What is a luddite doing on the internet?

     People often ask me, “if you’re a luddite, then why do you have a computer and a truck?” Certainly, if I had the option to live in the wild without any of that I would gladly take it. But it’s nearly impossible nowadays. It is possible for an individual to go and do that, in fact I have known several who have. And I’m sure that if I found a sufficiently remote piece of land I could aswell. But there’s a big difference between a person living in the woods and a couple dozen or a couple hundred living in the woods. So atleast for now, I’m stuck buying land and paying land tax. Which means I need a means to make money, so I sell stuff on the internet and do odd jobs in town. Picking wild plants to sell to restaurants, trimming the occassional horse’s hooves, washing dishes, some construction, or helping on a farm. I’m getting by right now, and I produce as much of what I use myself as possible. This is what we call ‘semi-intergration’ – practicing as honourably as one can, adapted into outside circumstances.Every one of us is semi-intergrated at the moment.

But there also is why I am against technology. I don’t find anything wrong with the internet, it’s just a communication tool, and as long as I have to have it I see nothing wrong with looking up documentaries, or watching My Little Pony (hey, it’s a fun show!), or playing Go on the internet. What I do have a problem with is being dependant on anything in order to survive. Needing other people to make my clothing, or heat my house, or being required to use money. If there is anything I have that, were it destroyed, I couldn’t survive without (without depending on other people), then I’m doing something wrong. This is why I try to make everything I use myself, so I am dependant on as little as possible.

Technology has gotten to the point in much of the world that it is impossible to recreate it from scratch. To fabricate a drill for a machine shop you need a drill to make its parts. It is an artificially maintained level of technology, a floating level of technology dependant on the tools we make to make those tools themselves. It isn’t the technology that’s unacceptable, but being dependant upon it. If there were a Ryup who could make an electric tractor from raw resources and a water wheel to general power for it, then that would certainly be within Ryup principles. I would question the nessecity for it, though.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a hypocrite, but I’m working on fixing those things. But, if one couldn’t hold ideals they weren’t reaching themselves, then how would anything ever get accomplished?



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