Muses on Capitalism (Innovation)

Steve Jobs is dead – RIP. 

Imagine what he could have left us had he not been subjected to the constraints of capitalism. 

No need to lock a tech genius in a garage for ten years…give the man all the resources he needs!


25 thoughts on “Muses on Capitalism (Innovation)

    • If Steve Jobs “thrived because of capitalism” then why is he dead at 54? How’s your health by the way, oh perfectly guided one?

      How has capitalism inhibited anything? I’ll give you one example. It inhibits profound creativity because it operates on a popular model of supply and demand. This is how you end up with Lady Gaga but no Beethoven. Profound, refined, radically developed artistic creativity doesn’t “thrive” in capitalism because there is no popular demand for it–there is no “market” for it, and so it withers away into extinction. But there is plenty of demand for Justin Bieber. This is a lose/lose scenario. Put that into one of your charts.

      • LOL…that is one of the funniest posts I have ever read. Don’t forget Eminem so I can link the idea to the post on “American Compared to Ancient Greece”:)

      • Yes supply in demand is real. It reflects society desires. Our society desires Gaga and Bieber more than Beethoven– yes. It might be said for those of us in the minority, and in that sense you may have to settle. However, name me another system that has been proven has effective in allocating resources?

        ps. Gaga has no artistic creativity? She went to the Gammy’s in an egg.

      • Because if he had not thrived, he would have been dead at 48. Capitalism doesn’t mean you get to avoid dying.

  1. Hi aftertheperiod. Let me pose this question. Did the system of capitalism create the ideas Steve Jobs developed, or did the ideas come from his brain? You may have a point though. Perhaps Steve Jobs was motivated to create because of the amount of money he could earn. I can’t answer that question. But imagine if Steve Jobs came up with an idea and could obtain the resources he needed to make it a reality without being forced to work in garage. How much faster would his idea have come to life had a system embraced such a novel idea from the get go? Instead of being forced into a garage, perhaps man could have built him a lab.

    • ATP: Your whole reply essentially boils down to: “Settle for less”. Just like I don’t buy into the illusion of “the lesser of two evils” with regards to political parties and voting, so I don’t fall for the stopgap mentality that poses the question: “Name me another system that has proven has (sic) effective in allocating resources”. I can tell you that the Aristocratic systems of the Renaissance certainly went a long way in promoting the kind of “profound, refined, radically developed artistic creativity” that I am actually referring to–but I wouldn’t necessarily advocate for that kind of system or even believe it is possible in the circumstances of the present. Your mentality is akin to saying: “Because something doesn’t now exist or hasn’t existed before, then it therefore cannot exist.”–not a very “innovative” position to take. I can tell you right now that you and I will never see eye to eye because you have no eye to see with–you have a blind faith in Capitalism that prevents you from envisioning other ways and means of achieving an end, whether it be the kind of creativity I am referring to, or the development of the human being in general. You “see” Capitalism as a kind of dogmatic solution to everything, as “the only way it can be” because no other better way has yet been arrived at. I see it as just one more problem–it comes with as many negatives as it does positives. There is no “system” as of now that the human has conceived of that is a perfect solution, or even the “best” solution. I think this blog site is devoted to dealing with this very problem. I have some ideas on this subject, but this limited context is not the place for the extended expression of them.

      Finally, please don’t reference Lady Gaga going to “the Gammys (sic) in an egg” as an example of “profound, refined, radically developed artistic creativity”. You are a relatively intelligent man–surely you are able to discern the difference between this kind of shallow, artificial, sensational “shock and awe” and the 9th Symphony of Beethoven or the Sistine Ceiling. Quit feigning ignorance as a means of furthering your blind faith.

    • Was Leonardo Da Vinci (not compare to Steve Jobs.) motivated by Capitalism…or Mozart…or Bach…or Einstein…etc…..????? How do you know Steve was “motivated” by capitalism? Could he have in fact come up with his idea and implemented in China…Denmark…Spain????? Absolutely.

