Many people try to describe the changes we are currently experiencing as different kinds of revolutions. Arising out of this, we got used to believe that revolution is to be connected with a rapid change of political systems where a country transfers from one state to another. However, revolutions either political or economical have emerged through human history varied in time and goals. The outcomes of those revolutions greatly contributed to the development of politics and culture. Anyway, if revolution is regarded as sharp transition from one quality to another, then rapid alterations in the field of science and industry could be also referred to such a phenomenon as revolution. The technological and scientific advancement in the current world has rather similar features of the pre-modern revolutions in terms of its peculiar features.
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The concept of revolution
Before getting down to the consideration of different types of revolutions, it is necessary to define what revolution is and what general features could be assigned to it. Aristotle singles out three types of revolutions:
- “the changes that result when one regime replaces another;
- the transfer of political power to an individual or group within the regime;
- the radical change, imperceptible and gradual, or sudden and violent that alters the essential character of an established regime” (Stanlis pp. 203).
The third type could be also referred to the revolution in the social and cultural sphere, including customs, traditions and even manners. Anyway, revolution is usually used in the social and political sense implying a kind of sudden action that looks more like a catastrophe. Reclus (1891) in her article Evolution and Revolution refers to this notion as something rapid and chaotic that reveals horror and astonishment. However, her research was reduced to the understanding of this concept in the light of political events pertaining to an eternal struggle between the social classes. Most scholars define this notion in terms of the state events and compare it with rebellion and the infringement of the order. But the modern revolutions are characterized as the global phenomena thus covering mostly the changes in technological and scientific field (Parker 1999 pp. 3).
The Scientific Revolution: its causes and effects
The Scientific revolutions and Industrial revolutions often occurred throughout the human history. The actual reason of them was the social changes and social needs emergence. Hence, most of the scientific revolutions are the reaction on the political and economical regime. Only society has been able to define the main features of the revolution changes (Sarkar 2006 pp. 760). If to consider the general features of revolution, it resembles much the features of scientific revolution. Hence, the most obvious trait that could be surely attached to the rapid alterations in the scientific field is that “Revolution originates as the major discoveries” (Sarkar 2006 pp). This definition is quite exact and may be easily attributed to the given type of revolution. In this respect, since revolution always changes the world views of people, it should be stressed that great scientific revolutions appeared in the world create new forms of lives. Moreover, Scientific Revolution is the most influential historical and cultural event being the result of human mind and intelligence. Arising out of this, the scientific progress could be also referred as to the advancement of ideas and thinking (Shapin 1996 pp. 2). Treating the ideas in the theoretical space people were able to affect the future course of history. The rapidness of the thought was the basis of the Scientific Advancement being innovative and unique. No matter how strange it might sound, scientific revolution is always a protest against the settled traditions of life so that it can be easily compared with political and social revolutions.
The Industrial Revolution: it’s understanding
The Industrial Revolution has also affected many spheres of life. The development in industry and production showed in what way the government, the capitalists and the workers were influenced by the progress. The history of the industrial development shows that this phenomenon was large-scale and was characterized as the global transition of the world to the capitalistic system. The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century had the most significant impact on the human consciousness since it involves the discontinuity between the feudal past and the industrial future. Like the Scientific progress, the Industrial dramatic development was marked not by the economic growth but the introduction of numerous innovations in the production field. Consequently, innovation triggered the sudden rise of the industry and population income (Hudson, 1998 pp. 3). In addition, since any kind of revolution is spontaneous and unpredictable, the causes for it are of the same nature. Social changes were the basis for the global process. In this respect, the production rise might also result in accidental combination of events. On the other hand, there is an assumption that the Industrial Revolution is not a sudden event but a consistent flow of changes. It was just the next chain of the revolutionary events (More, 2000 pp. 1). Regarding that, this type of revolution is the outcome of the past revolutions thus rejecting the theory of chaotic changes. Two different opinions constitute the fact that progress in industry was a complicated process.
After a thorough examination of two revolutions and study of their causes and effects, it is worth mentioning that the current changes in different field are progressing fast so that the modern development could be easily assigned as the process of revolution. Such an assumption is explained by the similarity of features and effects on the society that take their roots in the history of revolutions. It is reasonable to state that nowadays we live in the era of technological advancement that has the traits of both the pre-modern revolution and the current revolutions.
Can the technological changes be referred as to the technological revolution?
The young generation lives in the period of incredible scientific and technological changes so that it could perceive the actual process of dramatic technological advancement that began in the second half of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, the scientist professional could assure that the world has been captured by the inventions of the sophisticated technology and cybernetics (Casper 2003 pp. 281). As far as the technological advancement started its expansion, the world was introduced with computers, mobile phones, and the Internet. The vivid changes were due to the establishment of the international relations and their cooperation. This process also has greatly influenced the social life of people its well-being both positively and negatively (Steil et al pp. 41). The introduction of the nuclear power and antibiotics made the world society realize their actual possibilities of the planet thus promoting it to the upper stage. Those inventions were gradually preparing people to greater innovations and therefore they did have the opportunity to witness the current technological progress that does exist.
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Tracing the development of the scientific and industrial revolution, there could be noticed the similar stages of development and similar causes and effects of the revolutions. Despite the constant progress in the sphere of science and technology, the invention of the internet served the started point of acceleration of the research in numerous fields of study. It greatly influenced the political and economical life of many countries and contributed to the establishment of new approach in education and science. In this way, the Internet managed to connect the technology and culture, humans and machines. It fostered the processes of the information exchange and enhanced the international communication. Finally, only with the help of the electronic network, the technological development managed to reach its peak.
Taking into consideration that scientific-technologic revolution taking places earlier the expansion of the World Wide Web, it should stated that we in the era of “revolution within revolution”. If so, the world is on the rise of the development since the result of these revolutions have a great impact on the world views and outlooks. Thus, technology and the internet in particular completely altered the way of lives of societies in the highly developed countries. Considering that, there has appeared a tight interaction of between the machines and people. For instance, we cannot imagine our life without a cell phone or the car; the current youth cannot imagine life without internet and computer. The fact that we live in the epicenter of the revolution does not allow us to perceive its actual effect thus giving rise to the automotive culture (Volti 2006 pp 22).
Analyzing the results of the Industrial and Scientific revolutions, the current progress should be gradually transferred into another revolution that would change the international outlook once again. Such a consistency is rather logical if referring back to history where one revolution was the ground for the other.
Casper, M. J. (2003). Synthetic Planet: chemical politics and the hazards of modern life. UK: Routledge.
Hudson, P. (1998). The industrial revolution. UK: Oxford University Press US.
More, C. (2000). Understanding the industrial revolution. London: Routledge.
Parker, N. (1999). Revolutions and history: an essay in interpretation. US: Wiley-Blackwell.
Reclus Elisee (1891). Evolution and Revolution. London: W. Reeves,7th ed.
Sarkar, S., Pfeifer, J. (2006). The philosophy of science: an encyclopedia. London: Routledge.
Shapin, S. (1996). The scientific revolution. US: University of Chicago Press.
Stanlis, P. J. (1991). Edmund Burke: the enlightenment and revolution US: Transaction Publishers.
Steil, B., Victor, D. G. Nelson, R.R. Council on Foreign Relations.(2002). Technological innovation and economic performance. US: Princeton University Press.
Volti, R. (2006). Cars and Culture: The Life Story of a Technology. US: JPU Press.