Industrial Revolution Quotes

Quotes tagged as "industrial-revolution" Showing 1-30 of 42
Charles Dickens
“But the sun itself, however beneficent, generally, was less kind to Coketown than hard frost, and rarely looked intently into any of its closer regions without engendering more death than life. So does the eye of Heaven itself become an evil eye, when incapable or sordid hands are interposed between it and the thing it looks upon to bless.”
Charles Dickens, Hard Times

Alfred Tennyson
“Let us hush this cry of 'Forward', till ten thousand years have gone.”
Alfred Tennyson, Loksley Hall, Day Dream and Other Poems

Oliver James
“By far the most significant consequence of "selfish capitalism" (Thatch/Blatcherism) has been a startling increase in the incidence of mental illness in both children and adults since the 1970s.”
Oliver James

“1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries.”
Theodore John Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

Stefan Molyneux
“Countries adopting free-market capitalism have increased output 70-fold, halved work days and doubled lifespans.”
Stefan Molyneux

Jerry Ash
“To the RKO motion picture camera at her 100th birthday party: “I pray for the day when working men and women are able to earn a fair share of the wealth they produce in a capitalist system, a day when all Americans are able to enjoy the freedom, rights and opportunities guaranteed them by the Constitution of the United States of America.” — Mother Jones”
Jerry Ash, Hellraiser—Mother Jones: An Historical Novel

“Historians of technology have asked why no industrial revolution developed in antiquity. The simple answer seems to be that there was no need, that contemporary modes of production and the slave-based economy of the day satisfactorily maintained the status quo. The capitalist idea of profit as a desirable end to pursue was completely foreign to the contemporary mentality. So, too, was the idea that technology on a large scale could or should be harnessed to those ends. An industrial revolution was literally unthinkable in antiquity.”
James E. McClellan

Christian Humberg
“Since 1963, LEGO bricks have been manufactured from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer - ABS copolymer for short - a plastic with a matte finish. It is very hard and robust - import criteria for a children's toy. Laboratories in Switzerland and Denmark regularly test the quality of the ABS. The plastic is distributed to factories as granules rather than in liquid form. These grains of plastic are heated up to 232ºC and converted into a molten mass. Injection moulding machines weighing up to 150 tonnes squeeze the viscous plastic mass into the desired injection moulds - of which there are 2,400 varieties. After seven seconds, the brick produced in this way has cooled down enough to be removed from the mould. The injection moulding method is so precise that out of every million elements produced, only about 18 units have to be rejected. Unsold bricks are converted back into granulates and recycled.”
Christian Humberg, 50 Years of the Lego Brick [With 6 Legos]

E.P. Thompson
“The process of industrialization is necessarily painful. It must involve the erosion of traditional patterns of life. But it was carried through with exceptional violence in Britain. It was unrelieved by any sense of national participation in communal effort, such as is found in countries undergoing a national revolution. Its ideology was that of the masters alone. Its messianic prophet was Dr Andrew Ure, who saw the factory system as ‘the great minister of civilization to the terraqueous globe’, diffusing ‘the life-blood of science and religion to myriads… still lying “in the region and shadow of death”.’ But those who served it did not feel this to be so, any more than those ‘myriads’ who were served. The experience of immiseration came upon them in a hundred different forms; for the field labourer, the loss of his common rights and the vestiges of village democracy; for the artisan, the loss of his craftsman’s status; for the weaver, the loss of livelihood and of independence; for the child, the loss of work and play in the home; for many groups of workers whose real earnings improved, the loss of security, leisure and the deterioration of the urban environment.”
E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class

“There are hundreds of miracles within a single machine. Americans calmly explain these with mathematical formulas. Our difficulty is to learn, theirs to appreciate.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

“There are hundreds of miracles within a single machine. Americans calmly explain these with mathematical formulas. Our difficulty is to learn, theirs to appreciate. We Latins, even the most intelligent of us, still count on our fingers and toes. But once we do learn, we shall surpass the Americano, because we understand the spiritual significance of a machine. We see the beauty of combining gas, grease and steel into a powerful, exact movement. We appreciate the material destiny of the universe.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

Erwin Raphael McManus
“Most of us are still in some small way victims of the Industrial Revolution. Whether through our grandparents, our parents, or our own experience, we were raised to believe that our place in life required compliance and conformity rather than creativity and uniqueness. We have been raised in a world where information is deemed far more important than imagination. Adults replaced dreams with discipline when they were finally ready to grow up and be responsible for their lives. Whether this contrast was reinforced on an assembly line, in a cubicle, or in a classroom, the surest path to acceptance in society is accepting standardization. And we more than willingly, relinquish our uniqueness.”
Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

