Essay No. 158:
The Industrial Society Has Reached Its Logical End: It is debatable proposition. According to the proposition, the industrial society has achieved what it is capable of and further expansion is not possible. The proposition assumes it to be static in time to come. Another version of the proposition is that the industrial society has attained the zenith in the provision of latest conveniences of life and is further incapacitated to enhance the pace of these.
One may say that the proposition suffers from vagueness. There is no doubt the fact that the industrial society has made maximum growth and expansion in the US and the West European countries. The possibility of its further expansion cannot be ruled out. The R & D is going on uninterruptedly in the industrialized countries, opening further avenues of development and expansion.
The rate of growth is going to be high, though owing to recession there could be temporary meltdown. The economy in the developed countries runs through a state of perpetual expansion. It is likely to generate high growth, despite a few setbacks in the form of the exhaustion of certain resources like oil, iron and other minerals.
The developed countries are working on the formulation of an alternative strategy to discover technology, minimizing the use of oil to keep the machine in motion. One may however, say that the working and quality of machinery based on new technology may not be comparable with the one driven by oil. During the Second World War, there was shortage of petrol in India.
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The vehicles were switched over to the use of coal gas. The transport did not come to a halt. The deficiency in one field could be overcome by a new discovery. The cycle would ever remain in a state of movement. The industrial economy would move from one lower to a higher end. It would not stagnate though it could be invaded by secular stagnation for certain period of time.
The industrial economy in the underdeveloped countries is already in a low key on account of certain varied constraints. The industrial economy in poor countries is to grow in time to come to provide the benefit of higher living standard to the poor. It cannot be assumed to have come to its logical end. It is to grow and expand though at a tortoise’s pace.
The magnitude of poverty must decrease. So it is wrong to assume that the industrial economy has come to its logical end. No limits can be set to the future expansion of the industrial economy in the western countries. The day it comes to a halt would be the day of mourn.