Does the Unabomber have any relevance to anarchism?
To begin with, I think Ted K sincerely identified as an anarchist in the 1990s at least. His first letter to the media, in June 1993, began with the words: "We are an anarchist group calling ourselves FC." A later communiqué from April 1995 repeated: "We call ourselves anarchists." The Manifesto discusses "our particular brand of anarchism".
Also, for many years after his arrest his message remained fairly consistent: "the social ideal I would put forward is that of the nomadic hunting-and-gathering society." Plus, that: "after the techno-industrial system has been eliminated, people can and should fight injustice wherever they find it."
But, in terms of answering the deeper question of 'does the Unabomber have any relevance to anarchism?' I think Wayne Price said it best when he answered in the following way:
First, I answer “No.” His views have nothing in common with my views on anarchism. And even the most misguided anarchist bomb-throwers and assassins of the past would not have killed professors and students.
But I also say “Maybe.” His views are similar to those of many anarchists: the lack of interest in developing a strategy for popular revolution; the belief that the enemy is industrial technology; not building an organization; not participating in popular struggles, but acting as an elite above the people; the worship of violence, abstracted from popular struggle; a willingness to impose their views on the people, even while denouncing as vanguardist those who try to persuade people. Perhaps I could add: an ambiguity about democracy, seeing anarchism as for freedom versus democracy, rather than as the most extreme form of democracy. All these concepts are reflected in the Unabomber’s letters and actions and are also held by various trends within the anti-authoritarian movements. No doubt the Unabomber will be used as an excuse for denouncing anarchism. The movement would be wise to prepare by having open discussion about him and his methods.
As much as some Kaczynski fans would like to claim that the number of people who are curious about Kaczynski is a sign of a burgeoning movement, I think for the most part interest in the Unabomber case is comparable to other true crime curiosities such as the case of Aileen Wuornos.
I’m fascinated by the Aileen Wuornos case, who was this hitch-hiking sex worker in the 70s, who ended up killing and robbing some of her clients, and it was this weird juxtaposition for the time because women were getting killed all the time by men and so it flipped the script a little bit that there was actually truck drivers who had assaulted or raped women on the road before, who began to be too afraid to pick up women because they were worried about getting killed.
On hearing news on the radio of a woman sex worker killing men, one woman compared the unbelievable experience to the first time Orson Welles’ radio-play ‘The War of The Worlds’ was received by a bemused audience.
Of course, the idea that technology is having an ever more destructive effect on our species isn't very surprising. I hear people saying stuff like this all the time. Technology is destroying us. Our modern lives are fundamentally sick. YouTube and Facebook, and subreddits and Fox News have destroyed any shared sense of truth.
And we are all with our consumption, our waste, our relentless burning of fossil fuels pushing the planet to the point of no return. …
Last fall I went to visit one of my best friends … as I was leaving he handed me a book to read. It was short, slender, a book of letters from the mid 1920s written by an Italian born German theologian named Romano Guardini, I started flipping the pages when I got home and I kept finding passages like this:
“Thus, a technique of controlling living people is developing. It is constructed rationally and embodied in a monstrous system. For most of us, the possibility of a free development and central shaping of the person has disappeared.”
It could have been lifted straight from the manifesto, except it was written 70 years earlier. It may be tempting to look at every screwed up development in our times and think the Unabomber was right, that Ted was prophetic, that his dystopian predictions for our world have come true. But that's giving him too much credit. Ted's ideas aren't original, they're old. The manifesto is filled with the same kinds of things people have been saying about technology for as long as machines have been around.
1953 - Ted becomes a primitivist
Unquestionably there is no doubt that the reason I dropped out of the technological system is because I had read about other ways of life, in particular that of primitive peoples. When I was about eleven I remember going to the little local library in Evergreen Park, Illinois. They had a series of books published by the Smithsonian Institute that addressed various areas of science. Among other things, I read about anthropology in a book on human prehistory. I found it fascinating. After reading a few more books on the subject of Neanderthal man and so forth, I had this itch to read more. I started asking myself why and I came to the realization that what I really wanted was not to read another book, but that I just wanted to live that way.
1971 - Ted misreads the minimalist anarchist Jaques Ellul
David recalled that around this time, Ted had become enamored with a book written by Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, which was first published in French in 1954 and later translated into English and several other languages. The subject matter so moved him that he began a correspondence with Ellul, telling the author he had read his work multiple times. Later, Ted drafted an essay in which he argued that the never-ending push for scientific and technological progress was wrong and would bring about the end of individual liberties. In Ted’s view, society’s power to control individuals was quickly expanding and would ultimately make it impossible for men and women to follow their own paths. He wrote about propaganda, educational guiding of children’s emotional development, operant conditioning, and “direct physical control of emotions via electrodes and “cheminrodes” (sic). Ted proposed founding an organization dedicated to stopping federal aid to scientific research, thereby preventing the “ceaseless extension of society’s powers.”
Ted wanted David to head up the organization because Ted did not work well with people, but David declined.
5. In the section Aims of Revolution you say, "the issue is not technology per see, but the present structure of society." In the section Focus of Revolution, you say that the revolution must be "against the technological society not against technology)." Further on, you indicate that we must "master technology". This seems to suggest the notion that we can have an advanced technology and still avoid the bad aspects of the technological society. If this is what you meant, then the idea is probably incorrect, and very dangerous.
