Thursday, February 28, 2008

Luddites on the left

In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel stresses the important distinction between those who are comfortable with change vs those who are not. In fact, those who are most rattled by change scare me the most. Clearly those who fear trade and NAFTA (and who shamelessly pander to such fears) are in the latter group, despite their confused (hypocritical) attachment to the change slogan.

In yesterday's LA Times, T.C. Boyle writes movingly about "The final page ... After more than 20 years, an author closes the book on his favorite haunt, Dutton's." Dutton's book store is a five-minute walk from where I live an also one of my favorite places to go. I will miss it. But what makes Boyle's essay interesting is his ability to say a rueful good-bye. No tantrums; no insistence on hearings or lawsuits. Life goes on and change is seldom an unmixed blessing.

But the Luddites are wrong as well as creepy. And Luddites who claim to be "change-agents" are even worse than that.