Chapter 4: The Propagation of Paradigms: Times of Installation, Times of Deployment
36 Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital 4. The Propagation of Paradigms: Times of Installation, Times of Deployment In real life, the trajectory of a technological revolution is not as smooth and continuous as the stylized curve presented in Figure 3.1. The process of installation of each new techno-economic paradigm in society begins with a battle against the power of the old, which is ingrained in the established production structure and embedded in the socio-cultural environment and in the institutional framework. Only when that battle has been practically won can the paradigm really diffuse across the whole economy of the core nations and later across the world. As defined in Chapter 2, the complex processes of propagation of technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigms through the economy and society are the great surges that make development discontinuous. In very broad terms, each surge goes through two periods of a very different nature, each lasting about three decades. As shown in Figure 4.1, the first half can be termed the installation period. It is the time when the new technologies irrupt in a maturing economy and advance like a bulldozer disrupting the established fabric and articulating new industrial networks, setting up new infrastructures and spreading new and superior ways of doing things. At the beginning of that period, the revolution is a small fact and a big promise; at the end, the new paradigm is a significant force, having overcome the resistance of the old paradigm and being ready to serve as propeller...
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