Luddism was a movement that emerged in England, during the 19th century, that promoted the rejection of machines and automation. This was promoted by English artisans.


Luddism emerged during the First Industrial Revolution in England. The protests lasted between 1811 and 1816. Due to automation and the development of machinery, English artisans, faced with the possibility of being replaced by these innovations, protested in order not to lose their jobs. In this way, they rejected the use of machines, in order to protect less qualified workers, as well as those endowed with fewer resources.

The spinning machine, as well as the industrial looms, were some of the innovations against which the defenders of this current were positioned.

The movement is said to be named after Ned Ludd. Well, the belief says that Ludd, in 1779, broke two looms in a factory; becoming an icon for the defenders of the movement.

Origin of Luddism

The origin of Luddism dates back to the Great Britain of the First Industrial Revolution. After the arrival of innovations such as industrial looms or the spinning machine, those British artisans who feared losing their jobs started a movement against these innovations.

This movement was called Luddism. Its name is due to the belief that the first industrial machinery destroyer was named Ludd.

Faced with the risk posed by automation in the Industrial Revolution, the mission of Luddism was based on the destruction of industrial machinery, as well as the extension of a movement that promoted the boycott of such innovations. Well, taking into account the low qualification and low salaries of these artisans, the alternative generated posed a great threat that led them to mobilize.

Its origin dates back to the 18th century; however, it was not until 1811 when these proposals began. Some proposals that ended in 1816.

However, according to other experts, Luddism was not against innovation, but against the lack of adaptation to such innovations. This, since those who did not adapt correctly would lose their jobs. And, therefore, what he also advocated was that innovation should go hand in hand with training workers to avoid job loss.

Luddism in the 21st century

Luddism is a current that occurs during the industrial revolution. However, robotization and the digital revolution have caused movements to emerge in the 21st century that defend the same position that, at that time, Luddism defended.

Fearing that many workers, also low-skilled, may lose their jobs. In a scenario in which, in addition, a huge boom in robotization and automation is observed. All this has led these defenders of labor conservatism to promote a new battle against robots. All this, as I say, fearing that automation that could end, according to their theories, with the employment of many employees who, being low-skilled, would not find a place in the new automated labor market.