The Unabomber thread

heavy

Hummingbird
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

As an undergraduate at Harvard, Kaczynski was a research subject in an ethically questionable experiment conducted by psychology professor Henry Murray, which some analysts have claimed influenced Kaczynski's later actions.
(from Wikipedia)

...
The overall program was under the control of the late Sidney Gottlieb, head of the CIA’s technical services division. Just as Harvard students were fed doses of LSD, psilocybin and other potions, so too were prisoners and many unwitting guinea pigs.
...
Sometimes the results were disastrous. A dram of LSD fed by Gottlieb himself to an unwitting U.S. army officer, Frank Olson, plunged Olson into escalating psychotic episodes, which culminated in Olson’s fatal descent from an upper window in the Statler-Hilton in New York. Gottlieb was the object of a lawsuit not only by Olson’s children but also by the sister of another man, Stanley Milton Glickman, whose life had disintegrated into psychosis after being unwittingly given a dose of LSD by Gottlieb.
...
(from https://www.counterpunch.org/1999/07/15/ted-k-the-cia-lsd/)
 

debeguiled

Peacock
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Fortis said:
No, he was not right. He sent bombs to college campuses and harmed student and faculty members who had nothing to do with his rants.

The sad part about the Unabomber is that had he just published his treatise without bombing people, he could have possibly made an impact. He had/has a formidable intellect and wasted it making bombs and killing people.

:facepalm:

No he couldn't have. There are plenty of people out there with anti-tech talking points who are being ignored.

He was a terrorist, and was terrorizing anyone connected to tech companies and colleges where tech research was being done.

It's not right, that is clear. As a strategy though, there wouldn't even be this thread if all he did was write articles.

Still not a great strategy for a lone terrorist. If he had a group of fellow eco-warriors spread out over the country secretly attacking, it might have made more sense tactically if not morally.

If you have ever engaged in political activism, you know how hard it is to get anything done just with words. The Unabomber's campaign is like the dark temptation for every activist.

We know we are ineffectual as we are, so do we keep our morals and lose, or go rogue and become more effective?

I was involved in a humanitarian group trying peacefully to send aid to a country that was being decimated and denied access to weapons to defend itself. We tried everything we could think of, and I remember the lot of us sitting there dejectedly in a room and one member says, so what do we do now? Start running guns over there?

We all looked at each other and knew our campaign was over. Ted Kaczynski wasn't just an example of the lone nut. He is an archetype of anyone who wants to get something done taking the dark option.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Fortis said:
No, he was not right. He sent bombs to college campuses and harmed student and faculty members who had nothing to do with his rants.

The sad part about the Unabomber is that had he just published his treatise without bombing people, he could have possibly made an impact. He had/has a formidable intellect and wasted it making bombs and killing people.

:facepalm:

His hatred of academia stems from the traumas he incurred as a 17yo Harvard freshman MK-Ultra subject. Not to justify his bombings, but his background goes a long way towards explaining his actions.
 

kenny_g

Pigeon
RE: Is the unabomber right?

This subject came up on another board and one response that I found poignant was something to the effect of, "when you read the ramblings of a madman such as Kaczynski and start thinking, 'you know this guy has a really good point here,' it's time to start looking at your own perspective and consider that it is very possibly flawed."

I don't offer this paraphrased quote to discourage critical examination of his message. Indeed, a lot of his predictions about society's growing dependence on technology and resultant decadence/detachment have come to pass, but as other posters have said above, when the final solution to the technological question is send bombs to academics, lobbyists, and in some cases, civilians with no apparent connection to the technocracy you claim is destroying society, the truth of your methodology and by extension, your message must be called into question.

The Unabomber is a perfect example of the dangers of extremism and pitfalls inherent to the narcissism of intellectuals (whom he claimed were killing society, while himself killing members of society). He alone knew what needed to be done. He alone could propagate the message to the masses. In my opinion it is nothing short of hubris of the highest order akin to guys like Manson and McVeigh, who have some occasionally profound musings on the world buried under the weight of their brazenly anti-social and anti-societal actions.

