Wayne Price

        His Authoritarianism

        The Unabomber and Anarchism

      Theo Slade


    Primary Source Reading

      He means it — do you?

      Eco-Terrorism: A Cry of Desperation

      Re-visiting Uncle Ted

        About the book

        Industrial Society’s Future

        A Critique of Anarcho-Primitivism

        The System’s Neatest Trick and Hit Where It Hurts

        Excerpts from letters

        The (Coming) Road to Revolution

        Why now?

        A Few FC Targets


Terrorism apologia can be found far and wide, whether that be on the internet or down the pub. First, I’ll quote three responses to Ted Kaczynski’s bombings, then I’ll show some primary source examples of terrorism apologia for anyone who is interested in researching the subject.

Wayne Price

Source: 1995 Aug/Sep issue of Love & Rage. <>

Like most people, I am not a pacifist. The existence of widespread police brutality and the growth of the fascist “militias” show that popular movements will have to defend themselves. The state will never allow a non-violent, democratic revolution.

However, the use of violence exacts a price. It makes revolutionaries less sensitive, less morally keen, less like people of the new world. Violence is only justifiable in a revolutionary situation or in defense of a popular struggle (for example, the Black Panther Party at its height). When revolutionaries, isolated from most people, set out to strike at even the most vicious oppressors, the results are invariably bad. Bystanders get injured, the revolutionaries become more isolated from the people, they get killed or jailed, and the state gets a popular excuse for greater repression.

As a general rule, I would give political and legal support to such revolutionaries when arrested by the state, despite my disagreements. In the case of the Unabomber, he is a murderer dragging noble ideas through the mud.

His Authoritarianism

Anarchism has a popular image of bomb-throwing, based on a real trend in anarchist history. But there are other historical trends in anarchism, including organizing mass labor struggles (anarcho-syndicalist, the IWW), mass military forces (Makhno, Durruti), and even a pacifist trend (Tolstoy, Goodman). There is nothing inevitably “terrorist” about anarchism.

In our time most, “terrorism” has been carried out by Marxist-Leninists, nationalists, and other statists, not anarchists. (Of course, such violence has always been small potatoes compared to the massive terror used by the military and police forces of the states.) For example, the Weatherpeople of the ‘60s were admirers of Stalin and Charles Manson.

This sort of small group “terrorism” is inevitably authoritarian. The Unabomber, who admits to having no strategy for popular struggle, seeks to overthrow industrial society virtually single-handedly. He will force people to live in non-industrial, totally decentralized society? What if they do not want to live in such a society? And they do not; the vast majority support the existing system, more or less. Rather than trying to persuade them, he intends to blow up their society.

Anarchists are against the vanguardism of the Leninists but they are often unclear about just what vanguardism is. Many think that they avoid vanguardism by being against the self-organization of anarchists. In my opinion, vanguardism is not the belief that a small group may be right and the majority wrong. Few believe in revolutionary anarchism while the vast majority supports statist capitalism; we have every right to organize ourselves to try to persuade the majority of our viewpoint, always acknowledging that we have much to learn from others.

No, vanguardism is the belief that the correct minority has the right to impose its views on the majority. When the minority seeks to rule over the people, to act for them, to be political in their place, then it is vanguardist and authoritarian, no matter how “anti-authoritarian” is its ideology — as is the case of the Unabomber.

The Unabomber and Anarchism

To return to the original question: are the Unabomber’s murders connected to the politics of anarchism? First, I answer “No.” His views have nothing in common with my views on anarchism. And even the most misguided anarchist bomb-throwers and assassins of the past would not have killed professors and students.

But I also say “Maybe.” His views are similar to those of many anarchists: the lack of interest in developing a strategy for popular revolution; the belief that the enemy is industrial technology; not building an organization; not participating in popular struggles, but acting as an elite above the people; the worship of violence, abstracted from popular struggle; a willingness to impose their views on the people, even while denouncing as vanguardist those who try to persuade people. Perhaps I could add: an ambiguity about democracy, seeing anarchism as for freedom versus democracy, rather than as the most extreme form of democracy. All these concepts are reflected in the Unabomber’s letters and actions and are also held by various trends within the anti-authoritarian movements. No doubt the Unabomber will be used as an excuse for denouncing anarchism. The movement would be wise to prepare by having open discussion about him and his methods.

Theo Slade

Source: <>

As a professor at Berkeley during the height of the Vietnam war protests, Kaczynski was very aware of militant campaigns against the draft that even involved bombs going off at universities. He romanticized the anti-hero in Joseph Conrad’s novel The Secret Agent. So, I think he desired to outcompete leftist rebellion with a more all-encompassing ultra-conservative rebellion of needing to return to a medieval era traditional relationship with technology.

I’m very critical of how he thought he could use violence to at first satisfy an internal pain to enact his suffering on others, and then later how he imagined himself a revolutionary.

I think Ted’s difficulty relating to people blinded him to the way a coalition could be built to remediate aspects to the world he grew up in which had harmed him. I think his critique of his wayward followers should also be applied back on him, given his lack of optimism about the possibility of achieving a more ideal society without mass killing and starvation:[1]

Kaczynski condemns ITS and accuses the group of misappropriating his ideas. He hurls the charge of leftism right back at them, along with a diagnosis of learned helplessness: ‘The most important error that ITS commits is that they express, and therefore promote, an attitude of hopelessness about the possibility of eliminating the technological system’. This attitude of hopelessness gives ITS a more vengeful and nihilistic character than Kaczynski himself.

Kaczynski didn’t like mass movements; he had a disgust for the university elite’s ideological disconnect from the world. Had the desire to share with the world some useful philosophical theory and some not so useful action i.e. killing various people identified with technology. Because his childhood was about being forced to conform to an ideal of academic success at the expense of mental health and community, he thought he was only one of few people who had woken up to the downside of this conformity, such that any revolution would need to be carried out by a small vanguard playing off many parties against each other.

But, I think that idea reveals a naivety about human potential and a naive optimism about an elite underclass who will always be willing enough to risk their lives to tear down industrial society, to even stop it re-emerging if it ever could be destroyed.

To an extent, social movement membership is tied to events which are hard to predict, like the children who grew up in the formerly fascist countries after WW2 formed the most active left wing militant movements, which can be understood to be in part an anger at their parents generation for buying into fascism. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just about learning those lessons, to counsel people to take only the actions which are ethical and the consequences they are comfortable living with, to make the movement as sustainable as possible.

And obviously sometimes getting caught isn’t a total loss to the movement, the publicity received for a worthwhile act of civil disobedience can be a net gain, but it does have to be a struggle people can sympathize with. So, I just don’t see people being inspired by primitivist terror attacks ever catching on as this even minor movement.


Source: <>

does [Ted K] pass any reasonable standard of actually being an anarchist? fuck no. not even close.

What does this mean, and how does he fail to fulfill it?

Well there’s probably a dozen ways but arguably the biggest one?

Randomly attempting to maim or murder people (or succeeding at it) because of arbitrary value judgements isn’t anarchist, by my values as an anarchist OR a reasonable estimation of the values of a coherent anarchist position that doesn’t arrogate to itself the right to deal out death just because reasons.... to somebody who isn’t immediately fuking with you in a literal way.

Anyone who crosses this line obviously invites a lot of scrutiny, only moreso if they claim to be needing to use lethal force from an anti-authoritarian position.

I will cheerfully die on that theoretical hill but more importantly, propaganda of the deed up to the threshold of murder (not in combat of any kind) is a very old and contested theoretical leap, many smarter people than myself have been debating it for centuries.

The anarchist tradition has a rich history of this but i can simplify all that by just pointing out that whoever makes this wild, large claim that they definitely need to use lethal violence, they would need to prove it’s worthwhile, i don’t have to disprove their conjecture.

Better still, these are almost always the same psyche profiles that will say they never have to justify anything to anyone, which starts to sound a lot like the “divine right of kings” ... so yeah. that’s the opposite of anarchy.

The sound of the circle, squaring itself in the mind of a raving lunatic.

Primary Source Reading

He means it — do you?

Author: John Zerzan

Date: 2002

Source: Running On Emptiness (Book). <>

Today opposition is anarchist or it is non-existent. This is the barest minimum coherence in the struggle against an engulfing totality.

And while ten years ago the milieu generally called anti-authoritarian was largely syndicalist, those leftist residues are fading out altogether. Very few now find a vista of work and production at all liberatory.

As the smell of this false and rotting order rises to the heavens, registering an unprecedented toll on all living beings, faith in the whole modern world evaporates. Industrialism and its ensemble looks like it has been a very bad idea, sort of a wrong turn begun still earlier. Civilization itself, with its logic of domestication and destruction, seems untenable.

After all, is there anyone who is happy in this desolation?

Lovely new indicators of how it is panning out include increasing selfmutilation among the young and murder of children by their own parents. Somehow a society that is steadily more impersonal, cynical, deskilled, boring, artificial, depressing, suicide-prompting, used up, drug- ridden, ugly, anxiety-causing and futureless brings a questioning as to why it has come to this/what’s it all about.

Leftism with its superficial program is nearly extinct. Its adherents have folded their tents of manipulation and, in some cases, moved on to far more interesting adventures.

Anarchism, if not yet anarchy, is the only scene going, even if the blackout on the subject is still in effect. As if to match the accelerating decomposition of society and displacement of life at large, determined resistance is also metamorphosing with some rapidity. The rout of the left, following the swiftly declining prestige of History, Progress, and techno-salvation, is only one development. The old militants, with their ethic of sacrifice and order, their commitment to economy and exchange, are already fixed on the museum shelves of partial revolt. Enter the Unabomber and a new line is being drawn. This time the bohemian schiz-fluxers, Green yuppies, hobbyist anarcho-journalists, condescending organizers of the poor, hip nihilo-aesthetes and all the other “anarchists” who thought their pretentious pastimes would go on unchallenged indefinitely—well, it’s time to pick which side you’re on. It may be that here also is a Rubicon from which there will be no turning back.

Some, no doubt, would prefer to wait for a perfect victim. Many would like to unlearn what they know of the invasive and unchallenged violence generated everywhere by the prevailing order—in order to condemn the Unabomber’s counter-terror.

