The Progressive Regression

This fascinating quote from Havas Media’s Tom Goodwin has been frequently cited, even in this space, but it is so eye-opening that it merits repeating yet again. “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles,” he wrote in March. “Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.” Anyone who marvels at the pace of human innovation should by rights appreciate the inventiveness of this wildly successful economic strategy. For those who purport to embrace “progress,” however, this ongoing revolution is a grave threat. It is not without irony that those who call themselves “progressives” have no greater objective than enforcing and preserving the status quo – at least, beyond the realms of gender and identity politics. Rarely, however, has the contrast between conservatism’s support for modernism and progressivism’s retreat from it been as unambiguous as it is in regards to the advent of the sharing economy.