Illusion versus Reality: Stasists versus Dynamists

Strategy teaches us to adjust and leverage change. No strategy can stop the pain of change. The illusion is that the government or anyone can "freeze" the status quo so that change won't hurt anyone at any time. The reality is that the government cannot stop change, only dam it up, redirect it, causing it to spill out more slowly and painfully over time, transforming it from a severe 24 hour flu into a lingering, debilitating illness. This article by Rand Simborg (via Instapundit) discusses this issue in some detail including the following:

"In her seminal book, The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel writes about the real political divide — not left versus right, but what she calls stasists versus dynamists. The former fear change and want to use government power to minimize it, if not eliminate it. The latter accept that improvements in the human condition require change by definition, and understand that the best way to ensure it is to allow individuals the freedom to make choices, with consequences, both good and ill, to be borne by them."

The purpose of strategy, of course, is to help us all make better choices. Strategy only works if individuals are allowed to benefit or suffer from the fruits of their decisions, for good and ill. The basis of free markets is the wisdom of crowds. While individuals almost always get the specifics wrong, especially at any point in time, crowds as a whole get the general direction right especially over time. Those who that government control can make the world better believe in a mythical race of superior individuals who can get the specifics so right that we must give them the power to inflict their choices on us.