Capitalism is dynamic, creative and inevitably destructive. For all its faults, I wouldn’t want to live in any other system.
But sometimes creative destruction is tough. Last week I learned that, after decades of splendid work, Brett Newsome is closing Newsome Photography on Toronto’s Bayview Avenue.
Brett has been our company and family photographer for years now. Here’s just a sample of his work.
“People just don’t seem to value high-end photography,” Brett told me. “It’s a shame, because I’m at the peak of my game now.”
Digital photography has, to a great degree, obsolesced professional photographers. Brett will continue to support clients but not through his iconic store.
He’s smart & talented and will be okay. But Bayview Avenue and the city will be poorer.
The Industrial Revolution obsolesced the guilds and pulled entire populations off the farm and into factories and cities.
Something similar is happening in China today. Are people better off thereby? The question has been hotly debated for a century.
I’d say Yes, in spite of everything – dislocation and alienation, the awful stress of immigration, the ‘satanic mills’ and so on.
Truth be told, the ‘good old days’ were pretty lousy. Anybody who idealizes, say, the lives of English peasants in the early 1800’s, or Chinese peasants in the 1950‘s is a fool.
Subsidizing obsolete industries, as some feckless countries do, would be worse.
But creative destruction is tough, especially when it displaces talented people like Brett Newsome.