Would the world be a better place if the Industrial Revolution never happened?

Thank you for writing this post. I am currently researching what life would be like if the Industrial Revolution had never happened, and this article was just what I needed. Well done.


What ifs are particularly tricky. The world is so intensely complicated, and each moment built on the one before so emphatically, that even tiny changes have huge impacts. So to ask what life would be now without possibly the biggest thing to have happened in the last few hundred/thousand years is kind of troublesome.

But it is pretty intriguing.

It’s hard to imagine a world that hadn’t urbanised and industrialised. As city dwellers, our lives are utterly shaped by the assumptions of industrialisation. If you are not a city-dweller,  on the broadest metaphorical level, please tell me what it’s like.

Without the industrial revolution, without the spread of mechanisation across the world, we would probably have less people, more natural resources (though many of the more important ones would be unusable) and have created much less environmental havoc. We would probably be less likely to feel like we were staring…

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