->''Before that steam drill shall beat me down,\\
I'll die with my hammer in my hand.''
-->--John Henry, ''[[http://www.museums.udel.edu/jones/archive/archive_pages/artist_portfolios/white/white-johnhenry2.html The Ballad of John Henry]]''

According to [[http://town.hall.org/radio/LuddLand/ folklore]], sometime in the late 18th century or early 19th century, a man named Ned Ludd broke into a factory and destroyed two machines as a protest against technology. A movement to resist the industrial revolution and favor agrarian societies named itself the Luddites in his honor. Their traditional craftsmen's lifestyle, of being their own masters and working whatever hours they wanted was dying, being replaced by "wage-slavery."

Sometimes, a work will portray Luddism (or an obvious stand-in for it) as having been right all along -- in other words, ScienceIsBad on a [[SocietyIsToBlame societal or even global scale]]. This can take many forms, including but not limited to the following:

# If a community that traditionally has [[ItemCrafting made everything painstakingly by hand]] switches to [[KillerRobot robots]], {{magi|tek}}c, [[NewTechnologyIsEvil machines]], etc. to make goods, expect trouble. The goods produced may [[OurProductSucks turn out to be unusable]], or the robots, machines, etc. [[AIIsACrapshoot will become dangerous]] and [[RobotWar turn on their creators]].
# If a society used to having everything done with magic, technology, etc. is [[DecadeDissonance compared]] to [[NobleSavage another]] [[{{Arcadia}} society]] which [[MedievalStasis does everything]] in the [[GoodOldWays the old-fashioned way]], the [[SocietyIsToBlame more advanced society]] will be portrayed as a {{Dystopia}} of [[{{Aesoptinum}} some kind]].

A common end result is that the tech/magic-reliant society will be forced to return to the old ways, with AnAesop about the value of tender loving care.

Ironically, an actual economic problem will result from the hordes of people who have no jobs and will no longer have the power to purchase the goods produced; it is called a consumption crash. But despite being an obvious argument in favor of Luddism, for some reason it's seldom brought up in these scenarios.

See also ArtisticLicenseEconomics, GreenAesop. May be the ({{s|caleOfScientificSins}}inful) Discipline in HarmonyVersusDiscipline. May be enforced by StatusQuoIsGod (and in extreme cases, a ResetButton). Compare IndustrializedEvil, where evil itself uses the scientific method and/or efficient methods of "production" (not necessarily machines, but that's popular too). Contrast EvilLuddite, for when being against technology is portrayed in a negative light.

Subtrope of GoodOldWays.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Appeal to Tradition]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Unlike the other ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series, ''Film/StarTrekInsurrection'' has an {{Anvilicious}} Luddite aesop, where a peaceful and agrarian SpaceAmish race that swore off advanced technology is victimized by corrupt Federation officials who want to study how to replicate the natural phenomena that grants them eternal life. Although Picard did not start pulling rank until he realized that the villains were planning to destroy the phenomena too. This is a bit of a BerserkButton among some Star Trek fans, since Gene Roddenberry's original vision of the series was to promote the benefits and promise that technology could bring.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Characters in S.M. Stirling's ''{{Emberverse}}'' series of books seem perfectly happy being thrown back into pre-industrial state. A mysterious force disables all electricity, gunpowder, and steam power. This reults in most of humanity dying from starvation and the survivors reverting to agrarian communities. Although a few can be heard pining for modern conveniences (most commonly deoderant and birth control), more often than not you'll hear them say how much happier they are and that this was the way humans were meant to live. Of course, it must be pointed out that those who survived tended to be Renn Faire patrons, ranchers, history professors, survivalists, and the Society for Creative Anachronism. There's also the fact that pining miserably for the lost world is not good for one's mental health.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''Franchise/MetalGear Solid'' games have characters frequently put down the soldiers who were trained in VR simulations instead of live exercises, and all the characters who were trained this way are portrayed as incompetent until we see them get real experience (such as the Genome soldiers and Meryl in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', and Raiden in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2''). ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' used this to make {{Anvilicious}} swipes at gaming fans more than anything (particularly railing on [[IKnowMortalKombat gamers who think they're experts in some field as a result of extensive video gaming - including combat]]), but came up with an odd FantasticAesop in "[[CrackFic Snake Tale E: External Gazer]]" - Snake's VR machine [[PoweredByAForsakenChild destroys other universes to function]] and therefore should never be used. It gets weird when the games hammer home how VR simulations are as realistic as the real thing, and more customizable to actual combat situations.
