Creative destruction and destructive liberalism

Creative destruction is the spontaneous process of the birth of the new arising out of the demise of the old.  It is the essential process of free market capitalism. It is what transformed pay telephone booths into personal cell phones, and what transformed the first cell phone in 1983 from a heavy brick costing $3,995 to a hugely more powerful smart phone that fits into your pocket and can be had for a couple hundred dollars. Creative destruction occurs without central planning or design. It arises extemporaneously wherever free markets are allowed to operate.

Bad, old ideas can be overcome by new and better ideas. This sort of creative destruction brings progress and enlightenment to civilized people. A new and better idea called Broken Windows Policing (also called proactive policing) was introduced by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in an article that appeared in the March, 1982  issue of the Atlantic Monthly.  Rudy Giuliani adopted Wilson and Kelling’s new idea when he was mayor of New York.  It was a roaring success that cut crime and turned New York City into one of the most livable large cities in the world.

Liberal destruction is what people who call themselves progressives do to block and destroy the progress that creative destruction in ideas makes possible. The old idea of normal police work has police sitting around a card table in a police station waiting for calls to answer.  The old idea is that crime is a natural force that cannot be stopped or slowed. Police are just there to take reports and maybe, if they’re lucky, catch the criminals and present them to the court system.  The new idea is that police should do more than chase the criminal after the crime has occurred, but investigate suspicious activity and put a stop to criminal conduct before it has a chance to prey on innocent victims.

Liberals don’t see it as proactive policing. They thinks it’s police harrassment. They would have the NYPD stop interfering with suspicious behavior that gives every appearance criminal activity is afoot. Better for the police to wait until the crime is complete and someone calls 911.  Unsurprisingly, if this is what the community wants the police are happy to oblige.  Hey, it makes life easier for them anyway. It’s always easier to just show up after the fact, take a report, and head back to a comfortable patrol car or to the office.  If a witness calls and identifies the perp, well maybe they go arrest him.  When they get time.

Of course, the people soon find out they should be more careful about what they want. They should not want what liberal “progressives” want for them.

See Heather MacDonald’s current article in the Wall Street Journal, Explaining Away the New Crime Wave.

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