Production Revolution

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Leonid Grinin:

"The Production Revolution can be defined as a radical turn in the world productive forces connected with the transition to the new principle of management not only in technologies but in the interrelations of society and nature. The difference of a production revolution from various technical overturns is that it touches not only some separate essential branches but the economy on the whole. And finally, the new trends of management become dominant. Such an overturn involves in the economical circulation some fundamentally new renewable or long inexhaustible resources, and these resources must be widespread enough within most territories; it rises labor productivity and/or land carrying capacity (the yield of useful product per unit of area) by orders of magnitude; this is also expressed in the creation of several orders greater volume of production and the demographic revolution (or the change of the demographic reproduction type). As a result, the most powerful impulse for qualitative reorganization of the whole social structure is generated.

Although the production revolution begins in one or a few places but as it signifies the turn of the world productive forces, it represents a long lasting process gradually involving more and more societies and territories.

As a result

a) the societies where it took place become progressive in the technological, economical, demographical, cultural and often military aspects;

b) the break with new production system is an exception while joining it becomes a rule.

Each production revolution has its own cycle. We can speak about two qualitative phases and a separating them phase of expansion of new production principle. The latter can be also regarded as a sort of a long period of distribution and diffusion of innovations.

Each phase of a production revolution represents a major breakthrough in production.

During the first phase the new production principle hotbeds are formed; those sectors that concentrate the principally new production elements grow in strength. Then the qualitatively new elements diffuse to more societies and territories.

In those places where the most promising production version has got formed and adequate social conditions have appeared the transition to the second phase of production revolution occurs, which marks the flourishing of the new production principle. Now underdeveloped societies catch up with the production revolution and become more actively engaged in it. Thus, we confront a certain rhythm of the interchange of qualitative and quantitative aspects."



Leonid Grinin:

" A general scheme of two qualitative phases of production revolution within our theory looks as follows:

  • Agrarian Revolution:
    • the first phase – transition to primitive hoe agriculture and animal husbandry;
    • the second phase – transition to intensive agriculture (especially to irrigation or non-irrigation plough one).
  • Industrial Revolution:
    • the first phase starts in the 15th and 16th centuries with the vigorous development of seafaring and trade, mechanization on the basis of water engine, the deepening division of labor and other processes.
    • The second phase is the industrial breakthrough of the 18th century and the first third of the 19th century which is connected with the introduction of various machines and steam energy.
  • Information-Scientific Revolution:
    • the first phase began in the 1940s and 1950s with breakthroughs in automation, power engineering, production of synthetic materials, but especially in the development of electronic means of control, communication and information.
    • However, it appears possible to speak about its forthcoming second phase (see, e.g., Marahov 1984: 314; Grinin 2003a) which may start within a few decades


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