All that said, the dude somehow got a book published last year (it's called Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, widely available on the internet for free) and it's a pretty interesting, albeit outrageously verbose read. I sort of jumped around because it's so fucking tedious, but it's quite clear this guy goes full retard in his analysis of the world. The tech problem can be solved quite easily on an individual level. Turn phone off. Bang hot wife. Don't let kids use Facebook. Teach the importance of society.

TLDR
The Unabomber is not right.
 

Geomann180

Ostrich
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

kenny_g said:
This subject came up on another board and one response that I found poignant was something to the effect of, "when you read the ramblings of a madman such as Kaczynski and start thinking, 'you know this guy has a really good point here,' it's time to start looking at your own perspective and consider that it is very possibly flawed."

[snip]

TLDR
The Unabomber is not right.

Considering how my late Grandfather, who fought in WW2 against Nazis, would be considered himself a Nazi today for beliefs he held back then and held until he died, I'd disagree with you here.

I agree with a lot Kaczynksi's diagnosis, just not his prescription.

Considering how I got to this corner of the internet because I was a complete failure with women, only to learn that 'society' lied to me about everything about girls...and how I stayed because that's not the only thing I was lied to about (and am still lied to about, CNN et al).

Considering how crazy the world and mainstream is today, when you find yourself agreeing with them on the "ramblings of a madman such as Kaczynski and start thinking [my perspective must be flawed if I think this guy has a point here], it's time to start looking at your own perspective and consider that it is very possibly flawed.

This is a fun game to play.

G
 

kenny_g

Pigeon
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Geomann180 said:
Considering how crazy the world and mainstream is today, when you find yourself agreeing with them on the "ramblings of a madman such as Kaczynski and start thinking [my perspective must be flawed if I think this guy has a point here], it's time to start looking at your own perspective and consider that it is very possibly flawed.

This is a guy who makes no bones about his plan to overthrow governments and societies all over the world in order to revert to one that minimizes its use of technology. Is that really the solution?

No one is disputing his ability to diagnose the problem, but his message of revolution is never more than a few words from any such diagnosis which in my mind makes them impossible to separate and therefore, impossible to advocate for.
 

Geomann180

Ostrich
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Kenny,

Are you able to to take any idea that conflicts with what you believe and suss out merits in it, despite disagreeing with the overall concept?

G
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
RE: Is the unabomber right?

This back and forth seems to me to be the classic debate over what to do with knowledge. The truth is always good. What we do with it, at times, isn't.

The people here who appreciate TK appreciate his clear thoughts on particular issues. This does not mean that they endorse "the man" entirely, whatever that means.
 

kenny_g

Pigeon
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Yeah I'd hope I am able to do that. I even think I demonstrated that by saying that no one is questioning his ability to diagnose society's tech problems. As a matter of fact, the Unabomber is hardly the only figure making such observations so he is not exactly unique in his correctness. His terrorist actions are unique though, so I think he is better classified by those as opposed to the nearly mainstream platitude that growing technological presence in our day to day lives will have negative consequences, so when answering the question "is the Unabomber right?" It seems that no is the best answer.

Walking around with computers in our pockets is quite handy too so how anti tech is it really reasonable to be?
 

BURNΞR

Pelican
RE: Is the unabomber right?

His main thesis that tech gradually removes your freedom is correct, among other interesting things he pointed out in his essay. Have most of you read it?
 

Nerian

Pigeon
RE: Is the unabomber right?

He makes very good points about some of the negatives of modern industrial civilization on the psyche of man. For instance, the need for a feeling of autonomy and power over one's own life is absolutely true. Though I don't think that surrogate activities are necessarily less satisfying than survival activities. Still, he makes an excellent point by pointing them out. Modern people essentially do have to invent things to care about. The only base need we can't get easily thanks to civilization is love. Since that's the only thing industrialization can't solve. Yes, you can get prostitutes if make lots of money, but an actual loving connection cannot be bought. So we all at least have one non-surrogate activity. The frustration of which is often the catalyst to huge amounts of fulfillment through the personal growth and achievement required to get it. Funny how that works.

