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@ Graham woodward and  Letsavagoo. (Not read your link yet Letsav.. but I will later.)

 

Thank you both. Of course I am well aware of the legal/formal definition of a Riot and would not seek to deny that much Luddite activity, especially in the latter stages of the 'movement' (maybe the word for your article Graham?) fell under the definition.

 

However, it seems to me that we should not lose sight of the old adage 'history is written by the victor'. In this case 'the victor', would doubtless include the vested interests who controlled not only the manufacturing activities which led to the rise of Luddism, but also the legal system to which Luddites were subject, and the  newspapers which reported events.  Those forces are unlikely to have painted a sympathetic picture of the Luddite cause. 

I think it's also important to see Luddism in the context of a more general period of social, political and economic upheaval and protest that resulted, in simple terms, from the Industrial Revolution and the rise of 'Capital', accompanied by Malthusian thinking and a deeply engrained class system. All of this of course when any kind of 'Poor Relief', if it existed at all, was limited and punitive.

 

In the final analysis, people were pushed into defending their livelihoods, by the only means they had at their disposal and even then there is strong evidence that they started out taking reasonable grievances to unreasonable 'masters', but were ignored.

 

There are of course numerous more recent examples of the same thing happening, with reporting and analysis being very much subject to the political motivations of Govts and the Media.  This has all become highly relevant again as our present Govt. quietly but determinedly pushes through anti-democratic, anti-protest and other regressive legislation which would not have seemed out of place in the early 19th C.  That, however is for the Politics thread.

 

 

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Without wishing to drift too far off topic, I’ve always thought that if the Luddites had had their way, we would all still be living in unhealthy slums and travelling around on foot or horseback, with a much shorter life-span, and no electricity or health facilities.

 

And we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because the Luddites would’ve protested about the internet putting messengers and town criers out of business. I sympathise that they would lose their existing way of living, but if we don't have that inconvenience there wouldn't be any progress.

 

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Heresy!! Next you'll be saying you want to send kids to school and raise the working age to 10!

Damn do-gooders... should be horse whipped...   :angry2:

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