‘The business of America’, said Calvin Coolidge in 1925, ‘is business’. Such a view, uncompromising and perhaps a trifle complacent, has been consistently reiterated in the West by many others. Such a proposition provided the basis for the protective managerial ideology with which the early English entrepreneurs sought to defend themselves against the Establishment in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The activities of those industrial pioneers irrevocably changed the society in which they lived. They ushered in not only a new technology upon which we are unalterably dependent, but a new hierarchical ordering of society and a new morality of utilitarianism to go with it. They institutionalized a new form of social conflict and provided the arena in which that conflict could take place.
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