But here is the person and the challenge before us.

Anarchists! One more effort if you would be enemies of this long nightmare!


Eco-Terrorism: A Cry of Desperation

Author: A.S. Robak

Date: December 18, 2017

Source: <>

It should not come as surprise to the majority of our population that there is a fairly new phenomena that has arisen within the later half of the 20th century that pertains to the preservation of our environment. Just as light green environmental groups and lobbyists have gained traction within the mainstream, so have their more radical underground counterparts. Groups such as Greenpeace and PETA have attempted to solve our impending ecological and environmental crises time and time again through peaceful methods, but have had absolutely zero success in accomplishing this. However, unilateral organizations such as Earth First! and Deep Green Resistance have taken it into their own hands to halt the industrial complex that has been devastating the life systems on our planet for so long. Not only have these groups had a substantial amount of success in preserving the Earth and its life systems, but have gained sympathetic supporters from the general population in the process. These groups are in opposition to the mainstream environmentalist drivel that has been in circulation for so long, without accomplishing anything. The perspective taken by many of these groups and individuals is not that our system can be reformed to accommodate the other life on this planet. The problems we are facing in regards to the environment lie at the heart of the techno-industrial system as a whole. The problem of our crumbling ecological situation cannot be solved through legal means. Nothing short of the immediate destruction of the techno-industrial complex will be able to save our environment from it’s impending obliteration. We have demonized and cast out individuals such as Ted Kaczynski, who did nothing more than take this problem into his own hands. These people and organizations are here for the betterment of the planet. It makes no sense that we push the agenda that they are wrong, and must be locked up for their actions, when they are the ones who are right. They are the ones who have the courage to see the problem of our crumbling environment, and do something about it that will actually matter. The public should not look down upon these individuals and organizations as “Terrorists,” but should be able to see that these are the measures that must be taken in order for our environment to be truly saved.

Demonization and propaganda against these individuals and organizations will never truly bring them down, it will only make them stronger. Whenever one of these groups is pursued by the authorities, it only garners more attention to the cause. This is a widely observed phenomena. Not to say that this is a bad thing, but it is only aiding the cause of radical environmentalists when the government and the media attempts to demonize them. Let’s take a look at the Earth Liberation Front, which has operated internationally as a “Domestic Terrorist Organization” since the early 1990s. However, up until the early 2000s, not much was known about this group. For over two decades, this group has coordinated unilateral attacks on complexes which seek to enforce the human strangle hold upon the Earth. In the late 1990’s the group gained a significant amount of popularity within North America, with multiple arsons and bombings directed at ski resorts, power lines, and truck dealerships within the Pacific NorthWestern United States. These attacks were not directed at individuals, only the structures that allow these individuals to destroy the Earth. The goal of these attacks was to cause significant amounts of property damage, causing these destructive operations to halt their exploitative practices. Remember, nobody was killed or injured in these attacks. That was not the goal. Despite press releases from the ELF Press Office concerning the motives of these attacks, the group had become classified as a “Domestic Terror Organization.” The classification of the ELF as such only brought more attention to the cause. This is why many within the radical environmentalist community would now justify and defend the actions of the Earth Liberation Front, seeing as their motives were just and necessary in the fight towards a clean Earth. Legal actions have been taken to break down the ELF, but to no avail. Yes, the “Terrorists” such as Daniel McGowan, who were guilty of committing arsons and bombings in the state of Oregon in the late 1990s were later arrested and convicted. However, this exposure brought more people from the general public to look at these actions and justify them. Now, we can look at the Earth Liberation Front in 2017, it is larger than ever, with cells across the globe. It would have never grown to the size that it is today if the United States Government had not classified it as the most dangerous domestic terror threat in the country in 2001.

In another example, we can take a look at Ted Kaczynski, or “The Unabomber.” For 19 years, he led a bombing campaign across the United States that was targeted at individuals who were responsible for the destruction of the Earth, and the advancement of the technosphere. He had managed to elude the authorities for so long, with zero clues whatsoever in relation to his identity or location. The only way that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to catch him, was through the publishing of his 35,000 word manifesto:Industrial Society and its Future. On September 19th, 1995, the New York Times and the Washington Post published this manifesto in its entirety, in order to appeal to the Unabomber’s request, as stated in a letter mailed to both of these newspapers. This decision to publish his was very counterproductive on the part of the FBI. Not only did this decision lead to the American public becoming aware of the Unabomber’s motives, but may have sparked a new era of anti-technology and anti-industry movements. When this manifesto was released to the public, many people around the globe were able to access it through the internet, thus making the dispersal of this information very easy. In doing this, they created a whole new generation of future Unabomber’s, who are ready and willing to look past our technological facade, and rebel against it using whatever methods are possible. However, the publishing of this manifesto did lead to his arrest in 1996 in his cabin in rural Montana. His brother, David Kaczynski, was able to analyze and recognize the writing as his brother’s and subsequently reported this to the FBI. All in All, the decision of the FBI to allow the publishing of Industrial Society and its Future to the American Public was counterproductive. This manifesto has done nothing more than spawn a new generation of Ted Kaczynski’s, who are aware that technological society has done the exact opposite of liberation. It has only enslaved and weakened both us and the Earth. This feeding into the Neo-Luddite and Anti-Civilization ideologies is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Ignorance is not bliss, and it is only better for the general population to know the truth about the dangers of technological society, rather for them to be hidden within a techno-industrial masquerade of lies and deception.

