Ted Kaczynski's Letters To & From Louis
Louis to Ted
I feel that it is most rude, and inappropriate to begin things without a proper introduction. So, allow me to introduce myself…Hello, my name is ___________. I am twenty-six years old and currently reside in Texas. Like the many others who have undoubtedly written you during your incarceration, I have read extensively on your position regarding Industrial Society and the Technological Revolution. Yet, I have questions which remain unanswered. These are questions whose answers are not meant for a school paper, news publication, or trite, water-cooler conversation; they are meant solely to fulfill my own personal curiosities. It is my intention to correspond with you in the hope that they will be answered. If it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer to go straight to the source. I would also like to note that, unlike you, I am not what our society would consider an educated man; I am a high-school drop-out, and any research of mine has been independent. The questions are:
We are approaching the 20th anniversary of the release of your manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future”; in this time, we have seen that some of your assessments regarding the consequences of a technological age may be accurate. For instance, since your incarceration, as I am sure you are aware, the advent of hand-held devices has swept the globe. Although we are less personable, have forgotten our manners, and certainly have forgotten to step outside and return to nature, our society remains intact. It would appear that we are headed more toward enslavement than collapse. With so many theoretical eventualities, I challenge you to expand on those that may lead to collapse, in lieu of enslavement, as I cannot. Which, if any (save for the most regurgitated, nuclear-apocalyptic), are there?
Assuming that you still consider our society, due to these technological advances, to be on the brink of enslavement or collapse, what are the possible timelines for such an event? I suppose the answer to that question depends on the catalyst…
You mention that, “If the system survives…there is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.” (#2 — Industrial Society) Yet, also, that the system, “…may survive. If it survives, it may eventually achieve a low level of…physical and psychological suffering,” which, to me, seems contradictory. How may the system come to achieve a low level of suffering, but not be reformed or modified? Does this mean that, while the system may allow for a relatively low level of suffering, the same system will still continue to deprive people of dignity and autonomy? Is that not suffering?
“We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. This revolution may or may not make use of violence…” (#4 — Industrial Society). You imply that the revolution against the industrial system is possible through means of non-violence. In hindsight, is there a way to have achieved awareness for your cause through non-violent means?
Is it fair to asses that, during the decades of your campaign, you focused on the eco-invasion of the industrial/techno revolution? How do you think you would view the industrial-technological system had you been born twenty years later, thus experiencing the techno-boom of the early 21st century? Computers, the internet, hand-held devices, etc.
What did you set out to achieve with your campaign from 1978–1995? In other words, what was the best case scenario? Certainly you had to have known that, even in what you may have considered to be the best case scenario, it would have been but a drop in the bucket towards achieving the goal of an end to the technological system. In that sense, it seems as though your intentions would have been mostly for awareness. Is this true?
On what level did you suspect that the publication of your manifesto would lead to your capture? Was it more important that your message be read and understood by the public than to potentially be captured and incarcerated?
Which do you think furthered your cause more, the bombing campaign, or the publication of your manifesto?
Thank you immensely for your time. I look forward to your response.
Ted to Louis
Theodore John Kaczynski
U.S. Penitentiary Max
P.O. Box 8500 Florence CO 81226–8500
No way I can find time to answer your questions! But you’ll find many answers in my book Technological Slavery, which you can get from amazon.com –TJK