Before anybody gets steamed that I am linking to Reason, I should say I am not a libertarian. But some of them, I like. Virginia Postrel is one. She wrote a great book a few years back called The Future and its Enemies, which posited that the old Liberal/Conservative dichotomy didn’t make sense any more; she agrued that the new division was between “Dynamists” who embrace the chaos and messiness of change in a free market and “Stasists” who fear change and promote inertia and seek to enforce a highly selective nostalgia to combat it. Being a dynamist doesn’t mean that the government should never make a rule, just that maybe it could let the market try to figure things out first. She uses this basic argument to defend gay marriage. If it is a healthy, viable model for life, it will thrive; if it’s not, the market will decide and it will die out. She also uses some great examples about donut shops and West African hair braiders in LA.
Anyway, she has a great new book just came out, and I can’t wait to read it. It’s called “The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness” so you pretty much know it’s right down my alley.