By Steven E. Jones
This e-book addresses the query of what it will probably suggest this present day to be a Luddite--that is, to take a stand opposed to know-how. Steven Jones right here 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 exchange. Against Technology isn't really a historical past of the Luddites, yet a heritage of an idea: how the actions of a bunch of British employees 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. offended fabric employees within the early 19th century turned romantic symbols of a hope for an easy life--certainly now not the unique target of the activities for which they turned recognized. Against know-how is, in different phrases, a e-book approximately representations, concerning the photo and the parable of the Luddites and the way that delusion was once remodeled through the years into glossy neo-Luddism.
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Extra resources for Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism
P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, Malcolm Thomis, Adrian Randall, and in the collection of Luddite texts edited and annotated by Kevin Binfield. 2 Readers with an interest in the facts of Luddite history — what can be established from the record of what they actually did or wrote — are encouraged to consult these historical studies, some of which I cite later in this chapter. My purpose here is somewhat different. I aim to shed light on the cultural legacy of those facts, what the Luddites have come to mean over the past two hundred years, including inevitable distortions, shifts in emphasis, and mythmaking.
Sale said that he had not brought his sledgehammer but that he would be talking about technology. indd 32 2/13/06 12:03:21 PM The Boom, the Bust, and Neo‑Luddites in the 1990s 33 the boxes on your desks, in your offices, in your laps. ” The shift is telling: from proletarian workers shaking off the chains of capitalism — in Marx’s terms the revolutionary overthrow of “all existing social conditions” — to mostly white-collar knowledge workers giving up (or refusing to open) their computers (“Pandora’s boxes”).
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. Sale’s second subtitle is Lessons for the Computer Age. His public readings and lectures in support of the book opened with a theatrical gesture as he smashed a beige personal computer with a large sledgehammer, splintering the plastic case and CRT monitor to enthusiastic applause.