Modern Times – the second industrial revolution, mass production

What Charlie Chaplin back then foresaw of the second industrial ‘revolution’ in Modern Times, others forsee now for the ‘fourth’ industrial revolution.

The combined time and motion studies were massively implemented by Henry Ford, considered the man who definitely turned mass production into a final reality. The assembly line wasn’t always rewarding to him. It cost him workers, as many found the job boring because they concentrated on one or two tasks repeatedly.

As may be obvious, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times was inspired, in a brilliant but at the same time ironic way, by this kind of “progress”, which might have been good for business but clearly not for human beings. A curious note is that the factory worker is commanded through video by the boss. One might think Chaplin copied that from the all-seeing eye of Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984. But Modern Times is from 1936 while “1984” is from 1949.

(part of the four Industrial Revolutions)

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