Ted Kaczynski, also known as the “Unabomber,” was born on May 22, 1942, in Illinois. A mathematics prodigy, Kaczynski taught at the University of California at Berkeley before retreating to a survivalist lifestyle in the Montana woods. Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski mailed bombs to universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23 more. FBI agents arrested Kaczynski in 1996, and two years later he was sentenced to life in prison.
Kaczynski saw something in technology that caused him to lash out with violence. He was able to articulate that what that "something" was with surprising clarity in a sprawling, infamous 35,000-word manifesto titled "Industrial Society and its Future" (click me for the unabridged text of "Industrial Society and its Future"). In meticulous, scholarly precision, Kaczynski makes his primary claim that “freedom and technological progress are incompatible,” and that therefore technological progress must be undone.
Kaczynski ’s argument basically goes like this:
- Personal freedoms are constrained by society, as they must be.
- The stronger that technology makes society, the less freedoms.
- Technology destroys nature, which strengthens technology further.
- This ratchet of technological self-amplification is stronger than politics.
- Any attempt to use technology or politics to tame the system only strengthens it.
- Therefore technological civilization must be destroyed, rather than reformed.
- Since it cannot be destroyed by tech or politics, humans must push industrial society towards its inevitable end of self-collapse.
- Then pounce on it when it is down and kill it before it rises again.
In short, Kaczynski claims that civilization is the disease and not the cure. "Industrial Society and its Future" has been influential among radical movements that emphasize either Radical Environmentalism, Neo-Luddite notions of Tribalism or a combination of both (which includes but is not exclusive to Anarcho-Primitivists, Green Anarchists, Post-Left Anarchists, National-Anarchists and Neotribalists).
"Industrial Society and its Future" is barely known outside of these movements, however, which makes it rather difficult to find sources that approach Kaczinski's manifesto in a critical manner. So, basically, what I'm asking for is this :
If we ignore the obvious moral implications of his killing spree and focus exclusively on the theory Kaczynski expressed in his "Industrial Society and its Future", can you point out any flaws in this theory and/or reference quality sources that attempt to expose those flaws?!