Every day, for a week, I’m writing about the definitions of Creativity thinkers have offered throughout history and why each one cannot be the final definition. Yesterday I wrote about Renaissance Women with Self-Control and True Believers.
China’s High Creativity first peaked while Europe wallowed in bloody Dark Age wars and then again during Europe’s bubonic plagued Middle Ages.
But Creativity in art, music, writing, medicine and global exploration came to a halt in China just as Europe emerged weak, but hungry-for-life, for the Renaissance.
Economist Diego Cumin says a region’s creativity and technology in A.D. 1500 is an extraordinarily reliable predictor of wealth today, across the globe, with the exception of China.
The great halt of Creation in China, as real as its Great Wall, could have been limited to just decades. But China’s future Creative potential keep declining. Chinese culture grew more rigid and more impenetrable. Eventually extreme cultural convergence took hold to the exclusion of the individual growth. Trade with other nations closed and stagnation set in.
Creativity is not a Lone-Ranger process. Creativity is fostered or suppressed by cultural milieus and economic opportunities.
Individuals today are breaking free from the culture of conformity in China, but the cultural redirection towards openness will be slow. Creative output in China is still tiny relative to the size of its population.