Émile Durkheim, born on April 15, 1858, was a French social scientist. He formally established the academic discipline of sociology and he is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science.
Big realization: Progress leads to more self-annihilation
His seminal monograph, Le Suicide (1897), is a study of suicide rates exploring how a country becoming richer tends to have higher suicide cases.
The obvious question here is "Why do industrial advancements lead to higher suicide rates?"
According to the diagnostics of Émile Durkheim, it's because the modern economy puts tremendous pressure on the individual. Thanks to modern advancements, everyone can now become his own boss - or at least that's how things are advertised. Not that this is bad. But in case things don't work out as planned, the person has no one to blame for his misfortunes by himself. Therefore, this person becomes ill and traumatized which, based on the book, often leads to a fatal ending.
To prevent this from happening. The work of Durkheim suggests removing the pressure from the individual by finding support from a local community.