Thanks, was life worse for Chinese later though? I suppose it was rather bad at the peak of the opium addiction but would suspect many improvements later from advances in medicine, hygiene etc. I think we get into a similar debate as about the quality of life for people during the industrial revolution. Initially it got better only to get much worse before it lead to a clear improvement in people’s lives.
Much of this had to do with markets and government regulation. Technology will bring changes to society and if government does not tract it can have bad consequences for us, otherwise it can turn into something positive.
But perhaps in most cases you can’t speak of people as a single group. Consider e.g. globalization which has benefited the middle class well in most western countries but not so much the working class. In some countries like the US it has hit the working class hard.