Monday, April 25, 2011

Culture's Economic By-Product

If strong economic growth is a positive externality of a strong culture, as Richard Florida claims, and there is an inverse correlation between the strength of a culture and the strength, size, and power of government, as Nietzsche claimed, what can we therefore conclude?

Look at those countries whose governments are most culturally oppressive. How are their economies?


  1. Classical liberalism, before that term became adulterated by modern big-government liberalism, was based on the principle that an open and free society best empowered its citizenry. That ideal was descended from the ancient Greek belief that man is supreme on earth, a heroic figure, able to carve his own destiny. Obviously, that heritage, that ennobling attitude, made for very creative societies, powered by the multi-pronged initiative of the many ordinary citizens.

    Greece demonstrated the bounty of such freedom with flourishing art, architecture, and trade rarely matched to this day. A culture that exalts the individual and values self-reliance, independence, and competition, will naturally create both a vibrant economy and a rich and varied aesthetic environment. It is the nature of humans, if left free and enabled, to reach out and seek to attain their full potential. When conditions allow and encourage that, the need for a large regulatory central government is minimal. But, as their government grows, the opportunity for free exercize of the peoples' genius will be reduced.

    Totalitarians, (and all governments gradually edge toward totalitarian dictates), censor the arts as well as speech and the press, while free nations protect the diverse talents of their people. The inverse relation is obvious that as government grows, freedom and the initiative of the people decline. A strong economy and a strong culture are the product of the people because all genius springs from the bottom. There is no genius in government bodies! That is why, when government rules and stifles the people, both the culture and the economy will decline.

    Curiously, in America, we have parallel courses being followed as the populace becomes more and more polarized. It is the nature of many humans to follow the easier road if allowed. Modern welfare states encourage such an easy road by providing excessively compassionate welfare systems that actually encourage dependency.

    As more and more Americans fall victim to the seduction of the Left, we are accumulating a larger and larger bureaucracy at the top and an increasing underclass at the bottom. We may be close to the tipping point where the genius of the remaining working population loses its motivation and we become a nation of victims. Then our economy will fail as a by-product of a failed culture.

  2. Some great points. So, what do you suggest we do now?