Richie Norton
“The industrial model is gone. People are more than machines.”
Richie Norton

Joseph Henrich
“The assembly of the innovation engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution becomes easier to see once we recognize how the psychology of premodern Europeans had been quietly evolving in the background for at least eight centuries. Of course, there are many economic and geographic factors that matter too, but if there’s a secret ingredient in the recipe for Europe’s collective brain, it’s the psychological package of individualism, analytic orientation, positive-sum thinking, and impersonal prosociality that had been simmering for centuries.”
Joseph Henrich, The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous

Harriet Boyd Hawes
“Of valid economics pre-dating the Power Age (steam and electricity), there remains not a vestige. Of valid economics pre-dating the intensive and extensive use of electricity there will soon exist only rags and tatters. We still have to thank Adam Smith for insisting 'Consumption is the sole end and purpose of production;' but the old form of the law of demand and supply is outmoded, since supply has become practically inexhaustible.”
Harriet Boyd Hawes, Born to Rebel: The Life of Harriet Boyd Hawes

“The factory system is one of the worst and cruelest things ever invented to pamper the rich at the expense of the poor. It fattens them, and melts the flesh off our bones: it clothes them in grand raiment, and bids us shiver in rags: it brings all indulgences within their reach, and kills the industrious creatures whose toil provides them.”
Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna, Helen Fleetwood

“[S]tart at the turn of the last century, in 1901, with the celebration of Detroit’s bicentennial. That was the Detroit that came before--before all the racket that attended the making of the modern world, which happened here first and faster than anywhere else on this planet.”
Jerry Herron

“Everybody in those days was a foreigner, no matter where they were born; as industrial modernization had its way with people and places, no one was native to the transformation of the United States from an agricultural economy to the foremost industrial power in the world--the factory being both the cause and the effect of an act of becoming, the likes of which nobody had ever seen before.”
Jerry Herron

Gregory Clark
“Preindustrial living standards are predictable based on knowledge of disease and environment. Differences in social energy across societies were muted by the Malthusian constraints. They had minimal impacts on living conditions. Since the Industrial Revolution, however, we have entered a strange new world in which economic theory is of little use in understanding differences in income across societies, or the future income in any specific society. Wealth and poverty are a matter of differences in local social interactions that are magnified, not dampened, by the economic system, to produce feast or famine.”
Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World

Kai-Fu Lee
“Everyone has a need to feel a sense of self-worth and self-actualization – that he or she believes his or her existence is meaningful. Unfortunately, the Industrial Revolution wrongfully instilled a social norm that self-worth should primarily come from work ethic – if you work hard, you will be rewarded. But because of AI, jobs based on repetitive tasks will soon be gone forever.

We need to redefine the idea of work ethic for the new workforce paradigm. The importance of a job should not be solely dependent on its economic value but should also be measured by what it adds to society. We should also reassess our notion that longer work hours are the best way to achieve success and should remove the stigma associated with service professions.”
Kai-Fu Lee

Lev Shestov
“Yet, with all his acuteness, it did not occur to him that Europe was not in the least to blame for his disillusionment. Europe had dropped miracles ages ago; she contented herself with ideals. It is we in Russia who will go on confusing miracles with ideals, as if the two were identical, whereas they have nothing to do with each other. As a matter of fact, just because Europe had ceased to believe in miracles, and realised that all human problems resolve down to mere arrangements here on earth, ideas and ideals had been invented. But the Russian bear crept out of his hole and strolled to Europe for the elixir of life, the flying carpet, the seven-leagued shoes, and so on, thinking in all his naïveté that railways and electricity were signs which clearly proved that the old nurse never told a lie in her fairy tales...”
Lev Shestov, All Things are Possible

Jean-Marc Ligny
“A Schönbrunn, les fêtes se suivent et se ressemblent, indifférentes au temps qui passe, au monde qui change, aux moeurs qui évoluent. Elégantes, poudrées, chamarrées, brillant des mille éclats des diamants, des cristaux, de l’argenterie ; évoluant aux pays glissés des valses, menuets et quadrilles ; bruissant de robes de soie, cliquetant de médailles, bourdonnant d’intrigues de cour ; si charmantes, si convenables, si ennuyeuses … Pendant que l’on se pavane, selon un protocole immuable, dans les salons rococo et les jardins au cordeau, les premières locomotives à vapeur ahanent sur les premiers kilomètres de rails, d’énormes machines de fonte et d’acier remplacent des contingents d’ouvriers dans les usines, l’éclairage au gaz arrive dans les théâtres et bientôt dans les rues, on parvient à produire et stocker de l’électricité, Niepce et Daguerre impressionnent les premières plaques photographiques … Des idées nouvelles issues de la Révolution, sur la liberté, l’égalité, les droits de l’homme, s’échafaudent en systèmes et s’enracinent dans les coeurs, un esprit de révolte fermente au centre des villes, au fond des campagnes, au sein des armées, partout le poids écrasant de cette monarchie obsolète devient insupportable…

