Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Borgias produced warfare and terror, Michelangelo and da Vinci

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man
In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and what did that produce - the cuckoo clock!
The intersection of diverse cultures sparks intense conflict and creativity. Innovation is a passionate, messy business, not for the faint hearted or the weak minded. Joseph Schumpeter observed in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers, new goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization … that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in.
He wasn't kidding.

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