Meritocracy imperils creativity

Of all the speculative philosophies, 

merit is the utmost suppositious, 

being the domain/discipline 

with the least substantive foundation. 

This is because it deals with assigning value 

to the external world and its fixtures 

from a perspective that is forever confined 

to its own assumptions and premises.


Constructing a meritocracy requires a metric 

by which value can be assessed and issued 

in a way that encompasses 

all disparate domains and entities, 

and allots power by this standardized metric, 

such that prominence 

construes worthiness and value. 


Golden boy is the culminating figure of this environment, 

the specimen produced by all calculations and estimations 

of how the utmost meritorious figure would appear. 


The image of him, 

gilded, lofty and without burden, 

appears to the senses 

with intrinsic sightliness and admiration. 

He is so praiseworthy 

because these attributes 

presuppose value and worth

 within the system. 


Especially when it comes to ascribing or validating power 

do these apparent qualities matter. 

For in our assessment of authority, 

we know where to look for justification, 

and that is, of course, atop the meritocracy, 

where qualifications for being the utmost 

correspond with the physical conditions of the status itself, 

of being held aloft in the sunlight.


Exalted in gilded form, 

this image is repeatedly posed 

with the idea that it showcases 

man at his highest achievement, 

which, ironically, 

is man at his most artificial.

Commodification of Self Expression

Writing is a flawless act. There occur no accidents when I commit thoughts to words, and words onto page. No morpheme is by mistake.  Each word is imbued with artistic agency and reflects the creative will of the author, for there are none which make it onto the page by way of a slip of the tongue or by machination somehow otherwise.

There is perfection in the idiosyncrasy of each original piece of art. Authentic creation is peerless, for it does not strive to imitate. 

Creative expression, in any form, derives from this quality of a conscious, expressive urge or inspiration seeking manifestation, an attempt to embody an abstraction of the mind in a form that is available to the senses. The endeavor is an end in itself and, apart from the physical artifact often rendered by the act, needs hardly be incentivized by external motivation

The integrity of an artistic process resides in the dedication to a particular artistic vision, or impetus. To write in pursuit of articulating this vision is to write, or create, with integrity. This is not the case with creative expression in commercial society, where commodification occurs, and creativity (ie art) becomes a standardized function of profit motive, reproducing the predetermined forms of established, and lucrative, conventions. 

While writing is deliberate and careful, art as a commodity is formulaic and robotic. It is perfunctory and banal, owing its formation to the hollow cause of profitability. The product is a contrived form that lacks the candor of creative expression and is instead an automated appeal to entrenched appetites and popular conventions. In being such, commercial art is shaped not by an impulse to share or express, but by an impulse to reap. Creative agency is replaced by systemized programming. 

No artistic impulse seeks its expression through commodity. The urge to create [art] has been bastardized by commercial society and the structural imperatives therein. Expression has been repurposed under this system. Its newly-assigned status as a commodity imposes particular pressures on the art which are utterly alien and wholly inhibiting. Suddenly the financial cost of producing the artwork factors into the creative process, the result of which is merely another vendible product generated at the lowest possible cost and sold at the highest possible price, in accordance with business principles, shirking any commitment to an artistic vision. 

This emphasis on profitability reshapes art and disempowers the artist. Creativity is fatally impaired by cost-benefit analysis and cutting corners, which ultimately cheapen the art. Steadily, the once inimitable act of self-expression transforms into a standardized reproduction of profit-making, attention-garnering logic, reflecting in it this altered terrain of commodified existence in a manner whose expressiveness is immediate to these conditions.

Rendered obsolete, the art, and artist indeed, must transfigure to remain relevant.