Michael Dearing

To put it bluntly, your view of capitalism is naive. It is true that global GDP started growing exponentially in the late 18th century thanks to advances in technology. But equally important is that most workers who directly contributed to that growth through their hard work didn’t actually benefit from it until nearly a century later.

Every great economic breakthrough starts by destroying the now-obsolete part of the old economy. It takes decades before the economy restructures itself around the new technology and starts adding jobs that are at least as good as the ones that have been lost at the beginning. Turning the economic breakthrough from a crisis to a net benefit for everybody also requires major political reforms, which in the past usually happened at gunpoint.

The industrial revolution led to a wave of revolts throughout Europe in mid-1800s which resulted in social reforms. The socialist and communist movements were founded at that time.

Another cycle of technological progress resulted in the Great Depression in 1930s and led to World War II. The political reforms which greatly contributed to the post-war rise of the middle class have been mostly dismantled during 1980s and we are about a decade away from the bloody part of another technological cycle. This time, with nuclear weapons ready to launch.

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