** There's actually logic behind this: in a VR simulation, you're not fearing for your life, so once you get into the real thing, you're far more likely to act like a suicidal idiot.
*** Unless you make "death" a non-option, and just leave them writhing on the ground in simulated pain.
* A subtext in ''Daiku No Gensan''/''Videogame/HammerinHarry''. The villains are modern construction workers and the company they work for. The hero is a traditional Japanese carpenter. The heroine/love interest/frequent DistressedDamsel is the heir to the company that employs him.
* Shows up to a degree in ''CallOfDutyBlackOps2''. By 2025, the drive to digitization and automation has led to an America increasingly dependent on drone armies. Although no one had apparently bothered to figure out what would happen if someone stole the keys [[spoiler:which Menendez does.]] In fact, one of the major points in the game is that even in an electronic, interconnected society, there would ''always'' be a need for men like Woods or Mason to do the work nobody else would.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' has anti-augmentation movement that opposes Sarif Industries, a company trying to introduce bionic implants. Some protesters fear that such advanced technology might be a cause of unemployment while others are afraid of possible control bionic companies might have over the augmented people. The latter is the main motivation of Hugh Darrow, a WellIntentionedExtremist who thinks his inventions in the field of medicine and bionics have been corrupted by the powermongers.
** [[spoiler: And if you interrogate him you realize that [[GreenEyedMonster he was resentful that he was still crippled because he couldn't be implanted with his own research.]] ]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The Amish tend to avoid certain forms of modern technology in the belief that doing so will damage their way of life, particularly if it connects them to "the world".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Technology replaces labor]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* The underground rebellion in OsamuTezuka's ''[[OsamuTezukasMetropolis Metropolis]]'' is motivated by human workers being displaced by robots.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/SantaClausTheMovie:'' The elf Patch makes a toy assembly line to speed up production, but things go awry and the toys produced fall apart at the slightest provocation. The simple solution would be having someone inside the machine to watch for errors; the real problem is the poor design rather the assembly line itself -- [[FridgeLogic not that the writers thought of that]].
* SantaClausConquersTheMartians has Santa Claus "making" toys by pushing buttons. Later, the villains sabotage the machine, causing Santa to finally denounce the process.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'': Having robots and technology do everything for them causes the humans on the Axiom to become grotesquely fat and incredibly lazy, and leads to seven hundred years of stagnation and boredom for their entire society. The fate of Earth itself could also be an example. On the other hand, some of the robots (including our protagonist) are likable characters. In the end, the trope is subverted when humans and robots learn to work together to restore Earth - showing that technology can be a force for good, but has to be used in a balanced way (rather than in a society centered entirely on a FictionalCounterpart of Walmart).
* In the 1977 Ralph Bakshi movie ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' the good wizard Avatar uses magic, while the evil wizard Blackwolf uses technology. Averted at the end when [[spoiler: Avatar pulls out a gun and shoots Blackwolf]]
* Played with in ''Film/RoboCop1987'': Although one cop wonders if Robo was built to replace them, the trope is ultimately averted with the cops accepting him as an asset on their side, such as being a big tough trooper who can safely draw criminals' fire while his regular comrades can maneuver for position to flank them. However, his effectiveness as a cop is implied to be a result of his ''human'' side, not machine, as this is how he is able to avoid simply following corrupt orders, resist Directive 4, and ultimately rebel against OCP outright. Further, each game demonstrates attempts to make other cybernetic enforcers (most being all machine), and how they've all GoneHorriblyWrong except for our hero.
