Title: Ted Kaczynski's Updated Notes on His Manifesto
Topic: Ted's Notes
Date: 2007-2022

Postscript to ISAIF (2007)

ISAIF, Industrial Society and its Future, has been criticized as “unoriginal,” but this misses the point. ISAIF was never intended to be original. Its purpose was to set forth certain points about modern technology in clear and relatively brief form, so that those points could be read and understood by people who would never work their way through a difficult text such as Jacques Ellul's Technological Society.

The accusation of unoriginality is in any case irrelevant. Is it important for the future of the world to know whether Ted Kaczynski is original or unoriginal? Obviously not! But it is indeed important for the future of the world to know whether modern technology has us on the road to disaster, whether anything short of revolution can avert that disaster, and whether the political left is an obstacle to revolution. So why have critics, for the most part, ignored the substance of the arguments raised in ISAIF and wasted words on matters of negligible importance, such as the author's putative lack of originality and the defects of his style? Clearly, the critics can't answer the substance of ISAIF's reasoning, so they try to divert their own and others' attention from its arguments by attacking irrelevant aspects of ISAIF.

One doesn't need to be original to recognize that technological progress is taking us down the road to disaster, and that nothing short of the overthrow of the entire technological system will get us off that road. In other words, only by accepting a massive disaster now can we avoid a far worse disaster later. But most of our intellectuals—and here I use that term in a broad sense—prefer not to face up to this frightening dilemma because, after all, they are not very brave, and they find it more comfortable to spend their time perfecting society's solutions to problems left over from the 19th century, such as those of social inequality, colonialism, cruelty to animals, and the like.

I haven't read everything that's been written on the technology problem, and it's possible that ISAIF may have been preceded by some other text that expounded the problem in equally brief and accessible form. But even so it would not follow that ISAIF was superfluous. However familiar its points may be to social scientists, those points still have not come to the attention of many other people who ought to be aware of them. More importantly, the available knowledge on this subject is not being applied. I don't think many of our intellectuals nowadays would deny that there is a technology problem, but nearly all of them decline to address it. At best they discuss particular problems created by technological progress, such as global warming or the spread of nuclear weapons. The technology problem as a whole is simply ignored.

It follows that the facts about technological progress and its consequences for society cannot be repeated too often. Even the most intelligent people may refuse to face up to a painful truth until it has been drummed into their heads again and again.

I should add that, as with ISAIF, no claim of originality is made for this book as a whole. The fact that I've cited authority for many of the ideas about human society that are presented here shows that those ideas are not new, and probably most of the other ideas too have previously appeared somewhere in print.

If there is anything new in my approach, it is that I've taken revolution seriously as a practical proposition. Many radical environmentalists and “green” anarchists talk of revolution, but as far as I am aware none of them have shown any understanding of how real revolutions come about, nor do they seem to grasp the fact that the exclusive target of revolution must be technology itself, not racism, sexism, or homophobia. A very few serious thinkers have suggested revolution against the technological system; for example, Ellul, in his Autopsy of Revolution. But Ellul only dreams of a revolution that would result from a vaguely defined, spontaneous spiritual transformation of society, and he comes very close to admitting that the proposed spiritual transformation is impossible. I on the other hand think it plausible that the preconditions for revolution may be developing in modern society, and I mean a real revolution, not fundamentally different in character from other revolutions that have occurred in the past. But this revolution will not become a reality without a well-defined revolutionary movement guided by suitable leaders—leaders who have a rational understanding of what they are doing, not enraged adolescents acting solely on the basis of emotion.

Afterthoughts (2010)

1. Último Reducto has recently called attention to some flaws in my work. For example, in ISAIF, paragraph 69, I wrote that primitive man could accept the risk of disease stoically because “it is no one’s fault, unless it is the fault of some imaginary, impersonal demon.” Último Reducto pointed out that this often is not true, because in many primitive societies people believe that diseases are caused by witchcraft. When someone becomes sick the people will try to identify and punish the witch—a specific person—who supposedly caused the illness.

Again, in paragraph 208 I wrote, “We are aware of no significant cases of regression in small-scale technology,” but Último Reducto has pointed out some examples of regression of small-scale technology in primitive societies.

