"So we handed in our craftsman and artisanal skills to help build the one-size-fits-all economy and the consumables that fill it up. It was the only way all of us would be able to own everything. It meant we had to trade in the very personal touch of a craftsman and become part of the machine itself. By becoming part of the machine we were able to have more. We were handed everything earlier generations could only dream about, a standard of living beyond that of gentries and kings when we take into account the upgraded living standards we all acquired. But there was a price to pay: we had a job to do. Our job was to help churn out the items that built the industrial world and to buy the items we churned out. We had to become consumers.
The industrial revolution didn’t come with a set of terms and conditions; however, there were some unspoken rules that weren’t covered in the text book. The textbook was so focused on how to make widgets and money, it forgot about why any of that mattered. We abided by these terms for the best part of 200 years. The two most important terms were: We’ll enable a more materialistic lifestyle but You’ll need to follow the rules set by the owners of the capital.
This was a simple way of saying that our individual creativity can’t compete with the industrialists’ aggregated efficiency. It’s something that goes against the basic human spirit — our need for collaboration, creativity and nuance, which is imbedded deeply into our past and, thankfully, our future.
Consumers and creators were two different classes in the industrial world. The industrialists owned the factors of production. The ability to create independently was taken away from workers and reengineered so it belonged only to the capital class. Without saying it, the deal was: ‘You let us design, make, distribute and advertise and in exchange we’ll give you a higher standard of living.’ They left out the bit about keeping all the profits for themselves. This economic model worked well until we reached the point where we owned everything we needed. But now the deal has entered its final phases and the gig is up. The industrial revolution is putting itself out of business. I wonder if they had a planned-obsolescence in mind."
Trechos retirados de "The Great Fragmentation : why the future of business is small" de Steve Sammartino.