Paul Krugman has a column today on a topic you don't normally get much of from economists: sympathy for the luddites.
Graedon comes down firmly on the side of the luddites, but her vision of the future is less alarmist than alarmingly within reach.
The attitude of the luddites had become more openly threatening.
In April, seven members of the so-called society of luddites were hanged at Leicester for breaking labor-saving machinery.
The luddites, who commenced breaking up machinery in manufacturing towns in 1811, again committed great excesses.
In November many luddites were convicted, and sixteen were executed by sentence of a special commission sitting at York.
Bill had dropped in, and they sat talking of the doings of the luddites till it was later than usual.
I suppose it will not be for very long, for I expect that we shall not hear very much more of the luddites.
Fourteen of the others were hung, as were five luddites who were tried before another tribunal.
luddites was a name given to malcontents who went about destroying labor-saving machinery.
also luddite, 1811, from name taken by an organized band of weavers who destroyed machinery in Midlands and northern England 1811-16 for fear it would deprive them of work. Supposedly from Ned Ludd, a Leicestershire worker who in 1779 had done the same before through insanity (but that story first was told in 1847). Applied to modern rejecters of automation and technology from at least 1961. As an adjective from 1812.
Opponents of the introduction of labor-saving machinery. The original Luddites, followers of a legendary Ned Ludd, were British laborers of the early nineteenth century who smashed textile-making machines that threatened their jobs.
Note: Contemporary opponents of technological change are sometimes called “Luddites.”