One of the biggest bilge streams feeding into Era of Progress's emphasis on plenticide and synthetic autarky was 'capitalism' -- which I define as making money off of your rare access to large lumps of capital in an economic culture that really needs large lumps of capital to function.
Capitalism needs two things to really flourish : scarce physical/scarcity bottlenecks controlled by 'franchises' and the necessity for capital-intensive factory processes to successfully operate those franchises.
It is not enough that that there are only a few potential sites to produce sizeable amounts of hydroelectricity in any given nation and that governments get to give them away as exclusive "franchises" --- to the people who bribe them best.
It is also necessary that these few hydro sites require billions in capital before they can deliver a single amp of energy.
One of the best forms of an exclusive franchise is a 'patent' , hopefully one that also requires licensors to pony up a billion or two to put their license to work - for then the patent practically polices itself.
(After all few potential competitors will bother to evade patent royalties if doing so still requires coming up with tons of money to get the pirated process to produce output.)
Let us see how my claims work out in a specific example.
Wool was once manufactured, cleaned and carded in hundreds of millions of tiny almost capital free enterprises quaintly called "farms".
The wool itself was actually manufactured in even smaller factories called "sheep" (or lamas etc) --- factories dirt cheap to buy and that replicated themselves so you hardly ever needed to buy another.
But if synthetic wool was ever even semi perfected, only a few people would own the right (the patent) to make it and only a few factories would actually make it worldwide, partly because of the high cost of patent royalties but even more importantly because of the inability to pony up the billion dollar cost of the huge lumbering clumsy factory set to make the synthetic wool.
I almost said "and don't forget the additional billion dollars in ad dollars needed to fool people into thinking inferior synthetic wool was better than natural wool", but I didn't.
Because that job was done, totally for free, by thousands of deluded scientists and science 'journalists' (cheerleaders), drunk on their own synthetic Kool-Aid.
Over all, this shift from millions of tiny efficient factories to a few huge inefficient factories was called "Progress".
You gotta love it !!!!!