Everything changes, everything from people to friendships, neighborhoods, and the nature of a work group or political party. All things change in either quantity or quality or both. All things have a life cycle of new birth, maturity, deterioration, and eventual disappearance. Think about a group you belong to. Do things change when a certain person either leaves or returns to the group? Do shiny new consumer goods become dull over time, worn, and eventually break or at least show signs of wear?
I think about people who insist that things stay the same and devote considerable energy to keep things the same. These attempts, though ultimately futile, do provide a service. They keep things that work well in existence, and balance against mindless change for the sake of change when a thing already works well or fulfills a needed function for most people who use the thing. It can by anything–a method of producing income or products, a political party policy, or a work group for example.
The concept of change is a good way to think of American political parties. The members of each political party would probably wish members of a rival party would disappear. But each plays a vital role in terms of maintaining a culture and managing it’s vitality. If you think about the political parties from the point of view of change, it is the conservatives who keep a healthy sociopolitcal instituion going along existing lines. But when that institution fails most people most of the time, it is the liberals who call for change–not to destroy the institution but to correct or improve it in part. It is the moderates who act as a buffer between the conservative’s refusal to change when change is legitimately needed, and too much change from the liberal side, to guard against changing an institution too quickly or too far for most people to handle, after all, change is synonymous with stress. It is the radical who recognizes the complete dysfunction of an institution and rallies in favor of replacing it entirely with a more functional one. The early American settlers from Europe who wished to break from the King of England by starting a very new form of government on a distant continent is an example of radical change. Each of them, conservative, moderate, liberal, and radical balance and check each other all in action or reaction to social change and managing that social change at a pace most and in a direction that people can handle.