The foregoing flaws are not very important, because they do not significantly affect the main lines of my argument. But other problems pointed out by Último Reducto are more serious. Thus, in the second and third sentences of paragraph 94 of ISAIF I wrote: “Freedom means being in control…of the life-and-death issues of one’s existence: food, clothing, shelter and defense against whatever threats there may be in one’s environment. Freedom means having power…to control the circumstances of one’s own life.” But obviously people have never had such control to more than a limited extent. They have not, for example, been able to control bad weather, which in certain circumstances can lead to starvation. So what kind and degree of control do people really need? At a minimum they need to be free of “interference, manipulation or supervision … from any large organization,” as stated in the first sentence of paragraph 94. But if the second and third sentences meant no more than that, they would be redundant.

So there is a problem here in need of a solution. I’m not going to try to solve it now, however. For the present let it suffice to say that ISAIF is by no means a final and definitive statement in the field that it covers. Maybe some day I or someone else will be able to offer a clearer and more accurate treatment of the same topics.

2. In “The Truth About Primitive Life” and in “The System’s Neatest Trick” I referred to the “politicization” of American anthropology, and I came down hard on politically correct anthropologists. See pages [144–149*] and [202– 203] of this book. My views on the politicization of anthropology were based on a number of books and articles I had seen and on some materials sent to me by a person who was doing graduate work in anthropology. My views were by no means based on a systematic survey or a thorough knowledge of recent anthropological literature.

One of my Spanish correspondents, the editor of Isumatag, argued that I was being unfair to anthropologists, and he backed up his argument by sending me copies of articles from anthropological journals; for example,

Michael J. Shott, “On Recent Trends in the Anthropology of Foragers,” Man (N.S.), Vol. 27, No. 4, Dec., 1992, pages 843–871; and Raymond Hames, “The Ecologically Noble Savage Debate,” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 36, 2007, pages 177–190.

The editor of Isumatag was right. As he showed me, I had greatly underestimated the number of American anthropologists who made a conscientious effort to present facts evenhandedly and without ideological bias. But even if my point about the politicization of anthropology was overstated, it still contained a significant element of truth. First, there are some anthropologists whose work is heavily politicized. (I discussed the case of Haviland on pages [145, 202–203] of this book.) Second, some of the anthropologists’ debates seem clearly to be politically motivated, even if the participants in these debates do strive to be honest and objective. Consider for example the article by Raymond Hames cited above, which reviews the anthropological controversy over whether primitive peoples were or were not good conservationists. Why should this question be the subject of so much debate among anthropologists? The reason, obviously, is that nowadays the problem of controlling the environmental damage caused by industrial society is a hot political issue. Some anthropologists are tempted to cite primitive peoples as moral examples from whom we should learn to treat our environment with respect; other anthropologists perhaps would prefer to use primitives as negative examples in order to convince us that we should rely on modern methods to regulate our environment.

Until roughly the middle of the 20th century, industrial society was extremely self-confident. Apart from a very few dissenting voices, everyone assumed that “progress” was taking us all to a better and brighter future.

Even the most rebellious members of society—the Marxists—believed that the injustices of capitalism represented only a temporary phase that we had to pass through in order to arrive at a world in which the benefits of “progress” would be shared equally by everyone. Because the superiority of modern society was taken for granted, it seldom occurred to anyone to draw comparisons between modern society and primitive ones, whether for the purpose of exalting modernity or for the purpose of denigrating it.

But since the mid-20th century, industrial society has been losing its self-confidence. Thinking people are increasingly affected by doubts about whether we are on the right road, and this has led many to question the value of modernity and to react against it by idealizing primitive societies. Other people, whose sense of security is threatened by the attack on modernity, defensively exaggerate the unattractive traits of primitive cultures while denying or ignoring their attractive traits. That is why some anthropological questions that once were purely academic are now politically loaded.

I realize that the foregoing two paragraphs greatly simplify a complex situation, but I nevertheless insist that industrial society’s loss of self-confidence in the course of the 20th century is a real event.

3. Disposal of Radioactive Waste. In a letter to David Skrbina dated March 17, 2005, I expressed the opinion, based on “the demonstrated unreliability of untested technological solutions,” that the nuclear-waste disposal site at

Yucca Mountain, Nevada likely would prove to be a failure. See page 315 of this book. It may be of interest to trace the subsequent history of the Yucca Mountain site as reported in the media.

On March 18, 2005, The Denver Post, page 4A, carried an Associated Press report by Erica Werner according to which then-recent studies had found that water seepage through the Yucca Mountain site was faster than what earlier studies had reported. The more-rapid movement of water implied a greater risk of escape of radioactive materials from the site, and there were reasons to suspect that the earlier studies had been intentionally falsified.

