Nils Sommer

If you listen to people debating politics these days, whether it's on TV or somewhere else, it's safe to say that - at some point - somebody will relativize the need for change by referring to the seemingly good status quo.

This happens especially with politicians standing for re-election, trying to defend what they did and what they didn't during their time in power. Arguing in favor of the need for change to further improve what already might be acceptable leads to being stereotyped as pessimist.

But progress only happens because of dissatisfaction with the status quo. This is exactly why I love capitalism and the concept of free markets. It encourages the creation of new and better products by market participants through the incentive to make profits. Whether it's increased profits or a better product, it's always dissatisfaction with the present that drives the next iteration of improvement. This is fundamental human psychology.

What's the conclusion of this? Should we all become pessimists? Of course not.

Educated, rational thinking humans should be able to differentiate between the evaluation of the status quo and what could still be improved. This is no negative mindset, this is not pessimism. You could even argue it is optimism, because it shows the believe in the possibility to improve and evolve.

You can appreciate the improvements of the status quo over the past and still drive forward. Just keep in mind that complete satisfaction makes you lazy. Dissatisfaction drives progress.

Write a comment