Title: Ted Kaczynski's Correspondence with John Jacobi
Notes: Feel free to help type these letters up onto the website, they're towards the very end of the source PDF.
Quoting Jacobi: "When I wrote Kaczynski, I got the impression that his interactions with me were, ironically, very mechanical, as though he structured them just right so they would work perfectly as part of the larger revolutionary machine."
Related reading: A text dump on wildism

Ted to Jacobi (July 18, 2012)



July 18, 2012

[Corrected First draft, SAVE. There is no carbon copy.]


Thanks for your postcards, which I received on May 22 and July 17, 2012, and for your letter of June 26, 2012, which I received on July 9.

1. In your letter you sent me some fragments of information about terroristic actions. After this, please do not send me any information about illegal actions of any kind. If there is any type of politically motivated illegal activity going on out there, I don’t even want to know about it. I’m surprised your letter was even allowed to reach me. Recently someone else tried to send me information about such activities and it was rejected by the prison authorities.

I have to be concerned about the risk that my communications with the outside world might be cut off. See Technological Slavery, page 12. For some time I’ve been seriously worried that my communications may be cut off if Obama loses the next election. Not that Obama administration is good …

I wasn’t overly concerned about the information that you sent me in a letter a year or more ago, because the attempts at terrorism that you mentioned seemed amateurish and not very successful, so I saw no immediate reason to fear that they would receive any more than minimal attention in the U.S. media. But if anti-tech terrorist activities ever become serious enough so that they get a lot of attention in the U.S. media then the fact that I’m allowed to communicate will have obvious political implications. The prison authorities here know that I’ve been extremely careful to avoid anything that could conceivably be interpreted as an attempt to incite illegal action of any kind. But the higher-ups in the Department of Justice won’t be concerned primarily about whether I’m actually doing anything that encourages illegal activity; their main concern will be the possible political consequences of allowing me to communicate. So now I have to worry about the danger that even the Obama administration may cut off my communications at any time if there’s more anti-tech terrorism.

The only thing I can do to reduce the risk myself is to keep generally a low profile and especially, avoid even the faintest whiff of any connection with or interest in terrorism. This means if you ever send me any further information about terrorism, or about any other politically motivated illegal actions, I’ll have to break off my correspondence with you completely and permanently. For my own protection. The same applies to everyone else I correspond with. As I’ve said I don’t even want to know anything about any illegal anti-tech activities.

Also, for their own protection, I advise everyone involved in legal advocacy of anti-tech ideas to avoid all discussion – even the most innocent discussion – of terrorism or sabotage. At least in the U.S., conspiracy laws make it a crime to “conspire” to do an illegal act, even if the illegal act is never carried out. For example, …

In line with this, no, I have not been receiving the Earth First! Journal (page 4 of your letter), and I consider it safest not to receive it. So please cancel the subscription you got for me.

2. I’m desperately short of time. Because of my concern that my communications might be cut off at any time after Jan. 2013 if Obama loses, or even a lot sooner if there’s more terrorist activity, I’m struggling to get all my main ideas written down, and to arrange for their publication, at the earliest possible moment. So I’m not going to be able to answer everything in your letter. For the present I can only say what follows.

3. Propaganda against “green” technology is good so far as it goes. A point to remember: Energy conservation is useless, because no matter how much energy is provided the system will always expand rapidly until it is using all available energy , and then it will demand more. Same for “green” technology generally. The nature of the system is such that it will always expand rapidly until it comes up against some obstacle to its expansion (shortage of energy, water, food, or something else, environmental pollution, problems of waste disposal; etc., etc.) Then it will push hard and recklessly against the obstacle, with destructive consequences. The only thing green tech accomplishes is to delay, slightly, the destructive collision of system against obstacle. There is no solution except to dump the whole system.

4. The answers to much of what you say can be found in Tech Slavery if you study it closely enough. The propaganda work you are doing, by itself, will never bring victory. As noted in Tech Slavery, p. 269, you can’t defeat the system in a head-on propaganda contest. What is needed is to build a (legal) revolutionary organization that will be disciplined, deeply committed, and prepared for decisive action so that when the system gets itself into sufficiently serious trouble (as it will probably do) the revolutionaries will be well prepared to use that opportunity to eliminate the system altogether. Such an organization need not be numerically large. The quality of its personnel will be far more important than their numbers. See Tech Slavery … the problem is to organize them.

5. Even though the kind of organizing and propaganda work that you are now doing can never by themselves defeat the system, they can nevertheless be highly important in preparing the ground for the real revolutionary organization that I’ve been referring to. In the Russian Revolution the Bolsheviks were by far the most effective group, and it was they who took control of the revolution. But they couldn’t have accomplished much if numerically larger groups, such as the Social Revolutionaries, hadn’t created the general revolutionary atmosphere that was a precondition for the Bolsheviks’ victory.

6. You say that I have no practical experience in organizing, and you’re quite right. Nor am I in contact with anyone but you who is an experienced organizer. So we would love to have your input on the problems of organizing. I’ve written a critique of Saul Alinsky’s book on organizing, Rules for Radicals, and I would be extremely pleased if you could find time to write a critique of both of Alinsky’s methods and of my critique of them.

I know a young man in Spain named Gonzalo who, as far as I can judge from a brief correspondence, is very promising. He is trying to get people together for serious discussions, and I think that exchanges between you and Gonzalo would be profitable to both of you. I also know some other people with whom you could probably have productive discussions. If you will send me an email address at which you can be reached, I will pass it on to Gonzalo and others. In addition, an email address will enable me to send you my critique of Alinsky, and other materials. Photocopying and ordinary mail are too expensive.

Of course, if you want to have useful discussions with us, you’ll have to make time for them. If you take months to answer communications from us, we’ll be forced to move ahead as best we can without the benefit of your potentially valuable input on organizing.

7. You ask (page 4 of your letter of 6/26/12): “Why not let people have their utopian visions…?” People whose vision of utopia is focused on issues like gender equality, racism, homophobia, etc., have strong leftist affinities; if their vision of utopia also focuses on not having to work, then they are lazy to boot. These are the kind of people who will ruin an anti-tech movement. You’ll see why I wrote “The Truth About Primitive Life” if you will reread “How to Transform a Society”, part IV, fourth paragraph from the end, and the corresponding endnotes. I also suggest you reread everything in Tech Slavery that talks about leftism – and reread it carefully enough so that you will actually understand my arguments on that subject. You might end up disagreeing with my arguments anyway, but you can’t disagree intelligently unless you read carefully enough to understand what my arguments are (which most people don’t do).


Ted Kacyznski

Ted to Jacobi (November 9, 2012)


Thank you for the beautiful card …

If you ever feel able and willing to rejoin the research project, you will be most welcome. If not, I will still remain

Always your friend,