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For a June 2005 deletion debate over this page see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Neo-luddism


This article is very repetative and poorly named. Should be titled "Modern Luddism" and then divided into one short section on Neo-Luddites and one short section on Reform Luddites. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

This article contains a lot of impressions of what NLs think and do, but it seems to very much based on personal impressions. Apparently, there are very few people who describe themselves as NL. I have put a lot of {who} tags in the text, for positions which NLs are said to hold. I think we must find a quote from a self-described NL who argues for that position. Otherwise, we could use sourced allegations of NL by notable actors ("George Bush accuses Al Gore of NL", but not "John Doe accuses Al Gore of NL")

It could very well be that there are close to no self-proclaimed Neo-Luddites. In that case, the term is an attack term used by opponents. This would need a more elaborate treatment, see Political correctness for an example of how to do this. Jasy jatere (talk) 15:05, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I have tried to clean the article up by removing un-sourced text or what looks like original research. The article needs extension and work.--SasiSasi (talk) 09:08, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, the article claims that "the term "neo-Luddite" is most often deployed by advocates of technology to describe persons or organizations that resist technological advances", and and then there are no arguments against the use of the term "neo-Luddism" and the full-blown Reasoning section, substantiates the use of the term. If the term is derogatory, and it is identified as such in the beginning, there should be a description of when and why it is used, not active agitation for the group or way of thought being referred to by it. I suggest that some of the points be inherited from Green_politics#Critique_of_green_policy. Also, articles on ecoterroristic groups like Earth_Liberation_Front contain more than enough material to fill in. After all, Luddists were essentially 19th century terrorists and saboteurs believed to be opposing technological change, so these are closely related. - (talk) 22:46, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Nuclear technology[edit]

Reading the article it seems that much of the anti-nuclear movement could be described as neo-luddite. I propose a new section for nuclear technology. It's more complex than protesting nuclear power stations, as many anti-nuclear groups and people also oppose fusion research and radiological medicine, a stance that can be described as a blanket resistance to nuclear technology. Nailedtooth (talk) 15:20, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

A Neo-Ludism Movement Does not Exist Therefore the Article Should Be Removed[edit]

How do people go about removing article from Wikipedia that have no factual basis? This "neo-luddite" movement is a right wing fantasy.Chuck Munson. (

Here is Wikipedia's deletion policy. The term "neo-luddite" is in common usage, and I doubt you will find much community consensus for deletion. While few would identify themselves as "neo-luddites", there certainly is a diverse movement advocating everything from a critical analysis of modern technologies to the elimination of such technologies. ElBenevolente 22:48, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that this topic is covered more thoroughly and with better NPOV in Primitivism. Could this topic be redirected there?
Neo-primitivism advocates a return to a hunter-gatherer or pre-historical agricultural level of existence (without admitting that 90%+ of the human race would need to die for such an inefficient lifestyle to be sustainable). Neo-Luddites generally are stasists, in that they don't want technology to advance beyond a mid-20th century Rockwellian vision of America, or they want to turn things back to a form of neo-feudalism along socialist lines, or somewhere in between, such as a 19th century frontier American lifestyle. It generally depends on the individual and the group one is speaking of. Mlorrey
I disagree with disparaging comments made above about the article. I don't understand why they don't correct the article. I think there is enough room in Wikipedia for ideas and this is one of them.--Mea 06:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Mea. Also, I have seen the term "neo-luddite" used by a person to describe their beliefs regarding technology more than once. Repku 05:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

There are people who have a fundamental critique of technology, often with anti-authoritarian and insurrectionary overtones and intentions, and express it through both words and actions, just like the original Luddites of the 19th century. This is not a "fantasy" of the right or left wing! It is simply true; five minutes with the links I've provided establish this. Thus the inclusion of references to John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen, the ELF, and so on are appropriate and relevant.

