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Link: “Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature” by Cory Doctorow

Original post found at: https://locusmag.com/2022/01/cory-doctorow-science-fiction-is-a-luddite-literature/

What were [the Luddites] fighting about? The social relations governing the use of the new machines. These new machines could have allowed the existing workforce to produce far more cloth, in far fewer hours, at a much lower price, while still paying these workers well (the lower per-unit cost of finished cloth would be offset by the higher sales volume, and that volume could be produced in fewer hours).

Instead, the owners of the factories – whose fortunes had been built on the labor of textile workers – chose to employ fewer workers, working the same long hours as before, at a lower rate than before, and pocketed the substantial savings.

Enjoyed this article about how the Luddites represented a struggle for control over new technology, not against it, and how this struggle sees echoes in science fiction and IRL debates about technology.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.