Odotettavissa uhkaava tulevaisuus
konepelon taloudelliset, yhteiskunnalliset ja uskonnolliset ulottuvuudet
AbstraktiSinister future ahead: Economic, societal and religious aspects of machine fear
From the mid-19th century onward, Finnish society began to undergo rapid transformations in many sectors. New technologies and means of transportation altered habits of work, mobility and the use of time. In this article Kati Mikkola illuminates the causes and means of resistance to new technical innovations. The sources consist of the so-called Uudet elämänmuodot (New Lifestyles) materials which include recollected descriptions from the late 19th and the early 20th centuries and autobiographical texts written by rural folklore collectors. The materials are drawn from the archives of the Finnish Literature Society and the Lexical Archive of Finnish Dialects. In these sources argumentation against new technical innovations is based on economic, ideological and religious reasons. Active resistance against machines was expressed, for example, by threatening to break objects and by composing and performing mocking songs and poems of derision. More passive methods included avoiding, criticizing, and laughing at new technical innovations. For some, innovations symbolized the dawn of a new era, while for others they signalled a frightening end. Due to the symbolic meanings acquired by new machines, the choices made regarding them were based on moral issues. They were choices between good and evil, wrong and right.