There’s an Open Door–What Do You Do?

A creator opens a door. He may be a creator of a new technology, a creator of a new work of art or literature, a creator of new values, a creator of new virtues, a creator of new ideas.

What do you do?

Do you ignore the open door?

Do you cower in fear that a door’s been opened?

Do you slam the door shut?

Do you murder the man who dared to open a previously unopened door?

Or do you go through the door?

And why do you do these things? If you do any but the last, what do you fear? How many would have the door shut because it’s not fair to already-open doors? How many would have the door shut because it opens into the unknown? How are either of these (left and right, respectively) different from the other in outcome?

How many who have opened doors have been denigrated, maligned, condemned, even as a few went through and, reporting back how beautiful the world is on the other side, get more to cross over, and the more who cross over, the more cross over, until the creator is celebrated as one of the great benefactors of humankind (though the more he may have profited from his success, the less great he’s perceived to be)?

Why do you envy the creators? Why do you fear them? Why do you punish them for being creators, for benefiting humankind? Without creators we would have no more–no more wealth, no more morality, no more art and literature, etc–than the chimpanzees. If you have more than a chimpanzee, it’s not because of wise governance (though truly wise governance helps), it’s not because of workers (though employees are necessary to mass produce the creator’s creations), but rather, it’s because of creators–creators who often had to create despite all your efforts against them.

And what do the creators want from you? Do they want accolades? Worship? Money? Actually, they don’t want any of those things–not really (though mutually beneficial exchange and/or a good reputation signals the general value of their creations). No, what they really want is just to be left alone, to be allowed to keep creating. To not be imposed upon, punished, denigrated, expected to do more and more and more and more and more, expected to “give back” when all they have ever done is give.

Each and every creator offers a gift to the world. And too often, the world throws their gifts to the ground and says, “How dare you!” That is why it took so long for wealth to be created. But when the cultural conditions changed, albeit all too briefly, to a celebration of creativity, there was an explosion of wealth unlike the world had ever seen.

More and more, though, we are returning to the old attitude of “How dare you!” True wealth creation is flattening out (yes, there are increasing wealth disparities, but don’t confuse wealth with riches–the “wealthy” are getting “wealthier” in no small part because governments are increasingly protecting the already-rich from competition and thus from losing their riches), the arts and sciences have mostly stagnated, philosophy is busy counting the number of (secular) angels that can dance on the head of a pin, and philanthropy seems to be positively withering as government replace private philanthropy with far less effective government programs. And all of this comes from a combination of fear of change and protection of cronies from competition–both of which ask for the same results and use the same methods.

If you want to kill the contemporary increasingly global society–and a few billion people–I strongly recommend staying the course and despising creators. Anyone who isn’t a misanthropist, though, should celebrate the world’s creators, and work to create the conditions for their continued success in order to encourage even more creative people to create more and more and thus to increase the cultural, material, and spiritual wealth of the world.

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