The Week, January 26, 2007, page 24, reported a new study: “Special new containers designed to hold nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years may begin to fall apart in just 210 years,” the study found. “Researchers… had pinned their hopes on zircon, a material they thought was stable enough to store the waste….” The scientists had based this belief on computer simulations, but they were “startled” when they discovered how alpha radiation affected the “zircon” in reality.

Zircon is a gemstone. The substance referred to in the article presumably is a ceramic called zirconia. See The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., 2003, Vol. 21, article “Industrial Ceramics,” pages 262–63.

On September 25, 2007, The Denver Post, page 2A, reported: “Engineers moved some planned structures at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump after rock samples indicated a fault line unexpectedly ran beneath their original location….”

On March 6, 2009, The Denver Post, page 14A, carried an Associated

Press report by H. Josef Hebert according to which the U.S. Government had abandoned the plan to store reactor waste at Yucca Mountain. This after having spent 13.5 billion dollars on the project.

So it appears that the problem of safe disposal of radioactive waste is no closer to a solution than it ever was.

4. Why is Democracy the Dominant Political Form of the Modern World?

The argument about democracy set forth in my letters to David Skrbina of October 12 and November 23, 2004 (pages [283–285] and [292–296] of this book) is incomplete and insufficiently clear, so I want to supplement that argument here.

The most important point that I wanted to make was that democracy became the dominant political form of the modern world not as the result of a decision by human beings to adopt a freer or a more humane form of government, but because of an “objective” fact, namely, the fact that in modern times democracy has been associated with the highest level of economic and technological success.

To summarize the argument of my letters to Dr. Skrbina, democratic forms of government have been tried at many times and places at least since the days of ancient Athens, but democracy did not thrive sufficiently to displace authoritarian systems, which remained the dominant political forms through the 17th century. But from the advent of the Industrial Revolution the (relatively) democratic countries, above all the English-speaking ones, were also the most successful countries economically and technologically. Because they were economically and technologically successful, they were also successful militarily. The economic, technological, and military superiority of the democracies enabled them to spread democracy forcibly at the expense of authoritarian systems. In addition, many nations voluntarily attempted to adopt democratic institutions because they believed that these institutions were the source of the economic and technological success of the democracies.

As part of my argument, I maintained that the two great military contests between the democracies and the authoritarian regimes—World Wars I and II—were decided in favor of the democracies because of the democracies’ economic and technological vigor. The astute reader, however, may object that the democracies could have won World Wars I and II simply by virtue of their great preponderance in resources and in numbers of soldiers, with or without any putative superiority in economic and technological vigor.

My answer is that the democracies’ preponderance in resources and numbers of soldiers was only one more expression of their economic and technological vigor. The democracies had vast manpower, territory, industrial capacity, and sources of raw material at their disposal because they— especially the British—had built great colonial empires and had spread their language, culture, and technology, as well as their economic and political systems, over a large part of the world. The English-speaking peoples moreover had powerful navies and therefore, generally speaking, command of the sea, which enabled them to assist one another in war by transporting troops and supplies to wherever they might be needed.

Authoritarian systems either had failed to build empires of comparable size, as in the case of Germany and Japan, or else they had indeed built huge empires but had left them relatively backward and undeveloped, as in the case of Spain, Portugal, and Russia. It was during the 18th century, as the Industrial Revolution was gathering force, that authoritarian France lost to semidemocratic Britain in the struggle for colonization of North America and India. France did not achieve stable democracy until 1871, when it was too late to catch up with the British.

Germany as a whole was politically fragmented until 1871, but the most important state in Germany—authoritarian Prussia—was already a great power by 1740[1] and had access to the sea,[2] yet failed to build an overseas empire. Even after the unification of their country in 1871, the Germans’ efforts at colonization were half-hearted at best.

Like the English-speaking peoples, the Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking peoples colonized vast territories and populated them thickly, but the manpower of their territories could not have been used very effectively in a European war, because these peoples lacked the economic, technical, and organizational resources to assemble, train, and equip large armies, transport them to Europe, and keep them supplied with munitions while they were there. Moreover, they lacked the necessary command of the sea. The Russians did not need command of the sea in order to transport their men to a European battlefield, but, as pointed out on page 340 of this book, note 34, the Russians during World War II did need massive aid from the West, without which they could not have properly equipped and supplied their troops.

