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on June 11, 2011
Although Dignity is easily read in an afternoon, I suspect it will remain a part of my consciousness much in the same way The Whole Earth Catalog has since 1968. One might say these fictional characters are kinder, gentler Luddites; and to a certain extent this is true, but it should be understood that the Luddites of 19th century England did not revolt against progress in general, but against the economic and social harm of automated looms that resulted in the loss of jobs for many skilled textile workers.
Rather than burn the mills and factories as did the followers of Ned Lud, the mysterious "B." and his disciples withdraw from the rat race, move off the grid, and forsake the Internet (including Wonkette) as modern society collapses around them following the housing crash. This movement to a communal, agrarian lifestyle poses the same threat to the powers that be however, and the hell hounds of capitalism are set on the peaceful communities.
The storytelling mechanism, a series of letters written over several years and delivered to the clandestine communities by courier to avoid detection, sometimes lacks continuity, but allows the reader to avoid too much character development, emphasizing that the movement is the main character.