If we see technique as nothing but objects that can be useful (and we need to check whether they are indeed useful); and if we stop believing in technique for its own sake or that of society; and if we stop fearing technique, and treat it as one thing among many others, then we destroy the basis for the power technique has over humanity.
In 1944, at the Liberation, I was part of the Movement of National Liberation, I even held certain positions in it, and had begun to believe the dream we had been dreaming during the last few years of the Resistance, often expressed by the saying that we were going to move from Resistance to Revolution. But when we said that—and I would like to point out that Camus first used it in 1943 in combat groups—we did not mean a Communist, Stalinist, Soviet revolution. We meant a fundamental revolution of society, and we made great plans for transforming the press, the media, and the economic structures. They all had elements of socialism, to be sure; but I would say it was more of a Proudhonian socialism, going back to grassroots by means of a federative and cooperative approach.
1979 - Ted writes to Earth First!
This writer's personal viewpoint is that "progress" (as the term is generally understood in modern society) is in the long run incompatible with wilderness preservation. However, the purpose of this article is less to persuade the reader that this viewpoint is correct than to get him to face the issue squarely and make a decision for himself, one way or the other.
A Reply from the Earth First! Journal
I thoroughly enjoyed your article, “Progress Versus Wilderness.” It was very nicely written, and I found myself agreeing with everything you had to say. …
A Reply to the Reply
Dear Mr. Schneider:
I thank you for your letter …
Some sort of organized movement should be formed which should develop an anti-technological, pro-nature ideology and wait for the right political and psychological moment to expand its influence. Modern society currently seems to be in a state of sociological uncertainty and disorganization. It is quite possible that at some point some group will “save” the mass of mankind by presenting them with an ideology in which they can Believe …
1985 - The Unabomber's First Public Primitivist Argument
Ted's Letter to San Francisco Examiner:
1. The aim of the Freedom Club is the complete and permanent destruction of modern industrial society in every part of the world. This means no more airplanes, no more radios, no more miracle drugs, no more paved roads, and so forth. Today a large and growing number of people are coming to recognize the industrial-technological system as the greatest enemy of freedom. Many evidences of these changing attitudes could be cited. For the moment we content ourselves with mentioning one statistic. “According to a January 1980 poll, only 33 percent of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany [West Germany] still believe that technological development will lead to greater freedom; 56 percent think it is more likely to make us less free.” This is from “1984: Decade of the Experts?” – an article by Johanno Strasser in 1934 revisted: Totalitarianism in our century, edited by Irving Howe and published by Harper and Row, 1983. (This article as a whole helps to show the extent to which technology is becoming a target of social rebellion.)
2. The hollowness of the old revolutionary ideologies centering on socialism has become clear. Now and in the future the thrust of rebellion will be against the industrial-technological system itself and not for or against any political ideology that is supposed to govern the administration of that system. All ideologies and political systems are fakes. They only result in power for special groups who just push the rest of us around. There is only one way to escape from being pushed around, and that is to smash the whole system and get along without it. It is better to be poor and free than to be a slave and get pushed around all your life.
3. No ideology or political system can get around the hard facts of life in industrial society. Because any form of industrial society requires a high level of organization, all decisions have to be made by a small elite of leaders and experts who necessarily wield all the power, regardless of any political fictions that may be maintained. Even if the motives of this elite were completely unselfish, they would still HAVE TO exploit and manipulate us simply to keep the system running. Thus the evil is in the nature of technology itself.
4. Man is a social animal, meant to live in groups. But only in SMALL groups, say up to 100 people, in which all members know one another intimately. Man is not meant to live as an insignificant atom in a vast organization, which is the only way he can live in any form of industrialized society.
1990 - Earth First! shifts with the times
After a brief period in the early 1990s wherein Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle was installed as lead editor of the movement’s journal, a new, collective structure was established to publish Earth First!. The journal’s new structure reflected the growing proportion of anarchists in the post-schism movement. The issues addressed in the journal grew dramatically to include a host of causes that had gotten relatively little attention during the 1980s, including animal liberation and the support of Animal Liberation Front (ALF) prisoners. It also focused increasing attention on egalitarian ideals, advancing many anti-capitalist, anti-racist and anti-sexist causes, and engaging in a great deal of internal critique of the movement’s failures to consistently reflect and promote such values.
Perhaps most significantly, the journal’s pages increasingly discussed arson other tactics that risked and occasionally appeared to support harming people. Its pages also sympathetically covered the groups becoming infamous for such tactics, including the Earth Liberation Front (ELF); an offshoot from Earth First! that was founded in the United Kingdom in 1992 by activists frustrated by the movement’s absolute commitment to non-violence.
1992 - The Earth Liberation Front emerges
The Earth Liberation Front was founded in 1992 in Brighton, England by members of the Earth First!(EF!) environmental movement at the first-ever national meeting. At the time, EF! had become very popular, so people's concerns were based on maintaining this popularity and by doing so not associating with overt law-breaking. There was no universal agreement over this, but it was accepted amongst the movement that British EF! would instead continue to advocate and focus on civil disobedience and mass demonstrations. If people wanted to participate in acts of ecotage, the new name "Earth Liberation Front" would be used, with its name and guidelines derived from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), another movement that uses direct action to liberate animals or sabotage companies using them. It was understood that the simplicity of the guidelines was a crucial factor to engage as many people as possible to the new cause, with the intention that the ELF would quickly become as popular as the ALF.
1000s of claims of responsibilities for non-violent sabotage attacks against corporations would occur internationally, and the vast majority of them would deplore terrorizing people through bodily harm. But, fringe individual members of these groups would see the Unabomer manifesto and his assassinating of corporate leaders as a net positive:
In the mid 1990’s Tim Lewis documented the underground eco-anarchist movement.
Tim Lewis - Anarchist Filmmaker:
Yeah, the '90s was a trip. We had this slow progression of radicalism. And for me, I noticed it up in the mountains east of town, and the Earth First!ers were trying to protect this forest up there, which they did. And these Earth First!ers created a blockade to prevent loggers from coming in, and they won.
And then when Ted came along, or the Unabomber, and started killing people that were responsible for some of this kind of behavior that these kids didn't like, I think they found somebody that they could respect a little bit and could understand why he was doing it.
LEAH: We are driving into Eugene. I've been making the drive from Portland to Eugene for as long as I can remember. I'm just going to head toward downtown. Tons of my friends attended school at the university there to me, it's a fun hippie college town. ... The more we've learned about the case of the Earth Liberation Front, the more we've realized how important Eugene is to this story.
GEORGIA: We are kind of retracing a lot of the steps in the roads, the the Earth Liberation Front would have taken.
LEAH: Yeah, they were travelling all around this area. Close to the Willamette National Forest, where the Warner Creek blockade took place. Eugene is where everything came together where Josephine Sunshine Overaker and Chelsea, Gerlach, and Daniel McGowan all used to live.
DANIEL: It was just like basically wildflowers everywhere people digging up their lawns and creating gardens. People on bikes, punk, anarchists, like lots of protests and also just really intense like street art and this little hub of resistance.
GEORGIA: Recording about this for quite a while, and it's somewhere that's come up again and again, right? So I've been trying to picture it. Yeah, right?
LEAH: We hope we might meet people who knew Josephine Sunshine here, but there's another reason we're coming here today too. Over the past. 18 months as we've been speaking with activists, past and present, a name has come up over and over. Someone who had nothing to do with the Earth Liberation Front.
RUPERT: So Ted Kaczynski is a fascinating person...
LEAH: Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber.
RUPERT: He actually was an eco-terrorist.
LEAH: Academic and environmental campaigner Rupert Reed. Rupert is clear that he doesn't condone violence.
RUPERT: My view is that it isn't really violence unless you're harming somebody, and Kaczynski was very unusual because he actually did harm people.
LEAH: Ted Kaczynski was once a math professor at a prestigious university, but eventually he just dropped out of society. He left the world. Behind and went to live in a tiny log cabin in rural Montana. From there, he waged a nearly twenty year bombing campaign in which he mailed 17 bombs to various universities, companies and individuals. 23 people were injured and three were killed and a 35,000 word manifesto entitled Industrial Society. And its future, Kaczynski wrote that technology was the downfall of humanity and that it should be destroyed to protect humans and the planet from total destruction.
RUPERT: While I do not condone his methods at all, I think what he Did was wrong. What he's written was very powerful, and it's through his words, really, that he's had an influence on the environmental movement, not through his actions. He basically calls people to a kind of seriousness. He says. What are you willing to do to actually preserve? Of life and freedom on the earth. He makes you think about what's at stake and about what you're willing to do about it. Some people have read kucinski and thought you know what. Actually maybe I should do some nonviolent direct action.
LEAH: It turns out Ted Kaczynski had some connections to Eugene to ideas that germinated here. As Georgia and I tried to answer the question of what pushes people into taking radical action, we thought we'd better look into it and it would lead us somewhere very unexpected.
LEAH: In the 1990s, Paul Rogers was an editor of the UK Green Anarchist magazine. He calls it GA. And they published Kaczynski's manifesto.
PAUL: GA were the first to publish in the society in its future in in UK. You know, I think it was within about a week of the Washington Post carrying it in fact.
LEAH: Ted Kaczynski was eventually sentenced to life in prison and many people, like Paul, corresponded with him.
PAUL: Oh yes, I mean immediately following his arrest and during some time during his his imprisonment in Florence. But eventually we fell out principally over the issue of leftism and the sexual politics seemed to be very undeveloped as well, which. Was as disappoint.
LEAH: Kaczynski was very critical of the left in his manifesto. He wasn't particularly fond of feminism, gay rights, animal rights, disability rights, really. He kind of seemed to. Hate everyone, which is maybe why? He lived in a cabin in. The woods. Anyway, I was a. Little surprised to hear Paul Rogers say. That it was. The leftism bit that turned him off from. So, so the sort of backing away from him was sounded like was because of his opinions and leftism and sexual politics of the time, but not so much that people died because of his bombs.
PAUL: Individuals facing desperate circumstances at their backs to the wall occasionally commit a percentile of crimes. They are beyond the pale and unacceptable, but the routine, everyday violence and mass killing of governments perfectly accepted as far as these people are concerned, so they really need to look at their perspective.
