Can Liberalism Make Peace Between the Future and Its Enemies?

What “factory jobs,” Maya blouses and gay marriage tell us about navigating a changing world

Aaron Ross Powell: I’m Aaron Ross Powell, and this is Reactionary Minds, a project of The UnPopulist.

We’re used to thinking about politics as a battle between left and right, progressive and conservative. But those sides can be somewhat protean, with their positions, preferences and policies shifting in ways that make it difficult to analyze the political landscape clearly.

My guest today has a different way of framing politics—one she first set out 24 years ago, and one which looks more and more prescient with every passing day. Virginia Postrel is the author of many books, including The Future and Its Enemies. Her latest is the Fabric of Civilization. The core of Postrel’s framework for understanding politics isn’t left versus right, but dynamism versus stasis.

Aaron Ross Powell: What does it mean to be a “stasist,” to use your term?

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