I got this one wrong: source
Let me start with a quote and ask you to contemplate the source:
The modern economy cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production.... Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish our epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations…are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air; all that is holy is profaned; and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life...
Who said that? Paul Krugman? No. Joe Stiglitz. Wrong, again. Perhaps Justin Wede, Pete Dutro, or one of the other leading lights in the Occupy Wall Street movement? Not them, either.
Rather, the authors of this passage are none other than Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. I amended the passage just slightly, removing the word "bourgeoisie" whenever it appeared in the text so as to disguise its origin.
The remarkable thing is how contemporary the passage sounds otherwise, though it was written more than 160 years ago.
The instruments of production are indeed being revolutionized today. That revolution is undoubtedly causing an uninterrupted disturbance of all our social conditions. And all that we once took to be solid seems to be melting.
In that sense, 2012 doesn't appear very different from 1848. History doesn't repeat itself exactly, of course, but it does have a nasty habit of rhyming. Much has been said of the "new normal." I believe it would historically be more accurate to say that the industrialized world is now experiencing a condition better described as post-normal.
As it was when Marx and Engels penned their Communist Manifesto (the quoted passage is from the first chapter), the radical disturbance of our social fabric today is due to something positive — globalization, in our case, which is but a continuation, on a vastly more complex scale, of the constant revolutionizing of the instruments of production of which Marx and Engels wrote.