LEAH: Paul dodges the question and deflects, blames the government, and that's interesting to me. In my reporting on. The far right people. Will often say similar things that their violence is justified because the government commits violence against them. We wanted to know more about the influence of Ted Kaczynski's ideas on the radical environmental movement and when we'd spoken to Chelsea Gerlach, she'd said something that was what started us on this drive down to Eugene.
CHELSEA: There came to be a pretty significant primitivist eco-anarchist movement based in Eugene that was influenced by those that type of thinking and I would certainly say that that was a significant part of my own philosophical orientation during the time of the action. The Green Anarchy magazine that was out of Eugene, John Zerzan...
LEAH: Green Anarchy magazine. This is different to Paul's Green Anarchist. But Paul had mentioned this magazine and its editor John Zerzan too.
PAUL: You probably know John Zerzan, I don't think you mentioned...
LEAH: We just didn't know who he was at the time. What we know now is that John Zerzan is a green anarchist and primitivist writer. He's anti civilization, anti technology. Basically he wants to see society dismantled and return to a wild state. I always like to. Say that behind every good piece of journalism is a great librarian, and when we looked up John Zerzan, we found the need for one. The University of Oregon Library in Eugene housed this archive of correspondence, which John Zerzan donated was a full archive of letters with Ted Kaczynski who John had written to while he was in prison. Sign here. They were sealed, not available to the public. But it turned out the seal on them was expiring this very week. By the time we got to the library, George and I were the very first people. To see those letters. I think I have 9 boxes. We've got about 3 hours and 9 boxes to go through, so we waste no time pawing. Through the files. Scribbling down notes with pencils. Letters showed there was a strong connection between Eugene and the UK. Activists from the UK were coming to Eugene. And vice versa. Anarchy week. It's also clear that Zerzan and Kaczynski's relationship was serious. In one letter, Kaczynski told John Zerzan you're my most loyal friend. There's a lot of. Names we recognize and a lot of. References to the ELF. There was clearly a connection, but at first. We weren't sure what that was.
LEAH: We tell John. We've just been to the archives and seen his correspondence with Ted Kaczynski. He called you like his most loyal friend. Are you still friends at this point?
ZERZAN: No, sadly enough, he wasn't intuitive. His perspective is it's about technology and it must be only about technology. So we kind of we parted ways.
LEAH: Again, just like with Paul Rogers, they're falling out, wasn't about the violence. It was about an academic disagreement. It's interesting to me that that that's what it came down to for you. I want to hear a bit more about your opinion on the use of harm. You know the violence and. This this question. Of violence keeps coming up in in regards to. Was the Earth Liberation Front committing violence? Where do you stand on?
ZERZAN: That well, it should be a constant question, not taken lightly at all. I think ELF never caused violence to any life in my opinion. You can't violate a building or a window or what. Although some friends of mine would say it is violence, and we're not shrinking from the violence that we think is necessary. That's one way to look at it. You know, when I used to be asked in terms of the Unabomber case, for example. So what about killing people and my way of answering mostly was? I don't advocate sending bombs in the mail, but were those people innocent? I don't think so. Doesn't mean I advocate sending bombs in. The mail but. You know, and that usually dissatisfied the. Journalist or something you know?
LEAH: Do you think committing violence is ever excusable?
ZERZAN: I don't know about that. I'm in favor of property damage, focused property destruction, but I don't think peaceful milling around on the streets. I don't think it's ever changed anything.
LEAH: I pull up the photo of the note he sent John on my phone and show it to. Was asking John Zerzan about a note that you sent to him and I was wondering what it meant actually. It says John don't get nervous and don't soak it in water. Here's a little gift because if you got to look at a clock, you might as well know what time it is. See you, sunshine.
SUNSHINE: Oh, it's... I made him a clock like an alarm clock. Has some Unabomber motif.
LEAH: An alarm clock with a Unabomber motif, this reference to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. It's not the only reference to the man who killed three people that we're confronted with as we sit around the campfire. On the outside of Tim Shack, we notice a poster of Ted Kaczynski in one of his windows. It's a photo and it reads be like Ted. ... Tim told us he believes Ted did have an influence on Eugene's radical community writing to us. After the recording, he told us all the direct action letter writing marches. Peaceful protests were not preventing the slaughter of the wild places we all loved here in the northwest, he said, quote. The bust and trial created a buzz about what's violent and nonviolent, what tactics should be used to save wild places.
1995 - The Manifesto is Published
We call ourselves anarchists because we would like, ideally, to break down all society into very small, completely autonomous units. Regrettably, we don’t see any clear road to this goal, so we leave it to the indefinite future. Our more immediate goal, which we think may be attainable at some time during the next several decades, is the destruction of the worldwide industrial system. Through our bombings we hope to promote social instability in industrial society, propagate anti-industrial ideas and give encouragement to those who hate the industrial system.
Leftism is unlikely ever to give up technology, because technology is too valuable a source of collective power.
The anarchist34 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.
34. 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.
183. But an ideology, in order to gain enthusiastic support, must have a positive ideal as well as a negative one; it must be FOR something as well as AGAINST something. The positive ideal that we propose is Nature. That is, WILD nature: Those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control. And with wild nature we include human nature, by which we mean those aspects of the functioning of the human individual that are not subject to regulation by organized society but are products of chance, or free will, or God (depending on your religious or philosophical opinions).
184. Nature makes a perfect counter-ideal to technology for several reasons. Nature (that which is outside the power of the system) is the opposite of technology (which seeks to expand indefinitely the power of the system). Most people will agree that nature is beautiful; certainly it has tremendous popular appeal The radical environmentalists ALREADY hold an ideology that exalts nature and opposes technology. It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating. To relieve the pressure on nature it is not necessary to create a special kind of social system, it is only necessary to get rid of industrial society. Granted, this will not solve all problems. Industrial society has already done tremendous damage to nature and it will take a very long time for the scars to heal. Besides, even preindustrial societies can do significant damage to nature. Nevertheless, getting rid of industrial society will accomplish a great deal. It will relieve the worst of the pressure on nature so that the scars can begin to heal. It will remove the capacity of organized society to keep increasing its control over nature (including human nature). Whatever kind of society may exist after the demise of the industrial system, it is certain that most people will live close to nature, because in the absence of advanced technology there is no other way that people CAN live. To feed themselves they must be peasants, or herdsmen, or fishermen, or hunters, etc. And, generally speaking, local autonomy should tend to increase, because lack of advanced technology and rapid communications will limit the capacity of governments or other large organizations to control local communities.
To the extent that the average modern INDIVIDUAL can wield the power of technology, he is permitted to do so only within narrow limits and only under the supervision and control of the system. (You need a license for everything and with the license come rules and regulations.) The individual has only those technological powers with which the system chooses to provide him. His PERSONAL power over nature is slight.
198. Primitive INDIVIDUALS and SMALL GROUPS actually had considerable power over nature; or maybe it would be better to say power WITHIN nature. When primitive man needed food he knew how to find and prepare edible roots, how to track game and take it with homemade weapons. He knew how to protect himself from heat, cold, rain, dangerous animals, etc. But primitive man did relatively little damage to nature because the COLLECTIVE power of primitive society was negligible compared to the COLLECTIVE power of industrial society.
199. Instead of arguing for powerlessness and passivity, one should argue that the power of the INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM should be broken, and that this will greatly INCREASE the power and freedom of INDIVIDUALS and SMALL GROUPS.
Zerzan Promotes Ted's Message
Zerzan thought he found a kindred spirit when he first heard about Kaczynski:
The concept of justice should not be overlooked in considering the Unabomber phenomenon. In fact, except for his targets, when have the many little Eichmanns who are preparing the Brave New World ever been called to account? Where is any elemental personal responsibility when the planners of our daily and global death march act with complete impunity?
The ruling order rewards such destroyers and tries to polish their image. The May 21, 1995 New York Times Magazine's "Unabomber and David Gelerntner" humanizes the latter, injured by a Unabomber bomb at Yale, as a likable computer visionary preparing a "Renaissance of the human spirit." From no other source than the article itself, however, it is clear that Gelerntner is helping to usher in an authoritarian dystopia based on all the latest high-tech vistas, like genetic engineering.
Is it unethical to try to stop those whose contributions are bringing an unprecedented assault on life? Or is it unethical to just accept our passive roles in the current zeitgeist of postmodern cynicism and know-nothingism? As a friend in California put it recently, when justice is against the law, only outlaws can effect justice.
Other anarchists critiques his message
Is the Unabomber an Anarchist?
The “Unabomber” claims to be an anarchist. For 17 years, the person who has been called the Unabomber has been attacking people with bombs, without making an explanation. The bomb targets have included some rich and powerful individuals, such as the April killing of a lobbyist for a logging association. But the main targets have been college professors (of genetics and computer science) and owners of computer stores. “Unintended” injuries have happened to others, including students, a secretary, and passengers on an airplane. In six bombings, there have been three deaths and 22 injuries.
Now he has written a letter declaring his politics to be “anarchist and radical environmentalist.” (Although the Unabomber claims to be “the terrorist group FC,” I use “he,” since the evidence suggests one person and the politics suggests a male.) The Oklahoma bombing by a few fascists is widely seen as reflecting the political culture of a broader far-right movement. The question is sure to be raised: Should the bombings by this “anarchist” similarly be seen as reflecting the politics of the anarchist and radical environmental movements? My answer: No, and Maybe.
To be sure, the Unabomber (or “FC”) was bombing for years before raising the anarchist banner. However, his aim was anti-technological from the first. Whether or not they originally inspired him, there is no reason to doubt that he has come to agree with anarchist ecological views. His opinions are close enough to certain widespread views within the anti-authoritarian movement to be worth discussing.
His Anarchist Vision
His letter to the New York Times (4/26/95) states, “We call ourselves anarchist because we would like, ideally, to break down all society into very small, completely autonomous units.” It is true that anarchists have generally been decentralists, because participatory democracy is only possible in human-scale communities where people can meet face-to-face. This may include villages, factory councils, city neighborhoods, social clubs, or whatever. However, many anarchists have also advocated for a federation from the bottom-up, so that local groups are in a network of voluntary associations covering regions, continents, and the world.
His vision includes complete destruction of the “industrial-technological system” worldwide. Again, most anarchists today do not regard the current development of industrial technology as “progressive” or even “neutral,” as do Marxists and liberals. Capitalism and the state have developed this technology for their own purposes of exploitation, profit and war. A new society will not be able to simply use these machines just as they are.
However there is a dispute within the anti-authoritarian/ecological movement. Some believe that a new society should use technological knowledge to create a new type of industry, bountiful but non-exploitative and ecological. Others advocate going back to pre-industrial society, to medieval technology, or hunting and gathering.
Like the Unabomber, these people seem to forget that pre-industrial society was often highly oppressive, including monarchist, mass slavery, feudalism, war, and the oppression of women before class society even developed. In any case, pre-industrial society evolved into industrial society; out of that came this. Just as industrial machinery is not automatically liberatory, neither is the absence of industrial technology automatically liberatory.
The Unabomber admits to having no strategy for anarchism. “We don’t see any clear road to this goal, so we leave it for the indefinite future.” Instead, “our more immediate goal, which we think may be attainable during the next several decades, is the destruction of the worldwide industrial system.”
There are many other anarchists who have no idea how anarchism might come. And neither I nor anyone else has a crystal ball or a fully worked-out analysis. But it is possible to begin to work toward a modern analysis and strategy for an anarchist revolution. This requires developing both our theory and our activity. We need to analyze the social system (using tools from various sources such as feminism, classical Marxism, historical anarchism, ecological theory, etc.). We need to look for the weaknesses in the system, the nature of the developing crisis, the social forces likely to struggle. Especially, we need to participate in the popular struggles, in dialogue with other viewpoints. We need to develop an organization that can help us do these things without tying us down. Instead, the Unabomber proposes to blow up individuals. In a letter to one of his victims, he wrote, “If there were no computer scientists, there would be no progress in computer science.” Clearly he thinks of the enemy as individuals rather than a social system — a social system that can create computer scientists faster than he can kill them. Similarly he blames the technology, not the society which requires it. He also hopes to “propagate anti-industrial ideas” by his bombing. But bombs (or assassination or kidnapping), when not a close part of a popular struggle, are seen by most people as one more evil of the social system, not as part of the solution. If anything, it leads people to support the establishment against those who seem to want pointless destruction. He is trying to spread ideas by a book. If it is published and publicized by the media, he promises to stop bombing people, and only target buildings in the future. As if the rulers care about the deaths of professors or computer-store owners!
Like most people, I am not a pacifist. The existence of widespread police brutality and the growth of the fascist “militias” show that popular movements will have to defend themselves. The state will never allow a non-violent, democratic revolution.
However, the use of violence exacts a price. It makes revolutionaries less sensitive, less morally keen, less like people of the new world. Violence is only justifiable in a revolutionary situation or in defense of a popular struggle (for example, the Black Panther Party at its height). When revolutionaries, isolated from most people, set out to strike at even the most vicious oppressors, the results are invariably bad. Bystanders get injured, the revolutionaries become more isolated from the people, they get killed or jailed, and the state gets a popular excuse for greater repression.
As a general rule, I would give political and legal support to such revolutionaries when arrested by the state, despite my disagreements. In the case of the Unabomber, he is a murderer dragging noble ideas through the mud.
Anarchism has a popular image of bomb-throwing, based on a real trend in anarchist history. But there are other historical trends in anarchism, including organizing mass labor struggles (anarcho-syndicalist, the IWW), mass military forces (Makhno, Durruti), and even a pacifist trend (Tolstoy, Goodman). There is nothing inevitably “terrorist” about anarchism.
In our time most, “terrorism” has been carried out by Marxist-Leninists, nationalists, and other statists, not anarchists. (Of course, such violence has always been small potatoes compared to the massive terror used by the military and police forces of the states.) For example, the Weatherpeople of the ‘60s were admirers of Stalin and Charles Manson.
This sort of small group “terrorism” is inevitably authoritarian. The Unabomber, who admits to having no strategy for popular struggle, seeks to overthrow industrial society virtually single-handedly. He will force people to live in non-industrial, totally decentralized society? What if they do not want to live in such a society? And they do not; the vast majority support the existing system, more or less. Rather than trying to persuade them, he intends to blow up their society.
Anarchists are against the vanguardism of the Leninists but they are often unclear about just what vanguardism is. Many think that they avoid vanguardism by being against the self-organization of anarchists. In my opinion, vanguardism is not the belief that a small group may be right and the majority wrong. Few believe in revolutionary anarchism while the vast majority supports statist capitalism; we have every right to organize ourselves to try to persuade the majority of our viewpoint, always acknowledging that we have much to learn from others.
No, vanguardism is the belief that the correct minority has the right to impose its views on the majority. When the minority seeks to rule over the people, to act for them, to be political in their place, then it is vanguardist and authoritarian, no matter how “anti-authoritarian” is its ideology — as is the case of the Unabomber.
The Unabomber and Anarchism
To return to the original question: are the Unabomber’s murders connected to the politics of anarchism? First, I answer “No.” His views have nothing in common with my views on anarchism. And even the most misguided anarchist bomb-throwers and assassins of the past would not have killed professors and students.
But I also say “Maybe.” His views are similar to those of many anarchists: the lack of interest in developing a strategy for popular revolution; the belief that the enemy is industrial technology; not building an organization; not participating in popular struggles, but acting as an elite above the people; the worship of violence, abstracted from popular struggle; a willingness to impose their views on the people, even while denouncing as vanguardist those who try to persuade people. Perhaps I could add: an ambiguity about democracy, seeing anarchism as for freedom versus democracy, rather than as the most extreme form of democracy. All these concepts are reflected in the Unabomber’s letters and actions and are also held by various trends within the anti-authoritarian movements. No doubt the Unabomber will be used as an excuse for denouncing anarchism. The movement would be wise to prepare by having open discussion about him and his methods.
1996 - Ted begins corresponding with various anarchists post-arrest
Kaczynski was a long time reader of LWOD, he acknowledged in a letter to its editors after his arrest. In fact, he had selected one of his murder victims from one of the aforementioned hit lists. He also wrote to and offered Theresa Kintz, an Earth First! editor at the time, an exclusive interview, because he had been impressed by an editorial she had written for the journal defending ELF activists who had torched a ski lodge under construction in Vail, Colorado. She agreed with the rationale of the arsonists that the action was justifiable because the construction project destroyed critical habitat for an endangered Lynx species.
In answer to the question did you ever think of yourself as an ‘Earth Firster’? Ted answered:
Not really. As a sort of a satellite, sympathizer’s too weak a word, but sort of… ‘Earth Firster Satellite’? I didn’t want to subscribe to the Earth First Journal because I didn’t want to call attention to myself. If something happened to some logging equipment, I didn’t want them to know who to look for. But, I did pick up a copy of the journal and I saw a lot that I liked.
I discovered Earth First! like in the late ‘80s. I said, “hell, hey these people are saying very much the same things that I’ve been thinking all along.” So, I was not inspired by ‘Earth First!’ But I just happened to agree with them a great deal.
I started to realize, hey, wait a minute, there’s some other people out there that are having a very dim view of technology too, and maybe, just maybe, it might eventually be possible to do something about this.
Kaczynski continues to comment approvingly on the violent exploits of environmental radicals. In a letter he wrote last year to the Denver television reporter Rick Sallinger, he expressed his support for the Earth Liberation Front’s arsons at the Vail ski resort—fires that destroyed more than $12 million worth of property.
“I fully approve of [the arson],” he wrote Sallinger, “and I congratulate the people who carried it out.” Kaczynski went on to commend an editorial in the Earth First! Journal by Kintz, who wrote, “The Earth Liberation Front’s eco-sabotage of Vail constituted a political act of conscience perfectly in keeping with the sincere expression of the biocentric paradigm many Earth First!ers espouse.”
One reason why I think actions like the Vail arson are useful: An action like that tends to increase the sense that something is going on, the sense that there is a tension in society, and it gives the activists themselves a sense of purpose. It’s important.
The publication of this editorial was protested vehemently by many activists who rejected arson as a tactic and thought embracing it was dangerous to activists and politically counterproductive. But Kintz had her own supporters, including for the idea of conducting and publishing an interview with Kaczynski. She conducted interviews during the summer of 1999 but at a large movement gathering that summer a consensus was reached that the journal ought not publish it. Consequently, Kintz left the journal staff and published the interview in the UK-based tabloid, the Green Anarchist.) Like Kintz, the editors of LWOD supported and felt affinity with Kaczynski, agreeing with his anti- technology ideology and at the very least that violent tactics are sometimes warranted.
The majority of the movement’s activists, however, rejected Kaczynski’s violent tactics and did not want the movement tarred by them. But the explicit and implicit endorsement of the ALF and ELF, the sympathy of some for Kaczynski, and the focus on issues that some in the movement considered to be mired in distracting, anthropocentric concerns, caused more moderate members of the movement to drift away. The result was an increasingly radical and anarchistic movement.
Throughout the 1990s Earth First!’s campaigns primarily involved protests, lawsuits, and civil disobedience. In several cases, the resistance gained enough strength to orchestrate large protests that included mass protest arrests, as in 1996 when thousands of citizens gathered in a sparsely populated area of northern California to protest logging in ancient redwood groves by the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO); over a thousand citizens were arrested. This and a decade of resistance to PALCO’s practices contributed to political pressures to reduce social disruption and the loss of political support, and led to heightened scrutiny by state forest authorities and to the company being cited repeatedly for violating the law. Eventually, a deal was worked out wherein the company would sell the most biologically precious old-growth groves to the state of California. Not long afterward the company went bankrupt and was sold to another company with a better reputation, which promised to protect the remaining ancient groves and manage the rest of its forestland more gently.
Once the manifesto was published, and he was unmasked as the Unabomber, he wasn't alone with his thoughts anymore. There was a public out there engaging with him trying to figure out what do we make of this man's ideas, what do we make of him?
Eric: Ted may not have decimated the global order, but he was right about his ability to spread the word and reach fellow travelers.
Zerzan: Oh, I wrote to him almost immediately after his arrest.
Eric: This is John Zerzan. He's a former 1960s campus radical and he still looks like one. Shaggy white hair, a full beard wire, rimmed glasses, but over the years he went from leftist radical to leftist skeptic, evolving into a self-described anarchist and technophobe that might be why his tapes sound so bad he had trouble hooking up his computer to record this interview. By the spring of. 1996 when Zerzan reached out to Ted, he was a well established writer himself, attracted to following preaching, a gospel that wasn't all that different from the unabomber's But Zerzan got published. In underground journals, Ted had managed to get published in the Washington Post.
