All for one and one for all.

Ludd: mythical leader of the Luddites, aka Ned Ludd or Captain Ludd
Ludda: a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; a comrade in a cause


We are a tight-knit community of people reclaiming our lives from machines.

boyncart

We are a community of folks who have walked away from modern society and given our hearts to an old-fashioned way of living. We are luddites — people who are choosing to radically diminish the role of machines in our lives. We live on small cottage farms a short distance from one another. Most of us are former urbanites. We are all dedicated to a way of living based on local economy, subsistence skills, part-time agrarianism, and mutual aid.

We are learning from Plain neighbors, whose successful communities go back nearly 500 years, and look to them in many ways as models and teachers. We differ from our Plain neighbors in one important way: we systematically look for ways to lessen the workload of our homesteads so that we have plenty of time for non-agrarian, artisanal, and intellectual pursuits, outdoor adventures, hanging in hammocks, and savoring the delights of our rural world.

A tight-knit community:
Ludda is a society of good neighbors and friends. We consider the quality of our relationships the most essential part of our vision and practice. We put human-community building above house building or gadgetry. It is out of the easy interweaving of our everyday lives that our community grows. True community is about standing by one another, this day and everyday. We put a lot of energy into cultivating our bonds, and we embody our loyalty in practical habits of mutual aid.

In a sense, Ludda is like a guild: we are bound together by the love of a unique lifestyle, and by commitment to safeguarding our culture, livelihood, and the web of life that makes it all possible.

chicks
Reclaiming our lives from machines:
If you would have liked a tweaked 18th century, you’ll like Ludda. Our bias is against power machines, noise makers, glaring lights that steal the night, TVs, electricity and phones (to some extent), and institutionalized, bureaucratized, technocratized everything.
ruralidyll2
Of course, all this opens up a big can or worms, and it is impossible to go into details in a paragraph or two. Suffice it to say that we share deep wariness of modern gadgetry and various “inappropriate” technologies, and are in the process of developing a gauntlet to run all technics through before acceptance.

gauntlet

Voilà: a gauntlet. Instead of a scientist with a paper, picture an electric can opener on legs. In the world at large, it is the human being who must run the gauntlet while the machines hold the clubs!

Ludda FAQ #1

  • Are you, um… a cult? Um, no. We expect our members to think! We do have shared values and norms, but people who join have gone through an apprenticeship, so they face no surprises regarding the group’s functioning. Any member can leave at any time.
  • Do you follow a charismatic leader? No.
  • Do you govern yourself by the method known as ‘consensus’? No. We have something better!
  • Are you, like the Plain Old Orders, a church? No. Our members are free to worship where ever they please, or to remain unaffiliated.
  • What do you mean by “cottage farms”? We mean small-scale gardens, orchards, free-ranging pastured animals, and other practices of diversified subsistence cultivation supplemented by foraging.
  • Do you all follow a particular diet? Our community gatherings are omnivorous. Each household is of course free to follow its preferences, and share their favorite dishes. We care a great deal about having fresh foods, locally grown under known conditions.
  • What kind of people are you looking for as members? We seek people with a common outlook, drawn to a commitment to a very particular vision and practice. Anyone who resonates with the vision as outlined above is welcome to learn more. We do not require a unity of belief.
  • What do you mean by a “tweaked 18th century”? We mean by it access to antibiotics, to good reading lamps, bicycles, and other goodies provided by later times, judiciously incorporated into a way of life that treasures its community, old-fashioned beauty, and slow pace of life and cares for the land that cradles it.

To explore Ludda some more, click on the gateway.

25 Responses to “Ludda”

  1. KOTA PARTHASARADHI Says:

    This is really great. this is what I always think of. Are there any such societies or group in India? If so mail me. If no how can I join you?

  2. leavergirl Says:

    Dear Kota, I am not sure if anyone in India follows this vision. Most ecovillages are a hive of machines and building and developing… Have you checked with Auroville if they have anything similar associated with them? They may be able to point you further.

    Please stay in touch while the vision of Ludda ripens. 🙂

  3. Jay D Says:

    Hey, i just read all this, and methinks this ‘Ludda game’ has a lot to offer! For those like me with awareness of the baggage against the “Luddite” label, i strongly urge us, well, everyone for that matter, to click on leavergirl’s link above where it is first mentioned and highlighted. Takes the reader to an excellent summation of the sentiment…which i mostly share, but…what do folks think of the “neo-” prefix; should we add it to “Luddite”? Or will we end up being “post-Luddite”, i say partly tongue-in-cheek…and what might that mean? Are there “better” words for it? Where do you, whoever you are, stand on this key matter? Inquiring hearts want to know where folks are really at these days.

  4. leavergirl Says:

    Eh… I came across people talking of neo-luddites in this sense… “While many today blindly fear technology, Neo-Luddites embrace it. We see the personal computer as a great emancipator. Within each computer is the power to fulfill a dream. We no longer need to work to enrich others, because we have limitless opportunities to work for ourselves. Like those Luddites who spun garments in their cottages, we present unique creations to a community of intellect from our own homes. We have come full-circle. It is Capitalism much the way Adam Smith envisioned it, with information as the medium of exchange.” This is from some neo-luddite manifesto, and it sure did not mean what I thought neo-luddism should mean… and some sources do mean just modern or post-modern luddites. — So, in short, I got confused, and figured luddism is simpler to understand. Eh?

