Would Luddites find the gig economy familiar? - Living Strong Television Network
Would Luddites find the gig economy familiar?

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The term Luddite is usually used as an insult. It suggests someone who is backward-looking, averse to progress, afraid of new technology, and frankly, not that bright. But Brian Merchant claims that that is not who the Luddites were at all. They were organized, articulate in their demands, very much understood how factory owners were using machinery to supplant them, and highly targeted in their destruction of that machinery.

Their pitiable reputation is the result of a deliberate smear campaign by elites in their own time who (successfully, as it turned out) tried to discredit their coherent and justified movement. In his book Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech, Merchant memorializes the Luddites not as the hapless dolts with their heads in the sand that they’ve become synonymous with, but rather as the first labor organizers. Longing for the halcyon days of yore when we were more in touch with nature isn’t Luddism, Merchant writes; that’s pastoralism—totally different thing.

OG Luddites

Weavers used to work at home, using hand-powered looms (i.e., machines). The whole family pitched in to make cloth; they worked on their own schedules and spent their leisure time and meals together. Master weavers apprenticed for seven years to learn their trade. It worked this way in the north of England for hundreds of years.

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