The Unabomber Manifesto, Part 4: Science, Freedom, History

Industrial Society and its Future, Cont’d

The following continues a condensed summary of the Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and its Future.  The ideas, below, are Kaczynski’s.  The headings and numbers are his.   This is no endorsement of violence or anarchy. The document is presented in parts.  Previous parts include:

The Motives of Scientists
  1. The principal motive for science isn’t “curiosity”.  Most science is beyond normal curiosity because it is so specialized.  Science is a surrogate activity.
  2. The principal motive for science isn’t the “benefit of humanity”.  Some science is clearly dangerous. Much is unrelated to human welfare.
  3. The principle motive for science is psychological.  It satisfies the power process need.  Scientific problems, research, and solutions are power process goals, effort, and attainment.
  4. Science is not purely a surrogate activity. Scientists have other motives, the same psychological needs as non-scientists.
  5. Science and technology is a powerful mass movement. Like other mass movements, it may help satisfy the power process need.
  6. Science blindly marches on – not to serve human welfare.  It serves the psychological needs of scientists, government officials, and corporate executives.
The Nature of Freedom
  1. Industrial society cannot be reformed to stop the erosion of human freedom. What do we mean by freedom?
  2. Freedom is the power to control our lives, have real goals, and autonomy.  Industrial society denies us this.  It controls, manipulates, and constrains us, even when benevolent.  It sticks us with artificial goals.
  3. Technology and economy determine freedom more than laws or government.  The Constitution is flimsy protection against our powerful technological surveillance state.
  4. Freedom of the press is a weak check on the system.  Mass media serves the system because the system controls it.  Mass media drowns out our voices.  Kaczynski killed, he said, so he’d be heard.
  5. Constitutional freedoms serve the state and the collective, not the individual.
  6. Society unconsciously controls our subjective need for freedom.  Oversocialization unconsciously controls some leftists. In turn, they seek to impose socialization on others.
Some Principles of History
  1. History is the sum of two parts: one erratic, the other regular.  The erratic part is unpredictable events.  The regular part is long-term trends.
  2. First Principle. Small changes have short-term effects on long-term trends.  Political reforms only work short-term. Small changes have long-term effects only if they advance the trend.
  3. Long-term trends are stable against small changes or they wouldn’t be long-term trends.
  4. Second Principle. A large change, with long-term effects on long-term trends, alters society as a whole.  This is because society’s parts are interrelated.
  5. Third Principle.  A large change, with long-term effects on long-term trends, alters society in unpredictable ways.
  6. Fourth Principle.  We can’t plan a new society and expect it to function as planned.
  7. Human societies, economies, and behavior are complex and unpredictable.
  8. Fifth Principle.  People do not  form society consciously and rationally.  Societies evolve outside of rational human control.
  9. The fifth principle follows from the other four.
  10. Reforms don’t make lasting change.  Revolution does. It changes society unpredictably.  Utopian revolutions never work as planned.
  11. The American Revolution was less a revolution than a war for independence.  It was political reform that changed society little.  It advanced America’s long-term political and societal trends.
  12. These are rules of thumb for thinking about the future. They must be considered and not easily disregarded.

Next: Part 5, Reform