Wednesday, March 18, 2009

103 famous faces and no entrepreneurs?

I saw this post on LewRockwell today. It is about a picture with 103 famous persons on it.

One can easily spot the political leaders and demagogues in it. Every big name, from Hitler to Che Guevara, has been portrayed. You'll also find famous scientists such as Einstein or a couple of popular sportsmen and artists. What I didn't find, except for Bill Gates, was entrepreneurs.

This proves an interesting point. Entrepreneurs are the invisible Atlas of this world; if it weren't for their coordination of what, when, how and in which amount, there would be no such thing as an economy. Entrepreneurs come in manifold ways and fashions; some wear forks and overalls, others prefer plain clothes, others have fine suits and briefcases. They seldom step out of the shadows, they are coordinating their business from behind; you're unlikely to see them unless you enter a vintage mom-and-pop store. Still, the reason for all the oranges at the supermarket, all the great new software at the computer store and all the sophisticated mechanics in a simple household gadget is the coordinated exchange of information, goods and services by entrepreneurs on the global market.

In the last century and still today, pretentious politicians claim(ed) to be better able to coordinate this process than literally millions of entrepreneurs on the market. They fail(ed) miserably and thereby underscore(d) the importance of entrepreneurial activity for modern humanity.

Entrepreneurs have been demonized, denounced, driven out of business by state violence and expropriated. They are under constant scrutiny by tax authorities because of the wealth that is created on their behalf. Nobody sees them, yet without them, we'd still be cavemen.

And indeed, even though it was unimaginable amounts of combined entrepreneurial effort that made possible the manufacture, distribution and display of the picture of 103 faces, little to no attention is paid to their existence. Time to raise our hats to all the entrepreneurial spirits in the world and say thanks - keep up the good work, please.

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