Is stability our goal?


To listen to some commentators these days you would think that stability is indeed our goal. Almost a steady state society, one in which things rarely if ever change. We should deliberately curb innovation for example, for this brings with it such unwanted disruption to our stable and (implied rather than ever provenly so) happy society.

This is however, at least I think so, profoundly mistaken:

Foresight and planning were destined to play an ever-increasing role in human affairs, and a readiness to take risks in the hope of a profit in the more or less distant future is a distinctive mark of more advanced humanity.

That's two archaeology professors writing 40 years ago (on the subject of flint knapping actually) and if they can understand one of the basic things which makes us homo sapiens sapiens then why can't the economic and social commentators of our own day understand the point?

That taking risks in the hope of future profit is innovation: markets, amongst other things that they are, are the method we use to sort through which of such innovations satisfy some human desire and thus profit their developers.

Why on earth would we want to constrain one of the very things which makes us human? To deliberately restrain innovation, to attempt to enforce stability, would be doing exactly that.

So no, we cannot say that stability is our goal and we should thus be profoundly suspicious of those who claim that it is or who try to enforce it upon us.