On Creativity

Musician Guitarist Guitar Music
Standard

Yesterday I mentioned in passing my definition of capitalism involved the element of creativity. This is another of my fundamentals of life.

We are, as human beings, creative. It is a result of, and in our integrative worldview – a cause of, who we are. The biblical scholars understood this, even as they attributed the mystery of creation to God, they understood that it is in the process of creation that we are made in the image of God.

We naturally like to create, whether that be for a living or as a hobby, the state of flow that comes from creating something, for me, indicates that it is what we are meant to do. The integrative nature of how both our brains work and how we work together, will always bear creative fruit if allowed to. In fact, the greatest pleasure and most fulfilment I’ve ever had in life has always come from creating with other people.

When people create together, whether it be making music or making films, the results are always far greater than the sum of its parts. If you ever want to see the origin of the extended order in action, make a film or write a song with other people. It’s incredible.

Even in the workplace and in society, we are always creating, even if it’s a bit less fun. Laws, traditions, products all emerge from the efforts of many people, who rarely could produce the result by themselves. And so the extended order grows, a constant dance of creation and evolution, never controlled or owned by anyone.

Capitalism vs. Greed

Dollar Exchange Rate World Economy
Standard

The newspapers love to make a splash about greedy capitalists, who have overstepped the mark, got carried away with their wealth and abused their ‘power’.

Many, particularly on the left, like to pick on the immoral capitalists, lumping most business people into this rather broad brushstroke.

I do think that they are, as ever, labouring under false assumptions. There seems to be an almost puritanical basis the idea that anyone who tries to make a living as an entrepreneur is somehow evil and not to be trusted. Another message that falls neatly into the emotional argument camp.

Yet, I would argue that while socialism is an ideal that can, should you wish, be sought after, the assumption that capitalism too is an ideal, is patently wrong.

For me, capitalism – the desire to make enough money to provide for your family and, if possible, work within the wider community to share your talents to bring growth and prosperity to all – is nothing more than the result of humans simply doing what humans need to do to survive and, if left alone, would just do anyway without any zeal or guidance to pursue it. It evolves over time, always flexible enough to cope with the changes the arise in life.

Left-wing thinking is fundamentally the attempt to control that process. The intellectual observes many facts (but never all) and concludes that the extended order of our society must have a some kind go guiding hand. It would be illogical to think otherwise. If you reject God from the equation then, rationally, it must be humans controlling things.

And so the intellectuals look for the underlying structures, find some that look promising, and start to tinker, without the means or the full understanding to really appreciate what they are doing. When they see people actively chasing money or power as a cause in itself, they assume that this activity must be an underlying principle of capitalism, when it is nothing more than misguided fools abusing their success and authority.

These fools may be motivated by greed or selfishness, yet they are really no different to those more socially minded types who try to control society. These greedy fools often use the authority of their wealth and status to coerce people to do their bidding, much as the power invested in the structures of socialism is rife with abuse. These are not the motives of the average person, who simply wants to get by, live their life and see their family and friends prosper, the main driving force behind the extended order.

Why the Under 25s Will (Mostly) Never Vote Tory

London Britain Union Jack
Standard

It’s generally understood that younger people (in the UK) tend to vote Labour and older people tend to vote Conservative, and given that there’s a reasonable chance of Conservative leadership bunfight in the offing, along with local and Europeans elections looming, there has been a spate of articles in recent days (James Forsyth’s in the Telegraph for one) around how the Tory party have tried and failed to woo the ‘yoof’ vote.

I think, given what I’ve been focussing on in recent days, that the under 25’s proclivity to vote Labour has a lot to do with the fact that their right-brains are fully developed while their left hemisphere is still developing. As a result, they tend not to use their pre-frontal cortex for decision making as the integrative logical functions are still not fully formed, and instead tend to use their amygdala, buried down in their limbic system.

This makes them susceptible to more emotional arguments and viewpoints that the Left tend to rely on in their campaigns. Under 25’s also tend to focus on more self-centred issues – cost of education, cost of housing, getting a job. Labour’s very clever ploy to abolish university tuition fees played directly into this. The fact that it probably would have mostly been paid for by raising corporation tax, thus threatening many small businesses and a massive chunk of the gig economy, is a logical conclusion lost in the emotional maelstrom of limbic thinking.

I certainly remember getting swept along on the tide of emotion that engulfed the UK when Tony Blair powered his way to victory in 1997. I was 24 and I had no idea what either party really stood for. I had no time for logical arguments, I just wanted the smelly old Tories out. I totally bought into the message of ‘time for a change’. I’m not sure I can, hand on heart, say that change was particularly good, but there we go.

The problem with the Conservative message is that it is often portrayed through the lens of capitalism, with no recourse to the ideas of social evolution, and the almost mystical ideas of society from which capitalism emerges (more on that soon). These are nebulous arguments, and hard to sell at the best of time to anyone. So capitalism is reduced from the natural outpouring of human activity to work together to stay alive, and focussed through the emotional lens of cruelty and greed. This is something that resonates with the limbic system and gets the old noradrenaline flowing. Capitalism is bad! Businessmen are evil and greedy! The staple output of the left. Cold hard facts that contradict these stories are ignored (the Tories tend to be better at environmentalism and social care, and ‘capitalism’ can drive up living standards for all), the developed emotional right brain filtering them out.

I guess, with my filmmaker hat on, this also explains why the key demographic for blockbuster movies is the 18-25 range, they have the time, the money and the brain skewed towards enjoying films.