The industrial revolution led to the most sudden increase in economic growth ever. Suddenly the nations of Europe were rich. And while we may criticise them, in may ways they used this money well. There was enough money that society’s problems mattered! The Victorians built sewers! They set up houses for the poor! They formed an organised police force!Not to mention the infrastructure investments such as canals, railways and telegraphs. A legacy that endures today
After the Second World War, Britain changed. Socialism had been encroaching for years. The working classes were getting a mite peeved by the rich doing none of the work and getting all the money. So first chance they got, they threw out the toffs and elected the Labour Party. One of the most enduring legacies of this government is the NHS. Free healthcare for all! There were other reforms, but the NHS was the big one and the one that stuck.
Across the Atlantic there was a new-found sense of optimism! Nuclear power was the way forward. The US was leading the way into space. In a massive development program, we saw a man on the moon for no other reason except to prove that it could be done and done by an American! This is still seen as one of mankind’s greatest achievements.
We see nothing like this in the 21st century. Orion is our best bet but where’s the drive? Where is our grand vision? What will be our legacy to future generations? Who will look back at the early 2000’s and say “That was when things happened!”