Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Public Intellectuals", Entrepreneurial Innovators, and the Quest for Civilized Society

Perhaps one of the most encouraging signs that humankind is steadily moving from a command society to a commercial society is that the prestige of the "public intellectual" is all but gone. There are no Einsteins and Freuds anymore - intellectuals whose names everyone knows and by whose ideas everyone is at least subconsciously influenced. The ones who are nowadays revered for their intellectual accomplishments are not academic theoreticians, but entrepreneurial innovators, such as Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg (or Satoshi Nakamoto in the case of the slightly more initiated).

This is a good, intellectually and morally healthy development, an indication that intellectual reverence is directed where it is due - towards those whose proposals and their implementations won in the free marketplace of ideas regarding how to make life for the masses unimaginably more convenient, fair, and pleasant. This seems to indicate that there is a widespread, at least subconscious recognition of the fact that what is needed for material, cultural and moral progress of the humankind is not "great", totalizing ideas and "great statesmen" to implement them, but competitive, trial-and-error based intellectual entrepreneurship operating in a highly decentralized, contractual world.

This, as far as I'm concerned, is an intellectually, morally, and aesthetically inspiring vision of civilized society that we should all strive to promote as a practical ideal and implement as a practical reality.

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