If we are to define “terrorism”, we can see that it is clearly defined as “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, in the pursuit of political aims.” Pondering this, we can explore whether or not these “Eco-Terrorists” are truly terrorists in the common sense of the word. In many of these circumstances, the attacks carried out were not directed at civilians, but at creations of the system itself. It doesn’t make much sense that one would be able to “Terrify” that which is not alive, but is a building or an industrial complex. Yes, these actions may be considered violent, and possibly using intimidation. However, in no way are these groups using “terror” to advance a political goal. On the other hand, who is the real terrorist in this instance? Is it the coercive complexes that uphold the techno-industrial system, which is used to rape the planet of all that is good, or is it those who are courageous enough to stand up to this environmental tyranny? It is the gambit of the techno-industrial system to demonize and destroy all who oppose it. Considering this, we can see that those who are labeled as “Eco-Terrorists” by the technocrats, will certainly be looked down upon by those who the technocrats influence, without thought that the true terrorist may be the technological system itself.

In addition to the fact that the government, as well as the media are only feeding into public sympathy for radical environmentalism, these complexes can do absolutely nothing to stop these operations from taking place. Hypothetically, we can say that the government passes a law that is supposed to debilitate “Eco-Terrorist” organizations. Let us say that a government passes a law which makes it harder for one to buy the materials required to build bombs or conduct arsons. In absolutely no way is this ever going to affect the ability or desire of the “terrorist” to continue doing these activities. Absolutely nobody who is already committing a punishable offense will see that these materials have been made harder to obtain, and thus means that they are unable to proceed as they were before. There are two options that will be followed in this instance. The first is that instead of obtaining materials on the free market, one would have to purchase materials from a black market instead. Yes, this is illegal. However, one would not care if it is illegal, seeing as they are already breaking the law by the mere existence of their “Eco-Terrorist” organization. The second option that will be pursued in this instance is the idea to improvise, adapt and overcome. If one already has their mind set upon an operation that will further the destruction of techno-industrialism as we know it, one will not halt their pursuit once it has been made harder to do it. The only logical way forward is for one to come up with alternatives that will allow one to accomplish the same thing, or something close to it. Hypothetically, let us say that it has been made harder for one obtain a material required to make a bomb. However, I had my mind set on the bombing of a local coal plant with a few of my comrades. We would not see this and think that there is no way that we can proceed. Of course it only makes sense that we either find a way around the obstacle, or find an alternative method. In this instance, it would make sense to find a replacement material that has the same use in the construction of explosives, or we could rescind our idea of a bombing, and resort to arson instead. There is no law that any government can pass that can possibly get between these groups and their goals. If these groups do truly believe in the complete and utter destruction of the techno-industrial system in order to liberate humanity and the Earth, then they will surely do whatever it takes to accomplish these goals. Under no circumstance will a revolution be halted due to illegality. History has shown us otherwise.

Seeing as there is nothing that can be done to prevent these attacks from taking place within the positive law spectrum, there is only one option that the public must take in regard to the rise of “Eco-Terrorism” in the 21st century. It is not unrealistic for me to say that we as a society will have to learn from the motives of these groups and individuals, and see how they are relevant in our society today. Fighting this movement is not an option. The radical environmentalist movement is based on an ideology of non-failure. Nothing can be done to stop the movement that is willing to do anything to bring about the destruction of techno-industrialism as we know it. The adaptation of our society at large to the rise of this movement will allow it to succeed. As our society becomes more and more conscious of the truth underlying this destructive game, we will slowly but surely begin to side with these groups that were once deemed “Eco-Terrorists.” The only way that we will be able to prevent the violent destruction of this system, is through the peaceful dismantlement of the system itself. However, seeing as our society is currently only willing to take legal measures to reform the system, these attacks are necessary to further the ideology that will not stop until the civilized structure that is currently being used to rape the Earth of its resources has been entirely obliterated. As our crumbling civilizational structure continues to destroy itself under the weight of humanity’s industry, public opinion will become more and more favourable towards the construction of a new, improved, and sustainable society.

To conclude, these unilateral attacks that have been taken, and will continue to take place against the techno-industrial system can not be stopped by any form of natural law. The only method that will allow the violence to cease, is the adaptation of the general public to the fact that this way of life will never be able to sustain itself, and must be destroyed in favor of something that is not as harmful to the planet which we rely on. This popularization of radical environmentalism is entirely the fault of the government, and of the media, which has brought these groups to the forefront of environmental discussion within the general population. As the government and the media attempt to expose and demonize these environmental groups and radical individuals. As the government attempts to hinder the actions of these groups through new laws, these groups only become more innovative at finding ways to break through natural law in favor of the goals that will aid the Earth, not just us, within our selfish, human-centric point of view. We must learn from these so called “Eco-Terrorists” if we are to build a better future for all life on this planet. As our failure of a civilization continues to destroy itself, the few members of society who are willing to do something about it, will continue to fight against the injustices that take place across our planet, no matter how much they are demonized and suppressed by the government. These acts of “Eco-Terror” are no more than cries of desperation as the Earth is crushed under the weight of humanity.

