Virginia Postrel smashes conventional political boundaries in this libertarian manifesto. World-views should be defined not by how they view the present, she says, but the future. Do they aim to control it, as many conservative reactionaries and liberal planners want to do? Or do they embrace it, even though they can't know what lies ahead? Postrel (editor of Reason magazine) firmly places herself in this latter category--the dynamists, she calls her happy tribe--and urges the rest of us to sign up. The future of economic prosperity, technological progress, and cultural innovation depends upon embracing principles of choice and competition. The downside of this philosophy, Postrel readily notes, is that it doesn't allow us to manage tomorrow by acting today. And that's exactly the point: we shouldn't want to. A future constructed by an infinite number of individual decisions, made privately, is one she believes we should encourage. The Future and Its Enemies is at once intellectually sweeping and reader-friendly; it has the potential to join a pantheon of books about freedom that includes works by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Postrel, editor of Reason magazine, believes that conflict between stasists (who urge control and favor the status quo) and dynamists will shape the future. In her opinion, the greatest threats to the future are efforts to shape it in advance. She believes in minimal controls, those necessary to create a framework for cooperation in which private property is respected. The topics she covers include technology, the environment, and urban planning. Postrel criticizes those who strive to re-create a simpler past or to thwart competition; specifically, she opposes William Greider (One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, LJ 1/97), who sees footloose capitalism as a danger. Her defense of the right to experiment is convincing, but it goes too far: Postrel seems to believe the status quo should yield to any proposal for change, ignoring the rights of people to enjoy the results of their own successful experiments. Nevertheless, her book is recommended as a thought-provoking look at an important subject.?A.J. Sobczak, formerly with California State Univ., Northridge
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I first read this in the nineties. Re-read again in 2015 on a friend's recommendation.
Stasists vs. dynamists -- this is as pertinent today as it was 20 years ago.
"This diverse, decentralized process makes technocrats uncomfortable--no one is in charge, and the results are unpredictable--but it strikes reactionaries as downright evil. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Daniel Estes
The content of the book seems good (based on the sample), but this pricing is insane:
kindle: $14. Read more
As a business person and someone interested in the motivations of people, I found The Future and its Enemies one of the best written books on how organizations make bed decisions,... Read morePublished on May 4, 2011 by Stephen Wahrhaftig
The Future and Its Enemies Read this. Twice. As this reviewer's title might suggest, at times the reading can get a little long and academic. Read morePublished on May 2, 2011 by Gene Cisewski
I thought of PM Thatcher's "This is what we believe" quote upon finishing The Future and its Enemies. Something tells me I am going to be buying a bunch of copies of this. Read morePublished on March 8, 2011 by Johnny & Riza
I enjoyed the author's thoughts even if I am not inclined to agree with all of them. She could have stated her case much more concisely. Read morePublished on August 21, 2009 by Nick
Postrel's future strikes me as naive and idealistic. Unleashing the creative animus of billions of free actors? Read morePublished on February 10, 2007 by P. Bierre