Artists, politicians, and businessmen are all united in an ability to synthesize information in unique and creative ways.
Much is made of the divide between art and business with the notion that artists seek a pure and noble expression of the human condition while businessmen merely act on their baser instincts of greed in their pursuit of wealth. This is a narrow interpretation that fails to realize the unique similarities between artists, politicians, and businessmen as each group acts on their worldview to create something from nothing.
Artists are celebrated for their ability to view the world from a unique perspective to create an abstract representation that conveys their synthesis of information to the viewer, listener, or reader. Their artistic works stir the human imagination through emotion as the consumer of their art ponders the work while rarely aware of the diverse sources involved in their creation. The artist is able to create a work of art from nothing by assembling some order to the information to which he has been exposed while selecting from that sea of information those items which profoundly affect him in some degree and stand out as worthy of further exploration through the artistic medium. The consumer of this art is left to realize their own interpretation from the work in the hopes by the artist that they will see what he has seen, while possibly realizing some entirely new interpretation that the artist may have only been aware of on a subconscious level.
Politicians are able to listen to the concerns of citizens and fashion a platform of ideas that resonate with the electorate to create a mandate for their unique interpretation of the political landscape where none existed before and translate that vision into votes. Politicians collect information about current events, research historical contexts, analyze future political trends, listen to the concerns of voters, develop policy ideas to mitigate political problems, and generally amalgamate information from these and other sources of current events into a platform of ideas for the consideration of voters all while explaining their positions using examples and language understandable to the average citizen.
Businessmen are able to analyze market trends, assess economic conditions, and forecast consumer demand to provide products and services needed by consumers in order to create businesses, employment, and products where none existed before. The supply of a needed product or service allows the businessman to profit from his effort in a win-win situation where consumers get something they need in exchange for the money that flows to the businessman to allow him the capital required to produce the product or service. The businessman synthesizes information from a number of sources to provide that which the consuming public needs to satisfy their desire in a particular area. The businessman cannot profit where there is no need for his products due to misjudging the information available to him.
When viewed in this way, artists, politicians, and businessmen have far more in common than society cares to admit. Each synthesizes the information available to them to create a unique worldview that they exploit in different ways to realize their ambitions and create a living where none existed before. Successful artists are businessmen able to translate their artistic view into a profitable living, while successful businessmen are artists able to create a vision of possibilities to improve the lives of consumers, and politicians are both artists and businessmen able to create and sell their visions of political necessity. Each group synthesizes information in unique ways to create value that enriches both themselves and the public.
No one group is nobler than the others as each contains members who shortcut the established rules of society to deceive the public and profit at their expense. The artist that plagiarizes the work of another to sell as his own is just as dishonest as the politician who accepts a bribe for his vote against the public interest, or the businessman who sells a shoddy product that endangers his customers. These dishonest members are found out over time and punished accordingly. In a perfect world, they would not exist, but neither would the services each group offers as there would be no need for them. Abstract expressions of truth and beauty would be lost among the reality of truth and beauty, governments would be unnecessary among perfect angels, and every desire and need would be instantly fulfilled without the need for businesses to provide them.
The lament is often expressed that it is a pity we can’t get along together any better and that there needs to be more communication to foster understanding between groups. The divide between art, politics, and business could certainly use more understanding to bridge their differences, and realization that each shares attributes enjoyed by the others is a good place to start. Artists could stop presenting crude caricatures of greedy businessmen and corrupt politicians and endeavor to present more nuanced characters with redeeming qualities that more closely resemble reality. Politicians could stop painting businessmen as greedy exploiters of consumers deserving of punishment to fan the flames of envy among the economic classes and endeavor to encourage the development of legitimate businesses devoted to producing needed products and services while employing citizens who are then able to pay the taxes that support the common good. Businessmen could stop categorizing artists as flighty individuals not grounded in reality and endeavor to employ them as individuals with a unique perspective on the world that might be translated into creative new ways to do business that enriches both society and companies. Opinions won’t change overnight, but they will never change without changes in the policy of how each group views the others.