Historical Controversy: The Luddites

Even during the Industrial Revolution, there was fear and controversy surrounding technological progress. Indeed, the mechanization of the textile industry brought with it the vehement opposition apparent in the Luddite movement, which was founded in 1811. Disenchanted over the unemployment brought about by the streamlining and mechanization of the textile industry, Luddites rioted for the destruction of textile machinery. This concern over the effects of technology and automation on employment remains an issue today. Indeed, concerns over technological progress have been expanded to include its ethical aspects and uncertain effects on society as a whole. It is from historical example that the term "Luddite" has been resurrected to describe any person who believes that technological progress is ultimately harmful to humanity.