My essay on Ben Horowitz, his father David, the Haitian Revolution (or some version of it), and the impoverished historical imagination of the entrepreneurship cult is out from The New Inquiry.
WHY didn’t the Gauls overthrow the Romans? Why was Nat Turner’s revolt defeated so quickly? Why was the Haitian Revolution the only victorious slave rebellion in the Western hemisphere? And how can the answers to these questions help you, an aspiring entrepreneur, build an amazing business?
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of the powerful venture capital firm AndreessenHorowitz, has an answer to these questions: “culture.” He made this case at “Culture and Revolution,” a talk delivered at the Startup Grind conference in Redwood City, California on February 21, 2017 In its grand sweep and recognizable informal style, the lecture is a creature of the TED-talk-derived genius cult, in which wealthy audiences receive open-collared men pacing on bare stages as oracular sages telling hard and universal truths. Improbably, Horowitz organizes his theory of company “culture” around a reading of C.L.R. James’s classic Marxist history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins.