The first three of its four chapters are arranged chronologically ('The Manila Rice Trade in the Age of Sail', 'Paleotechnic
Marvels and Rice Production Disasters, 1876-1905' and 'The Manila Rice Trade to 1941'), while the last one, chapter 4 ('Changing Commercial Networks in the Rice Trade'), elaborates on the patterns that characterized the business behind rice, with race as a critical factor.
Discussing the change of Leviathans as we move from Orwellian nightmares to today's "global cultural hegemony," Suvin points out that what characterizes contemporary dystopias is no longer "the brutal negative collectivism of mass paleotechnic
collectivism" but rather "emptying negative collectivism" which "suppresses individuality by brainwashing the disoriented majority into Disneyfied consumer contentment or at least stupefaction" (63; emphasis original).
The second era, which he refers to as the paleotechnic phase (after 1750 and into the 20th century), is described as a coal-and-iron complex, during which industrialization caused major ecological damage, and created the most inhuman of working conditions (Mumford singles out coal mining in this regard).
Thus Mumford sees the clock as the technology that set the stage for all subsequent mechanization, industrialization, the rise of capitalism, modern science, and the shift to the paleotechnic period.
(10) For Geddes, thus, there were two Wests, the paleotechnic
West of the mechanical-colonial era and the neotechnic, vitalist, ecological West.
Over 100,000 square feet of space in the San Jose Convention Center was transformed into the look and feel of an archeological dig, circa 2047, where remnants of the Paleotechnic
Age (1997) were unearthed.
The model for Coketown is Dickens's famous page-long description of a "paleotechnic
" British industrial city in Hard Times.
Meinig also foreshadows the theme of his next volume, that as the United States became "paleotechnic
," industrial imperialism ignored political boundaries, saw territorial acquisition as irrelevant, a point that harks back to William Appleman Williams.
But at no point during the paleotechnic
phase were these improvements made available to the mass of the population.