Politics & the Human Creative Project
We humans are at the top of the planet’s food chain because we are the world’s first truly intelligent, creative-adaptive species.
There is no sharp line between creative accomplishments in the arts, the sciences, social organization or engineering. The wheel and the song have both served the goals of creating a sustainable life-affirming civilization.
In case you haven’t noticed, every human creative advance has opened a scary new chapter fraught with greater challenges.
We’ve arrived at another precarious junction in human history, one in which a new Dark Age (always a possibility in any culture that has lost or is losing is moral tethers) would be more than a gap in human progress. We have arrived at the point of no return in the sense that turning back now would be suicide. If you doubt me, just take a few hours to track the arms race between natural plagues and pathogens and human medicine and between the morally disarmed who are acquiring 21st century mass killing technologies.
Failing to enlist our creative capabilities to go forward could well be ultimately fatal to the human enterprise. A Dark Age would be a fatal mistake.
This is why I have advanced the ideal of a specifically creative, life-affirming civilization as the next necessary development in the Great Human Experiment. Look around the world for a moment, using one simple test: Where are the most fruitful creative activities taking place? It would be hard too miss the fact that all the creative nodes operate in zones of protected freedom, and harder still to notice the USA’s position, all flaws accounted for, as a creative vanguard for the world. And in passing, please note that tiny Israel has more creative activity mile-for-mile than any comparable real estate in the world except possibly for Silicon Valley, USA in the eighties and nineties. If you look even deeper, you will discover the following:
Four agendas are toxic to the human creative enterprise:
Enforced uniformity, because it smothers the creative impulse; enforced equality, because it punishes creative accomplishment; intrusive bureaucracy, because it cripples creative innovation in the cradle; ...and the political control of the creative enterprise, especially that which separates creation from the ethos life affirmation or warps its natural role as the vital center of a healthy civilization, because it inevitably becomes a perversion*.
*I think here of the bleak and amoral artistic community that undermined the Weimar Republic in 20th century Germany, unwittingly facilitating the Nazi takeover, and I recall those chilling amoral cohorts of innovative scientists employed to do human experiments by totalitarian regimes.
Because these four agendas are strongly linked to the modern left, it is no exaggeration to point out that the 20th and 21st century left* has a natural tendency to punish, smother, cripple and pervert human creativity.
*The “left’, as the term is used here, excludes the freedom-respecting liberals, the subset whose members are easy-going about natural human inequalities, who understand the moral and practical value of free markets and share with their conservative brothers and sisters a core life affirming ethos, and an equal respect for human dignity and the US constitution.
Whenever the totalitarian left achieves effective dominance somewhere, the creative ones are among the first to seek to escape.
This is no accident.
When the left’s agenda is in slow-implementation mode (as in Marxism Lite, currently being sold under the Progressive label), the deterioration in authentic creative accomplishment in any given society is less noticeable on a day-to-day basis. The cumulative damage is also masked by the late implementation of the fruits of earlier innovation. But, like any metastasis, inevitably, signs appear. Look for these:
Creative perversions move to the cultural foreground. Authentic creative developments devolve into stale imitation. The really bright sparks of genius begin to die in the dank tangle of restrictions, disincentives, soft censorship and political exploitation. The best innovators retire, or slip away from the country into safe havens elsewhere.
It is no accident that left-dominated regimes tend to punish expatriation.
This is why the next development in conservatism must contain an explicit affirmation of the human creative process, a deep understanding of its taproots in the very civil freedoms that conservatism is dedicated to preserve, and of the necessary links between creative activities and a moral ethos rooted in life affirmation and human dignity.
I have coined a term for these new, creative conservatives. They are the Renaissance Conservatives, or “Re-Cons”.
Together with the Constructive, Creative Liberals, or “Con-Libs” we will make a contagious 21st Century American Renaissance.
Jay B Gaskill
Attorney at Law