* In ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', the employees of the toothpaste factory are replaced by a machine to put caps on tubes -- this results in Charlie's father being laid off. Interestingly, [[spoiler: he ends up being hired back to repair and maintain the same machine. Though logically, if the machine is to be worth anything it must replace more workers than it takes to repair and maintain it; that is, a bunch of people still need to have lost their jobs -- it's just that none of them are Charlie's father...]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'': Saruman started out as a WellIntentionedExtremist who thought his rule would be good for the world and used both magic and technology as means of gaining power. He later industrialized the Shire ([[TheManBehindTheMan through his puppet Lotho]]) as a petty jab at the hobbits.
** To be fair, while Tolkien made no secret of his opinion, Saruman wasn't trying to industrialize the Shire. He was trying to destroy it. Lotho began the industrialization process before Saruman showed up on the scene, and while its effects weren't beneficial, they weren't terrible either; it was when Saruman arrived and took over that he switched from "build more and better machines" to "knock down buildings, cut down trees, pour filth on everything just for the hell of it." As one of the hobbits who lived through it remarked, Lotho's machines didn't really improve matters, but "since Sharkey arrived it's been plain ruination."
*** WordOfGod though is that the perils of industrialisation and the destruction of beauty is the one theme Mr Tolkien will admit to.
* ''TheStand'', Stephen King's ShoutOut to ''Lord of the Rings''. In at least one AuthorFilibuster, the characters (mainly CoolOldGuy Glen Bateman) have plenty of time to [[DiscussedTrope discuss]] this issue [[AfterTheEnd after a plague wipes out most of humanity]] and conclude (after [[FromBadToWorse more bad stuff happens]]) that trying to rebuild the old government and society that [[NiceJobBreakingItHero engineered the plague]] would be a mistake. Since the old ways of American materialistic society were "a death trip", they follow the [[WastelandElder prophecies]] of a [[MagicalNegro wise woman]] to [[DoomedExpedition cross the mountains on foot, carrying nothing]], [[WalkIntoMordor to face the demonic enemy leader in Las Vegas]].
* In ''ManAfterMan'', the "memory people" have perfect recall of their human ancestors' technology, but refuse to use it because they also remember how human civilization collapsed and nearly took the planet down with it. Ironically, their Luddite attitude means they don't even consider recreating humanity's ''sustainable'' technologies, even though their own descendents would share the very same memories to warn them away from untenable courses of development.
* ''Literature/{{Dune}}'': "Thou shalt not make a machine in imitation of the human mind" -- The Orange Catholic bible
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's Spacer and Settler books have Spacer society becoming lazy and decadent because everything is done by robots. In particular, the three laws mean robots cannot allow humans to ever risk any harm, so it's not just a lack of work that is the problem, but boredom from a complete lack of any risk or excitement for their entire lives. Of course, given that the Settlers still use a lot of other advanced technologies including FTL space travel, Asimov clearly didn't want to portray all technology as bad, he was just portraying one possible outcome when technology replacing human labour is taken to extremes.
** Also somewhat subverted in the Foundation series, set thousands of years later in the same universe, where it is discovered that at least one Spacer world is still populated. While their society doesn't seem too nice from the point of view of modern humans (or the protagonists for that matter), it's clearly not doomed and is not necessarily portrayed as wrong, just very, very different.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Seen in Music/TheProtomen, ''Act II'' in particular.
* Benjamin Weiner's "Cell Phone Song" demonstrates the Luddite ideal in relationships http://youtu.be/ejhaWMGOLCY

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Half-used, half-parodied in [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/08/17 this]] ''CalvinAndHobbes'' strip. Calvin's dad claims that the increased productivity from better technology leads to people being expected to work faster and harder, so it isn't necessarily a good thing.
-->"If we wanted more leisure, we'd invent machines that do things ''less'' efficiently."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' (2003): The finale veers in this direction. ''Veers''? [[spoiler: They abandoned their technology entirely to become hunter-gatherers... and then ''[[InferredHolocaust died!]]'']]
* ''KidsInTheHall'': Parodied in one episode, in which a group of laborers who work all day at holding their arms in a sink full of fish guts are replaced by a machine full of mannequin hands which can do the same job. When the manager insists this is the way of technology, the laborers point out that the manager can be replaced by a machine too. [[spoiler:Then he starts stuttering and falling apart [[TomatoSurprise because he's a robot.]]]]
