This is what the Industrial Revolution amounted to – our discovery of the Machine. Or perhaps is was the other way around – when the Machine discovered us.
To this day, we cannot define what a machine is – we can only point at one, and say “Like that!” This can be misleading because the first industrial machine was the Sailing Ship – which operated with wind power. These had been in existence for thousands of years. But with dawn of the Modern World – with its invention of Banking, Bookkeeping, Manufacturing, and the Market – these were mass-produced in shipyards. such as those that existed in Venice.
Later, as this combination moved into Spain and Portugal – these ships started sailing further and further – and discovered the New World! The Spanish Empire became the largest, and richest, ever known. And now, in greatly reduced form, after losing out to England – forms Latin America.
England is where the Industrial Revolution really got started. With its use of coal to operate the Steam Engine. And its invention of clever machinery to manufacture cloth – in large quantities, and very cheaply. This was the beginning of Capitalism – because Capital was necessary to finance these new factories and railroads. Which, in turn, because of their profitability – created more capital. Everyone benefited – except the poor, who were forced to work at starvation wages.
This takes us up to the middle of the 19th Century, when Industrialization had moved to the United States, which had its Civil War – the first Industrial war, with unbelievable destructiveness. This pattern continued – with WWI, the Depression, and WWII. Unbelievable destruction!
You will now be saying “I don’t want to know about all this bad stuff!” Everyone was feeling this way – and to cope with it, they went to the movies – which showed them a much better world – for a very modest price – but all those movie tickets added up to a lot of money.
This takes us up to the middle of the 20th Century – and Television. Its effect on us was unbelievable – we didn’t have to go to the movies – the movies were brought to us – for free! All we had to do was sit and watch them – and not think about how it was affecting us. I eventually decided not to watch – but I was unusual. Most people wanted to be told how to be – which is what TV was doing.
At this point in my story, I am not sure how to proceed – how can I describe the whole complex of changes that resulted from Television – all over the world? I cannot – all I can do is point at the people that resulted, which are all around us.
What do they look like to you?