The Flattening Manifesto

britishmuseumreadingroom.jpgIn a couple of recent posts I have used the expression all that is solid melts into flows when talking about the impact of the network. I noted that it adapts a quotation from a well-known long term occupant of the old British Museum Reading Room.

As I had been using it in this way, I was interested to come across the original the other day in Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat which I have just discussed:

All fixed, fast, frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air ....
It is of course from the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. Friedman notes:
Indeed, reading the Communist Manifesto today, I am in awe at how incisively Marx detailed the forces that were flattening the world during the rise of the Industrial Revolution, and how much he foreshadowed the way these same forces would keep flattening the world right up to the present.
Somewhat topical, as I will be visiting Manchester the week after next, arguably the cradle of the industrial revolution, and about which Engels wrote famously.

Image of the (refurbished) Reading Room via WikiPedia.

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