Then there is his SOLUTION, anarcho-primitivism. No thank you. We can find better solutions. In fact, it seems that the downsides may just be a transition period. As technology gets better, more and more people are finding ways to make income on their own terms.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

Paeter said:
He makes very good points about some of the negatives of modern industrial civilization on the psyche of man. For instance, the need for a feeling of autonomy and power over one's own life is absolutely true. Though I don't think that surrogate activities are necessarily less satisfying than survival activities. Still, he makes an excellent point by pointing them out. Modern people essentially do have to invent things to care about. The only base need we can't get easily thanks to civilization is love. Since that's the only thing industrialization can't solve. Yes, you can get prostitutes if make lots of money, but an actual loving connection cannot be bought. So we all at least have one non-surrogate activity. The frustration of which is often the catalyst to huge amounts of fulfillment through the personal growth and achievement required to get it. Funny how that works.

Then there is his SOLUTION, anarcho-primitivism. No thank you. We can find better solutions. In fact, it seems that the downsides may just be a transition period. As technology gets better, more and more people are finding ways to make income on their own terms.

Anarcho-primitivism is one of the two societal norms in Huxley's Brave New World. You have that norm with a very primitive people living in the Savage Reservation, without any formal political structure, and the other norm being a tightly-controlled, hierarchized techno-state test-tube family-less modern urban dystopia.

Getting people to relinquish technology and deindustrialize is a good way to control them. That's where global warming comes in as a tool for social control.
 

Thot Leader

Kingfisher
Gold Member
RE: Is the unabomber right?

I think this thread warrants further discussion. There's a lot of stuff in the manifesto that many here would agree with. Ex:

"7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, “politically correct” types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by “leftism” will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology. (Also, see paragraphs 227-230.)

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call “feelings of inferiority” and “oversocialization.” Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.

FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY

10. By “feelings of inferiority” we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum of related traits; low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self- hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have some such feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.

11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities and about anything that is said concerning minorities. The terms “negro,” “oriental,” “handicapped” or “chick” for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory connotation. “Broad” and “chick” were merely the feminine equivalents of “guy,” “dude” or “fellow.” The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights activists have gone so far as to reject the word “pet” and insist on its replacement by “animal companion.” Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the world “primitive” by “nonliterate.” They seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

12. Those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect” terminology are not the average black ghetto- dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any “oppressed” group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to upper-middle-class families.

13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals) or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We do not mean to suggest that women, Indians, etc. ARE inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology.)

14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.

He's pretty bang on. I haven't much to add. Of course the man was wrong to use violence to push his agenda, and especially wrong to target random people, but he was clearly a thinker ahead of his time. Probably a consequence of a 170 IQ, going to Berkely and having the CIA administer LSD to you.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
RE: Is the unabomber right?

I am not an anarcho-primitivist, but I am a neo-luddite of sorts, in part influenced by his writings. I recommend everyone to read him without thinking about his later actions. That is the only way you can assess ideas, in my opinion.

I don't think he was right in doing what he did, but there is a context to it that cannot be ignores. He was experimented on by the CIA while in college, as people mentioned. But also, the whole idea of terrorism didn't come about out of the blue, but because he had chosen to live in a remote cabin in the woods and was happy there for while undisturbed, until they started chopping off trees and building highways around him, destroying his totally peaceful way of life and making it harder and harder for him to survive without relying on industrial society by destroying the woods where he hunted and gathered.

I wrote short reviews of his manifesto and collected writings.

here's also a nice podcast about him.
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
RE: Is the unabomber right?

His going astray in mainly due to the fact that he failed to understand that peace is in God alone and that everything in the material world will be subject to potentially fallenness and madness, if not now, eventually. He has the mind to understand a great deal about physical reality, but needs to develop the spiritual side which will assist in a greater acceptance and harmony even in bad times, amidst the struggles.

My hope is that Ted understands this one day.
 
RE: Is the unabomber right?

so relevant now at my first reading... he was ahead of his time, definitely. crazy dude, however, i guess it comes with having a 99.99% IQ.. unfortunately he could not communicate and reason his ideas in a more acceptable manner, we might be at a different cultural/technological juncture at this point in time
 
RE: Is the unabomber right?

You can write him a letter-

Theodore John Kaczynski
Reg: 04475-046
US Penitentiary Max
PO Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226-8500
 

MajorStyles

Pelican
RE: Is the unabomber right?

I read his book as well and agreed with 99% of his points. Same goes for nearly all the fascist warlords that were supposedly evil. Either they were right or my soul have been overtaken by the dark side...both options are possible.
 
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