In 1995, Theodore Kaczynski – also known in the media as
the Unabomber because he sent anonymous lethal mail-bombs to his victims – released his manifesto, titled “Industrial Society and Its Future.” It is an articulate critique of an impending technocratic totalitarian society.
In 1995, mainstream newspapers, working in with the FBI, agreed to print portions of the manifesto, hoping that his writings would help identify him. This strategy worked: his brother recognized his writing and turned him in and his campaign of sending letter bombs to people he identified as “technophiles” came to an end.
While Kaczynski’s method for shedding light on his cause (i.e., maiming and murdering people) is morally deplorable, his manifesto is worth examining for the predictions it made.
Was his prediction correct? I would argue that it is. Scholars still engage with Heidegger’s thought, despite his Nazi affiliations, and many still listen to Wagner, despite his antisemitism. There is an argument to be made for separating the value of a thinker’s work from the moral depravity he may have exhibited during his life.
The morally reprehensible terrorist tactics that Kaczynski perpetrated should not preclude us from recognizing that the manifesto contains some compelling ideas worth engaging with.
Canadian scholar Lawrence E. Schmidt argues that Kaczynski’s thought is strikingly similar to another critic of technology, French theologian Simone Weil. Kaczynski, like Weil, was concerned with the way in which we are increasingly losing our autonomy of thought and action to machines and those who control them. The degree to which computers shape our lives is an example of this.
His prediction, made before the Internet and personal computers became widespread, seems to anticipate the widespread control, invasion of privacy, and loss of autonomy they have increasingly led to. There is one passage, in particular, that has not yet come true but could very well do so, and which should concern us. He is referring to the increased automation through computers and robotics, and the job losses they’ve led to:
“… the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite — just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques, the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite.”
“Or, if the elite consists of softhearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or to make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they most certainly will not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.”
Is this prediction is far-fetched? One might have been forgiven for thinking so prior to 2020, but it could now be argued that we are well on our way to a system of governance conducive to the eventual elimination of “problematic” people.
First, take into account the climate of division and fear that has become the new norm. “Old stock Canadians” and conservative Christians have been increasingly dehumanized. The growth of “critical race theory” contributes to racial divisions, tribalism, and the rhetoric of violence. Woke mobs tearing down historic statues and the growth of “cancel culture” and state censorship portends something far more ominous in the future. History has shown that such rhetoric, if unchecked, leads to mass violence.
Those who object to reckless mass immigration policies are silenced with ugly (and for the most part entirely untrue) accusations of racism. There are now calls for abolishing Canada Day. Pitting Canadians against each other along racial lines, and through the imposition of collective guilt, is a diabolical strategy for dividing and conquering the population.
Secondly, take into account the job losses in recent years. The lockdowns of 2020 led to the loss of employment and increased dependence on the state for many. It crippled the economy and increased our national debt.
What’s next? Prime Minister Trudeau now calls for “climate lockdowns” and he wants to expand the welfare system through Universal Basic Income (UBI). This appears to be planned well in advance by a cabal of ruthless social engineers who know that Canadians will accept despotism incrementally if it’s fed to them by the media as necessary for public health through rhetoric meant to induce fear.
This manufactured crisis is coming on the heels of decades of job losses to due increased automation and the export of manufacturing jobs overseas due to the globalist policy of free trade, which decimated the middle-class.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party, which supports BLM and racial divisions in the West, as part of a broader strategy of asymmetric (or “unrestricted”) warfare against the West, has colluded with Trudeau to gain a foothold in Canada, just as they’ve done in African nations.
Canada’s vast natural resources must surely be a tempting target for acquisition and consumption by Chinese manufacturing behemoths. All that’s standing in the way is a few million Canadians, most of whom are passive and gullible, and who easily submit to state propaganda pushed on them relentlessly by the CBC.
Those who will not submit may soon face the same fate as the Uighurs in East Turkestan. That cultural genocide, perpetrated by the CCP as we speak, should serve as a warning to us of what could happen in Canada if the current mass hysteria, promoted by the mainstream media, is allowed to continue unchecked.
People who dismiss the idea that it could happen in Canada have not read the history of socialism and they also appear to have a rather naive view of human nature. They don’t believe that Trudeau and his handlers are capable of being moral monsters. The history of socialism has demonstrated that those with a Utopian vision for society, if given power, can create a dystopian hell on earth.
Canadians are essentially good people and tolerant to a fault, but that may well be our undoing, as we tolerate the loss of our Charter rights and submit in fear to an attempt by despots to increase their stranglehold on us. It could all end very very badly unless enough Canadians learn to think for themselves and eschew the mainstream media’s lies.
Kaczynski also wrote, rather prophetically, that “If leftism ever becomes dominant in society, so that the technological system becomes a tool in the hands of leftists, they will enthusiastically use it and promote its growth. In doing this they will be repeating a pattern that leftism has shown again and again in the past. When the Bolsheviks in Russia were outsiders, they vigorously opposed censorship and the secret police, they advocated self-determination for ethnic minorities. But as soon as they came into power themselves, they imposed tighter censorship and created a more ruthless secret police than any that had existed under the tsars, and they oppressed ethnic minorities at least as much as the tsars had done.”
His main point, which we would do well to heed, is that technology will be used to control us, and this control is inherent in its design and that Leftism is increasingly using technocratic means to control us. China’s social credit system is a harbinger of what’s to come in the West, where cancel culture and wokeism are increasingly the normative values and where “ubiquitous computing” infringes on our privacy rights – just as occurs in China and was anticipated by Orwell in 1984.
Kaczynski continues: “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.”
While most Canadians will dismiss this analysis as far-fetched, history has shown that it can happen to any nation. In fact, it is happening now, incrementally, and we are the proverbial boiling frog, largely unaware that we’re being cooked to death in degrees by the imposition of a technocratic autocracy.