Many economists see the Industrial Revolution (IR) as a model for further lesser expansions of world manufacturing and trade country by country. The model was — and still is — aspired to by many countries but the first full burgeoning of the IR with its consequences of large profits, subsequent large re-investments and a moving on from one industry to another was confined only to six countries with England only sightly in the lead.
Although England turned out to be the necessary instigator of it all, the other countries followed rapidly within a few years — all between the years 1780 and 1980. These are (northrn) France, Belgium, Netherland, Germany and America. A few more European neighbours such as Switzerland and the Nordic countries also started industrialing some of their manufacturing but in unsystenic way. They are not to be compared with the powerful government assisted copying of products and systems of the IR which Japan, Korea and China undertook before the end of the 19th century and Singapore halfway through the 20th.
Although the Asian Four now export consumer and producer goods quite up to the standard of those made in the Western Six they don’t necessarily make the most technically sophisticated components of those products, nor the scientific discoveries that gave rise to them. Those are still due to leading edge research into all the current areas of scientific curiosity and discovery. Ninety per cent of all Nobel Prizes in the science fields (excluding economics) are won every year by scientists from one the Western Six.
The same decrepancy may apply as concerning the characteristic mode of production in the new era as we gradually leave the high heat intensity, ‘metal bashing’ era behind and develop carbon-based compounds and software using DNA-type algorithms
There are also a few other countries which already give a high value to scientific research and may well come up with highly creative industries in the future — he three Nordic countries, the three western Baltic countries, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, India and the least populous, but possibly the most precocious, Israel.