- Industry: Topic Page
The extraction and conversion of raw materials, the manufacture of goods, and the provision of services. Industry can be either low technology, unspecialized, and labour-intensive, as in countries with a large unskilled labour force, or highly automated, mechanized, and specialized, using advanced technology, as in the industrialized countries. Major recent trends in industrial activity have been the growth of electronic, robotic, and microelectronic technologies, the expansion of the offshore oil industry, and the prominence of Japan and other Pacific-region countries in manufacturing and distributing electronics, computers, and motor vehicles.
- Automobile industry and trade:Topic Page
Automobile industry, the business of producing and selling self-powered vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks, farm equipment, and other commercial vehicles. By allowing consumers to commute long distances for work, shopping, and entertainment, the auto industry has encouraged the development of an extensive road system, made possible the growth of suburbs and shopping centers around major cities, and played a key role in the growth of ancillary industries, such as the oil and travel businesses. The auto industry has become one of the largest purchasers of many key industrial products, such as steel. The large number of people the industry employs has made it a key determinant of economic growth
- Chemical Industry: Topic Page
Chemical industry, the business of using chemical reactions to turn raw materials, such as coal, oil, and salt, into a variety of products. During the 19th and 20th cent. technological advances in the chemical industry dramatically altered the world's economy. Chemical processes have created pesticides and fertilizers for farmers, pharmaceuticals for the health care industry, synthetic dies and fibers for the textile industry, soaps and beauty aids for the cosmetics industry, synthetic sweeteners and flavors for the food industry, plastics for the packaging industry, chemicals and celluloid for the motion picture industry, and artificial rubber for the auto industry.
- Electronics Industry: Topic Page
Electronics industry, the business of creating, designing, producing, and selling devices such as radios, televisions, stereos, computers, semiconductors, transistors, and integrated circuits (see electronics). As sales of electronic products in the United States grew from some $200 million in 1927 to over $266 billion in 1990, the electronics industry transformed factories, offices, and homes, emerging as a key economic sector that rivaled the chemical, steel, and auto industries in size.
- Industrial Revolution: Topic Page
Although capitalism has been a dynamic socioeconomic system since its inception, the pace of technological and social change accelerated exponentially in the 18th and 19th centuries with the Industrial Revolution. It is important not to equate capitalism and industrialization, for they are not synonymous. Historically, the Industrial Revolution occurred long after capitalism began; indeed, for most of capitalism's history, it involved preindustrial forms of production, including artisanal and household types. However, starting in the mid 1800s, an explosive increase in the speed and productivity of capitalist production occurred that transformed the worlds of work, everyday life, and the global economy.
- Petroleum industry and trade: Topic Page
Oil industry, the business of discovering oil (petroleum), extracting it from the ground, refining it into a variety of products, and distributing it to the public. The development of the oil industry in the 19th and 20th cent. provided a source of energy that now supplies about two fifths of the world's energy needs as well as a raw material that chemical and petroleum industries refine into a number of essential chemicals and industrial products
- Steel Industry: Topic Page
Steel industry, the business of processing iron ore into steel, which in its simplest form is an iron-carbon alloy, and in some cases, turning that metal into partially finished products or recycling scrap metal into steel. The steel industry grew out of the need for stronger and more easily produced metals. Technological advances in steelmaking during the last half of the 19th cent. played a key role in creating modern economies dependent on rails, automobiles, girders, bridges, and a variety of other steel products.
- Technology: Topic Page
The use of tools, power, and materials, generally for the purposes of production. Almost every human process for getting food and shelter depends on complex technological systems, which have been developed over a 3-million-year period. Significant milestones include the advent of the steam engine in 1712, the introduction of electricity and the internal combustion engine in the mid-1870s, and recent developments in communications, electronics, and the nuclear and space industries.
- Trade: Topic Page
Under normal capitalist conditions, the transportation and exchange of commodities for money. As such, trade provides a vital link between production and consumption in capitalist commodity chains. It is through trade that commodities reach their markets, and it is only when commodities are sold into markets that the value produced by the exploitation of workers is abstracted out and represented in the exchange values or prices generated by market trading (Harvey, 1999 ). For these reasons, trade derives both its immense significance and considerable contemporary contentiousness from the ways in which it is interwoven with the wider political–economic organization of capitalism.