Monday, October 25, 2010

A thought on a historical precedent to globalization?

I have been reading 1848: Year of Revolution by Mike Rapport. It points out that in the early part of the 19th century the Industrial Revolution was disrupting existing patterns of production all over Europe, throwing people out of work, and creating large areas of rural and urban poverty.

The solution to the problem in Europe was in part the increase in production that took place in the second half of the 19th century and later, and the attention to the "social problem" that percolated through society.

I suppose we can term the changes that came in transportation with the internal combustion engine and in manufacturing and commerce with electrification as a Second Industrial Revolution.

Today we see different technological revolutions reaching different parts of the world. The Information Revolution is driving change in the developed world while large areas of the developing world are seeing industrialization and changes in energy and communications patterns that mark their experience of the Industrial Revolution and the Second Industrial Revolution. The overall pattern is Globalization.

On a global scale urbanization is taking place at an unprecedented rate, with massive slums in the developing world. The gap between rich and poor is greater than ever before. Perhaps, however, we are beginning to see the solution as China and India are making economic and social progress based on the massive technological innovation, and as a part of Globalization is the increasing spread of more productive technologies worldwide.

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