Thus the Allies’ preponderance in resources and numbers of troops, at least during World War II, was clearly an expression of the democracies’ economic and technological vigor. The democracies’ superiority was a consequence not only of the size of their economies, but also of their efficiency. Notwithstanding the vaunted technical efficiency of the Germans, it is said that during World War II German productivity per man-hour was only half that of the United States, while the corresponding figure for Japan was only one fifth that of the U.S.[3]

Though the case may not have been as clear-cut in World War I, it does appear that there too the Allies’ superiority in resources and in numbers of troops was largely an expression of the democracies’ economic and technological vigor. “In munitions and other war material Britain’s industrial power was greatest of all…. Britain…was to prove that the strength of her banking system and the wealth distributed among a great commercial people furnished the ‘sinews of war’….”[4] Authoritarian Russia was not a critical factor in World War I, since the Germans defeated the Russians with relative ease.

Thus it seems beyond argument that democracy became the dominant political form of the modern world as a result of the democracies’ superior economic and technological vigor. It may nevertheless be questioned whether democratic government was the cause of the economic and technological vigor of the democracies. In the foregoing discussion I’ve relied mainly on the example of the English-speaking peoples. In fact, France, following its democratization in 1871 and even before the devastation wrought by World War I, was not economically vigorous.[5] Was the economic and technological vigor of the English-speaking peoples perhaps the result, not of their democratic political systems, but of some other cultural trait?

For present purposes the answer to this question is not important. The objective fact is that since the advent of the Industrial Revolution democracy has been generally associated with economic and technological vigor. Whether this association has been merely a matter of chance, or whether there is a causative relation between democracy and economic and technological vigor, the fact remains that the association has existed. It is this objective fact, and not a human desire for a freer or a more humane society, that has made democracy the world’s dominant political form.

It is true that some peoples have made a conscious decision to adopt democracy, but it can be shown that in modern times (at least since, say, 1800) such decisions have usually been based on a belief (correct or not) that democracy would help the peoples in question to achieve economic and technological success. But even assuming that democracy had been chosen because of a belief that it would provide a freer or a more humane form of government, and even assuming that such a belief were correct, democracy could not have thriven under conditions of industrialization in competition with authoritarian systems if it had not equalled or surpassed the latter in economic and technological vigor.

Thus we are left with the inescapable conclusion that democracy became the dominant political form of the modern world not through human choice but because of an objective fact, namely, the association of democracy, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, with economic and technological success.

It is my opinion that we have now reached the end of the era in which democratic systems were the most vigorous ones economically and technologically. If that is true, then we can expect democracy to be gradually replaced by systems of a more authoritarian type, though the external forms of democratic government will probably be retained because of their utility for propaganda purposes.

5. Popular Rebellion as a Force for Reform. On pages [345 note 121, 322– 323] of this book I stated that in the early 20th century labor violence in the United States impelled the government to carry out reforms that alleviated the problems of the working class. This statement was based on my memory of things read many years earlier. Recent reading and rereading lead me to doubt that the statement is accurate.

It’s true that labor violence during the 1890s seems to have spurred efforts at reform by the government and by industry between about 1896 and 1904, but the effect was short-lived.[6] The great turning point in the struggle of the American working class was the enactment in the 1930s of legislation that guaranteed workers the right to organize and to bargain collectively, and this turning point was followed by a “sharp decline in the level of industrial violence.”[7] But I’m not aware of any evidence that the legislation was motivated by a desire to prevent labor violence.

The data support the conclusion that labor violence was damaging to labor unions and counterproductive in relation to the workers’ immediate goals.[8] On the other hand, it seems clear that labor violence could not have been ended except by addressing the grievances of the working class.[9] Thus, the threat of violence could have impelled the government to enact legislation guaranteeing the workers’ right to organize and to bargain collectively. But, again, I don’t know of any evidence that this was actually what happened.

Be that as it may, we can dispense with the labor movement for present purposes. The revolt of American black people (the “civil rights movement”) of the 1950s and 1960s can serve to illustrate the points I tried to make on page [345 note 121] and pages [322–323] of this book. And it’s easy to give other examples of cases in which popular revolt, short of revolution, has forced governments to pay attention to people’s grievances. Thus, the Wat Tyler Rebellion in England (1381) failed as a social revolution, but it impelled the government to refrain from enforcing the poll tax that was the immediate cause of the revolt.[10] The Sepoy Mutiny in India (1857–58) was ruthlessly crushed, but it caused the British to drop their effort to impose westernizing social changes upon Hindu civilization.[11]

Updated Footnotes (2016 & 2019)

1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering,* and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries.

