Elon Musk is a Throwback to the Victorian Era
Utilitarianism, Elon Musk, Victorians, Economics

By Henry van Wagenberg

I think there is a lot of evidence that people lack meaning in their life, in a way that they never did before. Anecdotally all one needs to do is to look around any European village: what do you see? Church spires! Enormous decorated church spires! It's like the people who lived there poured their labor, creativity, time and wealth into creating beautiful structures, music, art in celebration of something that they found meaningful. There's the old story of the man who spots three masons at work. He asks the first mason: what are you doing? The first mason replies, placing stones. He asks the second mason, and the second mason replies, practicing the craft of masonry. Finally, he asks the third mason, who replies, "I am building a cathedral."
 
The question I would ask is, where are our "cathedrals" today? It seems to me like a lot of people lack the "cathedral" of the past - i.e. something outside of themselves to which they dedicate themselves that is beautiful. And partly the field of Economics is to blame, because it has attained remarkable influence on people and society's lives and self-conceptions, and it has used that influence to teach Utilitarianism, to narrow man's conception, and to replace Stoic joy with utilitarian satisfaction - http://www.stoichacks.com/posts/20. And in a sense this is exactly what millions of other young people perceive. And this is why there is an attraction to men like Elon Musk. Elon Musk is a South African. South Africa was a nation that during apartheid prized tradition, looked backward, and lived in a kind of bubble of tradition, and it raised children on the old British Victorian model - a model long dead in the rest of the world. Elon Musk is a man from the Victorian Age who has stepped into the 21st century.
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