Matt Ridley has published a second great book. The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge.
Ridley is a brilliant pro commerce author, maybe the only other one. He gives credit to Deirdre McCloskey for her comparable genius on this pro commerce issue.
Evolution is a long book. The greatness about the book is that Ridley shows us that both the free market mechanism and Darwinism are the same evolutionary mechanism.
Neither require a god, a direction, a meaning or a designer. Both are the same mechanism: survival applied to variation.
Ridley does a wonderful job of reminding us that evolution is what happens not just with biology but also with nearly everything in the human world. He goes into detail with free market evolution that creates languages, weapons, cities and businesses that we can all see. He shows that it also includes morals (look at how arranged marriage has evolved into cohabitation and gay marriage), as well as money, education and most importantly: technology.
The book has done one important thing: made me think about the broad scope of human subject matter that evolves.
Unfortunately, Ridley is not a good writer. He mixes all his personal prejudices, most of which I agree with, into this broad subject. That is distracting and weakens his argument.
It is now time to think much more broadly about evolution and especially the limits of evolution.
Governments, bureaucracies and states don’t seem to evolve, because they survive despite their inept and incompetent and inappropriate functions. They always fail but they survive despite that fact. What can we say about that?