Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who Were the Luddites?

They were not against all machines, only the Machine...

Maria Gilardin of TUCRadio writes, Who were the Luddites? Machine smashers of the 19th century or members of a fascinating social movement with visionary insights into the unfolding drama of industrialization?

The impact of today's technologies on social relations and the planet itself is becoming an intriguing field of inquiry. However so far the discussion of nuclear power, biotechnology, deforestation, automobiles or computers is pretty much dominated by industry and government who want us to take all this for granted.

In this context it is inspiring to remember the Luddites who questioned industrial civilization at its very beginning in England during the introduction of mechanized textile mills. They knew that the power-looms that they selectively destroyed were not just a technology but would create a whole new set of relations: Factory work, child labor, and the demise of artisan and skilled labor.

They anticipated that the new machines, that they themselves had helped build, were not the promised tool to help them in their work but would eventually become part of a machine culture with power over human life and even human consciousness.

Iain Boal is an independent scholar and historian of technology. He taught a course on the Luddites at Stanford University. This lecture was expanded into a book project, Resisting the Virtual Life, an anthology edited by Iain Boal and James Brook and published by City Lights.

Pardon any possible Marxist bias (I am not familiar with the speaker's political orientation) and hear Ian Boal on the suppressed history of the Luddites...Pt 1, and the lessons for us today; and then Part 2... As for Marxism...

--->Middle-aged Suicide Rates Rise in US
Amid Economic Gloom

--->Video Circulating On the Internet Shows Discontented in England: "I am an Englishman". Reportedly from a television program. Some call it racist. But he denies it. He simply loves the England of his forefathers that he sees as being taken away, sold out, it is implied, by the globalists...One thing is clear: millions think the same thoughts---because they were "never even asked". At what future costs will present policies in many Western nations continue? It is good that the old empires have faded and history has moved on; but are there new empires filling the vacuum of the old under cover of a new internationalism today called globalism? Nations, peoples of all colors and cultures must be left their self-determination. No leaders, national or otherwise, have the right to "privatize" a nation and sell it to the highest bidders.

--->China to continue destructive one-child policy

---> Officials in Europe, US on High Alert for Commando-Style Raids After Capture of Suspected German Terrorist

--->Anti-austerity protests sweep across Europe. Our European brothers and sisters retain their self-dignity and are not easily cowed by militia style Darth Vader NewPolice. They keep getting up.

--->President Barack Obama is getting more public about his Christianity as elections draw nigh... Meanwhile, the babies continue to be slaughtered in abortion mills...murdered with the help of euphemisms ("health").

--->Distrust in U.S. Media Edges Up to Record High. Perceptions of liberal bias still far outnumber perceptions of conservative (=traditionalist) bias

--->HuffPost Columnist - Obama's Blame Game: It's Not About Turning Out Voters, It's About Protecting Himself

--->John Beeler has an exquisite picture of old Dallas at his Conservative Blog for Peace site I wish I had found...