No Widgets found in the Sidebar
Author Brian Merchant suggests that Luddites pose a greater threat to the wealthy than Robin Hood.

The Luddites, a term once used to label anyone opposing technological progress, have been revived in recent times due to the rise of generative artificial intelligence and its critics. Journalist and author Brian Merchant has taken a closer look at this topic in his book Blood in the Machine, which examines the historical origins of the Luddite revolt and draws parallels with current technologies.

Merchant began his research ten years ago when he noticed the resurgence of the term Luddite amidst Uber’s growth and its impact on taxi drivers. He clarifies that the Luddite movement was not against technology itself but rather a labor struggle for better working conditions. The book quotes historian Eric Hobsbawm, who highlights the tactics used by the Luddites, including collective bargaining through riots.

The legend of Ned Ludd became a symbol of the Luddite movement as they used his name to instill fear and resistance against new technologies that threatened their jobs. Merchant explores how this struggle is similar to modern labor issues in Silicon Valley.

Merchant argues that technological development has long been undemocratic, with corporations dominating new technologies with access to capital. He notes that this pattern has been consistent for 200 years and raises concerns about future unrest or backlash against big tech companies.

Discussions around a universal basic income in response to automation have taken place in Silicon Valley, but Merchant views it as a superficial solution to a larger structural problem. He notes that while new jobs may be created by technology, vulnerable jobs are eroded over time, leading to social and economic challenges.

Merchant suggests recent events such as the destruction of a Waymo self-driving car may indicate growing anger towards big tech companies. He also highlights potential collective action, citing Hollywood screenwriters’ strike and negotiation as an example of pushing back against abusive uses of technology.

Blood in the Machine delves into history while raising important questions about technology’s impact on society and democratic oversight in technological development. Merchant’s work sheds light on current challenges facing industries like tech and reminds us that we must always consider our actions carefully before they become too ingrained into our daily lives.

In conclusion, Brian Merchant’s Blood in the Machine provides valuable insights into one of history’s most intriguing social movements: The Luddites’ rebellion against technology. Through his analysis, he demonstrates how their struggle mirrors contemporary debates surrounding automation and AI ethics.

The book offers valuable lessons for those concerned about technological advancements and their potential impact on society

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at, I bring a unique blend of creativity and precision to my work. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I strive to craft engaging and informative articles that captivate our readers. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am committed to delivering content that resonates with our audience and keeps them coming back for more. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news and information together.

Leave a Reply