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Sunday, September 21, 2014

let there be industrial revolutions


LET THERE BE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS

Some people, such as myself, hate mathematics with a purple passion and have a hundred and one arguments why they never have any use for the crap if they ain’t an engineer ( I theorize your brain has to be wired a certain why to either visualize or appreciate higher math ).  Others, having been subjected to dull witted and dull spoken asswhore public school teachers, had history massacred for them and now hate the subject with a purple passion.  I can understand that, and I also think your mind has to be wired a certain way to appreciate dissecting and connecting and enjoying the nuances of social studies.  To me, it is a joy to always find another piece of the puzzle trying to see the rhythms of mankind and society.  To you that could care less, I do apologize.  Although I would think that settling in to become an elite lifetime subscriber Bison Loyal Minion, one would pretty much figure out the kind of stuff I love yakking on about ( for those wondering what all this has to do with survivalism, you can’t fathom the possible future without knowing the past ).  I’m starting to read Ronald Wright’s “What Is America” last night and the thing is proving to be simply fascinating AND well written which is always like waking up Christmas morning at 14 years old and discovering Santa left an anatomically correct sex doll. 

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The Industrial Revolution, in short, was realized by Incan gold.  This is nothing new, Karl Marx said as such ( not that I had ever heard it, such was my successful early anti-communist indoctrination in the military-“kill a commie for mommy” ).  But besides that, New World food crops made it possible.  The New World made the New World Order, as the author blithely puts it ( using the Order as in the Industrial Age, not the new One World Government ).  Here’s the deal.  Spain introduced smallpox into the New World.  Upwards to 95% of the populations of vast agricultural empires ( in North, as well as South America ) were wiped out by this epidemic.  The way cleared for Whitey ( it is postulated that the English North American east coast settlements were only possible as the new arrivals found abandoned corn storage from dead villages, then moved to surviving ones to steal more.  In an effort to stop the rapine the settlers were taught to grow their own ), conquest was pretty easy ( superior metal was negligible- imagine a lone high tech tank surrounded in a field by a legion of peasants each holding a rock.  They will eventually win with minimal loses to themselves as they clog up the treads and fill in the barrel, etc., then stone the starving inhabitants upon leaving the confines of their fortress ). 

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Gold flooded into Spain, and they decided that in the name of God they were going to kick the scrawny ass of every non-believer/not enough of a believer country around them.  Hey, God gave them all this gold, right?  They were NOT going to waste such a gift.  This continual war brought the continent into an arms race and the northern countries advanced their armaments industry. To the point that advances in metal working and better tolerances paved the way for the eventual machines needed to build other machines for industry.  Yet, that alone wouldn’t have been enough.  To get to the point that machines could feed factory workers, you needed a food surplus to prime that water pump.  The New World both supplied sugar, a very affordable calorie source from the Caribbean that fueled factory workers with the extra calories needed ( and you thought Americans with soda were the original “sugar diet” practitioners ), and supplied new crops that fed more people from the same land ( that would be corn and potatoes ).  Tobacco paid for settlements later on, but food surplus was what met with the first machines ( cannon, muskets ) to allow coal to even have a purpose besides dirty fuel for homes.  Think that set of circumstances can be duplicated after the collapse, even if there was another fuel supply?

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8 comments:

  1. No, the circumstances can not be duplicated - but they might not have to be. The advantages of machinery is now wide spread and well understood. Pistons, gears, levers, pulleys, winches, etc. are all well realized as concepts now, AND such machinery has been run off of human muscle power before, during early industrial revolution - it will be again as internal combustion and electric engines get too rare/expensive to run. I think we will end up seeing undreamed of efficiencies implemented on our down slope- But it _will_ be a down slope all the same, the only question of how steep and how bumpy and if the human race will pull it together enough to get out of the egg and into space for the resources there before we hit a bottom so deep we .

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    1. Machines were well understood long before the Industrial Revolution ( DeVinchi-helicopters ). High energy smelting for metallurgy was the hurdle, for one.

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  2. Actually, I do think the above set of circumstances can be replicated (fuel source not withstanding). Instead of small pox, insert bio-engineered ebola. Kill off a couple of continents worth of people and enslave the survivors to cultivate the land and feed the conqueror and we're right back where we started. Instead of Indian tribes in America you have African tribes to infect (they have always been put down historically).

    -Novice

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    1. You don't have to be a tinfoil hat wearer to know what a great idea die-off is to the elite. So, yes, a Southern/Caribbean slave plantation economy is feasible. But anything above that would be short lived and from salvage and in 500 years nothing would change.

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  3. Anyone saying that small pox was spread on purpose should keep in mind it had a 30% mortality rate for whites. Ebola has a 50% mortality rate for whites that caught it in Africa and you see how many want to keep it out of the US.

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    1. There are written records on the advice to spread the pox from infected bed linen.

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  4. Compelling. But bad theory. They Europeans, because of their own peculiarities had really gotten into clock making and clock like automata. The English were already pretty good draftsmen, as were other Europeans, but the English wound up being more important.

    The linkage is in the commercial revolution started by the Dutch (and of course the Dutch were competing with/ but also part of Spain at the time). It was this commercial revolution, rather than Spain's mostly wasted gold, that started to make Dutch, and then copycat Englishman's, labor expensive. The main possible effect of the Spanish gold was likely to slow up the Dutch so that the English won the raise to dominance.

    The firearms revolution also was in advance of the Spanish gold and more correctly should be seen as the first European steps toward a chemically powered economy.

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    1. Inflation from the gold arriving allowed the wages to rise. The firearms revolution was a long drawn out process. The point was war lit a fire under the ass of a better, advancing, improving armaments industry which eventually led to the needed improvements.

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