* (Added 2016) See in this volume: Letter to Dr. Skrbina of Nov. 23, 2004, Part III.E.

The Power Process*

* (Added 2016) See in this volume: Letter to Dr. Skrbina of Oct. 12, 2004, Part I; and Appendix One.

44. But for most people it is through the power process—having a goal, making an autonomous effort, and attaining the goal—that self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense ofpower are acquired. When one does not have adequate opportunity to go through the power process the consequences are (depending on the individual and on the way the power process is disrupted) boredom, demoralization, low selfesteem, inferiority feelings, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc.*

* (Supplemented 2016) Some of the symptoms listed are similar to those shown by caged animals. See Morris, passim, especially pp. 160-225. To explain how these symptoms arise from deprivation with respect to the power process: Common-sense understanding of human nature tells one that lack of goals whose attainment requires effort leads to boredom and that boredom, long continued, often leads eventually to depression. Failure to attain goals leads to frustration and lowering of self-esteem. Frustration leads to anger, anger to aggression, often in the form of spouse or child abuse. It has been shown that long continued frustration commonly leads to depression and that depression tends to cause anxiety, guilt, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and bad feelings about oneself Those who are tending toward depression seek pleasure as an antidote; hence insatiable hedonism and excessive sex, with perversions as a means of getting new kicks. Boredom too tends to cause excessive pleasure-seeking since, lacking other goals, people often use pleasure as a goal. The foregoing is a simplification. Reality is more complex, and of course deprivation with respect to the power process is not the only cause of the symptoms described. By the way, when we mention depression we do not necessarily mean depression that is severe enough to be treated by a psychiatrist. Often only mild forms of depression are involved. And when we speak of goals we do not necessarily mean long term, thought out goals. For many or most people through much of human history, the goals of a hand-to-mouth existence (merely providing oneself and one's family with food and other necessities from day to day) have been quite sufficient.

52. Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his coreligionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is “nepotism” or “discrimination,” both of which are terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look at Latin America.) Thus an advanced industrial society can tolerate only those small-scale communities that are emasculated, tamed and made into tools of the system.*

* (Modified 2016) A partial exception may be made for a few passive, inward-looking groups, such as the Amish, which have little effect on the wider society. Apart from these, some genuine small scale communities do exist in America today. For instance, youth gangs and “cults.” Everyone regards them as dangerous, and so they are, because the members of these groups are loyal primarily to one another rather than to the system, hence the system cannot control them. Or take the gypsies. The gypsies commonly get away with theft and fraud because their loyalties are such that they can always get other gypsies to give testimony that “proves” their innocence. See, e.g., Maas, pp. 78-79. Obviously the system would be in serious trouble if too many people belonged to such groups. For some relevant examples, see Appendix Seven. Also see Carrillo, pp. 46-47.

(23) (p. 54) (Added 2016) Actually, it's open to question whether the problems tend to be less acute in rural areas. Compare The Week, Oct. 17, 2008, p. 14, “The myth of small-town superiority” with The Economist, June 25, 2011, p. 94, “A New York state of mind.” The main point stands in any case: that crowding is not the decisive factor.

(24) (p. 55) (Added 2016) E.g.: “In a fashion that men and women of the twentieth century will never fully understand, farmers of the Mississippi valley and the Plains states (in the 1830s or 1840s) had begun to feel 'crowded.' One farmer said that the reason he had to emigrate from western Illinois was that 'people were settling right under his nose,' although his nearest neighbor was twelve miles away.” Schlissel, p. 20, citing Bright, p. 246. See also Dick, p. 25.

(30) (p. 65) (Added 2016) The following item appeared in The Missoulian, May 25, 1988, under the title “Small businesses, take heart”: “ ... 'But if you're a true entrepreneur, you may not qualify for a franchise. Franchise Development Inc. of Pittsburgh says its clients have been using 2½-hour psychological tests to ferret out those with strong entrepreneurial qualities, such as creativity and independence—just the people who become “troublemakers” by refusing to work within the franchise system.' Wall Street Journal.”

(32) (p. 67) (Added 2016) Quoted by Anthony Lewis, New York Times, April 21, 1995.

