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Openness to Creative DestructionSustaining Innovative Dynamism$
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Arthur M., Jr. Diamond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190263669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190263669.001.0001

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The Great Fact and the Good Life

The Great Fact and the Good Life

(p.37) 3 The Great Fact and the Good Life
Openness to Creative Destruction

Arthur M. Diamond Jr.

Oxford University Press

Deirdre McCloskey’s Great Fact of economic history is the enrichment in the West that started during the Industrial Revolution, following millennia of life being, as Hobbes says, “poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Hunter-gatherers lived violent, uncertain, often repetitive lives, far from the Golden Age that some imagine. Goods can be good if they provide John Rawls’s primary goods that are needed for achieving almost any life plan. They can be even better if they help us to achieve the higher goods related to the creativity, challenge, and fulfillment that Abraham Maslow discussed in his hierarchy of needs. Many who seem to oppose new goods are accidental Luddites, only opposing the particular new goods that they fear will harm them. After digesting its brain and backbone, a sea squirt spends the rest of its life vegetating. A human retains her brain and backbone, and so must act to thrive.

Keywords:   McCloskey’s Great Fact, poor nasty brutish, hunter-gatherers, Industrial Revolution, John Rawls, Abraham Maslow, primary goods, hierarchy of needs, accidental Luddites, Sea Squirt brain

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