Creative Powers it Is a Fact Term Paper

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Creative Powers

It is a fact that the society in which we live will never be truly free in all areas of life. Indeed, it has been suggested by some that total freedom would result in anarchy, and that rules are necessary in order to ensure a civilized society. On the other hand, too little freedom would hardly be conducive to creativity in any sense of the word. It would therefore be useful to what degree freedom within society, in terms of the law, culture, education, politics, and other influences, relates to individual and collective creativity in the same society.

Freedom in Society

Freedom is a very wide concept, and difficult to define. It means different things to different individuals and different societies. If Hayek's position were accepted as true, a definition of the "truly free" society would be needed in justification of the statement. For Hayek then, this freedom entails the artistic right to pursue new goals that are not accepted as general goals for society. Freedom means that the minority of individuals pursuing these goals should be allowed to do so. Evolution occurs when these new goals become embedded in the social consciousness to become the goals of the majority. If this could be seen as a natural process rather than a threat, true freedom is manifest. The main characteristic of a free society then is for Hayek that its goals should be open.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Hayek uses the artistic paradigms of "good" and "beautiful" to illustrate this point, emphasizing that relativism is at the center of all changeable opinions. Thus, what is good and beautiful changes from generation to generation and from person to person. The truly free society allows this and recognizes that human beings will naturally differ regarding their relativist opinions. This is for Hayek a natural part of human evolution, meaning that those paradigms worthy of remaining endure while others are lost more quickly. Thus not only human beings, but also their paradigms and opinions change according to the specific needs of a specific generation at a specific time. This is part of what ensures perpetuity and should not be resisted.

Basically this view of social freedom relates to artistic paradigms, although it could be applied to other areas of society as well. Economic, religious and other evolution and freedom all relate to the minority endorsement of a new idea or goal that later becomes the idea or goal of the majority.

Virginia Postrel on the other hand holds that all the above paradigms of society, including art, economics and the business world in general, are bound by the apparent obsessive Western need to predict the future. According to her work, computer-generated predictions of the newest trend in fashion or other markets binds creativity in these fields and stifle most possible direction in favor of possibly false predictions. A society so reliant on prediction is therefore not free according to the above definition, and furthermore not optimally creative. The reason for this is that predictions are mainly done by machines, without considering the human factor within the variety of data gathered. Humanity and creativity are thus stifled by fact, machine and the social need to predict and to believe at all cost such predictions. This is not conducive to Hayek's paradigm of evolution.

Postrel further distinguishes between stasism and dynamism, where the former relates to the above tendency to believe prediction at all cost, and the latter refers to the human element of surprise, which is conducive to learning and to evolution. She holds that a tendency to believe without further investigation in the "perfect" prediction model is not conducive to maximum creativity. Instead, dynamism acknowledges that it is possible not to know everything, and therefore the paradigm of learning and thus evolution enters society. According to Postrel then, maximum creativity is only possible if the element of prediction is at its minimum level.

It appears then that, while a perfectly free society is also perfectly creative, this is hardly the case in reality. Indeed, whereas Western society tends to be ruled by its belief that current technical systems and models are perfectly adequate for its purposes, other societies entail the same paradigm with regard to religion and philosophy. Thus, whereas freedom entails the willingness to explore and to learn, a lack of freedom relates to an unwillingness to give up existing systems of knowledge in favor of the new. This is regardless of whether the new knowledge is superior to the old or not; the new is rejected simply as a matter of principle. This attitude stifles optimal creativity and creates a society of little more than drones intent on retaining the status quo. The reason for this is that society is reluctant to leave its comfort zone and explore new possibilities. This is also mostly why the most creative people, and those pioneering new ideas, are in the minority.

Features and Conditions of a Free Society

The features and conditions under which a free society then optimally functions include a willingness to explore new paradigms and ideas, as well as a willingness to accept that some old ideas are outdated and better replaced by the new. It is a flexibility of goals and an enhancement of creativity. Several factors in society however are problematic for the enhancement of this freedom. One of these is morality.

Dinesh D'Souza focuses on the area of morality currently being debated in the world of the software industry, where the information revolution has created many wealthy individuals in a limited space of time. The moral issue currently facing these persons relates to the acquisition and distribution of their wealth.

Firstly however, it should be considered that the information revolution is a phenomenon that could only occur in a society at least close to the freedom suggested by Hayek. A few individuals acquired a new idea. The idea became a goal - creating and using computers to simplify human life. This goal of the minority then became the goal of the majority, and currently computers and the Internet are responsible for most of both local and global business and communication practices. It is therefore an example of the possibilities of optimal creativity in a free society.

Society is however dynamic in its paradigms, and freedom is never complete. Thus, morality, according to D'Souza, is offering a limit on complete creativity n terms of the computer industry. Specifically, this morality entails the concerns raised by critics of the phenomenon of technocapitalism. The sudden and extreme wealth created by technology, according to this group, has destroyed traditionally held values that were once an important basis for society.

Technologists on the other hand hold that, not only has technology created much personal wealth for the business people directly involved; it has also provided a valuable basis of funds from which to alleviate poverty in general. Of course this is a good outcome for society in general. The moral issue upon which the above misgivings are based is once again a manifestation of society's inability to dislodge currently held, but outdated paradigms in favor of an evolutionary step. A society thus needs to not only be free in terms of intellect, but also in terms of innate morality. A too strong hold on morality once again stifles the freedom needed to be truly creative.

On the other hand, D'Souza emphasizes that the benefit to the one should also be the ultimate benefit of the whole. When wealth is used for the benefit of the future and of current society, the technology creating the wealth serves an adequate purpose.

The general ideal here is the responsibility of those leading the evolution to the well-being and evolution of society. This is an ideal also voiced by Hayek. Evolution is successful in a society that discards the useless and retains the useful in terms of all elements involved, including morality. Morality should however ensure the survival of the species as a whole rather than the survival of ideals that no longer serve any true purpose except to deter society from attaining its true freedom and optimal creativity.

According to D'Souza, it is innately important for human beings not only to pursue wealth, but also to feel morally justified in this pursuit. Thus, this ideal can be used for the advancement of technology and wealth, as well as for a certain sense of morality, while also enhancing creativity in the process. The suggestion both here and in Hayek's work is that the innate sense of social responsibility should be equated with the morals that are directly conducive to fulfilling this responsibility. This moral responsibility, when implemented correctly, is furthermore conducive to the freedom in society so valued by Hayek.

D'Souza's premise is then furthermore that the moral paradigms of those failing to see the economic advantages of technological development are somewhat outdated. Society in general is benefiting from the wealth created by the industry. Attempting to disrupt this through moral indignation is not conducive to freedom or to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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