Mais uma agradável surpresa de Schrage, uma crítica a Keynes e a todos os que sentados nos cadeirões das universidades, dos ministérios e do twitter, botam discursos, botam explicações e muita teoria, sem nunca tentar, sem nunca experimentar, sem nunca arriscar... vem logo à memória a velha história de Daniel Bessa e o calçado...
"Too many businesspeople have been bullied, brainwashed, and highbrow-beaten into believing that economic value creation is rooted in intellectual breakthroughs. They’ve been persuaded - perhaps even intimidated - by the eloquent specter of John Maynard Keynes’s famous cliché: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else . Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
Bold words, indeed—but, with respect, what does one expect an elitist Cambridge don with a well-deserved reputation for intellectual snobbery to say? That Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution required the collaborative energies of rigorous tinkerers like James Watt and entrepreneurial opportunists like his partner, Matthew Boulton? That the engineering prowess of Isambard Brunel, Richard Trevithick, and Charles Parsons transformed the world’s railways, sea transport, and energy production? That John D. Rockefeller’s ruthless business practices at Standard Oil altered how ambitious innovators perceived economies of scale and scope? That Henry Ford’s relentless focus on design simplicity and production efficiency redefined what manufacturing meant? That college dropouts like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg might one day lead multibillion-dollar ventures that turned personal computing into mass media worldwide?
Of course not. Keynes and his intellectualizing apostles are above the practicality of all that. Yes, those innovators may have pioneered new industries, overturned establishments, and improved the quality of life for millions. But, in Keynes’s reality, they’re entrepreneurial ‘meat puppets’ in thrall to the transcendent influence of defunct economists and dead philosophers. For Keynes, ideas from economics and economists - not tools or technologies from scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs - are what really rule the world.
Who are we kidding? The arrogance displayed here is exceeded only by its historical inaccuracy. Keynes offers little but the propaganda of his professional genius to make his point. The sweeping pomposity of his assertion recalls George Orwell’s tart observation that “some ideas are so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” Indeed. This particular absurdity thrills intellectuals for an excellent reason: it makes them the heroes and aristocracy of innovation.
That’s why understanding this arrogance is important. This intellectual superiority justifies the condescension so many idealists and ideaholics bring to postindustrial innovation. Contemporary Keynesians aren’t Harvard-trained economists debating how much money governments should print to stimulate demand. Rather, they’re intellectual capital–obsessed idealogues who evangelize that good ideas are more valuable than strong currencies.
Ideas sit at the white-hot center of innovation and value creation in this economic universe. They channel their Lord’s fundamentalist ideal, both in their descriptions of how they think the world works and their prescriptions for how they think the world should work. Ideas über alles.
This describes the power struggle confronting innovators everywhere. Academics, intellectuals, and the peddlers of good ideas have declared ideas and intellect the central pillars of innovation. People who don’t appreciate the power and potential of good ideas are either idiots or apostates. They’re doomed. Pity them or damn them, but please get them out of the way."