Re: [OPE-L] the experience of technological change

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun May 06 2007 - 09:58:31 EDT

> The weight of the proof is over the shoulders of those who claim able
> to speed up the technological progress in a market-less economy.

Hi Alejandro:

You seem to be assuming that technological breakthroughs have had their
origin in initiatives undertaken by firms in private markets.  This is a
classical vision of technological change which doesn't fit in very well
with recent economic history, especially the period from World War II to
the present.

Consider the following technological breakthroughs:

-  jet transportation
-  nuclear power
-  space-related technologies, such as rockets and satellites
-  radar
-  GPS
-  computers and computer-related technologies including the Internet

(NB: this is just a short list -- we could easily add on to it if we wished.)

All of the above were initiatives undertaken by the *state*, especially
and primarily for *military* purposes.  While there was a partnership
between capital and the state in most of these cases, the *initiative*
and the *funding*  came from the state.  Without legal provisos like cost-
plus government contracts,  firms would not have entered into that

In solidarity, Jerry

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