Lecture 22: The Post-industrial West (reading: chapter 30, pp. 947-976 [includes some
Lecture 22 – The Post-industrial West
• There were new economic realities in the global context of post industrialization
• Manufacturing is no longer a sure route to jobs and wealth
• Money now is in services, communications, media, entertainment
• In de-industrializing societies, entertainment becomes paramount
• Unskilled people can no longer get jobs, and a permanent lower class develops
• Minorities are marginalized
• Unskilled people become the trouble makers
Issues as well change – it’s no longer about production, but about quality of life, the
environment, gender etc.
• The cost of living goes up and the question comes up about how to revive productivity in
a de-industrialized economy
• Drastic/untested measures – should workers be re-trained? How would it be paid for?
The main factors in a post-industrialist West
• Oil crisis
The new question is how to keep welfare states intact when super growth has halted.
 Why did Western Europe face new economic strains by and after 1973?
1. Dependency on oil as a new energy source
• 20% of needs goes to 60% by 1973
• Cost jumps 10 fold from 1973-1979
• Europe is not oil producing – so they are dependent on oil producing areas
• Acrisis is created by OPEC, who raise prices by 70%. Everything requiring
energy goes up in cost.
• Unemployment goes up, and the world slipping into recession.
2. Europe lost their technological edge in a globalized market
• High labour costs drove up the price of goods and they became too expensive on
the world market.
• Unionized labour prices itself out of the world market • Asia/LatinAmerica are not unionized and are producing extremely cheap goods.
They are getting more investors.
• Welfare states are hesitant to apply a stimulus.
• Cars, steel, computers, electronics do not get investment and driven off the market
• Industrial plants are dismantled
• Creates Euro-pessimism
• Creates an economic depression – 2-3% unemployment bursts to 10, 12.5, or 17%
• In the 1980’s real purchasing power goes down for the first time since World War
The new economic climate is stagflation. Stagnation + Inflation.
Keynes is discredited – spending to stimulate the economy is not working. Defecit spending
increases inflation and threatens exports. Other traditional methods are not working as well.
They simply fuel stagnation. Neither lefts or conservatives know what to do. Globalization is
out of the states’control. The situation is not demoralizing – people are not getting what they
1. Young people
• 25% of Western European Youth are unemployed – it becomes common for young
people to live at home.
• Declining birth rates mean that states are bringing in more immigrants
• Brought in mostly from the outside – integrated but victims of violence, racism,
• Blamed for stealing jobs from white people and burdening welfare – also blamed
for failure to assimilate
• Frictions multiply – skinhead violence emerges for right political parties. By the
1980’s Jean Marie La Pen is the most successful anti-immigrant party in Western