I’m Proud to be a 21st Century Luddite
1. One who fears technology (or new technology, as they seem pleased with how things currently are…why can’t everything just be the same?)
2. A group led by Mr. Luddite durring the industrial revolution who beleived machines would cause workers wages to be decreased and ended up burning a number of factories in protest
A luddite generally claims things were “just fine” back in the day, and refuses to replace/update failing equipment/software/computers on the basis that they were just fine 10 years ago.
1. Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.
2. One who opposes technical or technological change.
[After Ned Ludd, an English laborer who was supposed to have destroyed weaving machinery around 1779.]
With far more objective description in good ole Wiki:
“The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industrial Revolution threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work.
“Although the origin of the name Luddite (/ˈlʌd.aɪt/) is uncertain, a popular theory is that the movement was named after Ned Ludd, a youth who allegedly smashed two stocking frames in 1779, and whose name had become emblematic of machine destroyers. The name evolved into the imaginary General Ludd or King Ludd, a figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.”
I always had strong sympathy for the Luddites and the Chartists and the victims of the Peterloo Massacre. And the Tolpuddle Martyrs of course! They were my people, real humans from real communities whose lives were damaged or destroyed by others, from afar, inevitably profiting out of the discomfort. In a similar vein, I remember being aghast that Britain had made war with China to force them to buy opium from our traders – how could UK leadership be so obviously a force for evil?
History lessons were important to me, for sure, and always seemed to emphasise deep flaws in the empowered groupings. In those days there were also excellent historical dramas on the BBC – a series on the Jarrow March for example being a gritty descriptor of North Eastern communities destroyed by their economic strings being yanked out.
In t he UK more recently we’ve gone through wave upon wave of the same process and always rationalised by politicians talking of how they are only reacting to economic realities – this is how it must be. Furthermore, those who complain are accused of being behind the times, obstructing progress and behaving like Luddites.
Well, what’s wrong with that? Always the gross rush for profits has created mayhem, destroyed lives and communities. The Luddites complained about the creation of industrial towns, taking away their craft and their livelihoods and, not long after this, the Chartists protested about the terrible conditions that existed in the new factories and towns that sprung up around them. It were very grim up North!
So I’m a 21st Century Luddite as I can see so much negative fall out from the Global industrialisation and corporatisation building up around us, just as much as I have seen my traditional lifestyle trashed not once but several times already in my life. As a TFC Luddite I do not decry all progress, all change. We are all accustomed to change these days – it is everywhere and constantly arising. But far more time and space are needed to adopt and adapt and, where necessary, reject. Always, still, the emphasis is on the large scale having priority over the small scale. It is considered better to grow food to send half way round the World, than to feed a local population.
The Luddite does not reject change but very rationally feels change should not harm him/her or the community they live within. Additionally the change should not usher in other deteriorations and decisions about changes have to be considered at length and by unbiased, unbribed arbiters.
I guess this is “Small is Beautiful” in ethos but, even when writ, that book was set in a globalised context. Everything is greatly more globalised now – we’ve had the computer revolution, for heaven’s sake – and so depersonalised centralisation is a far greater influence. As a TFC Luddite, I deplore that!