    • This essentially amounts to saying that Capitalism is the cause of new ideas and that without it the human being would simply wither away into a state of brain-dead vegetation. Ridiculous.

      But this is what happens when one succumbs to a blind faith–reason (the brain) dies, and the ridiculous reigns.

  2. good riddance if you ask me, what did he do for the people who are living in poverty when the financial system crashed a few years ago. follow him and see where you end up in the afterlife.

  3. What constraints of capitalism did he have exactly? I agree with @aftertheperiod that capitalism is what motivates people to innovate. Steve Jobs has influenced the life of anyone who has ever used an ipod, downloaded music, or watched a computer animated movie. I watched a documentary a few nights ago about the life of PIxar and it was so interesting because had Steve Jobs not invested the initial capital needed, comupter animation as we know it would not be the same.

    OK, Drangonstrand you have very much struck a nerve and not even an economic/political nerve. Cancer is a terrible disease that can affect the rich, the poor, adults, children, capitalists of socialists, and everyone in between. To say that he died because he was a capitalist honestly makes me want to come through the screen and punch you. I have lost too many wonderful people in my life due to cancer to allow you to spout some bs like that. #rantover

    • Not OK krichins. First of all, I never said that Steve Jobs was a capitalist. It follows therefore that I never implied that “he died because he was a capitalist”. If you were to use your reason instead of your emotions and fists, you might be capable of understanding my point, which was that the stress of living in a capitalistic system might very well have shortened his life span and contributed to his disease. As the creator of this blog site broached in his original post, what if Steve Jobs had been placed in an environment that was more conducive to his ideas and aspirations? Perhaps he would not have contracted cancer at all. So until you become more literate and stop “reading into things” and understand what is really being said, you might do well to keep your punches to yourself.

      • “If Steve Jobs “thrived because of capitalism” then why is he dead at 54?” – That is the direct quote from your comment, implying that he did in fact die because of capitalism. Apparently you don’t know much about pancreatic cancer, or cancer in general for that matter, but pancreatic cancer is a very rapid form that kills very quckly. The fact that Jobs had the money and resources (which he gained by creating an empire on his own, mind you) he was actually able to live longer.
        “As the creator of this blog site broached in his original post, what if Steve Jobs had been placed in an environment that was more conducive to his ideas and aspirations? Perhaps he would not have contracted cancer at all.” No. This is false. As I stated in my previous comment, anyone can get cancer and it really didn’t have too much to do with being in an “enviornment that was more conductive to his ideas and aspirations”. Because due to his innovation he was able to build that enviornment for himself, and enjoy it for the last 30 years of his life.

      • krichins: I know plenty about cancer and have also lost people to it, including friends who have died of brain and pancreatic cancer. However, to deny environmental factors in any disease–cancer included–is to exhibit a very real lack of knowledge. In your ignorance you seem to imagine that cancer just “appears” out of nowhere. Because of your myopic belief that capitalism is the ideal environment you cannot begin to envision an alternative environment that would reduce the multiple factors that contribute to dis-ease in general. You call such a vision “false” simply because you can’t see it. That’s not very truthful. As a result, you make ridiculous statements like: “The fact that Jobs had the money and resources (which he gained by creating an empire on his own, mind you) he was actually able to live longer.” But you would first have to be capable of conceiving of that alternative environment in order to know for certain that he would have lived longer in the environment you blindly believe is the best one.

        In any case, it appears that this “empire” he “created” with all its “money and resources” was powerless to save him from his fate. Perhaps if we lived in a system that poured tremendous amounts of resources into making health or absence of dis-ease its primary desideratum, both at the level of promoting individual creativity at the highest level and that of finding ways of driving disease into extinction then he would still be alive today. Too difficult for you to imagine? Right. So instead, go ahead and relieve the stress of your Capitalistic day by sedating yourself with a dumbed down Pixar flick. And then wake up, and do it all again . . . . and again . . . . . and again.

