The Technology of Nations
In 1776, the Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith wrote the masterpiece “The Wealth of Nations” – essentially, “Exploring the nature and causes of the wealth of peoples.” Coincidentally, the Declaration of Independence of the United States was adopted in a similar way. years that makes American colonies independent and therefore no longer are part of the British Empire.
Since then, America has come to dominate the former British Empire in almost every aspect of human activity, with the possible exception of social security. In the figurative sense of the word, the Yankees met Dr. Smith, who believed in the free market and argued that “capitalism” would benefit humanity more than any other economic structure. He laid this foundation at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and laid the foundations of the modern economy.
Smith argued for the “invisible hand” and why monopolies should be opposed and inappropriate and unrestricted government regulations or interference in the market and industry. He argued that a reasonable allocation of resources was impossible when States dominated and intervened too much.
At that time, American farmers could grow cotton, but did not process it. It must be shipped to England, where it is then imported into the United States as a finished product. If you understand that this decision is not related to the lack of computing power, you will appreciate Smith’s argument that the market should be free.
His talking points were clear and influential; they offered the economy the same level of support as Isaac Newton’s “The Beginnings of Mathematics” for physics. Or in our time – bill gates’ windows in the information economy.
Reading Smith’s book and understanding the time frame in which it was written, you can appreciate the intellectual rigor of this work. He noted that before technology took over the world en masse, all countries could compete on an equal footing for agricultural productivity. The reason for this was the lack of division of labor in any system of subsistence farming in the world. The farmer does everything on the farm and in most cases is not an expert.
In addition to fertile land, rain and other factors that could help farmers, all farmers, from Africa to plantations in Alabama, the level of productivity was similar. Why? At that time there was no specialization in agriculture.
Fast forward to the industrial revolution. The British Empire became the engine of wealth creation through automation. It was a typical period of unprecedented human productivity that led to the creation of great wealth in the empire. Technology not only helped speed up the process, but also contributed to the division of labor.
Interestingly, Mr. Smith noted that in addition to agriculture, where productivity was low due to the lack of division of labor, other industries were doing well. And in these industries there were organized structures that allowed the division of labor. In the construction, for example, there were masons, carpenters, painters, etc., but the farmer was a farmer.
If you read The Wealth of Nations and look at the 21st century, it becomes clear that technology had a huge impact in past centuries. This has changed our structure and created new business customization rules, such as outsourcing, which is really a new type of division of labor.
As Dr. Smith explains, as a result of stockpiling and prices, we now see a world in which technology fundamentally shapes everything to create wealth. At that time, it became a technology as technology became a wealth. In this way, countries that are focused on creating, distributing and penetrating technology will succeed.
Why? It’s a national technological DNA. The most passionate and innovative countries dominate world affairs. Give me Japan, and I’ll give you the electronics. Speaking of the United States, I will share biotechnology and pharmaceutical technologies, and indeed all major technologies. Give me China and I’ll give you green technology.
Thus, as countries continue to compete on the basis of the technological paradigm, at the highest level of measuring success, we see an embodiment captured by technological capabilities. When countries are understood in terms of their index of technological maturity, economic knowledge index, we see that countries have become the poles of technological competition.
It will be simply difficult to separate the health of the modern economy from its technologies. This goes beyond the wealth of this nation for its survival. The most developed countries are the heavyweights of technology, while the least developed economy has little impact on the penetration of technology. For the latter, it was as if they were still living in the pre-industrial era, when Dr. Smith discussed agriculture and the division of labor, where processes were ineffective.
Perhaps this explains the effectiveness of the developed world in both the public and private spheres. The more technologies they distribute, the more productive they become. In other words, show me the technology, and I’ll tell you what place the nation occupies in the competition of countries. Interestingly, the invention of the steam engine changed the world and provoked an industrial revolution. The invention of the transistor changed the twentieth century and fueled a new age of innovation.
It seems that great scientific achievements bring great countries. Let me point here at some of the ancient kingdoms that ruled the world, such as ancient Babylon, the Roman Empire, and the Pharaoh’s Egypt; there is an appropriate knowledge base that puts them forward. You cannot separate the good agricultural production of the Nile from the control of the Egyptians, inventing certain elements of geometry for agriculture. Some of the ancient wars were won by designing designs to effectively transport soldiers to the battlefield. There was science, and nations won using this knowledge.
In conclusion, the world lives off technology, and they really define our competitive space. Because countries compete with each other, in some cases it is technology that shapes the world and wealth is the main by-product. I defend this case because some of the best technologies were invented for reasons unrelated to wealth (yes, directly). Examples include the Internet and radar technologies that have flourished and stimulated business innovation but are of military origin.