One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Does the world have ceased to produce great men?
“I would like to join the academia of Plato in Athens. Would you send me to Athens?” Asked the young Aristotle.
Socrates was teacher of Plato, Plato was teacher of Aristotle, Aristotle was teacher of Alexander, and Alexander was the teacher of all coming great emperors who wanted to create a global empire and global civilization. This part of history is the most sweet and delicious part of human story. Here we hear about the romances of the wisdom and aesthetics that have been more romanticized by failures of coming generations of human kind to revitalize or at least copy this era.
The story starts from intuitions of Socrates but these intuitions were different from all other intuitions. The intuitions of Socrates had a mechanism and methodology that all can adopt. This methodology or mechanism is the topic of present discussion. Socrates has created the methodology of cross questioning to find the truth. The purpose and the methodology to achieve the purpose were obvious and simple to understand and adopt so it revolutionized the young men in streets of Athens. This method was adopted and popularized by Hegel in formula of “Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis” and later on it was made fashionable by Marx and Marxists as Historical dialectic.
Today we know these methodologies and have evolved them into scientific methodologies and are more confident about the facts and truths than ever in human history about the scientific methodologies but again why we lack creativity or we have ceased to produce great men? Why our Schools, Colleges and Universities have failed to produce creative men to shake the current conceptions of realities? Why our generation despite their thirst is not hopeful of evidencing new realities and perceptions. Why the modern men have lost hope in having new perceptions. Why our generation have forget to think about ideologies that only twenty or thirty years before people were enthusiastic about to give and take lives for them as they were thinking of them as a destinations of humankind. Why our generations like to sleep in shades of hopelessness. The world’s security and economics are crying in pain and the people are silent. Universities are full of researches and students are struggling hard in academic competitions but the all nations of world are worried about the drying out of leaderships. Everywhere around the world are conferences and workshops about the leaderships but leaderships are not a few pieces of experiences of tired whitehead old men retired from executive posts.
Leadership is reengineering of a whole nation or reengineering of ideas, perceptions and methodologies. Leadership is the creation of a new world, with new sets of knowledge, hopes and destinations. Leadership is well defined in terms of Adolf Hitler, “A great theorist is seldom a great agitator. A great agitator is seldom a great theorist. A leader is a great theorist and a great agitator.”
Even some claim that the creativity is an innate and personal property that can’t be taught. OK! If we accept this notation, still the question arise that why we have failed to hunt for creative people that have innate creativities to lead our world?
It is not only the methodologies but it is environment which evolve and hunt for creativity and it is evident from the series of creative men like, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander. The world have seen only two times such surge of creativities one in Athens and the other in Western Europe during the last quarter of 19th century and first half of 20th century. The great men have great effects on their fellow men that exposed to them. Great men themselves influenced from their environments. Though there may be a lot of reasons but the strongest reasons are three as follows:
1- Great general thirst of knowledge
2- Great value of knowledge, especially if the value of knowledge is romanticized
3- Freedom of thoughts ( No society ever in human history have allowed the freedom of thoughts though some societies bear greater freedom of thoughts than others )
Great general thirst for Knowledge:
A general thirst for knowledge in public is the most powerful triggering power for creativity and creative men to flourish. It is evident from both Ancient Athens and western countries of first half of 19th century. In ancient Athens there were a true democracy where all citizens could express their ideas and participate in national debates, hence here the eloquence and logic have a great value and it was one of the strongest factors in determining ones social status. So there were a general thirst and praise for knowledge and logic. Sophists were teaching people the art of debating in public places and public places were the public classrooms. This general thirst for knowledge was that triggered the thirst for truth in Socrates. The Socrates has seen that people especially the Sophists are misusing the logic in response to public demand. The people were using the art of debating only for social status. Socrates turned the trends of known arts in pursuits of truth. Persuasion for truth was aimed to engineer the Athenian society but it is revolutionized the whole humanity. What about today? Is there not the need for another Socrates? Does we are not again using the knowledge and sciences only for our social status? Does again Sciences are not only serving the wealth and the sources of wealth? Is it not time again that a Socrates emerge and question all the norms and values that modern world have created and is not allowed anyone to question them. Are again we are resisting change? Does all slogan of the change is not to save the current systems?
Great value of Knowledge:
The first half of previous century, when the Science and Scientists were romanticized and they have great attractions for young men and women, so the thirst for discoveries, inventions and theorizing were general trends. In Ancient Athens the martyr teacher and philosopher, Socrates was romanticized. It was memories of Socrates that led to Dialogue and Academia of Plato and it was the stories of the cross questioning of Socrates that led to Logic of Aristotle. The advent of Cinema and later on televisions and Cable and dish antenna services turned the face of romanticism from Great Scientists, discoverers, inventors, theorists, philosophers, Men and Women of letters to Film Stars and TV stars. The Hollywood, Bollywood and other woods become the sources of inspirations and dreams of young men and women. The Scientific and intellectual life styles were forgotten and the dreamy life styles of Movie characters become the thinking brains of the young generations.
Freedom of thoughts:
As the Socrates started to question the established norms and values of the Ancient Athens, the democratic society declared it as a rebellion and united to punish this rebellion to stop the future threats, so they poisoned one the greatest man of history. Every society has aggregated some form of norms and values that they are very sensitive to them. The world history has not have seen only the two famous trials of the Socrates and Galileo. Modern world that praise and proud of itself for four freedoms and human rights is still resisting changes and it is declare the freedom and liberty only to those norms and values it has established.
The world has really ceased producing great men. The main reasons though are many but it is the insensitivities of masses to knowledge that slow down the hunt of creative minds. Unfortunately the educational institutions are following the public mood and demand. The educational institutions have all turned to the educational industry where information and researches designed to hunt the information is served the interests of capital. Knowledge is not the primary goal but capital is the prime goal. The leaderships are all in hands or under directions of the businessmen and business managers who brought world to financial crisis. All are busy in Bail out plans to rescue the markets but what is the result as there is no great man to give the world an alternative system. The creativity is imprisoned in glassy castle of capital where all things are shining and reflecting well but none is able to see.