Relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

A famous example of that last might illustrate the difference between the two How did the Scientific Revolution, The Enlightenment and the Industrial. And yet, a simple connection between the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century and the Industrial Revolution that followed it has proven remarkably. The Industrial Revolution was the liberation of innovation in the realm of In the aristocratic paradigm, one's relationship to the state was mediated by the social He drew a clear distinction between society and government.

The Industrial Revolution was the liberation of innovation in the realm of economics and technology. The ideas put forward by Smith and Ricardo served to justify the economic development that was now possible based on emerging innovations.

In fact, it was the innovations that came first, and the justifications afterwards. Innovations in production methods, regional specialization, trade patterns, entrepreneurial initiatives, imperialist methods, etc. A generation of 18th Century intellectuals understood that a new paradigm of change and innovation was coalescing in the world of economics and practical affairs.

They could see great potential in the new paradigm: They could also see that this liberation, in economic and practical terms, could not be fully realized within the existing social structures. The liberation of creativity in the economic realm required the liberation of creativity in the realm of governance as well. What this all amounted to was a liberation of creativity in the realm of thinking itself — the formulation from whole cloth of new conceptual models, and their promulgation into a community of creative new thinkers, eager to consolidate a coherent model of the new paradigm.

And these folks knew that the new model could not be sold to the existing regime. The model was politically revolutionary, and it had to be sold directly to the people. It was necessary to appeal to the reason of the 'common man'. Thus the final step in the liberation of creativity was reached: The development of a 'thinking, literate public' was needed to enable the emergence of a revolutionary constituency.

And such a public was also essential to the sound functioning of a republican form of government, where ideally the actions of the government are the expression of the will of the people.

In such a system, one needs the people to be well-informed and thinking soundly. The economic and practical innovations came first, leading to successive waves of liberation thinking, which we refer to as the Enlightenment. And those original practical innovations were at the same time the direct beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. It was all a single process, with the yang energy being expressed as the Industrial Revolution, and the yin energy being expressed as the Enlightenment.

The two are not separate historical threads, but two strands of a single historical thread, a thread that culminated in popular mass revolutions, and the dominance of the republican paradigm. As for individualism, it came embedded in both strands.

The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution

The Enlightenment strand invited the 'common man' to think for himself about 'big ideas', and to see himself as an empowered agent in the affairs of society. As a citizen in a republic, his relationship to the state was as an individual, a thinking voter. In the aristocratic paradigm, one's relationship to the state was mediated by the social fabric, within which one had a 'place' as a member of a 'class'. Today we are once again on the cusp of a cultural transformation. The paradigm of unrestrained economic development that was unleashed c.

Unrestrained development became a sorcerer's apprentice out of control, producing more and more, while inadvertently destroying its resource base. Resource limits are the change-forcing condition today, whereas the potential-to-exploit-resources was the change-forcing condition c. Unrestrained development was one big two-century bubble, and it has now burst.

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

We have our modern equivalent of Enlightenment thinkers: Whereas the Enlightenment revolution was about discarding constraints, the sustainability revolution is about recognizing the necessity of constraints. Our modern whole-systems thinking can be seen as a delayed rebuttal to Enlightenment thinking.

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

Time has passed, and we can now say, "See, you were wrong, and here's why". The Luddites already knew the rebuttals, but they were unsuccessful in their campaign to spread them.

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

We have our own version of Enlightenment thinkers, but we don't have our own version of a revolutionary process. As in the Enlightenment, these thinkers know the new model cannot be sold to the existing regime — despite the fact that the regime is today sophisticated enough to misappropriate the buzzwords of the model, as in 'sustainable development', 'renewable energy', and 'green technology'.

The new paradigm is again politically revolutionary, and once again a generation of intellectuals has consolidated a model of a new paradigm, and has taken it directly to the people, appealing to the reason of the 'common man'.

What we are missing today is an element of the elite establishment whose self-interest is aligned with the new paradigm. In the Enlightenment all the nouveau-riche entrepreneurs, the worldwide traders, the budding industrialists — and the investment-banking community — had much to gain from the new paradigm.

The leadership of the American Revolution came from the top, from those who were already the established colonial elite. It was only the tip-top of the established hierarchy that had everything to lose — the monarchs, the titled nobles, and the apex of the religious hierarchies. This non-productive, parasitic class was past its sell-by date, and yet a truly massive project, involving all levels of society, was required to finally dethrone them.

Today all elements of the elite establishment are aligned with the existing political hierarchy. The visible top Western leadership class has been systematically alienated from its popular constituencies by the processes of globalization, privatization, et al.

The Bilderberger process has created a class culture in which those leaders identify with their role in relationship to the shadowy globalist elite, and view their popular constituency as a flock to be managed.

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

Did it happen all at once or was it a drawn out affair, was there a moment when it was recognized that Britain and the world were in the whirl of a revolution? Other deeper questions perhaps that need to be considered are those that question why it began, were the origins of the Industrial Revolution formed out of British Imperialism, did our empire generate markets, did slavery build the fortunes needed for industrial expansion?

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Did the 17th and 18th centuries and the period of Enlightenment pave the way for the Industrial Revolution or was it an inevitable process?

Was the Industrial Revolution created out of the Enlightenment period? There were those who had a surplus of money in their pockets and a desire to differentiate themselves from others by means of possessions. Fashion was born and everyone, from the apprentice to the lord wanted to show that they had a sense of it. The desire for clothes made from fabrics other than home spun wool was creating an engine for industrial change, the textile industries were the early adopters of the changes that would roll out the Industrial Revolution, so yes in one very real sense, the exploring adventures of the Enlightenment period created a society in which demand for goods existed and once the ball was rolling it quickly gathered momentum.

Image is Everything New foods, drinks and tobacco replaced what had gone before and the people enjoyed them but they needed to be paid for and so changes in working patterns in society started to emerge. People worked longer hours, woman went out to work more than they had previously, there was more mobility in the work force and one factor often overlooked was the literacy of the English people.

relationship between enlightenment and industrial revolution

They were some of the most literate people in the world, they had laws and a government to keep order, was this the canvas readied for creating the Industrial Revolution? They are still no answers and as many questions as ever, was the Industrial Revolution a domestic affair or was it the result of foreign trade. Did the money from slavery fuel the furnaces, could the Industrial Revolution indeed have happened without the slave trade?

Was the Industrial Revolution a source of Enlightenment itself? The expansion of cities like Birmingham, in time, attracted not just industrialists but arts and cultural institutions. It brought together new thinkers and many of these new thinkers were ordinary people who would achieve extraordinary things. Canals and railways added to the rapid development of Birmingham.

In principal this should have been a good thing and it was except for the backs they broke of those they stood on in their scramble to the top of the pile. They had the industrial side sorted what they failed to do was to consider the social impact of their rise.

Not everyone thought this industrial revolution was a good thing, there were those who saw it as a corrupting influence, that whilst it raised some out of poverty and slavery, others were manacled to the industrial economy, exploited and led down paths of greed and desire.

Woman and children were employed in ways never before seen. The industrial cities offered not a chance to rise above poverty but rather they harboured it. Standards of health, hygiene and literacy fell dramatically as population figures rose. More babies were born but more died in infancy. Did this very situation though lead to the emergence of people and societies who saw an overriding urgent need to do something about the exploited working class?