Disadvantages cause people to overcompensate and become more innovative.
Ok, I got this idea during history class. The kid that sits next to me is Dyslexic, but he is in the top ten in the school and he reads sentence at a time, instead of word at a time. One of the most intelligent people I have met. But his stereotype is someone who doesn't do well in school.
I also know a girl who is ADHD, but her Arithmetic scores exceed mine, which are adequate. Really a very intelligent woman, but she is required to take medicine.
Now, my point is simply this. When people are caged and/or restricted, it causes them to, perhaps not consciously, compensate and actually exceed average standards. While my first two stories don't seem to directly relate to this topic, they play a part.
For example, has anyone read the story “Harrison Bergeron”? It’s the story of a man named Harrison Bergeron, and in this world everyone is deemed equal and equality is the law. Nobody is to be more intelligent than the other, no one can be as athletic, as mentally adept, or a better business man. EVERYONE is equal, and those that are above average are assigned handicaps by the handicap general’s office. Smart people are given ear pieces that emit a high pitched noise every 45 seconds, preventing elongated thought. And strong people are weighed down with weights; however, Harrison Bergeron spoke out against this and was imprisoned. Due to this imprisonment and the setting he became intelligent enough to break out of a high security prison. A fictional story, but it’s an interesting concept none the less, no?
The Americans; restricted by the British, produced some of the most ingenious commanders and scientists because of that very situation. With every war we make new militaristic advancements. So while we are restricted, we adapt and fill in what's missing with something even better.