+3 votes
in Politics & Government ✌ by (7.6k points)

This is actually something of a "devil's advocate" kind of question, because I myself would never wish to be without the creature comforts that proceeded from the Industrial Revolution...also, this is also another capitalism question, because I am realizing how important the Industrial Revolution must have been to the evolution of our present economic system...

So I have been watching Industrial Revolution documentaries on YouTube; fascinating, but many of them just extoll the wonders, not much contemplation of any darkside...so here, just below, is where my thinking is now, and I am wondering what my SOLVED confreres think?

* * *

It seems to me the Industrial Revolution made possible physical comfort and convenience, like never before in history. However, it did not make us contented, nor happy...sometimes I even wonder if we are less happy overall now? Elizabeth Goudge, in her novel THE SCENT OF WATER, wrote of the Industrial Revolution; "They have stolen our silence."

I am also hoping Dan might have a comment here, growing up in India where historically the traditional emphasis has been on the inner, spiritual potential of humankind rather than the economic potential...was the Industrial Revolution beneficial to humankind, in the long run?

4 Answers


Like every massive change, the industrial revolution had its share of benefices for a part of humanity and of losses and disasters for the other.

It was indeed very beneficial for much more comfort, improved living conditions, more freedom, mobility, entertainment, etc., and an overly fast growth of the world's populations, in spite of a number of ongoing conflicts, abuses, disasters, diseases and speading pollution (which are as old as humanity).

And the great majority of humankind wishes to have their share in comfort, prosperity, freedom, autonomy, knowledge, pleasure (and satisfaction) and recognition in society.

Yet, consumerism, mass productions, too big ambitions, performance pressures, irrational dreams, greed, etc., could only be realised at the expense of other people, of the natural environment and of the ethics, although most abuses like slavery, overexploitation of natural resources, depletion and wasting were, most certainly, as old as humanity, but with more modern technologies, efficiency, fast growing populations and their needs, our planets resources (and their stustainability) are seriously endangered.

And behind the screens of glamour, success, glory, celebrity, luxus and wealth, there will always be floods of victims and "sacrifices".

Don't they say: "One (wo)man's joy is another (wo)man's sorrow"?

And that applies to both genders, and to our planet's fate.

Virginia Marianne

Wow, Marianne! Very thorough answer...

Marianne Marianne

Lol, Virginia - thank you ...



Marianne's answer is so good that I can't think of anything to add. Her summary is exactly right.

Marianne Rooster

Thank you, Rooster. :)


Well, if it hastens our extinction, it may not have been a net good thing, but it was a hell of a party while it lasted, at least for the developed world.  Maybe we'll get it right next time...


Marianne TheOtherTink


TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

And to Neanderthal Man, Modern Man said, "Geh zurück!  Wir haben alles verpfuscht."   :D :D

Virginia TheOtherTink

Well Tink I DO hope we won't get extinguished (extincted?) but as I try to put all the pieces together, this party we came to does seem to be something of a sticky wicket...;) ...I am still believing/trusting we can "pull the fat out of the fire" (to hash some overworked tropes)...

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

I'm an optimist.  I think we'll muddle through... somehow.  :)

Virginia TheOtherTink

Well, hurrah for muddling through....<3  :P  ;)...an' one must admit, it IS an interesting ride!

Marianne TheOtherTink

Excellent, T(h)ink! :):D:D

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

@ Virginia:   :P <3 ;)

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

Thank you, Marianne!  :) :D <3


Industrial revolution created good and bad inventions. We have trains, TVs, radios, tanks, atomic bombs...

Virginia Kninjanin

Agreed Kninjanin, the Industrial Revolution is a mixed bag!