I had a debate about this concept last night which I had to share with you. We were sitting in one of the most beautiful restaruants watching one of the most beautiful sunsets over London and trying to thrash out what could replace capitalism since no-one had any money any more and anyway eternal growth is an economic and conceptual impossibility.
We agreed on the notion that talent was an asset that needed to be promoted and that those with talents deserved prominence in their societies. However the idea has a significant flaw. Both my friend and I are small time creatives – he plays drums in a modestly successful band called Pistols at Dawn and I lay claim to being a hobby videographer and sometime watercolourist. Both of us do not profess to having lots of talent but we get by.
And both of us also rely on the magic of serendipity for the production of sometimes beautiful things – accidental beauty in pictures, sounds, effects, captured moments. These things do not come about by talent (although they may be spotted by those with the talent to spot them). And there is beauty too in rough-hewn things; art, sculpture, writing and music that is sometimes hard to pin to talent, just a raw expression of something innate that somehow has appeal albeit not to everyone.
And anyway, who is to judge talent as it defies measure when you take into account the above.
Obscure or minority-appeal “talents” are often masked in conventional education and it takes intuition, imagination and sometimes sponsorship at an early stage to get them to bloom. This is what good teachers do every day. So if Talentism is to thrive, its success will be down to the heroes and heroines in education.
Acknowledgements to Theresa Clifford http://theresaclifford.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/is-capitalism-being-replaced-by-talentism/#comment-114