I Have Seen the Past — and It Works

Source: David Friedman’s Substack
by David Friedman

“There are two common mistakes people make about change. One, most commonly for changes now happening, is to treat change as presumptively bad. The obvious example at the moment is climate change. … almost everyone expects it to be bad; current arguments are almost entirely about how bad it will be and what should be done about it. The same pattern holds for a variety of other changes. Many people argue for changes that they believe would make things better. Most expect changes actually occurring to make things worse. My subject in this post is the opposite mistake, the view of change in the past as presumptively good, generalized from the Whig Theory of History, the idea that political development, at least in England, is progress, less good institutions evolving into better ones.” (05/23/23)