Martin Ryder, Luddism
and the Neo-Luddite Reaction (Nov.
Even if you've always held Luddism
in contempt, here's a case for a big exception to the rule.
Outbreaks of a kind of horological Luddism
long predate the establishment of Greenwich Mean.
A new form of Luddism
may yet emerge whereby technology is regarded more as a threat than as an enabler.
2050--In a typically perverse twist of fate, Luddism
is momentarily embraced as a popular fad.
Statements by Thomas Pynchon and Martin Heidegger do, however, deepen our understanding of the role of Luddism
in The Difference Engine: Pynchon's celebration of the ludic and disruptive aspects of Luddism
resonates strongly with the issue of technological ownership and instrumentality; similarly, the critique of the metaphysics of subjectivity and objectivity which underpins Heidegger's understanding of technology in terms other than those of instrumental use enables us to comprehend more fully the issue of technological emergence.
Another, potentially more damaging, takes its form from the post-modernist intellectual luddism
that now pervades many parts of academia and finds its breeding ground in "cultural studies" and related new disciplines.
Gain is an important eco-novel, but Powers, perhaps the most scientifically literate of our current major novelists, refuses to court Luddism
The new millennium's response has to be far more sophisticated than Luddism
, far better argued than the current concern with sustainable development, far superior to gut rejection of, say, fish piracy, a new version of robber baron capitalism.
Chapter 3, on "peasant Luddism
, evasion, and self-help," discusses non-violent responses: slaughter of livestock, flight, and petitioning.
Unemployment fosters this new Luddism
, which questions whether so much and growing inequality is needed to achieve the magical productivity said to give everyone bigger incomes and a better life.
Indeed, despite the alleged ravages inflicted by the "second Industrial Revolution" on modern society, Sale has to admit that Luddism
is rare in the modern workplace.