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': One episode intentionally invokes the story of John Henry in regards to Adrian Monk vs. the technologically supplied FBI agents. However, given how over the top the FBI acts, it's likely this was more of a parody of modern crime dramas, such as ''Series/{{CSI}}''. In the end, the escaping bad guy is caught thanks to a high-tec hand-held device... that the chief threw at him.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Played with. A worldwide blackout occurs and stays in effect for 15 years. This results in a number of factions being formed, such as the Monroe Republic, which apparently has to do everything the old-fashioned way. However, "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E14TheNightTheLightsWentOutInGeorgia The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia]]" reveals that the Georgia Federation has harnessed the power of steam and seems to have become more prosperous than the Monroe Republic. It also turns out in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains the Same]]" that [[spoiler: nanomachines]] caused the blackout to occur, but there are benefits they can provide, such as curing cancer and fixing broken legs ("[[Recap/RevolutionS1E17TheLongestDay The Longest Day]]"). Interestingly enough, a number of characters actually think that the blackout makes the world a better place, but they are revealed to be deluded and insane. One example would be in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E19ChildrenOfMen Children of Men]]" when Aaron Pittman tries to explain to Dan Jenkins that if the power is not turned back on, then they could die from slight injuries becoming infect, and Jenkins just blows him off. Overall, the show seems to prove that despite the potential abuse of technology, the world would not be a better place without it.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** There were other encounters with Luddites:
** Kirk's attorney, [[MeaningfulName Samuel T. Cogley]], in [[Recap/StarTrekS1E20CourtMartial "Court Martial"]].
** The farmer/researchers in "This Side of Paradise" -- although their contentment with being isolated and living with minimal technology seems to stem as much from the spores as from anything else.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': The episode ''"The Ultimate Computer"'': A new computer has been developed that can control an entire star-ship by itself, making crews and captains obsolete. For the entire episode, Kirk, Bones and at one point (briefly) even Spock make speeches about how terrible it is that people will be replaced by machines, how the computer will take something of what it is to be a "man" away from humanity, how computers just ''can't'' do the job with the same "heart" as people, etc. Bones evokes the trope explicitly at one point, noting how hard it is to lose one's job to automation. Of course, just to drive the point home, it turns out that AIIsACrapshoot, and the computer's designer was insane, to boot. [[BrokenAesop Which of course]] ''proves'' that Ludd Was Right... even though it's made clear that if the designer was more psychologically stable, the computer might have worked just fine.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In Karel Capek's play ''Theatre/{{RUR}}'' (which coined the word "robot") after robots start doing all the work, people become hedonists and women no longer have children.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* [[CorruptChurch The Yevonites]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' blame the existence of the big bad who has been ravaging the world for a thousand years on technology. The old civilization had highly advanced technology and magic to the point where manual labor seems to have been eliminated, but the destruction has reduced most of the world to a pretty primitive state although with a lot of ''LostTechnology'' going around. They claim the old ways of relying on machina (machines) made mankind so lazy that the big bad was sent in as divine punishment, and gave the creature the name Sin. [[{{MoralMyopia}} Nobody seems to be worried though about relying too much on magic, or the fact that their capital city has a giant high tech sport stadium.]]
** [[EvilLuddite In fact it turns out the Yevonites are really just devoted to keeping the world in an eternally unchanging cycle;]] [[{{Hypocrite}} they reserve the use of machines for themselves,]] Sin ''cannot'' be permanently destroyed by the method used to defeat it, and technology really has nothing to do with the origin of Sin itself. In other words, they're keeping all the goodies to themselves and convincing everyone else that it's bad to try to change things just so they can stay in charge. Once Sin is destroyed for good and the Church as it stands is broken, ''X-2'' shows us an evolving Spira - machina is wider-spread, and the two factions currently competing over Spira's future are torn between "gradual introduction of machines" (New Yevon) and "full release of all machina as they're found" (Youth League).
