A New Revolution

Harari mentions there are many upheavals in human society that were brought about by the Industrial Revolution. He lists many of these including industrial time, urbanization and the empowerment of the common people. On pg. 355 he describes “the most momentous social revolution that ever befell humankind: the collapse of the family and the local community and their replacement by the state and the market.” Before the Industrial Revolution, the daily life of humans was mainly confined to the nuclear family and the local community and relied very little on state and market. Individuals relied mostly on their nuclear family and would typically work in the family business. All the needs of an individual were typically provided by the nuclear family, and if they couldn’t directly provide what was needed then the local community would step up and aid the family. After the Industrial Revolution, the nuclear family and community began dissolving. As state and market gained more power, they could begin offering individuals the same services that a family could provide. This was extremely appealing to many people that had abusive families or no families at all. It meant that people could survive separate from their families and not worry about death or despair falling upon them.

As we move forward in the future of humans, I think historians should consider that we are currently in a new and different revolution that differs from the Cognitive, Agricultural and Industrial revolutions. We have become the masters of the planet and are almost at a God like status. We can create and destroy life and change anything and everything to fit our needs and desires. Only the surface of genetic engineering has been scratched and there is still a lot more for us to explore and learn about ourselves and other species that inhabit the Earth. Documenting these changes will help us as we move forward to understand the direction we are headed as humans.