I can think of examples from history where societies erupted in revolutions against elites or perceived moral corruptions.

Is there any good example where the cause of a major revolution was too rapid progress in contemporary technology (and its subsequent impact on mass employment or the environment, say) and where a form of Luddism then prevailed in society for some time?

Presumably concrete revolutions always have several of these causes: I'm looking for an example that best fits as a luddite revolution.

  • I can't think if any case were Luddism has prevailed in society for a long time, revolution or not. It's prevailed only in isolated groups, for obvious reasons. Sep 20 '13 at 8:57
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    One could perhaps view the taking of power by Pol Pot and his followers in Cambodia as a luddite revolution. The Red Khmer appear to have persecuted indiscriminately all "intellectuals". Even wearing eyeglasses could mark you out for death. They aimed for a collectivist agrarian society, where back-breaking labor using only hand tools was the norm. A return to the stone age (but grounded by communist ideology). Sep 20 '13 at 10:37
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    The hippie/counter culture movement in the USA of the 1960's and 1970's was in many respects a reaction to over-saturation with technology and a movement to "return to the earth" - Luddite in many respects. But it was not a true political revolution, although it was a social movement that had profound impact and extends into the present: The current environmental movement at large, and in particular the popularity of organic and natural foods in the USA today and the anti-GMO food movement can be traced directly back to the hippies, etc. of the '60's.
    – user2590
    Sep 20 '13 at 20:15
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    More seriously, look at various plots and rebellions against Peter the Great, many dealing with "Europeization" of Russia as a driver.
    – DVK
    Sep 23 '13 at 14:48
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    Re EugeneSeidel's comment and @LateralFractal's inquiry, I can recommend this book: Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare.
    – Drux
    Sep 24 '13 at 8:32

Indian rebellion of 1857 was partly caused by rapid technological changes brought about by colonization. This page has an explanation.

EIC soldiers and other Indians would view many of the technological changes with trepidation. Steam trains and steam ships seemed to be some ungodly creature that defied the laws of nature. The new communications systems threatened many existing castes and businesses. Boatmen would be put out of the haulage business, farmers would find their local monopolies being challenged by cheaper imports from elsewhere in India or even further afield. Mass produced British made goods could be imported far more cheaply and efficiently than the locals could produce themselves. Severe strains were being placed on the existing economic systems by the very tools that were supposed to make India more efficient. Soldiers would have the added complication of new equipment and tactics to adapt to. With the expansion of the Indian Empire, soldiers were travelling further and further from their homes. Expeditions in Burma, the Middle East and further afield also required soldiers to travel over water. For high born Brahmins, this meant the loss of their caste. Technological change brought as many fears as benefits to the Indians in the 1850s.

(The cited source may not be totally unbiased, but certainly sounds true).

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