The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons

This passage from the well renowned writer, educator, and philosopher of the 20th century, Peter  Drucker, is a broken down reflection on how the First Technological Revolution continues to influence mankind well into the 21st century. Drucker starts off by pointing out that in this age of digital technological advancement, people continue to be both excited and worried about the potential social, economic, political, and ethical repercussions of such rapid progress. However, he makes the point that the first technological revolution, that of irrigation, has had a long lasting impact on human interaction for thousands of years without many of us being aware of its influence.

The importance of irrigation technologies was not just that it finally allowed humans to settle in one area to grow an endless amount of food, but how that changed the dynamic relationships between those peoples. Drucker mentions throughout this passage that everything from basic writing, law codes, the basis of modern science, standing armies, and the idea of the individual all stem from humans transforming from wandering tribes into solidified civilizations. He continues by saying that no matter which direction it goes, when a society undergoes a major shift in technological advancement, the very fabric of what makes that civilization operational is forcibly altered. This is why in the 18th and 19th centuries, you see such a modification in how people live and interact with each other. What became known as the Industrial Revolution brought about the biggest upheaval in human history up until that point in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

All in all, it is important to understand that so much of the past influences your everyday life, whether you are aware of it or not. However, the future consists of the choices people make every day and how they utilize the potential of the technology available to them.

Written by Giuseppe Vitale: Word count- 309 (without header or text below)

If you would like to read more about Peter Drucker and his theories, you can check out this very well designed and attention grabbing website, hosted by the Peter Drucker Institute.

Also, Drucker wrote a number of books on business philosophy and management. If you would like to read more about why these pieces have been so influential since the mid 20th century, you can check out this informative article from the British Library.