Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast Times were tough in early-19th century England. The Napoleonic Wars had decimated the country’s economy. To save costs, wealthy textile factory owners replaced skilled artisans with automated machinery to create their goods. The workers fought back—literally—by raiding the factories and destroying the machines in these mills in what became known as the Luddite movement, named after the apocryphal leader of the raids.
Today, Luddite is synonymous with people who reject new technology—but we’ve seen the same struggles and frustrations with employers echoed throughout history, from Henry Ford’s assembly line, to mass food production, to […]