‘In a way, everything is technology,” noted one of the world’s greatest economic historians, Fernand Braudel, in his monumental study Civilization and Capitalism. “Not only man’s most strenuous endeavors but also his patient and monotonous efforts to make a mark on the external world; not only the rapid changes . . . but also the slow improvements in processes and tools, and those innumerable actions which may have no immediate innovating significance but which are the fruit of accumulated knowledge,” he continued. Yes, land, labor, and capital (that’s to say, the factors of production) are important components of economic growth. …
This article appears as “Imagine a Pre-modern COVID Pandemic” in the May 18, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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