This is “creative genius” – and it is the only exception to the Golden Rule that all people perform the “disutility of work” for the sole purpose of reaping their “wages.” The creative genius does no such thing. On the contrary, he creates because he cannot LIVE without doing so. He creates and goes on creating despite all his agonies. And whatever he does create becomes a “free gift to mankind.”
Frederic Bastiat is an excellent example of another such creative genius – but in the field of classical liberal political economy, where there have been precious few. Whereas there have been many who knew the subject perfectly well and painstakingly elaborated all its principles in systematic treatises, Bastiat astounds his reader with the “literary style” of his presentation, with amazing wit, with bitter ironies, with the reductio ad absurdum, with clarity as well as simplicity, and even with the fire of his very soul, wherein his love for liberty and property burned brighter than any sun.
All of Bastiat’s works were written during the last five years of his short life – after he moved to Paris from his country home in order to participate in the political debates of that time, around 1845. He was very sick – with tuberculosis, fatal those days. His lungs were weak, his body was frail, his voice was not loud enough to be heard in Parliament – and so he poured all his powers as well as his passion into the words he wrote, all the essays he “composed.”
His last work, Economic Harmonies, was written when he was close to death – and he tore up the first draft in order to rewrite it to his full satisfaction. Dedicated to the “Youth of France,” Economic Harmonies tells why all the “political dissensions” of that age – between labour and capital, for example – are fiction, and that a completely free market society governed by the laws of property is in the best interests of all, rich and poor, worker and employer, farmer and city-dweller, labourer and artist. I hope the youth of France read him someday soon. They do need him. Badly.
Bastiat created these works in “agony” – and he received nothing from them, except the “ecstasy” of seeing what he had left behind for posterity. These have come to us as an invaluable gift, for reading Bastiat is one of the greatest pleasures any freedom-loving person can ever have. His works are “immortal.”
We find “creative genius” in Ludwig von Mises as well – particularly in his last two works, Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution and The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science. Both are extraordinary – and these have been “created” in a manner designed to astound the discerning reader. He wrote what may be called “scientific and philosophical truth” – but he did so in his own way, which is what all creative geniuses do. It must have been “agony” for him as well, carefully choosing all the precise words, the quotes in Latin and Greek, and laying it all out in his very own “style” – and all he received was the “ecstasy” of looking at them, and nothing more. Thus it was that he told George Reisman, whom he first met as a fifteen year-old boy who called upon his apartment door uninvited, “maybe they will discover my works a thousand years from now like the Dead Sea Scrolls.” He died a week or so later – a pessimist.
Reisman has himself penned a MASSIVE volume on anything and everything that has to do with “capitalism” – but it is not “creative genius.” It is an encyclopedia.
There are, of course, creative geniuses in many other fields – like Vincent van Gogh. Like many musicians and composers.
In my own case, my newspaper columns were compared favourably with Bastiat’s witty essays by an eminent jury once – and I suppose that means I have been deemed “creative.” Yet, I never thought that any of them deserved to be categorized as “genius.” But my latest work, For Civilisation, Against Politics: Arguments for an Intellectual-Moral Revolution, is, I feel, what “creative genius” is all about. It makes me feel “ecstatic” whenever I look upon it.
I wrote it simply because I HAD TO – otherwise the effort I had expended in penning a “scientific paper” for a conference of scholars would have been entirely wasted, and these truths would never have illumined public opinion; that too, at a time of worldwide economic and political crises.
Yet, this brief book is nothing but a MIRACLE – for under “normal circumstances” I would never have been reading the Holy Bible to find quotes with which to embellish such a work. I would have consulted other books – and produced a different work, which would not have been anything like this one.
As for the “agony,” let me confess that I experienced precious little of any such feeling. I simply took the rough with the smooth – and kept bashing on, regardless. “The journey is the destination” – as they say.
Every experience gave me much to write about – and my readers gained it all. I, on my part, rejoiced. I felt grand at the end of every day – thinking of what I had published, how many minds I had set on fire, and how many evils I had destroyed in black and white. In bold letters.
