Virginia Postrel on Stasis vs. Dynamism
Sixteen years ago, Virginia Postrel published The Future and Its Enemies, a manifesto for her personal philosophy of "dynamism." Dynamists like Postrel favor the spontaneous, evolving forces of free markets over the "stasist" philosophy common to reactionary conservatives and government technocrats. Even more than left versus right, Postrel argues, politics is a battle of the "stasists" versus the "dynamists." Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the debate over compensation for kidney donors. Postrel, the editor of Reason during most of the 1990s, is a spokesperson for a new charity, the American Living Organ Donor Fund (ALODF). She also once donated a kidney to a friend in need. But many people with failing kidneys are not as lucky as the beneficiary of Postrel's altruism. Markets and financial incentives could save the lives of thousands of wait-listed patients on dialysis, but the National Kidney Foundation has resisted even marginal reforms at every turn. Postrel will join the show to reflect on her manifesto and its relation to this vital issue.