Sunday, January 25, 2009

What was so "revolutionary" about the Industrial Revolution?

Today, we measure a country's progress and value to the world economy in general in part by its level of industrialization, because in today's world it is very difficult for a nation to ensure the quality of life for its citizens that an industrialized country can provide. The Industrial Revolution itself was not revolutionary in the sense of BAM! Modern Progress! but more in the sense that it was a breaking out (albeit over time) from the older, accepted modes of production to the mechanized version which moved the world further down the path of consumptive leisure (meaning that we spend our leisure time using things others produce as opposed to finding something free to do), which is a necessary part of a capitalistic world. The dramatic change occurred when the world moved away from domestic production to making things with machines. Which, considering the moral dilemmas managers must have faced (or at least been presented with by established institutions), was pretty revolutionary.

2 comments:

Cote Laramie said...

Well said, as always! It seems that nothing really ever happens like BAM, and even though that's kind of the feeling that you get, the long lasting effects take years to set in or take years to start setting in. Perhaps that's why it's called a revolution it has to spread all the way around to finally be finished. Sorry if that's a little too vague. I guess some examples are the Commercial revolution, the American revolution, and heck even the French revolution. The preceding circumstances and results of these events all took a while to really set in permenantly and were more a gradual turn than any hair pin like changes in direction, as a whole that is.

Hanjae Lee said...

Was it really revolutionary? .. in the sense of people trying to make as much profit as possible, I don't think the Industrial Revolution was revolutionary at all. It was the mean to accomplish the wealth, which was "revolutionarily" changed.