Luddites

Whenever one criticizes the way things are going, immediately a bunch of people arrives to tell one that there’s always pushback against innovation, but then everybody accepts it, and remember the Luddites?

I have no idea why the poor Luddites always get dragged out as an example. They are an unimportant oddity. There are, however, many examples of when humanity was going in a certain direction but then realized things weren’t working and changed course.

I’m sure everybody on here read some Dickens or Zola. Or Upton Sinclair. What was capitalism like in the 19th century or the early 20th? Child labor, 16-hour workdays, no weekends, starving workers living in hovels, etc. That model was clearly defective. It was producing really bad results. And it got corrected towards something not perfect (because nothing is) but clearly enormously better.

Or I don’t know, take the Franco dictatorship. Things were really bad. People were starving. Nothing worked. And even Franco, dumb as he was, figured out that hey, we need to try something different. He changed course, and Spain experienced an economic miracle.

So when people tell me that “you can’t turn back technological progress, don’t be a Luddite, there’s no walking away from this,” I don’t see why that should be true. I’m pro-capitalism, and what I know about capitalism is that it’s extremely agile. It can change course, turn around, and retract once the existing model becomes to threaten the capitalism’s existence.

Neoliberalism is a dead end of capitalism. We can turn around and walk away any time. And I’m sure we will.

3 thoughts on “Luddites

  1. Progress is the dominant religion of our age, even among people who claim to adhere to other religions. It is a point of dogma that We Can’t Ever Regress (where regression is going in any direction other than what they see as progress). It breaks there pious little brains every time there’s an economic recession, or a technology turns out to not be as useful as it was billed to be. When they finally figure out the sad truth about electric cars, they are going to edit them out of history, rather than admit they were never a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Precisely, but the religious dogma says Progress is Always Good. Which means if you admit Progress has taken you somewhere you didn’t want to go, and that we should back up and maybe try a different direction, you are a heretic, blaspheming against Progress.

        Liked by 1 person

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