The End of the Age of Inspiration…Or the Beginning?

5 min readMay 9, 2024


By Howard Bloom

Two days ago a story showed up in the New York Post, AOL, Yahoo, The Indiana Gazette, Reddit, and a dozen more media outlets announcing that 38% of American workers never felt more uninspired at work.

Yes, uninspired.

And the pollsters recommended refreshing workers by providing them with exercise space. Even though the poll indicated that going out and taking a walk was almost twice as effective in refreshing workers as being cooped up in a room with exercise equipment and doing fitness routines.

How did this poll come about? There’s a rash of polling companies cropping up who, if you pay them enough money, will do a poll for you on just about anything in order to gain you publicity. One of those commercial polling companies is called Talker Research.

And Talker Research’s customer for this poll was a chain of fitness centers and luxury co-working spaces called Life Time. That’s why the news stories recommended an exercise room as a way to refresh workers. Because exercise rooms is one of the things Life Time provides.

Determining the credibility of this poll is difficult. Unlike a scientific study, its data is hidden. You can’t just go look over the questions, the answers, and the statistics.

But sixteen years ago, I wrote a book to inspire workers, from CEOs to janitors. It was called The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism.

The Genius of the Beast’s message was simple. Ask any sixteen year old what she or he wants to do when she grows up. More often than not, that teenager will say she wants to do something to help her fellow human beings.

And that’s what capitalism does.

No matter what job you’re doing, in capitalism you’re trying to serve others. You’re trying to fill a human need. Or, in the words of The Genius of the Beast, you are working to upgrade, uplift, and empower your fellow human beings.

In the capitalist system, if you fill the needs of a hundred people, you earn a hundred dollars. And if you fill the needs of a hundred million, you earn a hundred million.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are not fabulously rich because they exploited their fellow humans. They are fabulously rich because they uplifted, empowered, and upgraded other people’s lives. Including yours and mine.

Musk provided something a lot of us were hungry for, sports-car like electric cars. Muscle cars that could help reduce global warming. And cars that would be status symbols. Cars that ten years ago made you the talk of the neighborhood.

Then Musk made the impossible ordinary in an entirely different field. He launched rockets to space at the rate of three or more a week. In other words, he opened space to the satellite providers who, in turn, give you and me everything from Disney+ to the Internet.

Bezos, too, got rich by giving you and me new powers. He made his money by doing away with primitive shopping nightmares to find what you wanted, hunts that could take you months followed by an out of the way, all-day trip to the store where what you wanted was available. Bezos gave you whatever you were looking for on a website complete with a search engine that took only seconds to show you what you were after. Then Bezos delivered what you wanted to your home the next day.

You and I learned how vital that instant search and 24-hour home delivery was in 2020, when the Covid pandemic struck. We were locked in our homes and couldn’t shop in person. Yet using Amazon, we could shop for anything from food to refrigerators and from books to baubles and have them delivered to our homes the next day.

This was a whole new human power. It had been utterly unthinkable during the lockdown in the last pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1919.

If you listen to Marxist social critics, they will tell you that corporations like Tesla, SpaceX, or Amazon are massive exploitation machines, sucking the blood out of their workers and their customers. And if workers like you and me believe that the goal of our corporation is exploitation, our jobs will rapidly become uninspired and uninspiring. We do not want to be blood suckers. We want to be saviors.

But if we realize that we are doing what we wanted when we were sixteen, serving people and giving others new powers every day, we just may be a bit more inspired.


Howard Bloom, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, Prometheus Books, 2010

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Howard Bloom of the Howard Bloom Institute has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. One of his eight books — Global Brain — -was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM. For more, see and




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