11 Mar: Meet The Luddites

Disgruntled textile workers stormed a factory near Nottingham on March 11th, 1811, kickstarting the political movement famously known as Luddism.

Their protest was not anti-technology per se; instead it stemmed from a desire for better work opportunities and wages, amidst economic hardships exacerbated by the Napoleonic Wars. As tensions escalated, the British government deployed troops to safeguard factories and enacted laws making machine destruction a capital offence.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the fictional ‘King Lud’ became the group’s figurehead; consider how the meaning of the word ‘Luddite’ has morphed over centuries; and explain why, despite their proclivity for machine-smashing, luddites were keen WFH-ers… 

Further Reading: