Ted Kaczynski on Individualists Tending to the Wild (ITS)
Regarding Individualists Tending Toward Savagery (ITS), you say that they do not believe that a movement should be created dedicated to the elimination of the techno-industrial system and that their intention is to stop technological progress, but without the intention to or any hope of eliminating the system.
From this, and also from the parts of the communiques that UR has sent to me, it is clear that ITS is ignorant when it comes to politics. It is absolutely impossible to stop technological progress, or even to slow it down, without eliminating the entire technological system. In addition, the parts of the communiques that I have mentioned show that ITS’ understanding of revolution is at a kindergarten level. They believe that a revolution consists of a popular uprising (“popular uprising,” “a sea of people … [acting] in a violent way”). Revolutions sometimes happen this way, but, in most cases, they are political processes directed from above by a handful of leaders. Habitually, the popular uprisings are mere incidents or episodes in the political process, and in them only a small percentage of the population is involved. For example, the February “Revolution” in Russia (which in reality was not a revolution but only an insurrection) was carried out only by the industrial workers of St. Petersburg, which constituted only a small percentage of the Russian population. Their action served only to offer the Bolsheviks a point of departure that they took advantage of to take control of the whole country months later — mainly through political prowess.
Revolutions can occur without any popular uprising. For example, the Nazis seized power in Germany using only political means. Except for the coup d’etat of the Munich Brewery a decade earlier (which was an ignominious failure and led Hitler to afterward only pursue power legally), the Nazis never attempted an uprising. Before taking power, the Nazis were involved in certain violent acts — for example, in street fights with the communists — and, after they took power, there was the “night of the long knives,” during which Hitler physically eliminated his rivals within the Nazi party itself. However, after the aforementioned failure of the coup by the Nazis, they never again used violence against the established authorities.
It should be noted that the Nazi revolution was partly a revolution against civilization. However, he achieved nothing against civilization because Hitler was only interested in personal power and self-glorification. He and his henchmen appropriated the potentially revolutionary forces that existed in German society (which included the anti-civilization current, among others) and exploited them to gain power for themselves.
In addition to displaying a naive concept of revolution, ITS also shows its political ignorance in other ways. If these people have ever read anything about history, they have not understood it. As a result, it is likely that any action they take, whether legal or illegal, will be counterproductive. Revolutionary actions, legal or not, should be drawn intelligently to serve political objectives, and any communiques that accompany them should be written in a politically intelligent way. This requires the leadership of people who have taken the trouble to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the ways in which societies develop and change.
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. I do not have time to comment on historical examples in which tiny and seemingly insignificant groups, considered by most people as crazies, fools, or “romantics,” finally managed, despite everything, to carry out successful revolutions. However, an indispensable ingredient for the triumph of such a company is the confidence in the possibility of success. Since ITS tries to undermine confidence in the possibility of success when it comes to fighting the technological system, we must reject these people and include them in the list of our political adversaries.
I will only add that, in parts of the communiques that UR has sent me, some of the data on which ITS are based are erroneous and that ITS attributes to me affirmations that I have never made and opinions that I have never defended.