Sunday 11 August 2013

Fake creativity versus real creativity


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.