No, the Green Party are not "Luddites"

I keep seeing this meme repeated, on this board and elsewhere, as a basic, established fact, hardly worth discussing. But check out the platform of the Green Party of the United States. Just what is there here, that suggests making everybody live like the Amish?!

You forgot to put “sigh” in the title.

A link or two to posts where we “keep seeing this meme repeated, on this board and elsewhere, as a basic, established fact”. Especially the latter part about being an established fact.

They’re supposed to be the pro-environment party, yet they’re anti-nuclear. That seems like the big one. I’m a fan of renewable energy too, but the green groups I’ve encountered act like nuclear is a worse evil than coal.

That is mostly true. Green groups are generally still anti-nuke. There are some exceptions, usually those that are more science oriented.

A detail; there are good arguments on both sides of that issue. (I incline to the pro-nuke side.) It doesn’t mean or even imply the Greens are technophobic in general.

I started this thread to follow up on this. But it’s by no means the first time I’ve seen it on this board.

Being anti-nuclear is tantamount to being a Luddite? Or is it only in combination with pro-environmental stances? :confused:

It is “something” when you claim that OMG global warming is going to destroy the world because of all the CO2 we are emitting but OMG we can’t use nuclear because OMG it would like destroy the world but hey we can produce all the power we need and more from magical pixie dust instead and even do it cheaper than everything else we currently use…

Cite for that being the Green position?

The Green Party (or a certain segment there of) aren’t Luddites…they are NEO-Luddites. Sheesh…


Eh. I don’t see how that was stated as an established fact. Athelas says he/she thinks Greens are Luddites when it comes to economic issues. I don’t even know what that means. That thread died pretty soon after that post. Seems like a non-issue to me.

**billfish678 **has a point if exaggerated for effect. I am deeply involved in one group and a member of several others including Sierra Club. They are anti-nuke, anti-coal and anti-dam in general. They feel that Solar, Wind, Gas, Geothermal and existing hydro-electric combined with reduction and far greater efficiency can do the job. I strongly disagree with them on this but most older Greens were anti-nukes from a young age and will not let go of this issue. The anti-coal is generally a correct view until we actually put up some very advance (anti-luddite) coal plants. I think the answer is in a large scale multi-technology solution using Nuke along with Solar, Wind, Gas, Geothermal, efficiencies and reductions. This includes new high tech power transmission technologies that most Green groups are 100% in favor of. Also the Solar and Wind research is a very anti-luddite position. Green groups do not expect me to stop using power and vehicles. They just want to be a lot smarter about it.

The difference being? Or is this a whoosh?

Usually Greens are critisised for being too progressive, not “luddite”. In my (quite extensive) experience the ones claiming Greens are luddite are invariably extremely conservative. Which is kind of ironic I guess.

It’s the original sense of the word. The Luddite “frame-breakers” of early-19th-Century England were struggling against the economic effects of new industrial technologies, specifically technological unemployment. That was long before environmental effects of technology were a widespread concern. But I don’t see how it applies to today’s Greens.

A large segment of the Greens in Ireland are:

and some are:
Anti-automation (they don’t like auto-checkouts)

They also believe that wind energy can power EVERYTHING.

Greens are looking for technology to find better ways for using solar, wind and geothermal power. The clean energy sources. A bunch people are pushing coal, oil and nuke as the advances of the future. Weird usage of labeling here. You are calling the wrong people Luddites.

We’ll see if the Green Party remains pro-wind and pro-solar if those technologies ever get built up in the kinds of quantities that would be required to power society.

Now, you can’t paint all greens with the same brush, as its a pretty large movement. But in general, my take has been that they are anti-whatever-is-being-built-at-this-moment. Build a huge wind farm, and greens will come out of the woodwork telling you you can’t because you’ll kill the birds or change weather patterns or something. There has already been plenty of green opposition to various alternative energy projects like some wind farms, some geothermal, and some solar projects.

They also tend to be anti-development. A new factory requires a lot of mining activity to provide the steel and other materials.

Another area in which greens tend to be Luddites is in their railing against big agriculture, genetically-engineered crops, modern drugs and pesticides, and other ways of scientifically enhancing crop yields and improving foods. They tend to support ‘sustainable’ agriculture at the smallest levels, with ‘organic’ farming where nothing ‘unnatural’ is used to grow and harvest crops. That’s a fairly Luddite attitude.

I knew a bunch of people like this in college. They’d only wear handmade clothes (lots of hemp involved - the miracle fabric, don’t you know). They’d ride bicycles and only eat organic foods made by authentic poor farmers, and they’d lecture you constantly on how dehumanizing technology was and how we’d all be a lot better if we lived in a sustainable way and spent our time engaging in communal living rather than chasing the dollar and driving cars and building roads.

So while I think it’s simplistic to say that greens are Luddites, and the movement is too broad to apply the criticisms to everyone, I think there are enough examples of Luddite thinking within the green movement that you can say there are definite tendencies in that direction among many of them.

Take my word for it, very few Greens live this way. Most understand trade-offs of tech vs. what is needed. I agree most are against Nuke and most are cautious about genetically-engineered crops but your take on this last is too simple.

Here are the real concerns I know of and you might not disagree with all of them.

  1. Companies copyright/patent the GM seeds and you have to pay yearly to grow them.
  2. The Greens and many farmer groups are fearful of lost of diversity in food crops.
  3. There is already a dislike for crops that do not produce seeds than will germinate into usable plants this is not just a GM fear.
  4. GM foods appear to be more about profit than help to feed humanity and reducing the use of pesticides. If the big Agri-concerns did not appear to be so cold hearted there would probably be less resistance to them.

College kids are almost always going to be more extreme than people with responsibilities. I think you are of course well aware of this, so no sense judging the bulk of Greens by the College Greens you knew.

Yes…it was a whoosh.

That said, I do believe that many (perhaps not most, certainly not all) Green’s have an anti-tech mind set, or at least an aversion to a lot of ‘modern’ technology. Some of the more radical ones seem to go beyond mere aversion of technology to a stance bordering on (or even surpassing) the Luddites.

Anyone trying to paint the whole party (or the broader group of which the Green party is merely a small subset) with the term Luddite is, well, painting with a ridiculously, um, broad brush. However, anyone who denies that there are a lot of folks in this group who ARE technology averse, and more, that there is a hard core of, well, loons, who are completely over the top Luddite-like in their mentality hasn’t been paying attention during the last few decades to the movement.

There are a few (somewhat) good points here, but broadly, the Green/Eco types who are most rabid for ‘organic’ type farming and against the above are simply divorced from reality. Simply put, you can’t (CAN NOT) feed the worlds population with ‘organic’ methods. It’s a niche farming method which is more about wealthy folks trying to feel good about themselves, the environment, and the supposed benefits of what they are eating, than a serious and viable method of farming.

While you might scoff at a company like GM’s motives (like the evils of ‘profit’…eeeee-GAD!), the fact of the matter is they produce staggering quantities of food. The fact that they don’t ‘feed the world’ has less to do with the quantity of food that ‘big Agri-concerns’ can produce, and more about distribution of the food stuffs to the folks who are starving…well, that and the brutal thugs and warlord types ready to take the food for themselves or allow it to rot on a dock somewhere so that they can put their feet on some poor peasant groups collective neck.