Franz sait tout cela qui, du haut de ses onze printemps, regarde pavoiser ce beau monde. Boulimique de savoir et d’informations, François lui raconte raconte toutes ses visions dès qu’ils ont l’occasion d’être seuls ; les sociétés qu’il lui décrit sont bien loin de l’atmosphère empesée de Schönbrunn, les gens dont il lui parle sont bien plus vivants que ces momies figées dans leurs convenances. Aussi le petit duc pose-t’il sur cette fête - sa fête, pourtant - le regard blasé, impatient et las de celui qui sait qu’il assiste à la lente agonie d’un système sclérosé, mais sans pouvoir y changer quoi que ce soit, ni avancer ni retarder l’échéance.”
Jean-Marc Ligny, La Dame Blanche

Steve Sailer
“The progressive stack is basically a measure of how much you aren’t like, say, James Watt, the developer of the modern steam engine, the key invention of the Industrial Revolution. Watt was white, male, Protestant, straight, rich, mechanically skilled, and a scientific genius, so you’d better not be.”
Steve Sailer

Ken Poirot
“Decades from now, Americans will look back at this time, when Data Science was at its infancy, and liken its societal impact to that of the Industrial and Technological Revolutions.”
Ken Poirot

Arnold Hauser
“The essence of the Industrial Revolution consists in the triumph of this principle over the medieval and mercantilist regulations. Modern economy first begins with the introduction of the principle of laissez-faire, and the idea of individual freedom first succeeds in establishing itself as the ideology of this economic liberalism. These connections do not, of course, prevent both the idea of labour and the idea of freedom from developing into independent ethical forces and from often being interpreted in a really idealistic sense. But to realize how small a part was played by idealism in the rise of economic liberalism, it is only necessary to recall that the demand for freedom of trade was directed, above all, against the skilled master, in order to take away from him the only advantage he had over 55 the mere contractor. Adam Smith himself was still far from claiming such idealistic motives for the justification of free competition; on the contrary, he saw in human selfishness and the pursuit of personal interests the best guarantee for the smooth functioning of the economic organism and the realization of the general weal. The whole optimism of the enlightenment was bound up with this belief in the selfregulating power of economic life and the automatic adjustment of conflicting interests; as soon as this began to disappear, it became more and more difficult to identify economic freedom with the interests of the general weal and to regard free competition as a universal blessing.”
Arnold Hauser, The Social History of Art: Volume 3: Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism

Joel Mokyr
“Nations and their economies grow in large part because they increase their collective knowledge about nature and their environment, and because they are able to direct this knowledge toward productive ends. But such knowledge does not emerge as a matter of course. While most societies that ever existed were able to generate some technological progress, it typically consisted of one-off limited advances that had limited consequences, soon settled down, and the growth it generated fizzled out. In only one case did such an accumulation of knowledge become sustained and self-propelling to the point of becoming explosive and changing the material basis of human existence more thoroughly and more rapidly than anything before in the history of humans on this planet. That one instance occurred in Western Europe during and after the Industrial Revolution.”
Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy

Richie Norton
“Humans will stop acting like robots (cashiers) vs self-checkout and work will be strategic and anything that doesn’t require repetition. Ironically, humans will become less robotic (industrial revolution turned us into robots) and we will become more artful, thoughtful and creative...because we have to...bots will do all else.”
Richie Norton

Naomi Klein
“We must always remember that the fossil fuel era began in violent kleptocracy, with those two foundational thefts of stolen people and stolen land that kick-started a new age of seemingly endless expansion. The route to renewal runs through reckoning and repair: reckoning with our past and repairing relationships with the people who paid the steepest price of the first industrial revolution.”
Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal

Abhijit Naskar
“Industry is not the sign of advancement, equality is.”
Abhijit Naskar, Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism

D.H. Lawrence
“I consider this is really the heart of England,’ said Clifford to Connie, as he sat there in the dim February sunshine.
‘Do you?’ she said, seating herself in her blue knitted dress, on a stump by the path.
‘I do! this is the old England, the heart of it; and I intend to keep it intact.’
‘Oh yes!’ said Connie. But, as she said it she heard the eleven-o’clock hooters at Stacks Gate colliery. Clifford was too used to the sound to notice.”
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

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