The Unabomber Manifesto

Industrial Society and its Future

By Theodore Kaczynski (born 1942, died 2023), 1995. Annotated by Xah Lee.

Notes from Xah Lee

This HTML version of the Unabomber Manifesto is based on a text copy found online attributed to (here um.txt).

Unabomber Manifesto is written by Theodore Kaczynski aka unabomber. He was a serial killer, by mailing off home made bombs. He killed 3 and injured 23, in a span of 15 years.

Here's Wikipedia description:

Theodore John Kaczynski (/kəˈzɪnski/; born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber (/ˈjuːnəbɒmər/), is an American domestic terrorist, anarchist, and former mathematics professor. He was a mathematics prodigy, but he abandoned an academic career in 1969 to pursue a primitive lifestyle. Between 1978 and 1995, he killed three people and injured 23 others in an attempt to start a revolution by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign targeting people involved with modern technology.

In 1971, Kaczynski moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water near Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient. He witnessed the destruction of the wilderness surrounding his cabin and concluded that living in nature was untenable; he began his bombing campaign in 1978. In 1995, he sent a letter to The New York Times and promised to “desist from terrorism” if The Times or The Washington Post published his essay Industrial Society and Its Future, in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom and dignity by modern technologies that require large-scale organization.

Kaczynski was the subject of the longest and most expensive investigation in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Before his identity was known, the FBI used the acronym UNABOM (University and Airline Bomber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media naming him the “Unabomber”. The FBI and Attorney General Janet Reno pushed for the publication of Industrial Society and Its Future, which led to a tip from Kaczynski's brother David, who recognized the writing style.

After his arrest in 1996, Kaczynski tried unsuccessfully to dismiss his court-appointed lawyers because they wanted him to plead insanity in order to avoid the death penalty, as he did not believe that he was insane. In 1998, a plea bargain was reached under which he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

This page and the annotations are made by me (Xah Lee) in 2005-07. A second editing is done in 2009-01. Footnotes by Theodore Kaczynski appear at the bottom of each page (if any). For a example page of the formatting of the annotation and Theodore's footnote, see: THE NATURE OF FREEDOM.

The content of this manifesto is primary of 2 themes. The first 1/3 of the book is a criticism of the so-called American “liberals” or political left. Mostly it discuss the ills of political correctness. This work's perspective of modern society or human nature, is specifically centered around modern USA culture. No effort is made to count Europeans or Asian culture in its discussion of modern society or human nature. Nor are there much criticism or discussion of the American Political Right. The rest 2/3 of the manifesto, starting about section 114, is a extreme pessimistic, irrational, hatred of technology, with the conclusion that the only solution is to eliminate technology.

Here's a list of errors i found while i was reading this work: Typographical Errors in Industrial Society and its Future.

The unabomber has recently published a collection of his writings. Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J Kaczynski , by Theodore Kaczynski. Buy at amazon

The Unabomber Died

Theodore Kaczynski aka the The Unabomber, died. On June 10, 2023.

In 2005, i read and annotated his manifesto “Industrial Society and its Future”

I thought it's silly. He criticized the american left of 90s severely, which i think is spot-on, but said nothing of the us right wing warmongers at all. And he says that tech is the problem, and we should abolish tech and go back to living in the woods.

but in 2019 or so, to my shock, what he predicted actually came true.