(33) (p. 69) (Added 2016) Ultimo Reducto has pointed out that many primitive peoples attribute sickness not to an “impersonal demon,” but to witchcraft. If someone becomes seriously ill attempts are made to identify the supposed “witch,” who is then killed. See, e.g., Ross, p. 154. Pre-industrial peoples believed in magic and witchcraft because such beliefs provided them with an explanation for otherwise incomprehensible negative events and with an illusion of power to ward off such events. A discussion of beliefs that serve a similar purpose in the modern world would be of considerable interest, but this is not the place for it.

(35) (p. 75) (Added 2016) I may have gone too far here. Among the Mbuti Pygmies, according to Turnbull, Wayward Servants, p. 127, “(The elder age group) is an age group to which a man or a woman resigns himself (sic) with some reluctance... .” It still does seem true, however, that any reluctance to grow old among primitives is far exceeded by the reluctance of many modern people, as shown by the lengths to which some of the latter will go in an effort to maintain youthfulness.

(37) (pp. 87-92) (Added 2016) The discussion here of the motives of scientists is certainly inadequate. For a more thorough discussion, see the Letter to Dr. P.B. on the Motivations of Scientists, which appears elsewhere in this volume.

(38) (p. 94) (Added 2016) Ultimo Reducto has pointed out that this definition of freedom requires refinement and/or explanation, inasmuch as people have never had full control over the circumstances of their own lives. They have not, for example, been able to control bad weather, which in some circumstances can lead to the failure of food supplies. I think the necessary refinement and explanation of the definition can be provided, but this is not the place for it.

(40) (p. 95) (Added 2016) Ultimo Reducto has pointed out that the correct anthropological term here would be “chiefdoms” rather than “monarchies,” but for our purposes this makes no difference.

(41) (p. 97) (Added 2016) Bolivar wrote: “No liberty is legitimate, except when aimed at the honour of mankind and the improvement of his lot.” Trend, p. 114. See Appendix Six.

(42) (p. 97) (Added 2016) Tan, p. 202.

(43) (p. 97) (Added 2016) Ibid., p. 259.

(45) (p. 115) (Added 2016) “The whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeps like a snail unwillingly to school.” Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7 (here slightly altered).

(57) (p. 147) (Added 2016, modified 2019) A psychological study has found that for most modern people, “simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 min” is a highly aversive experience. See Wilson, Reinhard, et al. Compare this with the statements of the Eskimo mentioned by Durant, Chapt. II, p. 6, and the Indians described by Ferris, Chapt. LXI, as pacing in front of their lodges. See also Kaczynski, Technological Slavery (2010), p. 406.

(59) (p. 152) (Supplemented 2016) However, some psychologists have publicly expressed opinions indicating their contempt for human freedom. E.g., “I believe that the day has come when we can combine sensory deprivation with drugs, hypnosis and astute manipulation of reward and punishment to gain almost absolute control over an individual's behavior. ...We should reshape our society so that we all would be trained from birth to do what society wants us to do.” James V. McConnell, quoted in an article titled “Behavior Control: Boon or Bane?,” in the Chicago Sun Times, March 7, 1971. And the mathematician Claude Shannon was quoted in Omni, Aug. 198 7, as saying: “I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I'm rooting for the machines.”

(61) (p. 154) This is no science fiction! After writing paragraph 154 we came across an article in Scientific American according to which scientists are actively developing techniques for identifying possible future criminals and for treating them by a combination of biological and psychological means. Some scientists advocate compulsory application of the treatment, which may be available in the near future. See W.W. Gibbs, as referenced in our List of Works Cited. Maybe you think this is okay because the treatment would be applied to those who might become violent criminals. But of course it won't stop there. Next, a treatment will be applied to those who might become drunk drivers (they endanger human life too), then perhaps to people who spank their children, then to environmentalists who sabotage logging equipment, eventually to anyone whose behavior is inconvenient for the system.

(Added 2016) The foregoing was written in 1995, but, as far as I know, compulsory treatments to prevent children from growing up to be criminals have not yet begun. This fact illustrates two points that I did not fully understand in 1995:

First, that invasions of our freedom and dignity tend to come from unexpected directions. An apparent threat to our freedom and dignity very often is never realized, or takes much longer to be realized than anyone has expected; the erosion of our freedom and dignity continues, but in ways that no one has foreseen. For example, in 1970 “strong” (i.e., human-like) artificial intelligence, which would have put excessive power into the hands of those who possessed it, was expected within 15 years or so. Darrach, p. 58. But it has not yet arrived. On the other hand, most people nowadays have become so absorbed in and dependent on computerized electronic media that the technology industry has acquired enormous power over them in a way that no one dreamed of in 1970.

