As Big Tech morphs into Big Brother:
Reality check: Actually, everything you think you know about the Luddites is wrong:
A science writer notes the irony: “History, in one of its callous twists, recast their story from a workers’ revolt for fair treatment to a short-sighted war against technology and progress”:
The truth is that the Luddites were the skilled, middle-class workers of their time. After centuries on more-or-less good terms with merchants who sold their goods, their lives were upended by machines replacing them with low-skilled, low-wage laborers in dismal factories. To ease the transition, the Luddites sought to negotiate conditions similar to those underlying capitalist democracies today: taxes to fund workers’ pensions, a minimum wage, and adherence to minimum labor standards. Michael J. Coren, “Luddites have been getting a bad rap for 200 years. But, turns out, they were right” at Quartz
Factory owners of the day often thought that they could treat the workers like machines too and the defeat of the Luddites was a prelude to the horrific working and living conditions of 19th-century workers. Undernourished and unschooled children were often the minders of the machines. More.
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