In his landmark 1973 book Tools for conviviality Ivan Illich mounted a compelling critique of industrial society. He claimed that we cannot have a society of authentic human relations unless the tools for production of the artifacts needed by that society are under the control of the people using them. Here is a quote to whet your appetite:
I choose the term “conviviality” to designate the opposite of industrial productivity. I intend it to mean autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man-made environment. I consider conviviality to be individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value. I believe that, in any society, as conviviality is reduced below a certain level, no amount of industrial productivity can effectively satisfy the needs it creates among society’s members.
This fits nicely with what I (when I remember to!) consider part of the “mission” of Nimble Machines: liberation. Not necessarily, or simply, liberation from technology, but perhaps liberation through convivial technology. As much as I might like to be, I am not a Luddite; technology fascinates me. But I cannot stomach technologies whose production or consumption is inimical to personal freedom, expression, and relatedness.
He tells the story better than I ever could. Read the book.
See also convivial tool.