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The Seventy Year Industrial Revolution Cycle

Think that the internet boom was anything out of the ordinary? Think again. Since around 1500, the western world has had "industrial revolutions" about once every 70 years. We anticipate the next one around 2060. Tell your children and grandchildren that. Historically, these included:

1500s The Discovery (of the New World) Revolution

1570s The Commercial Revolution, that led to the formation of limited liability corporations such as the Dutch and English East India companies.

1640s The Artisan Revolution of small scale manufacturers. This also caused the Dutch Tulip Bubble a few years earlier. (Holland was ahead of England in those days.)

1710s The Agricultural Revolution led in England by Jethro Tull. This caused the South Sea Bubble in England, and the Mississippi Valley Bubble in France, around the end of the decade.

1780s Industrial Revolution. Enough said.

1850s Railroad Revolution. It caused a decade-long depression in the U.S. that brought about the Civil War.

1920s Radio (and Car) Revolution.  The advent of assembly-line mass production was followed by another decade-long depression in the U.S. (and the rest of the world) that led to World War II.

1990s Internet Revolution. The tech boom fell short of its intended goals, and the resulting bubbles in tech and real estate caused massive global economic dislocations. Central bank policy delayed the onset of a depression for about a decade.

None of these were "New Eras."

A true "new era" comes along once in the average millenium, not once in the average lifetime. In the past 2500 years, the "new eras" were represented by

500 B.C. Victory of the Greek city-states (and Socratic and Platonic ideals) over Asian (Persian) despotism.

500 A.D. The Fall of Rome, and the plunging of the western world into the Dark Ages.

1500 A..D. The Discovery of the New World, and the onset of periodic "industrial revolutions."

And the next one? Estimated time of arrival, 2500 A.D. And its consequences? According to Winston Churchill:

"The whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will fall into the abyss of a New Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by light of perverted science."

Do not wish for a "new era."