In 1900, there were over 2,000 companies producing cars. And by 1929, there were only 44. What happened?
Well, Henry Ford developed the assembly line and promised his worker that if they come to the Ford factory, he will pay them five dollars a day instead of 50 cents.
Not only that, a car went from a thousand dollars in 1900 to $850 by 1908 thanks to Ford’s assembly line. By 1924, that number dropped to just 250 bucks.
That is what happens when people work together. That is what industrialism has produced and what Taylorism has perfected. We have created a world of wealth. As a side effect, stuff is now cheap and abundant.
But there are other side effects.
One of those is the indoctrination that this stuff can fill our souls. It isn’t enough to own artifacts. If we are going to find meaning in our lives, we are going to have to step out of this system and re-evaluate what it means to be human.
Because if we are going to define value by a dollar amount or who has more stuff or by a number of likes–we will never be satisfied. Even the richest people in the world lack something.
This is one of the challenges of our time.