* This thinking is eventually revealed to be the motivation behind the Bloody Mantis, something of a [[TheMafia mafia]] in SteambotChronicles. Oddly, only if you don't join them. The overall theme of the game is an inversion, however, and there are multiple sidequests to bring technology to areas that haven't been industrialized yet.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[DoctorSteel Dr. Steel's]] idea of a perfect world is where everything un-fun is done with automatons. He has already attempted the creation of a robot band, but things [[GoneHorriblyWrong went horribly wrong]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In one episode of ''[[StrawberryShortcake Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures]]'', Lemon Meringue gets a [[ThingOMatic Salon-o-matic]] that styles hair and gives perfect manicures and pedicures. Unfortunately, this puts her out of a job, and while she tries to find a new calling in Berry Bitty City, she soon feels the need to leave. Though her friends try to convince her to stay, it isn't until Strawberry Shortcake points out that the Salon-o-matic doesn't have the human touch that she decides to stay (and send back the offending machine).
** Amusingly, as Strawberry adds that she sent back the Wonder Waffler that she ordered from the same magazine Lemon got her Salon-o-matic for being too perfect, Blueberry Muffin worries that this means she'll have to send back her [[RobotMaid Clean-o-matic]], also from the same magazine.
* In WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic, "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", The Flim-Flam Brothers produce a machine that can produce apple cider at least thrice as fast as the Apple Family. However, this trope is subverted, as their Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 actually has a quality control mechanism that causes their robotic apple cider to taste as good as homemade apple cider. In the end, the machine is defeated not because it was inferior to the natural way, but because [[PyrrhicVillainy its creators got greedy]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Argued for in The Lights in the Tunnel, a free ebook by Martin Ford, available at http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com/.
* Subverted with the advent of drum machines. When the Linn LM-1 first came out, it was initially feared that it would put every session drummer in Los Angeles out of work, with a number of them purchasing it to offer 'drum programming services'. Such fears proved unfounded, as drum machines became a compliment to session drummers, instead of a competitor. Additionally, the LM-1 quickly became outdated as competitors entered the market, and electronic drum kits that could be played like acoustic kits were developed.
* Another musical example being [[http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/paleofuture/2012/02/musicians-wage-war-against-evil-robots/ this]] ill-fated ad campaign by the American Federation of Musicians protesting the use of recorded music in theatres, having you believe this trope is true. Played straight in that recorded music has taken over in this setting and that many musicians struggle to make a living, whilst cynics claim the industry reaps all the rewards; subverted in that recording has not taken away the enjoyment of live music altogether, and the fact that many modern commentators basically see it as the dying throes of a doomed industry, with parallels to more modern developments.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Magic replaces labor]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* One enemy faction in ''CityOfVillains'', the Luddites proclaim the large power plant is pure evil, and [[MadScientist Dr. Aeon]] is [[{{Aesoptinium}} using demonic powers to fuel]] the great Aeon City. [[spoiler:You can later learn that they're right on both counts.]] Oops.
** Of course, you are a villain, so it's not like you actually ''care''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''TheSmurfs'': In one episode, Brainy enchants a needle to sew clothing faster than Tailor Smurf. But the clothing is cheap and even Baby Smurf can detect the lack of tender loving care sewn into his diapers. To finally drop the Anvil, attempts to disable the magic needle turn it evil, and it attacks the villagers.
* ''[[Disney/{{Fantasia}} The Sorcerer's Apprentice]]'': The magical 'robot' broom turns out to be uncontrollable.
** This is much more a case of "Do not call up what you cannot put down," or possibly GoneHorriblyRight.
*** To be fair to the poor, beleaguered apprentice, who'd have figured that a demon broom could resist an ''axe''?

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/CodexAlera'', the Alerans have become so dependent on magic that they have abandoned most technology as inferior. Alera is on the brink of destruction when Bernard (at his nephew's request) rebuilds an ancient device that, combined with Aleran magic, becomes the most potent weapon in existence. The device? A catapult.
* This is invoked by [[MadScientist economist]] Hubert Turvy in ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', to explain why using the newly found [[spoiler:''four '''thousand''' golems'']] would be a bad idea.
