period of social and economic change from agrarian to industrial society

Industrialization or industrialisation is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one, involving the extensive re-organisation of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing.

There are still people who discuss industrialization as... an alternative to agricultural improvement.
-W. Arthur Lewis (1950)

CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links


Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F

  • Not long ago, if you wanted to seize political power in a country you had merely to control the army and the police. Today it is only in the most backward countries that fascist generals, in carrying out a coup d'état, still use tanks. If a country has reached a high degree of industrialization the whole scene changes. The day after the fall of Khrushchev, the editors of Pravda, Izvestiia, the heads of the radio and television were replaced; the army wasn't called out. Today a country belongs to the person who controls communications.
    • Umberto Eco Il costume di casa (1973); as translated in Travels in Hyperreality (1986)

G - L

  • Until recently, economists have not been particularly carried away with concern over environmental problems caused by industrial development. Just as in the other sciences, the few economists ...who have always sounded the alarm ...are somewhat out of the mainstream. These humanist concerns seem to have gone out of style after the age of classical economics. Even the conventional analytical models of contemporary economics seem to prefer to exclude these concepts by ignoring them entirely or by shunting them off into their own branch, called "economic externalities." These externalities include any “given” or windfall factor, such as the availability of transportation, technological know-how, a labor force, or resources, factors that are not themselves directly involved in the economic analysis of markets and businesses. For example, the regularly bright and sunny weather of Hollywood was considered an external economy of the movie industry there. The movie moguls, no matter how tyrannical, could neither turn on nor turn off the sun. But as the surrounding community grew and the smog thickened, the weather became an external economy. In very recent years concern over these economic externalities has grown. The environmentalists are beginning to be included in the mainstream. The literature is growing, and professional meetings include sessions on environmental economics. Attempts are even being made to extend the theoretical framework to include the changes in the environment caused by economic activity. [...] The Materials Flow of the Economy... sees the human race living on a 'space ship earth' in which all the inputs and outputs, all the original resources and all the final wastes, must be accounted for. Furthermore, when the materials are returned in the form of smoke, sewage, garbage, junk, heat, noise, and a wide variety of noxious gases, the world becomes a very changed place — and the change is seldom for the better. Implicit in this materials flow concept of the economy is that the less production that is needed to maintain an adequate level of affluence, the better. An efficient economy is one that gets big results with little effort. More industries, more mines, more businesses, more employment, and more consumer goods do not always mean more well-being... because all these also mean more destruction of our natural resources and despoilation of our surroundings.
    • Martin Gerhard Giesbrecht, The Evolution of Economic Society: An Introduction to Economics (1972) Ch. 10, The New Dimensions of Mature Economies, pp. 321-322.
  • Now this problem of the adjustment of man to his natural resources, and the problem of how such things as industrialization and urbanization can be accepted without destroying the traditional values of a civilization and corrupting the inner vitality of its life — these things are not only the problems of America; they are the problems of men everywhere. To the extent that we Americans become able to show that we are aware of these problems, and that we are approaching them with coherent and effective ideas of our own which we have the courage to put into effect in our own lives, to that extent a new dimension will come into our relations with the peoples beyond our borders, to that extent, in fact, the dreams of these earlier generations of Americans who saw us as leaders and helpers to the peoples of the world at large will begin to take on flesh and reality.
    • George F. Kennan. Lecture at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (March 1954); published in “The Unifying Factor” in Realities of American Foreign Policy (1954), p. 116
  • An invariable accompaniment of growth in developed countries is the shift away from agriculture, a process usually referred to as industrialization and urbanization. The income distribution of the total population, in the simplest model, may therefore be viewed as a combination of the income distributions of the rural and of the urban populations. What little we know of the structures of these two component income distributions reveals that: (a) the average per capita income of the rural population is usually lower than that of the urban;' (b) inequality in the percentage shares within the distribution for the rural population is somewhat narrower than in that for the urban population.
  • There are still people who discuss industrialization as... an alternative to agricultural improvement... this approach is without meaning in the West Indian Islands. There is no choice... between industry and agriculture. The islands need as large agriculture as possible... It is not ... that agriculture cannot continue to develop if industry is developed … the opposite is true: agriculture cannot... yield a reasonable standard of living unless new jobs are created off the land
    • W. Arthur Lewis (1950; 831-2) as cited in: Mark Figueroa. "Rethinking Caribbean agriculture, re-evaluating Arthur Lewis misunderstood perspective." (2008).

M - R

  • Our world model was built specifically to investigate five major trends of global concern – accelerating industrialization, rapid population growth, widespread malnutrition, depletion of nonrenewable resources, and a deteriorating environment. The model we have constructed is, like every model, imperfect, oversimplified, and unfinished... Our conclusions are : (1.) If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity...
  • The industrialization—and brutalization—of animals in America is a relatively new, evitable, and local phenomenon: No other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or as brutally as we do. No other people in history has lived at quite so great a remove from the animals they eat. Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.
    • Michael Pollan The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 333.
  • The collectivization of labor during recent centuries has now been duplicated by the collectivization of thought. Industrialization collectivized labor by forcing workers to gather in large units and to specialize and simplify the functions of each worker. Similarly, the rise of the intellectual factory, the modern university, which has been indentured to the service of industry and even more so to that of technology, forces a concentration and a specialization of thought. The search for human truth has become the search for productively useful knowledge. ... Thinker is servant to thought, thought is servant to product, product is servant to consumer, and the consumer is enslaved by beliefs and thoughts that are either traditional or are produced mechanically by the demands of an abstract system purged of all human will.
    • R. E. Puhek, “The Collectivization of Thought”

S - Z

  • We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us.
  • The central tenet of Communist economic change was industrialization. The pattern again was taken from the Soviet Union. Only by industrializing fast could a country become socialist and modern. The policy had an obvious appeal: in countries on the European periphery, where there was a profound sense of having fallen behind, and in countries outside of Europe, such as China, Korea, and Vietnam, rapid industrialization seemed indeed to be the way forward. Everyone was bewitched by the extraordinary role of Soviet industrial production in destroying Nazi Germany. The emphasis was always on heavy industry: steel, machinery, shipyards, and on the mining and drilling that served such industries. Big enterprises had the priority, and almost all investment went to capital projects. Consumer goods were lacking, and for those that were available, shortages and queuing were the rules from the very beginning of Communist governments.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (2017)
  • Gaia's main problems are not industrialization, ozone depletion, overpopulation, or resource depletion. Gaia's main problem is the lack of mutual understanding and mutual agreement in the noosphere about how to proceed with those problems. We cannot rein in industry if we cannot reach mutual understanding and mutual agreement based on a worldcentric moral perspective concerning the global commons. And we reach the worldcentric moral perspective through a difficult and laborious process of interior growth and transcendence.

See also

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