The second point is that where methods for controlling human behavior require intelligent monitoring or treatment of individuals, they are excessively difficult to apply effectively throughout an entire population. Thus our criminal justice system, to the extent that it operates by attempting to manipulate actual or potential offenders on an individualized basis, is expensive and ineffective as a tool for controlling the behavior of the criminal population as a whole. The same can be said of our educational system to the extent that it tries to manipulate students individually. Present-day society therefore relies primarily on methods that can be applied on a mass basis and without taking account of individual differences, such as ubiquitous electronic surveillance that intimidates potential offenders and facilitates physical coercion, or propaganda in the widest sense of the term, for which the educational system serves as an effective vehicle.

(62) (p. 167) (Added 2016) I now think a gradual breakdown is so unlikely that we need not take that possibility into consideration. See Kaczynski, Anti-Tech. Revolution, Chapt. Two.

(63) (pp. 171-78) (Added 2016) I've now moved well beyond the speculations put forward here. For a far more probable vision of the future, see ibid.

(65) (pp. 186—88) (Added 2016) Since writing these paragraphs in 1995, I’ve been gratified to find these two points confirmed by authors who are much better qualified than I am to deal with this subject: ISAIF’s distinction between two levels of ideology corresponds roughly to Plekhanov’s and Lenin’s distinction between “propaganda” and “agitation.” See NEB (2003), Vol. 26, “Propaganda,” p. 1 7 V, Ulam, p. 34&n2 l; Selznick, pp. 9—1 0; Lenin, What is to be Done?, Chapt. III, Part B; pp. 101—02 in Christman. Alinsky, pp. 27—28, 78, 133—34, stresses the importance of presenting issues in black-and-white terms in the process of agitation, with all the good on one side and all the evil on the other.

(66) (p. 189) (Modified 2016) Assuming that such a final push occurs. It’s conceivable though highly unlikely that the industrial system might be eliminated in a somewhat gradual or piecemeal fashion. (See paragraphs 4, 167 and Note 49.)

(68) (p. 204) (Added 2016) I now retract this sentence. The advice to revolutionaries to have many children may possibly have had some merit in 1995, but I now believe that the final and decisive stage of the struggle against the system will have to be conducted by people who have already been born, though perhaps with some help from the first generation that follows them. The problem with having children is that potential revolutionaries who do so usually become so involved in family matters that they are of little use as revolutionaries.

(69) (Added 2016) Ultimo Reducto has pointed out some examples of regression of small-scale technology in primitive societies, but even if such examples can be found in civilized societies they will not affect our argument.

(70) (Added 2016) See NEB (2003), Vol. 15, “Building Construction,” p. 317.

(71) (Added 2016) See Bury, pp. 58—60, 64-65, 113.

Above all, leftism is driven by the need for power, and the leftist seeks power on a collective basis, through identification with a mass movement or an organization. Leftism is unlikely ever to give up technology, because technology is too valuable a source of collective power.

215. The anarchist* too seeks power, but he seeks it on an individual or small-group basis; he wants individuals and small groups to be able to control the circumstances of their own lives. He opposes technology because it makes small groups dependent on large organizations.

* This statement refers to our particular brand of anarchism. A wide variety of social attitudes have been called “anarchist,” and it may be that many who consider themselves anarchists would not accept our statement of paragraph 215. It should be noted, by the way, that there is a nonviolent anarchist movement whose members probably would not accept FC as anarchist and certainly would not approve of FC’s violent methods.

(Added 2016) In 1995 I described FC as “anarchist” because I thought it would be advantageous to have some recognized political identity. At that time I knew very little about anarchism. Since then I've learned that anarchists, at least those of the U.S. and the U.K., are nothing but a lot of hopelessly ineffectual bunglers and dreamers, useless for any purpose. Needless to say, I now disavow any identification as an anarchist.

