Neo-Luddism

This is kinda interesting, via rebeccablood. This weekend’s trip Up North has given me fodder for pondering. Some folks ain’t even got toilets! Does that make them better than me?

These days, loom-smashing isn’t so much à la mode. “The Man” would smash us up with the proverbial quickness. But we don’t gotta bring looms into our homes necessarily.

“One may be obliged to give way to an occasional necessity,” said Deronda. “But it is one thing to say, ‘In this particular case I am forced to put on this foolscap and grin,’ and another to buy a pocket foolscap and practise myself in grinning.”

11 Responses to “Neo-Luddism”

  1. JRP Says:

    Indeed, i have being studing the luddite movement, but they can’t be a neo-luddite because they like some techs, most of neo-luddites are in the primitism idea, specially John Zerzan which published a Primitive Future(http://www.primitivism.com/future-primitive.htm). They ask for a pre-technological state, which is absurd, because society depends on technology… since the beginng… have you read:

    Rebels Against the future, Reason Magazine, 2001, http://reason.com/rb/rb022801.shtml

    Why the future doesn’t need us, Wired Magazine, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html

    Regards,

  2. Becky Says:

    It’s mighty interesting how at least some of us DO have this idea that living more primitively is somehow better — that we should feel some kind of urban guilt our toilets, fancy shower-heads, zippy in-city cars. Humanity has spent thousands of years trying to “better ourselves”, improving the standard of living. Did we leave something behind during this process that makes us think outhouses are morally better than toilets? Is it the same difference as thinking gold-plated toilets are morally reprehensible while regular ceramic ones are fine? — is it just, “the thing I have is moral and the thing you have that’s fancier than mine is immoral”, and it goes backwards too so we think that anyone lower on the ladder is more morally sound than us and those higher up?

  3. Desultor Says:

    I’d agree that asking for a pre-technological state is absurd, especially at the extreme. Check out this logic: asking presupposes some form of language. Language is itself a form of technology. As a great man once said, “Argal, one hat is one hat.”

    As it is, we do have language, and some other more sophisticated technologies as well. There’s a spectrum. But technology is what we do in fossil form – tools. Just cause you can do something don’t mean it’s good to do. Just cause tech is there don’t mean we gotta use it.

    I eschew the following classes of technology in my daily life:
    1) Nukes.
    2) 2.4 GHz cordless phones.
    3) Linear B.
    4) The Clyster.
    5) et al.

    Gold-plated toilets are plenty reprehensible — it is morally difficult for me to continue working at Harvard for this very reason. But I brought in some burlap seatcovers so I think I’m sitting pretty in the clear. God help the administration though — theirs are solid gold and I don’t think burlap would help them.

    In the largest sense I can think of, I’m interested in learning how to live without hurting other people, critters, ecosystems, rocks, yadda yadda, except when I have to, or when I’m hungry. Sexasyllabically, sustainability.

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