Zaterdag quote

(S)ocial attitudes toward production and work (and leisure) are another major factor in determining the likelihood of innovation. Technologically progressive societies were often relatively egalitarian ones. In societies dominated by a small, wealthy, but unproductive and exploitative elite, the low social prestige of productive activity meant that creativity and innovation would be directed toward an agenda of interest to the elite. The educated and sophisticated elite focused on efforts supporting its power such as military prowess and administration, or on such topics of leisure as literature, games, the arts, and philosophy, and not so much on the mundane problems of the farmer in his field, the sailor on his ship, or the artisan in his workshop. The agenda of the leisurely elite was of great importance to the lovers of music in the eighteenth-century Habsburg lands, but was not of much interest to their farmers and manufacturers. The Austrian Empire created Haydn and Mozart, but no Industrial Revolution.

Joel Mokyr (2017). A Culture of Growth. The Origins of the Modern Economy, p 17

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