-->"Think of what they could do for the city!" said Mr. Cowslick of the Artificer's Guild.\\
"Well, yes. To begin with, they would put one hundred and twenty thousand men out of work," said Hubert, "but that would be only the start. They do not require food, clothing, or shelter.... The demand for many things would drop and further unemployment would result...."
** Although, unlike most examples on this page, he actually has a point: Introducing this much free labor into the labor pool actually ''would'' crash the economy. It'd be like the Industrialization in Europe during the late 19th century, only in fast forward. Pratchett, being a Brit himself, was probably quite aware of this.
* Another example being ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'' where [[spoiler:Hiver-]]Tiffany makes cheese using magic. The next day it's shown to be melting away and attracting flies, and generally unfit for consumption.
* In the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'', the amoral Eastern Empire does everything by magic and has progressed into {{Magitek}}, while Valdemar remains in MedievalStasis with some slight progress towards steam technology. When the Mage Storms make magic unreliable, Valdemar does far better than the Empire.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Technically advanced society as {{Dystopia}}]]
{{Cyberpunk}}?

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* Pretty much done to death in ''EarthMaidenArjuna,'' which basically posits civilization (i.e. pretty much everything after the introduction of agriculture and the wheel) as against Man's true harmony. Naturally, this is done by showing how depraved and screwed-up modern life is compared to those who "embrace" nature.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the PostCrisis version of {{Superman}}, Kryptonians had became cold isolated beings who only relied on science, being Jor-El one of the few ones still with feelings or humanity. So good Krypton was destroyed. Sadly, so was Jor-El.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Taken to {{Anvilicious}} levels in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', where the naturalistic Naavi are presented as morally and culturally superior in comparison to the more technologically advanced humans, who are [[HumansAreBastards all bastards]] who polluted their own home planet to the brink of ecological collapse.


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asimov%27s_Robot_Series Robot series]]'', where Spacers replace all their manual labor with robots, and this is viewed as contributing to their isolationist and morally questionable society. There are several works where it's implied that too much technology would hamper human initiative by making things too easy.
** The common theme there is that technology should allow expansion and enrichment, instead of stasis and stultification. Space society has stagnated because of their dependence of Robots. It's not technology that's bad - Asimov was an ardent rationalist and science-minded person - but the use it's put to that's the concern here.
* KurtVonnegut's ''Player Piano'' posits a world where automation has replaced most jobs. The majority of people in America (the world?) live on welfare with nothing to give their lives meaning; they hold daily parades to cheer themselves up. Contributing to the dystopia is unshakeable faith in aptitude tests, which supposedly identify scientists and managers. One character, classified as a janitor, invented a machine that did his entire job; with no "aptitude" for other work he joined the unemployed.
* In ''Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH'', the rat protagonists dislike the fact their society is based around stolen technology and want to be self-supporting. The rats that want to keep their stolen electric life go into exile and eventually die... trying to steal an engine. In this case it's not automation that is evil, but using technology you didn't build yourself.
** Also, the desire to give up human technology was at least partly motivated by the fear that it might bring unwanted attention on the rats' society. Which it did.
* Played with in Creator/JulesVerne's ''ParisInTheTwentiethCentury''. The world might be filled with technological marvels and war is obsolete, but society is rendered cold and soulless, focussed on hard-nosed commerce and valuing scientific and industrial achievement above humanities and classical understandings of art, and other such romantic notions.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* {{Ayreon}}: both Earth and Planet Y.
* Flobots - "Handlebars", at least in the music video.
* "Civilization" by Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters is about an African native snarkily pointing out all the problems with civilization that the missionaries keep going on about.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Television ]]

* Played straight in several ''Franchise/StarTrek'' episodes where the crew encounters either:
** A supposedly primitive, happy society that is either secretly rather advanced (such as the Organians), or long ago had once been advanced, but [[SpaceAmish gave up a high tech lifestyle for a simple one]].