(74) (Added 2016) This statement will perhaps be disputed. See Hoffer, § 14. Also, Rothfels, p. 63, notes that after Hitler's seizure of power in 1933 many Communists defected to become Nazis, and vice versa after 1945 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany. But those who switched from one party to the other under such circumstances were not necessarily True Believers. More likely they were opportunists who joined whatever party seemed to be on the winning side at any given time. Be that as it may, even if true-believing Nazis and Communists of the first half of the 20th century were of identical psychological type, and even if one grants that all True Believers have some psychological traits in common, this writer finds it implausible to suppose that there are no major psychological differences between the typical Nazi and the typical true believing leftist of recent decades in North America and Western Europe.

(75) (Added 2016) My use of the term “power-hungry” has caused some confusion inasmuch as I've stressed the fact that everyone needs power, hence, many readers assume that everyone should be considered power-hungry. However, the term “power hungry” is conventionally applied only to those who seek power over other people, as in the form of political or financial power, or any power to command. Those who seek power in the form, for example, of intellectual, artistic, or athletic prowess, or manual skills, or, say, the skills needed to live independently of the technological system, are not necessarily power-hungry in the usual sense of the term.

Further Comments (2022)

In reference to paragraph 11, “broad,” “chick,” etc. In answer to this, a correspondent remarked that he would be offended if he were referred to or addressed as “dude,” so some clarifcation is required. In many contexts, “dude” can be offensive to the individual so addressed, and even prior to the advent of leftist hypersensitivity “broad” or “chick” could be offensive to the individual to whom those terms were applied. The difference is that leftists now interpret the terms “broad” and “chick” as insulting to the entire female sex, even when those terms are applied only to particular individuals. No one feels that the entire male sex is insulted when a particular individual is called “dude.”

In reference to paragraph 20, “Self-hatred is a leftist trait.” It's worth noting that The Organizer's Manual (see List of Works Cited—Works Without Named Author), which was written by and for leftists, on page 33 portrays leftist ideology as a means of avoiding self-hatred.

In reference to paragraphs 38-41, surrogate activities. A distinction should be made between individual and collective surrogate activities. To take an example, if an individual runs long distances, not as a member of a running club and without expectation of running competitively, and runs more than is neces`sary for the promotion of health, then he or she engages in a purely individual surrogate activity. But if an individual runs as a member of a running club in competition with other members of the club, then an important part of his or her motive may be to win status among the members of the club. For the club collectively, running is a pure surrogate activity because its only purpose is to give the members of the club an opportunity to experience the power process. But for the individual member of the club running may not be a pure surrogate activity, because its purpose may be, at least in part, to achieve status within the club. This point is important in connection with the discussion of science as a surrogate activity (paragraphs 87-92). Science is, in part, a collective surrogate activity, because most individual scientists are motivated to a signifcant degree by a desire to achieve status among other scientists (which is not the same thing as achieving status in society at large).

In reference to the last paragraph of Note 48. This paragraph may soon lose its validity, because sophisticated computer algorithms are beginning to make individualized manipulation possible without individualized decision making by human beings.

[1] Encycl. Britannica, 2003, Vol. 20, article “Germany,” page 96.

[2] The fact that Prussia’s access was to the Baltic Sea rather than directly to the Atlantic was not a terribly important factor in the 18th century, when round-the-world voyages were nothing very extraordinary; still less was it important in the 19th century, when sailing ships of advanced design, and later steamships, made voyages to all parts of the world a routine matter. Even the tiny duchy of Courland, situated at the eastern end of the Baltic, made a start at overseas colonization during the 17th century (Encycl. Britannica, 2003, Vol. 3, article “Courland,” page 683), so there was certainly no physical obstacle to Prussia’s doing the same in the 18th and 19th centuries.

[3] John Keegan, The Second World War, Penguin, 1990, page 219.

[4] B. H. Liddell Hart, The Real War, 1914–1918, Little, Brown and Company, 1964, page 44.

[5] Encycl. Britannica, 2003, Vol. 19, article “France,” page 521.

[6] Foster Rhea Dulles, Labor in America: A History, third edition, AHM Publishing Corporation, Northbrook, Illinois, 1966, pages 166–179, 183–88, 193–99, 204–05.

[7] Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr (editors), Violence in America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, Signet Books, New York, 1969, pages 343–45, 364–65.

[8] Ibid., pages 361–62.

[9] Ibid., pages 364–66.

[10] Encycl. Britannica, 2003, Vol. 9, article “Peasants’ Revolt,” pages 229–230.

[11] Ibid., Vol. 6, article “Indian Mutiny,” pages 288–89.