These "left" and "right wing" designations are corporate fantasies designed to control you. In actual fact, outside of the machine language of computers, reality doesn't reduce to many either-or dilemmas. There is certainly such a phenomenon as neo-Luddism, and it isn't just purported left wing types who engage in it, not by a long shot. The so-called "right wing" is very much anti-technology (eg stem cell research, cloning, and many aspects of transhumanism); Republican Christian groups, usually pigeonholed as "right wing", have been some of the most vehement espousers of new Luddism, much of it connected to 'mark of the Beast' prophecies in the Revelations of St. John; it's really only the specific concretes where differences lie between the two supposed polar opposites, but the abstract principle is actually the same: Government should have the right to restrict or ban technology, based on a phantom "what if" nightmare scenario. If you're "left wing", the nightmare is GM crops and global warming, if you're "right wing" it's human chimeras and RFID tracking. Claiming this primitive, fear-based, anti-technology emotionalism is in any way connected to political orientation, especially the ridiculous "left/right" paradigm (which means virtually nothing in terms of policymaking) is absurd.
On the contrary, the very fact that the opposing ends of the spectrum focus on separate anti-technology issues demonstrates that there are two separate movements with similar goals.Mlorrey 16:40, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Or it might demonstrate that the spectrum you have been led to believe exists is actually nothing more than a false meme. Let Occam's razor decide.

It seems to me that when you enter the realm of philosophy, it gets more difficult to present a neutral point of view. Do the article's critics want a better article, or do they want to suppress it? I admit I feel much in common with the ideas of neo-luddism, and I was very interested to find out a)it exists, and b)the information presented about it. Since I and probably other people believe it exists, why can't these critics correct the non-neutral parts?

On Fukuyama[edit]

"Fukuyama is famously wrong for predicting the end of history with the fall of the U.S.S.R". Yet the The End of History says "Fukuyama's thesis is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. For example, it is frequently claimed that Fukuyama believes that history ended in 1989 (with the fall of the Berlin Wall)."

Fukuyama says, "What we may be witnessing in not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." (quoted from "The End of History?", 1989) What is clear to most is that liberal democracy is not the end-state of human ideological evolution, despite its continuing attempts to retain the idea of the social-welfare semi-free market nation-state through hook, crook, or force of arms. Fukuyama is famously wrong because the promise of transhuman advancement and the future technological singularity indicate a future stage of punctuated equilibrium in human affairs, the results of which are impossible to predict. See Ray Kurzweil's books for further elucidation on these ideas. It is for this reason that Fukuyama now calls transhumanism, "the world's most dangerous idea", if only because it will further demonstrate how wrong he was. Transhumanism is dangerous to his future royalty stream... Mlorrey 16:43, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Anti-singularity/gray-goo motivations[edit]

I've run across neo-luddite sympathies motivated by fear of a singularity or gray-goo type event. This is mostly just the logical extreme of the standard anti-techonology arguments, but it might be worth a mention, as some people are opposed not to specific technological improvements but utimately a sudden and pronounced loss of our control over them.

Green Party ref in "Reasoning"[edit]

I've changed "members of the Green Party" to "those" in the following paragraph:

Accusations of "neo-luddism" on the left are usually directed at members of the Green Party who oppose technology on the grounds that may contribute to any or all of the following: environmental degradation, consumerism, sexism, cruelty to animals, social decay, the collapse of tribal ways of life, or the separation of the worker from the means of production.

For one thing, it's inaccurate to talk about the Green Party as if only one such thing exists. Many countries and regions have a political party by this name, as the Worldwide green parties article that Green Party redirects to makes clear. Aside from this, I don't think there's any practical way to determine what proportion of "accusations of "neo-luddism" on the left" being made worldwide are directed at members of some Green Party or another. If someone were to claim more narrowly that "x percent of print media references to "neo-luddism" in country xyz were directed at members of the xyz Green Party", I'd be more likely to believe that the claim was based on some sort of research, and not just pulled out of thin air. --Eloil 03:46, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Note: The GMO section of the discussion page was erased earlier with no explanation. I am reinstating it here (30th July 2008), with the points I made previously, with a few revisions:

The paragraph on GMO is full of glaring errors and should be deleted altogether. First, the "Precautionary Principle" is not "especially" adopted for GMOs. The precautionary principle dates back at least to the 1930s, and in EU policy it dates back to the early 1990s, years before GMOs were on the public or political horizon. Secondly, the precautionary principle does not in any way ban GMOs in Europe. On the contrary, EU policy is to allow the production and sale of GMOs, subject to appropriate licencing and regulation, as is the case for a wide range of biotech, chemical, and food products. In fact, GMOs are widely grown for market and for research in several EU countries (according to the EU funded "GMO Compass" website (, as of July 2008 a total of 17 of the 27 EU countries have active research and / or commercial GMO production programmes. GMOs are also found in food products and animal feed throughout Europe (for example, in maize, chicory, and soy-based foodstuffs). Production of GMOs is certainly restricted in some areas, in cases where a national or local authority deems that evidence of the safety of a GMO entity is insufficient to allow planting or production. The article implies that this "burden of proof" requirement on GMO producers in Europe (to show that their products are safe) is unusual, because "in most other cases the burden of proof lies on governments to prove that a product is harmful" - which is complete rubbish. In Europe (as in the US and many other countries) toys, soft furnishings, garments, dairy and meat products, electrical equipment, fuels etc. are subject to standards and regulations on safety that require certification prior to placing a product on the market, and the majority of manufacturing processes are similarly restricted and must be demonstrated to be safe (for people and the environment) before they can commence. All of this must be completed by the producer or distributor.

Finally, the GMO section ends with this paragraph: "Part of the reason EU governments adopted these policies is due to large-scale popular campaigns which started before GMOs became established in the European economy, and which included the suitably classic Luddite tactic of night-time sabotage, this time against genetic research and development." The first part of this is a daft and contradictory statement. If GMOs are banned in Europe, how could they possibly be "established in the European economy"? As stated above, "these policies" as alleged in the article do not actually exist. This paragraph in particular reads simply as a tirade against Luddites and / or the EU. Some facts to back up statements of "suitably classic Luddite tactics" would be appropriate. Mudpuddles1418 (talk) 15:25, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

RIAA/IFPI as Neo-Luddists[edit]

Considering their generally very strong opposition to follow the technological development in the information society, would it be ok to add them among with the anti-GMO and anti-Stem cell research groups? --NiklasBr (talk) 10:28, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Too few people use the term "Cyborg Luddite" for it to be here[edit]

This is a truly obscure strain of thought. Some people who advocate becoming cyborgs may do so partially out of a fear of becoming obsolete when completely artificial intelligences exist, but this is hardly a separate movement. Also, this cannot be characterized as luddism or neo-luddism, as these belief systems are specifically against technology interfering with human lives. The term is not used much at all... google "cyborg luddite" in quotes... most references point to a single person, Steve Mann. If no one can respond to this with some justification for its inclusion in the next week, I will edit it out of this article. SpaceTycoon 17:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed with the above -- especially, even if it were a well-known movement, it would not be a Luddite movement whatever it chooses to call itself, since it fundamentally embraces technology --Quaestor23 15:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

w00t, is it just me or...[edit]

Is it just me or why would stuff like dehumanise and alienate people; destroy traditional cultures, societies, and family structure; pollute languages; reduce the need for person-to-person contact [and] alter the very definition of what it means to be human be bad things? It implies that old ideas are better than new ones, just because they are old. Crakkpot (talk) 14:17, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

It shouldn't be assumed that "Person-to-Person" contact is a better idea because it is old, but rather because that's the basis of human relationships for our entire existence. Would you rather be stripped naked in front of a real person or on a webcam? There you go. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Lily Allen, Neo-Luddite[edit]

My hairy cock, what's the justification for this travesty? Lily Allen? The woman is a moron, not a ideological thinker. I move to delete. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Jaron Lanier[edit]

Should Jaron really be listed here? He may have some views similar to neo-luddism, but the man is a computer scientist. (talk) 03:14, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

