Monday 12 August 2013

The concept of Fake Creativity stands close to the heart of Leftism


In discussing creativity, a decision must be made as to whether we are going to give primacy to process or outcome.

(Not neglecting the other of the pair: but one or the other must come first).

I put process first - and therefore discuss creativity and how it leads to what are generally regarded as creative results - so if the work leading to a science Nobel Prize is regarded as a creative outcome, then I would say that some science Nobel Prizewinners were highly creative persons, but some were not. The same would apply to great composers, great writers, great artists etc.


If creativity is process, a mode of thinking; then this means that many or most of the people who produce work which is generally regarded as extremely useful, beautiful or true are not creative. 

Furthermore, most creative people ('creatives') do not achieve anything that is generally regarded as useful, beautiful or true.

So it is not a compliment to call somebody creative or 'a creative' - it is simply a description of a personality type. 

(A personality type which is very poorly understood, hence the reason for my writing about it.)


In previous eras, there was not a special status given to novelty or originality as an aspect of high quality work - but since about 1800 in the West there has been: greatness is supposedly innovative.

Therefore we have an incentive system in place to generate fake creativity: an incentive system in which there are un-creative people who dishonestly strive to be regarded as original because they want to appropriate the label of creative.

In sum, under modernity creativity has been reduced to novelty - and novelty can be faked.


But it is easy to generate mere novelty, therefore the discriminative test applied to novelties is whether they are approved by the social systems that allocate high status.

When novelty is socially approved, then the person who generated it gets to be called creative - maybe even a creative genius.

Thus:  Novelty of outcome + Social Approval of that outcome = Fake creativity


And fake creativity is an attribute bestowed upon an outcome or person; bestowed by the social systems for generating status - in other words the mass media (primarily), politics, civil administration, the legal system, education... in a nutshell the Leftist establishment.

So, as you would expect, political correctness has captured creativity - and replaced real creativity with a fake creativity which is controlled by the arbiters of modernity: that is, mostly the mass media.

This to claim to be a 'creative' person has been changed from being the mere observation of a psychological fact; to an arrogant claim of deserving high social status for having achieved something which is approved by social arbiters.


This matter of being able to define/ bestow the accolade of creativity is of extreme importance to the Leftist intellectual establishment - indeed, fake creativity stands close to the heart of the Leftist project - because the Left works mainly via manipulations of esteem, including self-esteem.



Matias F. said...

Actual rapid change in the society during the industrial revolution made possible the belief in progress, which gave Leftism the possibility to lead society in the name of progress.

The widespread belief in progress gives great legitimacy to Leftism as a power structure, so any novelties can and eventually must be labeled as progress.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

They crowd around each other saying "brilliant" and "indispensable". Their horde-mindedness, their lack of individualism and superior willingness to network and log-roll, is a huge advantage in this context.

It's so easy for them because everything that is alien to the culture they are attacking is "novel" in context.

Everything that is not ostentatiously novel because it is natural and organic to the culture under attack is comparatively "un-creative", so every healthy rival to the fake novelty-merchants and the architects of alienation and shock is discredited in advance.

Anonymous said...

What the left calls "creativity" is actually just personal expression against traditional norms, or attention-seeking by victim groups. It's disruptive, which is the point. "Since 1800" is a good marker since around then is when modern leftism got rolling.

Jeff C said...

Doesn't Rolling Stone magazine exist to perform this 'bestowing' function?

Gottlieb said...

The creativity, along with other traits such as intelligence and beauty, are under fire these retarded pedantic, because they are the trinity of everything they hate most.
Leftists are the 'creative geniuses' frustrated. I mean, they have different personality traits of his own creative genius, but it lacks innate talent that only geniuses creative have, high and natural creativity . As a result, they use their similar personality traits that emulate that of a creative genius and attempt to subjectively (as they always do) the creativity to something that is 'original'.
But do not just invent something original, you must have quality.
In fact, many leftists are evil (pseudo) geniuses, who use their creativity undoubtedly higher than the common population to impose their morality on double meanings and this is regrettable and totally criminal.

Karl said...

When you dated the special status of novelty to about the year 1800, I immediately wondered about a remark I had heard attributed to Samuel Johnson:

Sir, your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.

The remark presupposes a pursuit of originality as a kind of excellence. It turns out, of course, that the attribution to Samuel Johnson is false.

Samuel Johnson Apocrypha

Luqman said...

The stricter standards of past times seem to me to be more conducive to the nurturing of creatives, though this might seem paradoxical to those in modern education for instance. Force them to worship and experience the atmosphere of worship, force them to adhere to a strict code of personal behaviour and morality and you allow them to buffer up the parts of themselves that are naturally deficient. Their left-hand path tendencies are mellowed. On the other hand, take this to an extreme and you would start to suppress creativity with conformity, but I would not think this would be the rule. Even that seems to me to be superior to the modern non-conforming confirmity, a rejection of standards and a hypocritical open-mindedness which makes these people rudderless and dysfunctional. I dont know if you have commented on this Dr. Charlton, but one aspect of true geniuses seems to me to be their strong sense of good and evil. This would unfortunately tend to lead them astray if it is not within the frame of something greater than oneself, it just turns into an even worse form of harm based liberal morality, or more likely enters into the realm of (Nietzschean) nihilism as these individuals are not generally very empathetic; as you have previously commented.

Delve further into the past and you find there has always been a place for these sort of people, the shamans, the ascetics, perhaps even the saints. A thread that seems to me to be consistent here is discipline, though I am not certain how to exactly express what I mean here. Not discipline as commonly defined but a very individual, personal sense of discipline that may manifest in ways most people consider undisciplined, or eccentric.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Luq - I think the answer is that in the past authority and discipline were imposed by individual persons - *some* of whom valued creativity and made allowances and exceptions for it.

Nowadays, almost all authority and discipline are bureaucratic and imposed by committee - and this kind of system never values creativity - creativity is never encouraged but only survives accidentally due to the gaps left over by incompetence and idleness of bureaucrats.

Luqman said...

This is purely conjecture on my part, but I have wondered if one of the reasons creatives are marginalized to an extreme degree in modern times is drugs, including alcohol. We live in a time where the availability of these is trivial, and creative types are novelty and stimulation seeking individuals who can often have such negative habits. The potency of modern drugs possibly also contributes.

Opioids are a downward spiral into destruction, alcohol is much the same, marijuana enhances psychosis and in the strengths it is currently available in, causes psychotic episodes. Methamphetamines and cocaine cause psychological addictions which take over your life. I can easily imagine habits of these dampening creative output to nil.

Beyond drugs, extreme stimulating entertainment in general may be to blame. Videogames, pornography, a cornucopia of soma for those who are already weak in a way to its siren call. Perhaps, on the other hand, the ubiquity of these would lead the true non-conformist away. Disgusted by his world he wonders whether he is born too late. Religion would certainly help.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Rolling Stone magazine exist to perform this 'bestowing' function?

Also TED Talks.

Christopher Burd