Steven E. Jones's Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism PDF

By Steven E. Jones

ISBN-10: 0415978688

ISBN-13: 9780415978682

This publication addresses the query of what it could suggest this present day to be a Luddite--that is, to take a stand opposed to expertise. Steven Jones right here explains the background of the Luddites, British cloth works who, from round 1811, proclaimed themselves fans of ''Ned Ludd'' and smashed equipment they observed as threatening their alternate. Against Technology isn't a background of the Luddites, yet a heritage of an idea: how the actions of a bunch of British staff in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire got here to face for a world anti-technology philosophy, and the way an nameless collective stream got here to be pointed out with an individualistic own conviction. indignant cloth employees within the early 19th century turned romantic symbols of a wish for an easy life--certainly now not the unique objective of the activities for which they grew to become well-known. Against expertise is, in different phrases, a ebook approximately representations, in regards to the photograph and the parable of the Luddites and the way that fantasy was once reworked over the years into sleek neo-Luddism.

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But those authors did provide the public voice of neo-Luddism, a self-conscious, self-styled resistance movement constructed in part out of selected and reprocessed historical facts and legends about the original Luddites. 2 The book is divided into two parts: Historical Luddism and neo-Luddism, and its argument for continuity of philosophy and political purpose is implicit in that structure. It is a critique of global capitalism aimed at its cornerstone: the ideology of technological progress, which it sees as essentially unchanged since the eighteenth-century industrial era.

9 In Lancashire, for example, and especially the Manchester region, Ludd was a kind of out-of-towner, an imported symbol who functioned more artificially as a device to unite the diverse interests of spinners, colliers, and other workers with those of ­ Jacobins and radical reformers already active in the area. In ­Nottingham, by contrast, where Ned Ludd was “born,” a customary labor culture was already in place, a local subculture out of which he arose “organically” as a name for the movement.

An organized network may have been behind this expansion, or unconnected groups may have copied the example and name of the first Luddites. The net result was perceived as a movement or conspiracy, with only the degree of conscious organization in question. Luddism increased for a year or so, was squelched by government prosecutions and ­hangings, and then resurged briefly in 1816 to 1817. indd 48 3/2/06 12:07:37 PM The Mythic History of the Original Luddites 49 or the plug riots of the 1840s (which involved disabling steam-powered machines by pulling out the plugs of their boilers), were often connected to the original Luddites by later observers.

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Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism by Steven E. Jones

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