Re-visiting Uncle Ted

Subtitle: A look at Technological Slavery: The collected writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski a.k.a. “The Unabomber”

Author: Panagiotis Evangelos Nasios Tsolkas

Source: <>

AUGUST 14, 1983: “The fifth of August I began a hike to the east. I got to my hidden camp that I have in a gulch beyond what I call “Diagonal Gulch.” I stayed there through the following day, August 6. I felt the peace of the forest there. But there are few huckleberries there, and though there are deer, there is very little small game. Furthermore, it had been a long time since I had seen the beautiful and isolated plateau where the various branches of Trout Creek originate. So I decided to take off for that area on the 7th of August. A little after crossing the roads in the neighborhood of Crater Mountain I began to hear chain saws; the sound seemed to be coming from the upper reaches of Rooster Bill Creek. I assumed they were cutting trees; I didn’t like it but I thought I would be able to avoid such things when I got onto the plateau. Walking across the hillsides on my way there, I saw down below me a new road that had not been there previously, and that appeared to cross one of the ridges that close in Stemple Creek. This made me feel a little sick. Nevertheless, I went on to the plateau. What I found there broke my heart. The plateau was criss-crossed with new roads, broad and well-made for roads of that kind. The plateau is ruined forever. The only thing that could save it now would be the collapse of the technological society. I couldn’t bear it. That was the best and most beautiful and isolated place around here and I have wonderful memories of it.

One road passed within a couple of hundred feet of a lovely spot where I camped for a long time a few years ago and passed many happy hours. Full of grief and rage I went back and camped by South Fork Humbug Creek.

The next day I started for my home cabin. My route took me past a beautiful spot, a favorite place of mine where there was a spring of pure water that could safely be drunk without boiling. I stopped and said a kind of prayer to the spirit of the spring. It was a prayer in which I swore that I would take revenge for what was being done to the forest.

“[...] and then I returned home as quickly as I could because I have something to do!”

Many of us grew up with a wild-ass grandpa or grumpy uncle. Whether they were preaching conspiracy theories, needling us to invest in gold or embarrassing us in front of our friends by gleefully threatening to get revenge on the techno-industrial empire, they usually made quite an impression. Ted Kaczynski might just be that relative to those of us in the radical ecological movement. Over the past few decades, some have cringed at his sight and others have cheered, but we’ve all had to ask ourselves, is he really related to us?!

Did he subscribe to the Earth First! Journal? Didn’t I see him eating at the Food Not Bombs picnic once? Was he at the Rendezvous? (or did he get kicked out?!)

While the speculations could take on mythical proportions, the only evidence to surface suggested an obscure relation at best—despite some persistent attempts to connect him to an organized movement. For example, in April ’96, Tampa Tribune columnist Cal Thomas reported, “Kaczynski went to an Earth First! meeting at the University of Montana where a hit list of enemies of the environment was distributed.” Thomas, a former publicist for Jerry Falwell, conflated both allegations: the meeting was actually a Native Forest Network conference and the list came from Live Wild or Die, not the Earth First! Journal (although when FBI agents raided Kaczynski’s Montana cabin, they claimed to find copies of both).

According to the Center for Consumer Freedom’s famous Earth First!-bashing website, WWW.ACTIVISTCASH.COM, the FBI said Earth First! Journal was one of Kaczynski’s favorite periodicals. As annoying as these industry fronts tend to be, their sources are occassionally solid. In this case, a 1998 court transcript stated that a letter titled “Suggestion for Earth First!ers from FC” (said to be the Unabomber’s pseudonym) was found in Kaczynski’s cabin, which read in part: “As for the Mosser bombing, our attention was called to Burston-Marsteller [sic] by an article that appeared in the Earth First! Litha [sic].” The transcript also states “the cabin searchers also found a copy of a letter to a radical environmental group known as Earth First!, and that letter began: ‘This is a message from FC. The F.B.I. calls us Unabom. We are the people who recently assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association.’”

In the Beltane ’96 issue of the Journal, co-editor Leslie Hemstreet authored a thorough rebuttal to media accusations following Ted’s bust, primarily by distancing the movement from him to the greatest extent possible (including inaccuracies). The editorial collective went as far as filing the first stages of a lawsuit against the FBI, which was mostly fruitless. With the Journal bearing the brunt of the pressure, the angle taken by the Eugene collective at the time is understandable. The anxiety, fear and confusion show most clearly when Hemstreet asserts that “to even identify the Unabomber as environmentally motivated is stretching it. Of his 26 victims, only two had any environmental connection.” [see A Few FC Targets]

Little else ever appeared about Uncle Ted in the Journal— no analysis of targets, no critique of the manifesto—but plenty of whispers, rants and arguments could be heard around our campfires. In June ’99, a former Journal editor, Theresa Kintz, attempted to break the silence by conducting the first interview with Ted Kaczynski; however, at that year’s Round River Rendezvous in Colorado the movement rejected the idea of running it. Instead Anarchy: a Journal of Desire Armed and the UK edition of Green Anarchist published it jointly. Neither of which was, for better or worse, constrained by public process or movement accountability.

