The Future and its Enemies
Postrel makes the case for decentralized, dynamic systems. The obvious application of this is in free-market versus command-style economies, but she goes beyond these standard libertarian talking points to show how dynamic systems can create a better future in everything from urban planning to hair styling. Standing against the dynamists are the enemies of the future, the stasists: change fearing reactionaries and rule obsessed technocrats. These two flavors of stasists are often from opposite sides of the traditional political spectrum, but their shared belief that controlling outcomes only serves to stifle innovation and growth. This book is more than a decade old and yet it seems as fresh and vital as ever. A lot of what is advocated here I think comes from Hayek’s ideas of spontaneous order which I read about in his book The Fatal Conceit. That book was a difficult read for me, The Future and its Enemies was much more user-friendly and understandable. Highly recommended.