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Are you a progressive economist, Economist?
#14 – Present photography meets future economics
P: Good morning, Economist.
E: Good morning, Photographer.
P: Say economist, are you actually more of a progressive or conservative economist?
E: You won’t lead me up the garden path, will you?
P: Not at all.
E: So why do you ask?
P: Someone recently told me that most German economists are conservative, but mainly the progressive ones have their say in the media.
E: Aha. Who told you that?
P: I don't say. So tell me now, what kind of economist are you?
E: What is the difference between progressive and conservative?
P: Well, conservatives want to keep things as they are, resist change. Progressives are more open to the new, embrace change, are more adaptable.
E: As an economist and friend of the market economy, the answer is not that simple. I want to preserve the market economy system. In that sense, I'm conservative. On the other hand, the market is constantly producing new things. The better is the enemy of the good. Change is part of the system. Because I support that, I'm also progressive.
P: You take the easy way out, Economist.
E: Maybe you're right, Photographer. Many things are not decided by or in the market, but by politics, more precisely by the people who elect the politicians. They determine what mobility we use, they set the frame of the energy we use, and they control how many people come to our country. All of this can be classified using the criteria progressive and conservative. The conservatives want less immigration rather than more because immigration changes society. The conservatives advocate the preservation of existing energy sources because what has always been cannot be wrong. The conservatives want to continue to fly on vacation because they don't want to change their vacation plans. In that respect, photographer, I'm probably rather progressive.
P: How you say it sounds a bit derogatory towards conservative people.
E: Interesting. Maybe that's because of my experience as an economist. Power and conservatism are two sides of the same coin. Anyone who has become rich and powerful in existing circumstances will do a lot to ensure the circumstances remain as they are. It is not for nothing that almost all authoritarian states are arch-conservative. Progressiveness brings change. This is dangerous for those in power. Democracy, on the other side, thrives on change. For me, progressiveness and democracy are inseparable.
P: So you're a progressive economist, Economist.
E: It looks like this.
< silence >
E: And you, Photographer? You're mainly photographing old stuff. Abandoned factories, derelict houses, the past. Seems you are very conservative.
P: You're mistaken, Economist. Anyone who photographs the old makes change recognizable. By showing the past, I clarify that the world is different today. It looks like we have something in common again.
E: And the fact that you take photos where everyone produces moving images, what do you call that?
P: Now you're confusing mainstream with progressiveness. Progressivity is an attitude based on the belief that progress is possible. That we can change life for the better.
E: I like that, Photographer. However, when I look at your pictures, I sometimes lack the belief in your words.
P: Maybe progressivity is only visible at a second glance in my photo. The sunbeam on the abandoned house shows hope in supposed hopelessness.
E: This interpretation seems far-fetched to me, Photographer.
P: I am serious.
E: Well, if you say so. The main thing to me is that we both believe in a positive future.
P: You are right, Economist, this is the main thing. Have a nice day!
E: You too, Photographer!
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