In response to Kintz’s question about his influences, Kaczynski responded: “I read Edward Abbey in mid-eighties and that was one of the things that gave me the idea that, ‘yeah, there are other people out there that have the same attitudes that I do.’ I read The Monkeywrench Gang, I think it was. But what first motivated me wasn’t anything I read. I just got mad seeing the machines ripping up the woods and so forth...”

To reflect on three decades of the ecological resistance movement while ignoring the dialogue about industrial civilization that Ted’s endeavors sparked would be negligent. For the most part, however, Earth First! has shied away from any open discussion about Kaczynski. At what point can we move on past that?

Feral House Publishers offered a guiding step in their opening note to the readers of Technological Slavery by reminding us that even technophiles like Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems, have been able to express their regard for Ted’s writing:

“Like many of my colleagues, I felt that I could easily have been the Unabomber’s next target. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument… As difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in [Kaczysnki’s writing].”

About the book

Technological Slavery opens with an author’s note from Ted: “I expect it to be advertised and promoted in ways that I will find offensive. Moreover, I do not like the new title…” (Editions Xenia published a first edition in French in 2008 as The Road to Revolution, as well as a limited release of 400 copies in English). Ted again expresses his deep dissatisfaction with the book in the first line of his forward.

In case you don’t get the picture, Uncle Ted is bitter. Despite the author’s discouragement, I kept reading. And I’m glad I did. In fact, Technological Slavery took me back to age 17 and my telemarketing cubicle job, where I read his words for the first time. A dozen years later, it still evoked much of the same intellectual stimulation (only now I was staring at a computer in the EF! Journal office).

Speaking of EF!, only four pages into his book EF! makes its first appearance. According to Ted, “Whenever a movement of resistance begins to emerge, these leftists (or whatever you choose to call them) come swarming to it like flies to honey until they outnumber the original members, take it over, and turn it into just another leftist faction, thereby emasculating it. The history of Earth First! provides an elegant example of this process.” He reiterates this idea throughout the book in various letters to correspondents.

Uncle Ted obviously preferred the overly-masculine, right-wing patriarchal days of Earth First!. Even if the reality is that his preferred faction couldn’t hold its own in the Earth First! movement and much of it has since gone status quo, obsessing over pro-border policy and population, does that mean we should dismiss everything he has to say? I don’t think so. In my opinion, it’s far past time we take a deeper look for ourselves.

Industrial Society’s Future

In his famous treatise to the developed world, “Industrial Society and Its Future” (ISAIF), originally published in the New York Times and Washington Post in exchange for an end to the bombing, there were some thoughtful, basic tips on strategy:

“The line of conflict should be drawn between the mass of the people and the power holding elite of industrial society… For example, it would be bad strategy for the revolutionaries to condemn Americans for their habits of consumption. Instead the average American should be portrayed as a victim of the advertising and marketing industry, which has suckered him into buying a lot of junk that he doesn’t need and that is a very poor compensation for his lost freedom. Either approach is consistent with the facts… As a matter of strategy one should generally avoid blaming the public.”

“One should think twice before encouraging any other social conflict than that between the power holding elite (which wields technology) and the general public (over which technology exerts its power)… [which] may actually encourage technologization, because each side in such a conflict wants to use technological power to gain advantages over its adversary. This is clearly seen in rivalries between nations. It also appears in ethnic conflicts within nations,” (from paragraphs 190 and 191).

Uncle Ted must have had doubts about the efficacy of some of his strategies (like 204 and 205 where he encourages revolutionaries to have as many babies as possible!), because he then says in 206: “If experience indicates that some of the recommendations made in the foregoing paragraphs are not going to give good results, then those recommendations should be discarded.”

A Critique of Anarcho-Primitivism

The book’s next essay, “The Truth About Primitive Life”, is in agreement with what Ted sees as the philosophical position of the green anarchist tendency, but focuses on a deep challenge to what he sees as the tamed, mythical version of anthropology it bases itself on, concluding “you can’t build an effective revolutionary movement out of soft-headed dreamers, lazies, and charlatans. You have to have tough-minded, realistic, practical people, and people of that kind don’t need the anarcho-primitivists’ mushy utopian myth.” And he backs up his position with a whopping 313 footnotes to his anthropology research.

The System’s Neatest Trick and Hit Where It Hurts

In this short essay, Uncle Ted points out what “the System” is, and how it turns rebellion to its own advantage. He observes that “commentators like Rush Limbaugh help the process by ranting against activists: Seeing that they have made someone angry fosters the activists’ illusion that they are rebelling.”

He warns that university intellectuals also play an important role in carrying out the system’s trick: “Though they like to fancy themselves independent thinkers, the intellectuals are (allowing for individual exceptions) the most oversocialized. The most conformist, the tamest and most domesticated. The most pampered, dependent, and spineless group in America today.”

