A week ago, I posted about Oscar Wilde’s essay The Soul of Man Under Socialism, and the vision proposed therein of a society in which people were freed from poverty (and property) to express themselves to the best of their artistic and intellectual potential.
While I do not see how abolishing private property would help matters even slightly, I think that Wilde’s overall goal here was laudable. It is for these same reasons that I support government poverty-relief efforts, which I think nowadays qualifies me as a socialist, at least in the minds of some.
“I’ve noticed that creativity so often springs from hardship or pain that I wonder if it’s a precondition. That would make sense from an evolution perspective. Humans don’t need to come up with new ideas when everything is running smoothly.”
Thus, attempts to stimulate the creative people by providing them with support will backfire, leading to mental as well as physical laziness. (Similar ideas are considered in the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World.)
It’s quite possible, but I do not believe this is really how the artistically or intellectually-inclined mind works. (Kindly suspend disbelief long enough to suppose that I have some inkling what such minds are like.) It is true that hardship can have a stimulative effect, but I think that, when all immediate material needs are met, people automatically start concerning themselves with more abstract problems.