www.eclipse.co.uk/cfz (Centre for Fortean Zoology) Subsection: ISMO. Page: Unabomber manifesto bits, trial, relevant web links.............

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Theodore Kaczynski 'to serve life'

Californian State law reportedly prohibits local prosecutors from seeking the death penalty for Theodore Kaczynski, the self-confessed Unabomber whose 18-year letter-bomb campaign killed 3 people and "held an entire nation hostage to his terrorist will" - his now-famous Manifesto was published in a national US newspaper on his demand. Publication of his writings led directly to his arrest when his literary and sociopolitical style was spotted by a relative.

A plea bargain looks like giving Kaczynski life imprisonment rather than a death sentence. Surviving victims of the bombings were consulted. Kaczynski can't appeal any aspect of the case against him nor can he dictate where or under what conditions he is held.

The Unabomber Manifesto

Sociological writings generally do not come to the attention of the general public. The Human Zoo (by Desmond Morris) is one of the few exceptions. Then Theodore Kaczynski decided on a course of overt direct action to bring his own ideas to the fore.

These are the opening 5 paragraphs of Kaczynski's 230 paragraph Manifesto.

The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in "advanced" countries.

The industrial-technological system may survive or it may break down. If it survives, it MAY eventually achieve a low level of physical and psychological suffering, but only after passing through a long and very painful period of adjustment and only at the cost of permanently reducing human beings and many other living organisms to engineered products and mere cogs in the social machine. Furthermore, if the system survives, the consequences will be inevitable: There is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.

If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.

We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. This revolution may or may not make use of violence: it may be sudden or it may be a relatively gradual process spanning a few decades. We can't predict any of that. But we do outline in a very general way the measures that those who hate the industrial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolution against that form of society. This is not to be a POLITICAL revolution. Its object will be to overthrow not governments but the economic and technological basis of the present society.

In this article we give attention to only some of the negative developments that have grown out of the industrial-technological system. Other such developments we mention only briefly or ignore altogether. This does not mean that we regard these other developments as unimportant. For practical reasons we have to confine our discussion to areas that have received insufficient public attention or in which we have something new to say. For example, since there are well-developed environmental and wilderness movements, we have written very little about environmental degradation or the destruction of wild nature, even though we consider these to be highly important.......


Kaczynski's musings are not a manifesto in the normal political sense, as he does not call for any specific action to deal with the problems described therein - not even the actions that he himself took.

he limits himself to soberly discussing elements of the power process (goals and rewards, inferiority, success and failure, and wealth) and the problems of population, change, stress and social breakdown, with the possible emergence of dictators.

His 'Luddite' leanings regularly emerge when discussing technology and its contributions to our lack of freedom - this makes the use of Internet technology to propagate his Manifesto somewhat ironic.

So, was he a criminal misfit or a bloke who really knew where his towel was?

Go to The Unabomber Manifesto for the full text, with annotations by Jorn Barber.


Jorn Barger's pages (on the above link) include one-line summaries of each Manifesto paragraph; some are shown below (a few in slightly truncated form):

Social problems - big population, fast changes, no community, city stress.
Technology demands loyalties in conflict with small community values.
Advertising is designed to fabricate surrogate needs.
Our choices are all defined by the system.
Deregulation is just a transfer of control from government to business.

Fewer than 1000 people make the choices that determine our lives.
We've traded in our psychological well-being for physical well-being.
Modern challenges are 'draining' because they're imposed, not natural.
Science is directed by drives, not ideals.

Technology necessarily narrows the sphere of freedom.
Freedom means being in control of life-and-death issues of existence.
People don't even realize how little freedom they have.
Industrial-technological society cannot be reformed.
Restriction of freedom is unavoidable in industrial society.

The greater technology's demands, the more misfits will emerge.
Attempts to increase worker autonomy are doomed to triviality.
Every compromise with technology leads to greater compromises.
People eagerly embrace the compromises technology demands.
Environment, politics, drugs, and abuse are easier - but are unsolved.
When social pressures exceed human endurance, things break down.

We're at a watershed, as technology learns to shape people.
Behavior that doesn't fit the system is seen as 'illness' to be 'cured'.
Techniques for reducing stress allow the system to increase stresses.
The next 40-100 years will determine whether the system wins.

What will society be like if technology survives this crisis?
Technology must be attacked in all nations at once.
The emergence of dictators is a risk worth taking.
Breaking the system will increase individuals' power.
Leftists always doublecross other revolutionaries and seize control.

Go to The Unabomber Manifesto for the full text, with annotations by Jorn Barber

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