Active discussions

Modern PerspectiveEdit

To get one modern perspective, try to find a book called Sabotage in the American Workplace, I think from AK Press. It's just about a hundred stories summarized from interviews with real people about why they had (and in only one case, had not) done things at workk that they weren't "supposed" to do, everything from breaking equipment to get a break, to stealing supplies, to spitting in the soup. --JohnAbbe

Kirkpatrick Sales' 1996 book "Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and their War on the Industrial Revolution" London: Quartet Books is worth a read. It concentrates on Luddites and touches on Neo-Luddites. For the insights of scientist looking at his work and the potential harm it may hold (esp. nanotechnology) take a look at: Joy, Bill (2001): "Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us" URL (as printed in 'Wired' magazine). To examine other views on nanotechnology see ch4,5, and 6 within same site address. --RichardSeabury


I don't believe the Luddites were an organised group, most were just cells trying to take down the machine industry. Also, if there was a leader why is his name not mentioned in the caption. Darn it, grammar checker said I sound angry for the third time in a row.-Thanks, a very disgruntled employeeOoh Saad (talk) 13:11, 9 June 2020 (UTC)


I am going to add a new source, “Rebel or Rioter? Luddites Then and Now” by Brett Clancy. Gabriel Mont (talk) 20:34, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

I added the above source and a second source, “THE LUDDITES: How Did They Get That Bad Reputation?” by David Linton. Gabriel Mont (talk) 21:06, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Reputation sectionEdit

I am drafting a new section to the article that will focus on the opinions of the public and historians of the Luddites throughout time. Here is my first draft.


At the time of the Luddite activities between 1811 and 1816, the protestors were respected and admired by a number of civilians and workers; the imaginary figure of General Ludd was even considered a hero. However, throughout time biased and careless dictionary and encyclopedia entries have helped to make the word “Luddite” an insult, even changing the public’s view of the movement itself. Although not to quite as drastic an extent, historians have also changed opinions of the Luddites over the years.

Public Reputation

Parliamentary records from the mid-1950s house the first known association of the word “Luddite” with technophobia, but an unfavorable image of the Luddites was already being crafted prior. The 11th Edition Britannica from 1911, most likely to appeal to its well-off readers, frames the Luddites as antagonists to the victims of the machine-smashing. The same work also insults Ned Ludd’s intelligence and focuses on the destruction of the movement while avoiding to mention any part machine owners might have had in the rise of the Luddites. The 1938 Americana discuses the Luddites with vague language and avoids mentioning the punishment inflicted on the participants captured by the government. Over time, the Britannica changes facts, stating that citizens supported the Luddites in the 1929 edition but saying the rioters received only a small amount of approval in the edition of 1969. In 1961, the Luddites are pitied as fools by a compiler, who states that the machines were not really causing job loss. Overall, through alluding to the Luddites being technophobic by focusing on the smashing of machines, encyclopedias and dictionaries throughout the centuries paint the participants as simply rioters desiring chaos.

Views of Historians

History experts only use the term “Luddite” when referring to the participants of the riots of 1811 through 1816 in specific areas in England. Historians throughout time have argued as to whether or not the Luddites were political motivated or if their movement left lasting consequences, among other things. The actions of the Luddites were agreed to be a form of protest by early historians, with an exception being put forth by Frank Peel in 1880. Peel focused on the Luddites’ way of speaking and writing that implied a revolution. Later, F. Darvall took a more traditional stance that the Luddites acted for job-related motives without politics being involved. J. L. Hammond and Barbara Hammond, through studying documents, came to the conclusion that Luddism arose to prevent changes in laws and the workplace. The British historian E. J. Hobsbawm combined some notions of previous historians to conclude that the Luddites broke machines in a strategic manner to bargain for control in their trades. E. P. Thompson later considered that the Luddite moment might have been a combination of political and work-related issues. Thompson thought that Luddism was a symptom of the unification of workers, and the British historian was the first to frame the riots as a contributor to progress. M. I. Thomis, however, did not see the movement in such a positive light, arguing in the 1970s that Luddism was merely a small piece in the history of trade unions. In the 1990s, Kirkpatrick Sale published a study that greatly contributed to the modern view of Luddites by the public. To Sale, the Luddites were mostly upset with the inclusion of machines in the workplace, portraying them as technophobic.

Here Are my sources: Linton, David. “THE LUDDITES: How Did They Get That Bad Reputation?” Labor History, vol. 33, no. 4, Fall 1992, p. 529. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00236569200890281.

Clancy, Brett. “Rebel or Rioter? Luddites Then and Now.” Society, vol. 54, no. 5, Oct. 2017, pp. 392–398. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12115-017-0161-6.

Donnelly, F. K. “Luddites Past and Present.” Labour / Le Travail, vol. 18, Fall 1986, pp. 217–221. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2307/25142685.

Deseriis, Marco. Improper Names : Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Fox, Nicols. Against the Machine : The Hidden Luddite Tradition in Literature, Art, and Individual Lives, Island Press, 2002. ProQuest Ebook Central,

I would love some good feedback on my planned addition. Gabriel Mont (talk) 19:22, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

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