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When a society is not ready
There are times when a society is not ready for a particular idea. In that
case, one could and should go for one's own interest, and that might help
the society much more.
e.g., John Fitch developed the steamboat in 1785 and being of generous
disposition, offered the invention to "the country" (USA) and various
stage legislatures, but was continually stymied by indifferent
politicians. Two decades later, Robert Fulton refined the concept,
received a patent, and launched water transportation's Steam Age: "Hoping
to reap profits for himself, Fulton did more for his country incidentally
than Fitch did by intention and years of self-sacrificing perseverence."
(from Freeman, June, 1998: p.375)
The same story can be repeated endlessly. For example, Jamshedji Tata has
clearly done FAR more for India than our tens of thousands of top civil
servants, or hundreds of Central Ministers, taken individually. In fact,
most of these folks have damaged India to an infinite extent, instead.
It is quite possible that many members of this list (and outside) should
simply forget India and leave it to the people (the ones who go about
breaking religious places, burning ice-cream shops, and kicking out
airlines from tiny countries) to figure out their own solutions.
Instead, they might indirectly help India much more by actively pursuing
their own self interest. For example, there are Indians who are now worth
over half a billion dollars, after working for a mere 15 years in the USA.
This is vintage Adam Smith, by the way.