Kaczynski’s grudge with Universities might have something to do with throwing away his youth by going to Harvard at 16, not to mention the CIA-sponsored MKULTRA studies he endured there in which he was subjected to extremely stressful and prolonged psychological attack, strapped into a chair and connected to electrodes that monitored physiological reactions, while facing bright lights and a two-way mirror… Just saying.

Uncle T also waxes briefly on the topic of veganism, vivsection and animal rights: “…opposition to mistreatment of animals may be useful to the System: Because a vegan diet is more efficient in terms of resource-utilization than a carnivorous one is, veganism, if widely adopted, will help to ease the burden placed on the Earth’s limited resources by the growth of the human population. But activists’ insistence on ending the use of animals in scientific experiments is squarely in conflict with the system’s needs, since for the foreseeable future there is not likely to be any workable substitute for living animals as research subjects.”

In “Hit Where it Hurts”(originally published in Green Anarchy, 2002), he continues on a similar theme, responding to a letter from an animal liberationist in Denmark: “I agree that keeping wild animals in cages is intolerable, and that putting an end to such practices is a noble cause. But there are many other noble causes, such as preventing traffic accidents, providing shelter for the homeless, recycling, or helping old people cross the street. Yet no one is foolish enough to mistake these for revolutionary activities, or to imagine that they do anything to weaken the system.”

Only half that original article made it into the Feral House book (at Ted’s request). The article in its entirety can be found in Green Anarchy or – gasp! online. It is interesting for his identification of the vital organs of the “System” for revolutionary targeting, “...but only [for] legal forms of protest and resistance,” of course.

Excerpts from letters

Although the book’s republished letters and essays are repetitive, some excerpts lend themselves to interesting dialogue and insight about Ted’s life and the choices he made.

From his letter to MK (a Turkish anarchist), October 2003: “Because I found modern life absolutely unacceptable, I grew increasingly hopeless until, at the age of 24, I arrived at a kind of crisis: I felt so miserable that I didn’t care whether I lived or died. But when I reached that point, a sudden change took place: I realized that if I didn’t care whether I lived or died, then I didn’t need to fear the consequences of anything I might do. Therefore I could do anything I wanted. I was free! That was the great turningpoint in my life because it was then that I acquired courage, which has remained with me ever since. It was at that time, too, that I became certain that I would soon go to live in the wild, no matter what the consequences. I spent two years teaching at the University of California in order to save some money, then I resigned my position and went to look for a place to live in the forest.”

“Whatever philosophical or moral rationalizations people may invent to explain their belief that violence is wrong, the real reason for that belief is that they have unconsciously absorbed the system’s propaganda.” … “Green anarchist, anarcho-primitivists, and so forth (the ‘GA Movement’) have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to a great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of primitive societies that embodies these civilized values.” … “I don’ t mean that there is anything wrong with gender equality, kindness to animals, tolerance of homosexuality, or the like. But these values have no relevance to the effort to eliminate technological civilization. They are not revolutionary values. An effective revolutionary movement will have to adopt instead the hard values of primitive societies, such as skill, selfdiscipline, honesty, physical and mental stamina, intolerance of externally-imposed restraints, capacity to endure physical pain, and, above all, courage.”

In another excerpt, from FC to Scientific American, 1995, Ted had this to say: “The engineers who initiated the industrial revolution can be forgiven for not having anticipated its negative consequences. But the harm caused by technological progress is by this time sufficiently apparent so that to continue to promote it is grossly irresponsible.”

The (Coming) Road to Revolution

These two essays, “The Coming Revolution” and “The Road to Revolution”, have the same premise. The former was originally written in Spanish (no publication date or location is provided). It opens with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an ax in the hand of a pathological criminal.”

Kaczynski makes the case that a “great revolution is brewing”, likening it to revolutionary social changes in centuries past. “The values linked with so-called progress—that is, with immoderate economic and technological growth—were those that in challenging the values of the old regimes created the tensions that led to the French and Russian Revolutions. The values linked with ‘progress’ have now become the values of another domineering regime: the technoindustrial system that rules the world today.”

Disappointingly, the second version of the essay opens with a quote from Mao Tsetung. Yes, Ted, the revolution is not a dinner party. We know. Maybe not a vegan pot luck either. But where does that leave us—those who feel affinity with much of Ted’s convictions but who engage in the Earth First! movement because of its decentralization, non-hierarchal structure and rejection of a narrow strategy? I know what Ted would say, but by the end of the book, I was ready to know what the rest of y’all think.

Why now?

The final chapter explains the reason for the timing of the book’s publication. Ted runs through several pages of legalese explaining his efforts as a jailhouse attorney to defend his rights to maintain control of his writing under First Amendment protections and, essentially, losing. The rest of his property was sold with the money going towards restitution of injured recipients of his bombs. Now his papers may also go to auction.

In 2000, his enemies’ quest for profit took a strange path. The SF Weekly reported that Gellen, who lost his left arm as a result of one of Kaczynski’s mail bombs, took Kaczynski to court in an effort to repossess his property and offer it for sale to the highest bidder. “There were interested parties who were willing to pay more than $1 million dollars for the property,” claims Julian Hill, lawyer for timber industry executive and Unabomber victim, Dick Gellen, “and instead it was sold for only $7,500. That $1 million should have gone to the families of his victims.”