** Or a post-industrial revolution society that is really a paper {{Utopia}} hiding a [[{{Dystopia}} dark secret]].
** Side note-- The Federation itself is a subversion of the trope.
** The episode "Paradise" from season 2 of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' featured a marooned Federation transport ship that had set up a Luddite society (by necessity as the planet they had crashed on had some kind of energy field which disabled all their technology). Too bad their leader turned out to be a draconian fascist [[spoiler: who marooned them on purpose and faked the energy field to force them all to adopt her anti-technology philosophy, to [[EvilLuddite the point of letting people die from simple injuries or treatable illnesses]] rather than use medicine more advanced than local herbs.]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' plays it similar to the Star Trek example. Any apparently human society is either:
** Less advanced than Earth, happy when free of alien influence, but unable to defend itself without help.
** More advanced than Earth and has some disturbingly [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] element. And when they weren't dystopian, they either refused to help Earth and/or got blown up.
*** There are also planets with Cold War era technology that are, well, experiencing a cold war. At least one destroyed themselves in a nuclear war. One might actually consider this natural human development, though. Technology isn't the problem; people are.
** On the other hand, Earth itself advances its technology ''considerably'', and this is never portrayed as a bad thing-- in fact it's a major purpose of the SGC. Towards the end of the show, Earth is sufficiently advanced that the show had no qualms about introducing a friendly minor civilization with near-future technology.
*** [[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum Of course, even then,]] all the advanced tech is being held at Area 51 or used only by SG teams and ships. It's stressed on several occasions that Earth as a whole is not ready for TheMasquerade to break just yet.
*** Although, it is mentioned that some technology was leaking into the commercial market, but it's rarely discussed, so it's less Ludd Was Right and more about something minor but inevitable happening.
*** In all fairness though, the advanced tech ''is'' introduced to the public, bit-by-bit. The SGC scientist lament the fact that they have to put intentional design flaws into it to make it look like a plausible progression of development.
* The remake of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' ends with the entire fleet [[spoiler:spontaneously deciding that Ludd Was Right and it's time to throw away all their advanced technology, hand the Cylon basestar over to the Centurions, launch the rest of their fleet into the sun, and embark on a [[InferredHolocaust primitive existence on a totally unfamiliar world]]. This was unfortunately a result of the need for the fleet to become us as shown in the coda to the finale, and flew right in the face of the lessons learned by the characters over the series. Lee actually said they needed to grow before they could attempt to live as they had done, ignoring that they had ''done just that'' over the series, even coming together with the artificially created Cylons (some of them), and the point had never been 'technology is bad', merely the societal problems ''they had just overcome!'']]
** The sad part is that it could easily have been tweaked so that [[spoiler:the colonials founded Atlantis, then destroyed themselves and their advanced technology a few generations down the line.]] Same Aesop, fits the real-world timeline, and it ''makes sense''.
* The Alphaverse in ''Series/CharlieJade'' is far more technically advanced than our universe (the Betaverse); it's also severely polluted, run by corrupt corporations instead of governments, and is built on a caste system where the lowest class is considered property. A rather more subtle example, as not everyone who travels from Alpha to Beta prefers the latter. One scientist assigned to the Betaverse is disgusted by the crudity of cancer treatment, implying it's easily curable in her universe, and Charlie himself spends much of the series unimpressed by Beta and trying to get home to Alpha, which he describes as "Some place just like this, only better. And much worse."

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', one of the endings consists of destroying the Aquinas Hub, a central 'bottleneck' for all of Earth's communication systems and allows the BigBad to [[BigBrotherIsWatching listen into anything that's being shared on any digital media anywhere on Earth]]. Of course, it also means the end of globalization and the effective collapse of modern society since no advanced communications will work anymore.
** Not exactly. Aquinas Hub is a single center of all the global communication, giving its holder an unsurpassed ability to gather and control information. Its destruction and 'new dark ages' means bringing communication technology back to the era of dispersed global network, i.e. present day. It is more about thwarting the plans of totalitarian plans of the BigBad rather than opposing technological progress as such.
* The original GainaxEnding to ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' rather infamously toyed with this [[InternetBackdraft to the chagrin of many]]. It had been established earlier in the series that the mass relay network was built by the Reapers in order to herd galactic civilization along predictable lines of development to carry out their cycles of extinction, with the Citadel built as a trap to make civilizations easier to destroy. In the original ending [[spoiler: no matter which choice Shepard makes, all of the relays are destroyed, and in Destroy and Synthesis the Citadel is also destroyed. In case you missed Ludd's anvil, the final shot before the credits has Joker and some combo of crew members and EDI (depending on ending choice) walking out of the crashed Normandy on a lush tropical world, ostensibly to live a life free of evil Reaper technology]]. The [[AuthorsSavingThrow Extended Cut DLC]] noticeably retcons this stuff out almost entirely, [[spoiler: with the relays and Citadel only being damaged, and in most ending slides shown to be repaired, and in all but the worst endings the Normandy flies right back off the jungle planet after some repairs]]. It was much better received by fans.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'', one of the playable races, the [[MechanicalLifeforms Glitch]], were part of an ancient interstellar experiment where mechanical races populated various planets to see how they evolve. The only remaining members are [[MeaningfulName the Glitch, who couldn't progress past medieval society as a result of the glitch in their programming.]] This is because the otherwise normally-functioning societies wiped themselves out when their technological development outpaced their social development.
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[[folder:Magically advanced society as Dystopia]]
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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''TheDarkCrystal:'' the evil Skesis use technology as well as magic, while the good Mystics live in caves.
** Which may or may not be a good example of the trope. It is never explored whether the Mystics actually chose to not use more than very basic technology or are unable to, and it is strongly implied that the Skesis are simply unable to not be evil.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In MercedesLackey's ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_Warning_%28Mercedes_Lackey_novel%29 The Mage Storms]]'' trilogy (part of the HeraldsOfValdemar series), a kingdom that runs on magic is disabled when magic becomes unreliable. Those who did things manually, and those too poor to afford magical assistance, do much better than their wealthier neighbors.
** However, the key for many of those who pull through very well is... Industrializing, the actual technological way. Complete with smoke-belching, coal fired steam engines (the kind emblematic of the ''darkest'' days of the Industrial Revolution). Hence Ludd Was Right was almost certainly not an intended aesop.
*** Also, the eponymous storms were utterly unforeseeable. The Empire was prepared and able to cope with every conceivable disaster, they were simply caught in the position of a society dependent on, say, wind power for energy when the wind suddenly stops blowing.
* The ''[[TheDarkswordTrilogy Darksword]]'' trilogy is an inversion: the widespread use of magic and prohibition of technology has caused society to [[MedievalStasis stagnate]].
* Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'' has a magic dependent society that runs out of {{Mana}}. Only those who abandon magic and revert to primitive lifestyles survive. In this case, it's not that there was anything ''wrong'' with magic, or that the original magic-dependent society was a bad place to live. It's just that magic turned out to be a limited resource... unbeknownst to most of the people using magic.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Inverted in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''FateZero''. This is how almost every magus views the situation, preferring to rely on magecraft and completely ignoring the technological side of things. 'As science moves towards the future, magic moves towards the past' is seen as the perfect summation, and that regressing and falling behind is perfectly okay. In FateZero, Kiritsugu exploits the hell out of this ''because'' magi are so rooted in tradition.
** There is some justification for their viewpoint. In the Nasuverse's backstory, the modern age was preceeded by an "[[TheTimeOfMyths Age of the Gods]]" when sorcery was commonplace and magicians could do just about anything. In the modern age, that type of all-powerful sorcery is essentially a lost art, and the magecraft used by modern magi is a pale imitation limited by numerous rules. One of those rules is that magecraft cannot accomplish anything that normal humans can't accomplish ''without'' magecraft, but that rule also works in reverse; new applications of magecraft become possible as technology advances, and given enough time and technological advancement magecraft could eventually replace the old art of sorcery.
* The Kingdom of Zeal is the most advanced and prosperous society in VideoGame/ChronoTrigger...at least for the elite castes of society who live on the floating islands. The poor ground-bound folks live in miserable squalor. Oh, and did we mention that Zeal's myriad magical wonders are fueled by [[spoiler: power tapped from a monster that exists to devour the world?]]
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