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Technological revolutions call for social and political innovations

Technological revolutions call for social and political innovations Technological revolutions call for social and political innovations
Source: FRAN S CANO via arstation
The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons
From a book
The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons
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(...) In brief, the history of man's first technological revolution (irrigation - Ed. ) indicates the following:

1 .Technological revolutions create an objective need for social and political innovations. They create a need also for identifying the areas in which new institutions are needed and old ones are becoming obsolete.

2. The new institutions have to be appropriate to specific new needs There are right social and political responses to technology and wrong social and political responses. To the extent that only a right institutional response will do, society and government are largely circumscribed by new technology.

3. But the values these institutions attempt to realize, the human and social purposes to which they are applied, and, perhaps most important, the emphasis and stress laid on one purpose as against another, are largely within human control. The bony structure, the hard stuff of a society, is prescribed by the tasks it has to accomplish. But the ethos of the society is in man's hands and is largely a matter of the "how" rather than of the "what." 

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An example of a bad response from the government...

In 1812 that the steam train was born in England and in 1825 that the first railway line opened to people began operating.

Soon much more efficient transport services than the horse-drawn carriages used for public transport (stagecoaches) transformed the market. The train was an extraordinary step forward for the users of the time: vehicles were now on time, increased safety, much longer and more convenient timetables.  

These new horseless careers created a terrifying competition for horse-drawn omnibuses, which could only foresee the imminent death of their activity.

And yet, through lobbying and the lack of vision of politicians, a law known as the "red flag law" was passed. The law imposed discriminatory rights of way on self-propelled vehicles, a speed limit of 4 km/h, and that they be preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag.

This law, which was maintained for 30 years between 1865 and 1896 in England, severely hampered the development of the national road network and that of the still nascent English automobile industry.

By Marc.Solimen | 28/10/2019

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