  5. Jay D Says:

    Wow, well if one were to judge the Ludditian book by its cover, and what you quoted was it, i’d sure agree. Fortunately, that can be exposed as more like technophilia than Neo-Luddism. Check out the wikipedia entry on the latter; Euro-centric, but so is the movement as framed. The decription covers it decently, and the links look awesome; i’d like to read ’em all, especially Roszak’s. But then, we know the drill already, don’t we?

  6. leavergirl Says:

    This from wisegeek.com: “A Neo-Luddite is someone who believes that the use of technology has serious ethical, moral, and social ramifications. Operating under this belief, Neo-Luddites are cautious to promote early adoption of technology, and while they are not necessarily opposed to technology, they would prefer to see a more serious discussion of the role of technology in society. Some Neo-Luddites actually dislike technology, opting for a life of “voluntary simplicity,” but this is not always the case.”

    Well, I would say not just “a more serious discussion” but actually translating these sentiments into behaviors, and live them… technology not as default, but as careful choice. ?

  7. Jay D Says:

    Totally in agreement, of course, with that last statement.

  8. Malthus Says:

    I can visualize sitting around a campfire in a wilderness devoid of any technology after a day of wandering and grazing. It is dark and the fire is warm and mesmerizing and a word is not spoken but all is understood.

  9. Malthus Says:

    Very interesting blog.

  10. leavergirl Says:

    Welcome, Malthus! Hope you stay around… and thank you for your kind words.

  11. JayD Says:

    Yes, an entrancing visualization…good that so many have it, at least as one of those fantasies few actually want or expect to have happen..? Thanks, Malthus for taking us back to the more foundational material Leavergirl started with, as i seem to be wanting to keep coming around to that.

  12. Mary Wildfire Says:

    Hmmm! Just discovered this part. Where are you? Not that I want to join–because I am part of a community in West Virginia that is also recruiting. A land trust–you can find us on the intentional communities website ic.org, Hickory ridge.

  13. Iuval Clejan Says:

    Yes, good question, where is Ludda located?

  14. leavergirl Says:

    Where do you want it to be located? 🙂

  15. Jennwith2ns Says:

    “What do you mean by a “tweaked 18th century”? We mean by it access to antibiotics, to good reading lamps, bicycles, and other goodies provided by later times, judiciously incorporated into a way of life that treasures its community, old-fashioned beauty, and slow pace of life and cares for the land that cradles it.”

    Other goodies–like computers, evidently. What about international travel? Do you have to stay on your continent of origin?

  16. leavergirl Says:

    Welcome, Jenn. Um… since people did leave their continent of origin in the 18th century, I think it’s ok to do so now. Here and there. More and more, though, I am thinking that next time I need to cross the Atlantic, I will find a ship. 🙂

  17. Jennwith2ns Says:

    That could be tres cool . . . if one doesn’t get seasick.

    How about a hot air balloon? (Because motion sickness wouldn’t happen in one of THOSE things, surely.)

  18. leavergirl Says:

    Heh. My youngest cousin makes hot air balloons. I’ll have to ask him about it. Can you take them that far? Hm… somehow a ship seems more stable to me. I wonder if one can do sail ship hopping?

  19. Jennwith2ns Says:

    Ooo–maybe.

    And I doubt a real hot air balloon could go that far. I just started thinking steampunk, and then Around the World in 80 Days . . .

  20. Shodo Spring Says:

    Do you have a location? And – I hear you can get across an ocean by chartering a room on a freighter. They were going anyway. But I personally know someone who sailed solo from California to Hawaii.

  21. leavergirl Says:

    Um, Ludda is my vision, at present. 🙂

  22. pendantry Says:

    And an excellent vision, for my tuppence 🙂


  23. It’s nice to have a name for the community we inhabit.

    Our Baymoon Cottage is right in the middle of Ludda, on the cusp betwixt Arana Creek and Leona Creek, on the Arana Gulch watershed, in the Monterey Bay bioregion.

    We inhabit on old coastal prairie terrace that the local Ohlone folks kept in native grasses and forbes with periodic burning, harvested acorns for bread and mush, hunted elk and deer, rabbits and ground squirrels, gathered grasses and tree roots for baskets.

    Our garden is modest and sufficient. The farmer’s market is a pleasant 15 minute walk to the next watershed to the east. Fish and tidelife are plentiful on the shore a twenty minute walk from Baymoon Cottage.

    Content in our home and community, we ignore the ephemeral swirl of “civilization” around us. The blur of the handicapped confined in their motorized spam cans fades away as we go about our Day.

    We meet with others of our kind on our daily walks around Ludda, the four-legged, the feathered, the furred, the scaled, and, now and then, a featherless biped or two, in warm conviviality, living together.

    Life is good.

  24. leavergirl Says:

    Sounds lovely! Welcome to Ludda neighborhood. 🙂 Or is it the other way around?


  25. Mutual welcome and discovery!

    My wife and I have walked this trail for many decades, individually before we met, and now here together. We’ve tried many trails to this place, finally discovering that Ludda is in the heart and in the home, wherever they come together.

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