narcissistic types, and I didn’t like the college environment. I spent a lot of my time walking alone around the area in contemplation. It was in DC where I discovered how enjoyable a simple thing such as going for a walk and thinking can be. I focused less and less on the coursework and more on reading and thinking about philosophy and “meta-economics” (the big-picture analysis of economic systems and economic behavior at their philosophical core). I grew sick of the environment I was in and I struggled to focus on my classes and I even failed one. Yet I somehow landed a summer internship after my junior year at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in DC. That summer I learned a lot about what life was like working in an office, and working for the bureaucratic government. I learned that I did not like these things. Philosophy began to take hold more and more. Every Saturday morning I got up early and walked for 15 miles around all parts of the district. I started to have thoughts that I could write a book based off of some of my ideas even though they were more rudimentary existential and economic ideas. I also started having thoughts about doing farming in order to be in touch with nature and to learn how to be self-sufficient.

At the end of the summer I did not want to continue going to GW or have a career working in an office, but I did not know how to quit. Right from the start of the semester I started losing my mind being in a place I did not want to be in, with people I did not like, and these things combined with my intense search for absolute Truth manifested into an existential breakdown, where I experienced some acute mental suffering and depression, and even started to lose control over my mind and my grasp on how to act. I left GW half-way through the semester broken and confused. The winter quieted my surroundings back home, and it quieted my mind, yet my depression lingered on. I worked the night shift at a plastics manufacturer for a month, and didn’t do much else. I applied for a farming apprenticeship at farms in Vermont and Maine for the spring and was glad to be chosen by a farm in Maine that I was interested in.

On an isolated small family farm midway up the coast of Maine, I found the power of getting in touch with nature and the natural order of things, and felt a strong inspiring wonder looking at the cosmos above my head at night outside of my small one room cabin at the edge of the woods. I felt my previous depression and nihilism dissipate and felt a strong love for life, and I began developing a personal philosophy based around this love for being alive and the hatred of destructiveness towards life. The philosophy was based around overcoming nihilism through developing a deep wonder and connection with the universe, recognizing certain subjective understandings of what brings true happiness, and the importance of tying in self-actualization with work. These were ideas I had been developing for years, but finally got to experience first hand and fully understand on the farm.

I left Maine in July, worked on another farm in Western Mass through September, and after being presented with an opportunity to live cheaply in Brooklyn NY, I moved there on October 1st 2015 to focus directly on organizing and writing down my thoughts. That month I experienced a breakthrough when I discovered/created the concept of the duality of human nature and I knew right away that it had the potential to be something very important with far-reaching applications. One year later, after much suffering and hopelessness due to my growing understanding of all the destructiveness in the world, my all-pervasive disgust for modern society, and my difficulty in getting my thoughts organized onto paper, I managed to complete the book. From the initial idea of the duality of human nature, I delved into many unforeseen aspects of human nature and the construction of society, and I believe I have created a piece of work with a variety of revolutionary and important concepts.

Since leaving Brooklyn in February 2016 I have worked on a few more farms in Western Mass and I have done a variety of other work. For three months at the beginning of 2018 I toured the eastern half of the United States (Mass to Florida to west Texas to Chicago to Lexington, Kentucky and back, and every state in between) by myself in my car in order to spread my book and to learn more about the country and its agriculture by working and staying on a different farm each week. I visited and drove through countless cities and towns along the way. I observed how this country has been ruined by industrialization and poor city design structured around the automobile, despite the natural beauty of the landscape fighting through in many places, and I met some very nice people. In 2019 I ran for a city council-at-large political position in my hometown and lost, and I am running again this year in 2021. I plan on continuing to spread my ideas to the world.

Some authors/books that have influenced me:

Nonfiction
John Taylor Gatto- The Underground History of American Education, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
Wendell Berry- The Unsettling of America, The Art of the Commonplace
Ivan Illich- Deschooling Society, Tools for Conviviality, The Right to Useful Unemployment
F. Roger Devlin- Sexual Utopia in Power
Ted Kaczynski- Industrial Society and Its Future, Technological Slavery
Paul Goodman- Growing Up Absurd, Compulsory Mis-education, The Community of Scholars, The Society I Live in is Mine
E. F. Schumacher- Small is Beautiful, A Guide for the Perplexed
Friedrich Nietzsche- Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Henry David Thoreau- Walden, Journal Entries (Thoreau’s Country by David Foster)
Emile Durkheim- On Suicide

Fiction
Knut Hamsun- Growth of the Soil, Hunger, Mysteries, Victoria, Pan
Ernest Hemingway- The Complete Short Stories
Franz Kafka- The Trial, The Castle
Jack London- Martin Eden, White Fang, Short Stories
Yukio Mishima- The Sound of Waves, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, The Way of the Samurai
H.P. Lovecraft- At the Mountains of Madness, Short Stories
Isaac Asimov- The Complete Short Stories Vol 1
Herman Hesse- Siddhartha
Alan Moore- Watchmen
Thomas Hardy- Far from the Madding Crowd
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer