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Understanding scientific growth, industrialisation, recession and depression


PHOTO: The Week

PHOTO: The Week

The growth of Western education (Western social sciences – economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, etc.) on the one hand and the preparation for the scientific revolution on the other hand in the West, are two different phenomena. The scientific revolution in the West and Asia came after 2000-3000 years of evolutionary learning. Western social sciences had their formal beginning in the period between the beginning of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century (DeFleur et al., 1977).The Western industrial revolution began in England in the period 1770-1850 (Gregg, 1971). The United Kingdom was part of ancient Gaul. Ancient Gaul was harnessed into the Roman Empire about 55 B. C. (Carrington and Jackson, 1954; and Brooke, 1968). Western social sciences did not predict the Western Industrial Revolution (IR). Also, Western social sciences have not been able to explain what brought about the IR (DeFleur, et, al., 1977).That is, the social sciences still do not understand the modern industrialisation process and why it started in England. This article is written to explain how Western and Asian economies which were like Africa’s of today, for thousands of years, became industrialised. This article also explains the related problems of recession and depression and how Nigeria can promote industrialisation as solution to recession and depression.

The region now occupied by Western Europe (including France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, etc.) had enjoyed over a 400-year peaceful reign of the Roman Empire when the empire broke up in 406 A. D. (Carrington and Jackson, 1954). In the absence of the central authority provided by the empire, the islands of England were invaded by many tribes. The islands later metamorphosed into United England in the early 10th century and England and Scotland formed the Union of Great Britain in 1625. During the period of over 1000 (one thousand) years, the productivity of the people in the region was reflected by primitive tools like hoe, axe and draught-oxen (Davies, 1969). The English productivity was very low and seemed unchanging for centuries. In the 12th century, every rich man in England built himself a castle. Many people in England during the period were starving. Every man robbed another, the church was not spared. All tilled the soil but yields were very poor (Trevelyan, 1948). By 1900, England had become industrialised and most of the people worked for weekly wages. The population was about 36 million, about 80 per cent of the people then lived in towns and 20 per cent in rural areas – the reverse of the situation in 1700. England had become a land of manufacturers (Trevelyan, 1948). What transformed agricultural England into an industrialised England in about 2000?

The Chinese claimed that their origin dates back to 4000 B.C., but more objective source suggests that there was indeed an advanced culture by 1000 B.C. (Eberhard, 1950). China was ruled by kings till 1911 when the nation became a republic (Stokes and Stokes, 1975). The tussle for power and eternal aggression continued after the nation became a republic. China was under foreign domination for a long time. Indeed, it was the defeat of Japan in WW II that forced Japan to withdraw from China. After Japan withdrew from China, the Nationalists and the Chinese Communists Party(CCP) led by Mao Zedung had to fight it out. The CCP won and it and other minor democratic parties formed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The Nationalists then withdrew to Taiwan. This is the origin of China and Taiwan as separated brothers and sisters.

In 1949, the Chinese economy was in chaos. The Russians on whom the Chinese had depended for a long time had quarreled with them and they had stripped Manchuria, the most built-up city of everything. The transport system was in ruins and the currency worthless. The Chinese used the resource they have in abundance, people. ‘Let the people walk on two legs,’ said Mao Zedung, the Chinese leader, ‘let the native skills and local materials supplement modern technology’ (Stokes and Stokes, 1975). Mao probably meant to link more directly learning activities in educational institutions and working/learning in artisans’ and craftsmen’s work settings. Everyone in China (then divided into communes) worked together. The Great Leap, 1958-1961 was also based on the principle of the educated and the traditional people working together. That was how the Chinese having drifted during the period 1000 B. C.-1949, 2949 years, commenced accelerated scientific growth and industrialisation to become the fastest industrialising nation in the world.

Our historical analyses above confirm that the industrialisation process took European and Asian nations about 2000-3000 years. It must be a painstaking process. So, when one recollects that, encouraged by Western social scientists and institutions and African intelligentsia/intellectuals, African nations have been implementing International Technology Transfer (ITT) and begging Westerners to come and invest in Africa, for decades, one wonders what they intent to achieve. With African governments, encouraged by social scientists and social scientists-turned engineers and scientists, emphasising the erection roads and bridges and talking of infrastructure deficits, one wonders what they hope to achieve. Nations achieve industrialisation through learning – education and training. The U.S. emphasised education and training quite early and achieved industrialisation and a world power status in just about 300 (three hundred) years. See our blog [] and read relevant articles to understanding the human development process.

Nigeria and other oil-producing developing nations have been experiencing the boom-and-burst phenomenon associated with global crude petroleum prices. The capitalist world has also been experiencing the boom-and-burst phenomenon associated with capitalism. Large difference between the intrinsic values(V)and prices (P)of assets is the bubble that destabilises economies. The V of an asset is the cost of material, knowledge and skills and time spent in making the product. The seller decides on prices, based on desired profit margins. The true inflation pressure in an economy or the destabilising factor (I) is P/V. Stock markets are the principal places for promoting speculation in capitalistic economies. That explains why it is the stock market that collapses first when recession/depression begins. Increased output (productivity) is the true antidote to inflation. That is, increased productivity always reduces prices. The fall in oil prices a few years ago was caused by large output in the production of shale oil in the U.S. So, recession sets in (the bubble bursts) when P/V reaches a critical value, to reduce the difference between price and intrinsic value of assets in an economic system.

Our theory of employment suggests that an agricultural economy with high propensity for importing luxury goods like Nigeria’s is perpetually in depression. According to our theory, any economy may be in or close to one of three special positions. Position I, the most undesirable one, is that of stagflation (depression). It is characterised by low employment (mass unemployment), low productivity and high inflation. Position II is the most desirable one. It is characterised by optimum employment, optimum productivity and minimal inflation. Position III is theoretical. It is characterised by full employment, low productivity and high inflation. Our scientific theory suggests that only one thing must be done to move an economy from the undesirable position: 1. Towards The Most Desirable Position 2. It Is, Mass Employment.

1 Comment
  • Ogbonnaya Okike

    What on earth does the writer wants to prove or explain? First is United States of America 300 years? This Newspaper (The Guardian) should try to have a little insight in some articles before putting them to print.