The property was sold to Joy Richards, with whom Ted maintained correspondence for ten years. She told the Sacramento Bee that she hoped to eventually live on the property, build a residence and to preserve it. “His ideas are what really matter, and I thought his ideas were brilliant.”

She passed away in 2006. His book is dedicated to her memory, with love.

When Kintz asked him in 1999 if he was afraid of losing his mind in prison, Kaczynski replied:

“No, what worries me is that I might in a sense adapt to this environment and come to be comfortable here and not resent it anymore. And I am afraid that as the years go by that I may forget, I may begin to lose my memories of the mountains and the woods and that’s what really worries me, that I might lose those memories, and lose that sense of contact with wild nature in general. But I am not afraid they are going to break my spirit.”

Ted is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Letters can be sent to: Ted Kaczynski #04475–046, US Pen-Admin Max Facility, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO 81226.

A Few FC Targets

In all, 16 bombs—which injured 23 people and killed three—were attributed to Kaczynski. All but the first few contained the initials “FC”, which Ted later asserted stood for “Freedom Club.”

Timber Industry

In April, 1995, a bomb killed Gilbert Murray, president of the timber industry lobbying group California Forestry Association. Murray was described as a “Wise Use Leader” by Ron Arnold’s Center for Defense of Free Enterprise.

Corporate Public Relations

In 1994, Burson-Marsteller (BM) executive Thomas J. Mosser was killed by a mail bomb sent to his North Caldwell, New Jersey home. In a letter to the New York Times FC stated that the company “helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdez incident” and, more importantly, because “its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes.”

BM is one of the largest public relations agencies in the world. It is now a unit of Young & Rubicam, owned by WPP Group. The firm has 58 whollyowned and 45 affiliated offices in 59 countries across six continents.

BM works with global producers and marketers of petroleum products in training their employees how to respond to crises and working on key communications of specific crisis situations such as oil spills and serious accidents. Among those served by BM are Shell, Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Chevron, BP and Gulf.

BM represented Union Carbide, jointly responsible for the Bhopal disaster in 1984 that killed some 2,000 people. After the Three Mile Island accident of 1979 became the most significant accident in the history of US commercial nuclear power generation, BM conducted public relations work for the plant’s manufacturers, Babcock & Wilcox.

The Indonesian government paid BM millions to help improve the country’s human rights and environmental image, following the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor. They campaigned against human rights organizations at the behest of the last Argentine military dictatorship and conducted a PR campaign in the Czech Republic on behalf of TVX Gold, which threatened the Sumava Mountains.

In 1991 BM began a PR campaign for Dow-Corning to handle the growing public health controversy over silicone breast implants.

Most recently, BM represented Blackwater USA following a 2007 incident in which Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

Computers, Robotics

In May of 1982 Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee received an FC bomb, injuring university secretary Janet Smith. Vanderbuilt’s Institute for Space and Defense Electronics housed in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is the largest such academic facility in the world.

In 1985, a California computer store owner was killed by a bomb placed in the parking lot of his store. A similar attack against a computer store occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah 1987.

Electrical Engineering

Diogenes J. Angelakos who served for four decades as a professor at the Berkeley campus, had his labs attacked by bombs twice, in 1982 and 1985. Angelakos served as director of the Electronics Research Laboratory at Berkeley from 1964 to 1985 and was widely credited with building one of the university’s largest research laboratories. He was recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on scattering of electromagnetic waves, as well as on the design of wireless antennas. One injured him, the other, a Berkeley graduate student.

In 1993, David Hillel Gelernter, a neoconservative professor of computer science at Yale University, was critically injured. He helped found the company Mirror Worlds Technologies based on his book Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox...How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean, 1992. Among his other published books are Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, 2007; Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology, 1998; The Muse in the Machine: Computerizing the Poetry of Human Thought, 1994.


June 1993, geneticist Charles Epstein from University of California, San Francisco was injured by a bomb. Gelernter’ brother, a behavioral geneticist, received a “You are next” call. Geneticist Phillip Sharp at Massachusetts Institute of Technology also received a threatening letter two years later. Kaczynski wrote a letter to the New York Times claiming that FC was responsible for the attacks and threats.

Behavioral Sciences

James V. McConnell was also a target of FC. In 1985, he was injured along with his research assistant Nicklaus Suino by a bomb, disguised as a manuscript, sent to his house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. McConnell was a biologist and animal psychologist known for his research on planarians. His paper “Memory transfer through cannibalism in planarians” , published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, reported that when planarians conditioned to respond to a stimulus were ground up and fed to other planarians, the recipients learned to respond to the stimulus faster than a control group did. His findings were eventually completely discredited. He also believed that memory was chemically based and that in the future humanity would be programmed by drugs, commenting that he would rather be “a programmer than a programee.”

[1] Sean Fleming. The Unabomber and the origins of anti-tech radicalism [Essay]. Taylor & Francis. May 7, 2021. Original link. Archived link.