  4. Steve Jobs was helped by capitalism. Think of it this way, let’s say you have hundreds of people with an idea for a “new approach to computing”. It’s all well and good to say we should support them all, but then we would be funding a bunch of lame ideas, along with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Worse, who will be the gatekeepers to determine those worthy of being funded? Bill Gates didn’t want to do anything radical, Steve Jobs did. Capitalism gave him the opportunity to try and create it anyway. Some other system might have blocked him before he got a chance. Heck, I despise Macs, so if I had been on the board, Steve Jobs might have died an unknown street sweeper.

    • Again you are restricting your argument based on the status quo where money and making money is the driving factor that determines whether one is “successful” or not.

      • You seem to think Steve Jobs was somehow successful. He produced a lot of popular products. He has left a legacy of innovation in computing that will impact us for years. He did all that through the engine of capitalism. I’m not clear what you think he might have done outside of a capitalistic society.

      • “I’m not clear what you think he might have done outside of a capitalistic society”.–that would be because you yourself can’t think outside of a capitalistic society. Really? Are you really unable to imagine anything other than the world as it appears around you?


      • I can certainly imagine a world that is not based on capitalism. The difference between us is I think it will be worse, you think it will be better.

  5. No, the difference between us is that you are convinced you know it will be worse and I am convinced that I don’t know for certain one way or another. You rule out possibilities and defend the status quo–I consider possibilities and criticize the status quo. For anyone to sit there and state and believe that there could be no better way or world than that of Capitalism not only strikes me as blind and ignorant–it strikes me as bordering on insane. It is tantamount to living in darkness and denying that it is dark or that one can’t see because it “works better” than the idea of Light.

    • Please don’t misunderstand me. I have issues with the status quo, too. I think we are over-regulated, over-taxed, and that our freedoms are being steadily eroded by over-bearing government.

      I believe that capitalism is the best economic model that has ever been found for generating wealth for all people. Socialism has been far less effective, with Greece being an excellent example of its failings, and communism has been an abject failure.

      I haven’t seen any other major methods for organizing ourselves economically, but would be happy to consider them.

      • WingedPanther: ” I believe that capitalism is the best economic model that has ever been found for generating wealth for all people.”

        “Ever” is a very long time sir. Eternity never ends–in the context of Eternity I doubt Capitalism is the best model for anything.

        I disagree with your assessments about Capitalism, Socialism and Communism. In each of these cases there is chasm between the idea and the reality. In my view, none of them have worked–in their own ways they are all “abject failures”. This is because human beings are incapable of realizing, of “living up to”, the ideas the respective system was designed around.

        Take Capitalism for example: You say you “think we are over-regulated, over-taxed, and that our freedoms are being steadily eroded by over-bearing government.” In other words, you want to go back to a purer form of laissez-faire. However, human beings have shown again and again that they cannot balance being “left alone” with being responsible. Sure, ideally free human beings would choose to responsibly regulate themselves–but that’s not how it ends up working out, does it? Left unchecked, people fuck up. There is a chasm between idea and reality. I could go into numerous examples of this–many of them are already under discussion on this site. I’ll briefly discuss one example: Urban Sprawl. There is little more disgusting to me than to walk through a cluster fuck of strip malls, shitty fast food restaurants, dive bars, gas stations, et al–essentially a pell mell Capitalistic bacterial fungus spreading across the earth in search of more hosts for its parasitical existence. This eyesore is my vision of “Hell on Earth”. This is the idea of Capitalism “at work”–in reality. Frankly, if this is what “freedom” is, it isn’t worth it for me–for I am enslaved by it. I would be willing to give up a little of this kind of “freedom” in order to live in a world that was beautiful and inspiring, designed by “overbearing” geniuses working in conjunction with “overbearing” regulators who prevent such eyesores from coming into existence in the first place.

        There is no “ideal system”–this is because the human being is far from ideal. As such, in order to make progress in the direction of a more ideal world, it is the human being that must be transformed, that must transform itself. To be sure this involves a progressive enlightenment of the entire species that seems difficult of not impossible to bring about–that does not mean, however, that we should throw in the towel and not try. Turning a blind eye to the all too obvious failures of a “system” and saying that it “works” or is “the best” does not advance this cause but severely hinders it.

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