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French Revolution

2020-03-20 16:35:54.269497+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

It's generally well accepted that the introduction of agriculture lowers the standard of living for a society. Hunter-gatherer societies have an amazing amount of leisure time to the amount of time necessary to provide for survival. Introduce agriculture, and the population density can go way up (and life spans go up a little), but suddenly rather than working 2-3 hours a day, people have to work 10-12 hours to survive.

And for the large underclass it's a Malthusian existence: Have a good year or three for crops? Population rises, quality of life goes down. Have a famine, or a plague? People die, horribly, but the next few years have a higher standard of living, there's more to go around.

Of course there's also generally an upper-class that spends their time building big fancy palaces, or churches, and experimenting with high fashion, all while convincing the lower classes that the other guy's lower classes wanna steal their grain so they should go fight.

Then comes the Industrial Revolution. It happens in England, and suddenly there's a rising tide that lifts all boats. It spreads, and eventually we get into the 20th Century and see even industrialists like Henry Ford realizing that 8, even 6, hours a day of work is where you get optimum output from humans.

There are a lot of theories about why it happened, and why it happened in England, but some of the most credible ones revolve around the French Revolution scaring the British Aristocracy absolutely shitless, and so causing them to spread their wealth around a little bit more.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about guillotines recently, and if you've got 15 minutes this 3 parter is a good refresher on something that didn't help France much, but might have brought the middle class to the rest of the world...

[ related topics: Religion Interactive Drama Movies Work, productivity and environment Automobiles Boats Machinery Fashion ]

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