Green Planet Blues: Environmental Politics from Stockholm to Tyoto

By Ken Conca; Geoffrey D. Dabelko et al. | Go to book overview

DENNIS PIRAGES


9
Global Technopolitics

Technology, Revolutions,
and social Paradigms

Many scholars interpret the last decades of the twentieth century as a departure from established patterns of social evolution and the beginning of a period of revolutionary change in mature industrial societies. 27 The term revolution has a myriad of meanings and is often used loosely. Here it refers to large-scale discontinuities in the structural and value realms of societies. There have been only two such major revolutionary transformations in world history that have impacted the majority of the earth's population. The first large-scale revolutionary transformation of human culture was the agricultural revolution, which apparently began simultaneously in several different places in the Middle East around 8000 B.C. and then subsequently spread slowly outward to the rest of the world. The second was the industrial revolution, which began to gather momentum in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Western Europe and is currently spreading spasmodically to the more remote areas of the world.

Both of these previous revolutions were driven by significant technological innovations and related ecological changes, which created social surplus, or capital over and above what was needed for subsistence. 28 The agricultural revolution

____________________
Excerpted from Dennis Pirages, Global Technopolitics (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1989). Reprinted with permission of the author.

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