Ted Kaczynski's Letter to Anonymous on Self-Discipline
Thank you for your interesting letter, which I received June 13.
First, you said you had read all of my published works, but, since you didn't mention my book Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, it may be that you didn't know about it. You can order a copy of it from www.fitchmadison.com, or, by postal mail, from
15150 NORTH HAYDEN ROAD
SCOTTSDALE AZ 85260-2324
You ask several questions, none of which can be answered briefly. I don’t have time to attempt full answers to them, but I can offer a beginning of an answer, as follows:
You ask what qualities an individual should aspire to. First and foremost, one should aspire to self-discipline. This is a quality in which nearly all of our young people nowadays are deficient. I suspect that the deficiency is a result of excessive exposure to electronic media, “social” media in particular. In any case, I would advise you and your friends to undertake the systematic cultivation of self-discipline. For a start, I would suggest the following:
Almost all of the young people who send me handwritten letters fail to write neatly, legibly and clearly; and you are no exception. As a first exercise in self-discipline, you and each of your friends should send me a handwritten letter that is neat, very legible, and well-organized, with every word spelled correctly. Undoubtedly you are capable of doing this; it’s just a matter of applying the necessary self-discipline.
You should undertake a program of physical training. You can start by running half a mile a day. When you feel comfortable with that, move up to a mile. And so forth, until you are running five miles at least four times a week. The object of this will not be to win races or anything of that sort, but simply to cultivate self-discipline. And, of course, it’s always advantageous to be in good physical condition.
In view of your age I suppose you are still in school, and it may be that your schoolwork requires you to use computers. But, apart from your schoolwork, cut your use of computers, iphones, and other electronic media down to a maximum of one hour a day. This will not only be good training in self-discipline – it will reduce the damage you suffer from over-exposure to electronic media.
You ask about leadership. Self-discipline is probably the first and most important quality of good leadership. In particular, one must learn to control the expression of one’s emotions. The ability to remain calm and self-possessed under all circumstances wins respect. See Anti-Tech Revolution, page 173.
That’s all I have time for now. Let me know how it goes. But when you write to me I may not be able to answer promptly, due to time constraints and because the prison authorities have been playing tricks with the money that I need to buy postage stamps.
Yours for the Revolution,