I removed Lanier from the list. I guess the book "You Are Not a Gadget" mentioned on the same line was supposed to have been a reference, but I can't find anything in this book that would support the idea of Lanier being classifiable as a "Neo-Luddite". To me, he seems like a very "pro-technology" kind of guy (after all, he is a long-time technological visionary working on some quite mind-boggling ideas), he just happens to disagree quite strongly with some current mainstream ideas about technology. Viznut (talk) 14:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Martin Heidegger wasn't a "Neo-Luddite"[edit]

Martin Heidegger never said to dismantle technology, he didn't speak against it. He "merely" said to question it. Being on the greatest thinkers in all of philosophy, and definitely one of the best thinkers of the 20th century, is it really plausible that such a man would say medical technologies, pharmaceutical technologies, electric-wheel chairs, or things of the sort should be eliminated? This accusation is a personal bias or at the very least a heavily misunderstood reading of Heidegger.

Heidegger sat in on doctoral seminars for physics and mathematics, he was very close to attaining those degrees. Heidegger was also a friend of Heisenberg. So if the comparison of Heidegger should be drawn to the UNABOMBER, then it should be shown that Heidegger isn't a "Neo-Luddite". Rather he was concerned with things such as History becoming a recall function from a "memory bank" (Standing reserve), and the consequences that will have on Dasein, and the way we interpret the world. This is far beyond any discussion within neo-luddist-ism, and as such Martin Heidegger should stay off of the "Neo-Luddite" list contained on this page.

I hope this permanently removes his name from such lists, and prior to including a very important name on such a list (which pushes a certain ideology), maybe a contributing person should take the time to email a Philosophy Professor at a university or at least ask someone who is authoritative on the matter. They could reassure you, Martin Heidegger was not a neo-luddite. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Heidegger did say "Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it. But we are delivered over to it in the worst possible way when we regard it as something neutral; for this conception of it, to which today we particularly like to do homage, makes us utterly blind to the essence of technology." in his book The Question Concerning Technology (1954) which is a pretty text book style Luddite work. I have certainly enjoyed his writings (although they are old and slow to read) and I have no problem with Martin Heidegger being both one of the greatest latest philosophers and a luddite. I would also like to direct your attention to Technology and Values: Essential Readings[1] "… the supreme danger to man…" NiklasBr (talk) 14:16, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
That is a good insight, thank you very much. The conception of technology being neutral is separate from a luddite-worldview however. A cell phone isn't "neutral" because it was developed for the use of war, it is built out of the military-industrial complex, uses oil, requires satellites that are also of military origin, and all of this was intended for war, et cetera. In that sense it is not neutral, and it also doesn't follow that we should get rid of it. In the case of a car crash, a cell phone is a very wonderful thing, and I think Heidegger would agree. Honestly I haven't read too much Neo-Luddite literature, but I presume it to abolish the cell phone on such grounds as stated prior, or a return to more a animalistic existence (Which Heidegger would definitely disapprove of). The Question Concerning Technology raises the issue that there is no questioning of technology, which has successfully materialised in Silicon Valley for example. It also clears up the discernment of Modern technology and other (such as a hammer). A text which represents a Neo-luddite style I presume would advocate against such a difference, as neo-luddites wouldn't get rid of shovels. I will read up on Technology and Values. From an amateur reading, it seems however that the danger Heidegger is referring to is the misunderstanding of the essence of our being, according to Hanks. This is different than a neo-luddite claim which is more superficial, such as Man was not evolved to handle telecommunicationally based relationships. Thank you again for letting me discover Technology and Values! It seems like a very interesting book. Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Reform Luddism[edit]

Are there any credible sources that outline the definition of 'reform luddism' ? Every webpage mentioning this term seems to either have lifted the definition used here, or is a personal reaction of somebody who came across this page. [[1]] Google Books did not throw up any text with this phrase either. I wonder if this qualifies for "original research" ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wrichik (talkcontribs) 17:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Sensational Propaganda[edit]

The first sentence of the article right now ends, "that displaces workers and increases unemployment," and naturally without a citation. I'm going to go ahead and remove that part. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).