"a racing tyre is altogether different, they have to be made spcifically for each circuit,"
Right, so Bridgestone needs to do that because they are faced with the challenge of producing a good all-round race tyre and you figured it's the sign of a higher technology?
I'm not sure i follow this reasoning especially when compared to a so called backward mentality, i worked in Britain since 1991 and never saw as much waste of energy, time, opportunities under French management, if this is what you mean by 1900's business attitude, i have a hard time seeing any progress here.
From my PoV, Michelin lost the plot more due to technical progress and lack of strategy, but a lot more due to the fact that Bridgestone produced a tyres "special Stoner" in 2007, they did not loose the spot in Moto GP, they simply did not bid in 2009.
When they can put their marbles together Michelin are well capable of winning world championships vs other manufacturers, some years they would struggle more than others but they are competitive.
Now, personally i never liked their characteristics, preffering Dunlops but how many World titles do you recon Michelin did win from the time they entered the championship?