By Steven E. Jones
This e-book addresses the query of what it will possibly suggest this day to be a Luddite--that is, to take a stand opposed to expertise. Steven Jones the following explains the historical past of the Luddites, British fabric works who, from round 1811, proclaimed themselves fans of ''Ned Ludd'' and smashed equipment they observed as threatening their alternate. Against Technology isn't really a historical past of the Luddites, yet a background of an concept: how the actions of a gaggle of British staff in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire got here to face for an international anti-technology philosophy, and the way an nameless collective circulate got here to be pointed out with an individualistic own conviction. indignant cloth staff within the early 19th century grew to become romantic symbols of a wish for an easy life--certainly now not the unique aim of the activities for which they grew to become recognized. Against know-how is, in different phrases, a e-book approximately representations, in regards to the snapshot and the parable of the Luddites and the way that fantasy was once reworked through the years into glossy neo-Luddism.
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Additional info for Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism
259) The revenant General Ned Ludd, raised from the dead in 1995 to ’96, was called on to serve as the presiding spirit of the New York meeting in 2001. Green Ludd Ecology groups participating in the antiglobalization coalition, such as Earth First! and the (perhaps affiliated) Earth Liberation Front (ELF), had already for years identified themselves as neo-Luddites, a shared secret handshake or inside joke among members of the resistance movement. Earth First! ” The Earth First! Journal ran for years a column titled “Dear Ned Ludd,” which offered nuts-and-bolts, how-to advice on eco-sabotage.
Conversely, many neo-Luddites in this age of global capital, especially those coming out of left-activist or socialist traditions, might well counter by identifying with those early fair-trade activists, by naming themselves Luddites. In one sense this appropriation of Luddism by the antiglobalism movement is merely a continuation of the dispersal and inevitable abstraction of the figure of Ned Ludd. Invented in Nottinghamshire and perhaps Yorkshire, he was then imported and adopted by Lancashire and the Northwest, where a new-model Ludd served to unite disparate material interests against a ubiquitous, remote, hierarchical economic force.
Mostly they wrote threatening letters and composed celebratory ballads. They picked up sledgehammers and other lowly tools as well as guns and other weapons, then marched through the darkness to sabotage the machines that promised increased productivity in their trades. They did so in order to make a point and to stop the use of the machines. 3 For doing this, the Luddites faced execution by hanging (and indeed some of them were hanged in the end) and they became legendary, their odd name eventually becoming a parable for antitechnology ideas and feelings as well as actions.
Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism by Steven E. Jones