Yeah I know that this title will make some of you laugh, get angry or question my sanity, and I don't mind, blame you or really care. For those of you who aren't immediately put off, I'm here to tell you that the truth of this statement can be found in the correct understanding of the word "genius"...
The dictionary description of "genius" is: 1) exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability, or 2) an exceptionally intelligent person or one with exceptional skill in a particular area of activity. "Genius", in so many words, is an innate attribute assigned to individuals; you either have it or you don't, and those who don't have it are the vast majority, while those who do are assigned a special place in our society. The geniuses among us are the ones, the heroes who change history with their brilliance, inventions and art. They rightfully occupy an elevated station in our tiered society, for they are the ones who give our lifes meaning, provide us with the means, jobs and pastime without which our cultural, technological and scientific evolution would be stagnant. This, my brothers and sisters, is the WRONG understanding of the word genius, but nevertheless the prevailing one.
This myth of "genius" being an innate individual trait is rather new, and is predicated on the relatively modern "great man theory". The Latin word "genius" originally referred to an individual spirit that inhabits and protects a person from their birth, thereby determining their character. Here you can already see that "genius" is acquired from the outside, not from within. Furthermore, in Arabic, "Jinn", Anglicized as "genies" (with the more broad meaning of spirits or demons, depending on source), are supernatural creatures in early pre-Islamic Arabian and later Islamic mythology and theology. I do believe most of you are familiar with "the genie in the bottle", again an external spirit that bestows upon an individual special gifts. Need more proof? In Dutch we have the word "begeesteren", which is almost never used anymore; "geest" is our word for "ghost" or "spirit", and "begeesteren" literally is the action of being possessed, temporarily, by a spirit, and is commonly used to mean "being inspired" or "inspire". The source is once again external, a gift bestowed by something or someone else. "A stroke of genius", my friends, for centuries was understood to be a gift from outside, NOT a consequence of some innate special individual ability.
"YOU'RE ASKING TO GET KEYED." | Hasan Reacts to "Do All Millionaires Think the Same?" by Jubilee
The meaning of "genius" as "a person of natural (innate) intelligence or talent" is first recorded in the mid 1600s. Like I said: relatively new. This new meaning of the word corresponds with the cultural shift of the enlightenment, when much intellectual progress was made; science and technology evolved with hitherto unseen leaps and bounds, with the birth of modern science, calculus and classical physics. In the below linked video it's described that central to this development was the idea that man could, through his intellect, unlock "the key to the universe" and change our world for the better, and that from this moment on we see the glimmers of our modern day genius-worship. That's spot-on as far as I'm concerned. We've come to believe that progress is possible only when an individual genius makes advances in their field. Thomas Carlyle, a British historian, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher, took this idea one step further and stated in one of his books that "The history of the world is but the biography of great men"; and thus the "great man theory" was born which was famously adapted by right wing idol Ayn Rand, who propagated this misconception through her popular writings.
But you now know the truth, dear reader, and can see some of it for yourself in the above linked video where "everyday millionaires" are asked some elemental questions about their lot in life, as well as a response by a content creator who believes like I do, namely that there is no such thing as a purely individual achievement. None. I've said this on several occasions in my life as a blogger; most of you will find it only natural that I am the sole creator of my posts. But that's not true at all. I didn't make the computer I do my blogging on, I didn't create the internet by which my thoughts and opinions are distributed, without you, my audience, there would be no reason to write these posts, the ideas, thoughts, opinions and convictions I share with you are not my own, as I had parents, teachers, friends, colleagues and thousands of others who shaped me into the person I am today... Almost none of it is mine, or because of me. In the above linked video you'll see Barack Obama make a statement of similar intent, one that caused him a great deal of criticism and backlash. He had it exactly right though. If you "make it" in this society, there are two valid reasons for your success; luck and that which is given to you by the society that made you who you are. And socialism, in all its various forms, is nothing more or less than this truth translated into the economic practice of our daily lifes.
The Myth of Genius
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