How the Industrial Revolution Created the Masses

How the Industrial Revolution Created the MassesCommunist agitators constantly referred to “the masses” as an essential component of their revolution. However, they did not invent the masses or even create them. Rather, the masses are a product of modern society with its mass media, mass markets and mass production.

Author Lawrence Friedman traces the masses to the Industrial Revolution when he says:



“The Industrial Revolution vastly expanded the domain of cheap mass-produced goods. Mass production created, in a way, the masses themselves. You would not refer to peasants in a medieval village as a mass, nor even the peasants in all of, say, Germany or France. Mass is a way of describing people who live in a world where one can of soup is exactly like a billion other cans.”

(Taken from Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1999, p. 70.)