Of course, without this technology – the Internet and Blogger – I would have languished in obscurity. And then again, perhaps not. Perhaps I would have found other ways to create.
From my happy readers, I want nothing. If my readers enjoyed reading what I enjoyed writing, I will consider myself doubly rewarded, for then they will surely “push the tempo.” And the true purpose of my efforts will be served.
As Dylan once sang:
Don’t want nothin’ from no one,
Ain’t that much to take.
After all, it was established long ago that “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Also, let it be known that I did not “work for the money”; on the contrary, I “wrote AGAINST their money.” As did Mises, who predicted his own fate with these words: “I will write a great deal about money but never make much of it myself.”
When I first heard this about Mises, some fifteen years or more ago, I mentally prepared myself for this very same fate. I must add that I REJOICED in it – and even felt ECSTATIC about it – as, for example, when my “Funny Money” was published in The Times of India. It is surely one of my best. I must have received peanuts for it – which I must have immediately blown up on my “habits” – but it is an invaluable contribution to the debate over money, inflation, central banking, and democratic welfarism as well.
I had much to rejoice about when that article appeared.
I heard a great song last night – a song called Rock-n-Roll Outlaw, and it fits me to a T:
I don’t need lots of people,
Tellin’ me what to do.
I’ve got music living inside of me,
Gotta set it free.
All I want from livin’
Is to be left alone.
All I need is an open road,
For I’m a rollin’ stone.
I’m a rock-n-roll outlaw,
And I’m on the run.
I’m a rock-n-roll outlaw,
And I’m on MY WAY.
And My Way does say:
I did what I had to do,
And saw it through,
So, let me not make an exemption of Swaminathan Aiyar, whose regular Sunday column in the ToI of today must be DEMOLISHED:
Inflation is caused by excess demand in the economy, arising from insufficient production and excessive spending. Excess demand also sucks in excessive imports, hitting the balance of payments.
Inflation is “deliberate policy.” It is a decline in the purchasing power of the currency unit caused by deliberate policies of excessive note issuance as well as credit creation. These finance The State – and all the member banks in the central banking “cartel.” Cronies also get loans – and borrowing is profitable in inflationary times, while saving is not. This is how the small saver gets screwed.
Further, cheap imports help reduce domestic prices when inflation rages.
Lastly, forget the “balance of payments” and ask The State to “balance its own budget.”
So, raise a loud shout for Private Money & Private Economies – and no more of this “national economy” BULLSHIT.
Aiyar’s column is titled, “Falling rupee: A kick in the pants for the Congress.” He is hiding the FACT that all paper currencies are headed for doom – beginning with the Euro. The real kick in the pants is the one that has landed on the arses of all the world’s central bankers. And all their Keynesian ideologues – like Paul Krugman. As well as their “cronies” – like JP Morgan and the rest.
It is such acts that “fan the fire of my ardent desire” – acts that bugger the hell out of liars who pretend to be journalists, but are actually nothing but “moles” of The State embedded in the Free Press. Ideologues of The State. Who write in order to confound public opinion.
Ecstasy – that’s what I feel.
Doin’ my thang.
Singin’ my song.
I’m a rock-n-roll outlaw,
And I’m on MY WAY.
Wish MakeMyTrip.com wasn’t a travel agency – for tourism in India is anyway in deep doldrums. If it was what I believe it ought to be, I would have ordered some Ecstasy for myself right now – a “trip’ that would get me “higher,” for I, most fortunately, am not one of those who gets high on fresh air. I like my “buzz.” I like to be “high.” I like to be on a “good trip.” I like to have a “party inside my head.”
It’s MY HEAD – and this is MY WAY.
But whaddya do when the whole world has come to be ruled by FuckMyTrip.com & Co.?
What a sweet word to FIGHT for!
Glad to be Trippin’ All Over The World, anyway.
Ecstatic – without the Ecstasy.
Trust you had a good trip as well, dear reader.