Quotable (#72)

From Carlota Perez’s Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (2002, p.159):

When reading the accounts of the 1870s and 1880s written by those who lived through them, one is inevitably struck by the similarities between the evolution of compound engines and ships and that of chips and computers, between the process of generation of a world economy through transcontinental transport and telegraph and the present process of globalization through telecommunications and the Internet. By making the relevant distinctions between that context and this one, the power of those technologies and of these, the worldviews of that time and our own, we can learn to distinguish the common and the unique in all such processes. The same happens when reading the glowing accounts of economic success in the 1920s and the similar writings about the ‘new economy’ in the 1990s. If one is willing to accept recurrence as a frame of reference and the uniqueness of each period as the object of study, then the power of this sort of interpretation comes forth very strongly.

(The entire book is, of course, a masterpiece.)

4 thoughts on “Quotable (#72)

  1. The railroad is commonly thought to be the underlying cause of the Mexican Revolution.

    “One of the results of this period of enormous economic expansion was a significant growth in Mexico’s rural and urban middle classes. These included educated professionals such as lawyers and journalists; small commercial ranchers and farmers; middling merchants, shop-owners, and traders; and self-employed artisans and other commodity producers.”


Leave a Reply