Zerzan: I wanted to pursue what he was thinking when he was writing, but you know, again. The idea is also the tactical stuff. Where have you? How how do you how? Do we? Get these ideas out there, make them accessible. Have that be part of the conversation in society.
Eric: Ted wrote back and a friendship started. … By that point, even many hardcore anarchists were leery of Ted. This guy couldn't just appoint himself to be a one-man execution squad on behalf of the enemies of technology, but Suzanne didn't see it that way. To him, all the attention. Being paid to Ted was an opportunity and the anti tech activists who wanted to distance themselves from the Unabomber just didn't have the courage of their convictions.
Zerzan: I tried to take advantage, to push the ideas out there. For Christ’s sake, what else would you do? They just wouldn't, when journalists would ask them about it; “well, you people, or anti-technology, you know, what do you think about this Unabomber deal? And oh, they just freaked the fuck out. They just ran for cover. Yeah, I thought that was pathetic. Here's your one chance to say something when people are listening and you're just pissing your pants instead of saying something?
Ted explains the range of letters he gets:
I get letters from kooks who think that I’m in cahoots with space aliens… (laughs) really… I’ve had a few letters from people who do regard me as some kind of cult figure. And my personal preference is to be depicted truthfully. If I could be used as a symbol for promoting revolutionary activity, that’s fine with me, because … to me, the main thing is to get rid of the industrial system by whatever means may be necessary.
The majority of young people are imitative. That's why we have to provide them with a different model to imitate, a different herd to go along with, rather than leaving the field to the leftists. No doubt, starting a movement would be difficult, but if you're not willing to attempt what is difficult, then you might as well forget about doing anything against the system. I would appreciate it if you would answer the questions...how you feel about my sharing your name and your letters with a few other people. I do know a handful of people who just conceivably might form the nucleus of an effective anti-technological group, but that can't happen if they don't communicate with one another.
I've been trying to find people who might possibly form the nucleus of a new movement that would concentrate on technology, leaving gay rights and poverty to the pink reformers. Such people are not easy to find. So far I have maybe four of them. (I'm sure of only two. The other two are doubtful.) I'm thinking that you might make a fifth. (I'm sure of only two. The other two are doubtful.) I'm thinking that you might make a fifth. You have the right values, you seem level-headed, and I haven't seen any indication that you're obsessed with victimization issues the way leftists are. That's why I wanted to know whether you were oriented toward practical action. If you are, you might be interested in getting involved in an effort to begin a new movement. I would like to hear your thoughts about this. Again, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the idea of forming a new movement in opposition to the techno-industrial system.
John H. Richardson:
There's maybe completely justifiable reasons for the prison making it very difficult for him to correspond right now that involves his financial recompense issues … and also other things that I don't have to go into. … So they may have perfectly valid reasons, but from the beginning I did not get responses from the prison, I had to pursue them constantly and they never really responded to my request for a personal interview. … It was just basically a stalling shut down. We can't say no, but we're going to just wait so long that it's going to go away.
I suspect that you underestimate the strength and depth of feeling against industrial civilization that has been developing in recent years. I've been surprised at some of the things that people have written to me. It looks to me as if our society is moving into a pre-revolutionary situation. (By that I don't mean a situation in which revolution is inevitable, but one in which it is a realistic possibility.) The majority of people are pessimistic or cynical about existing institutions, there is widespread alienation and directionlessness among young people. Perhaps all that is needed is to give these forces appropriate organization and direction.
The current political turmoil provides an environment in which a revolutionary movement should be able to gain a foothold. … Present situation looks a lot like situation (19th century) leading up to Russian Revolution, or (pre-1911) to Chinese Revolution. You have all these different factions, mostly goofy and unrealistic, and in disagreement if not in conflict with one another, but all agreeing that the situation is intolerable and that change of the most radical kind is necessary and inevitable. To this mix add one leader of genius.
When asked if any such capable leaders had approached him, he answered simply and impatiently ‘no,’ but then further down the letter answered:
Wait, I just thought of an exception: John Jacobi. But he’s a screwball — bad judgment — unreliable — a problem rather than a help.
Jacobi did dedicate many years of his life to building up magazines and websites dedicated to Kaczynski’s vision, but was often disappointed with the rigidity and predictableness of Kaczynski’s character:
When I wrote Kaczynski, I got the impression that his interactions with me were, ironically, very mechanical, as though he structured them just right so they would work perfectly as part of the larger revolutionary machine.
After feeling badly portrayed in the few interviews he did for journalists, he:
… told one journalist that he would only be talking to quote “100% committed, far out rabid anti tech radicals.”
1997 - More Zerzan promotion
HE MEANS IT-DO YOU
Leftism with its superficial program is nearly extinct. Its adherents have folded their tents of manipulation and, in some cases, moved on to far more interesting adventures.
Anarchism, if not yet anarchy, is the only scene going, even if the blackout on the subject is still in effect. As if to match the accelerating decomposition of society and displacement of life at large, determined resistance is also metamorphosing with some rapidity. The rout of the left, following the swiftly declining prestige of History, Progress, and techno-salvation, is only one development. The old militants, with their ethic of sacrifice and order, their commitment to economy and exchange, are already fixed on the museum shelves of partial revolt. Enter the Unabomber and a new line is being drawn. This time the bohemian schiz-fluxers, Green yuppies, hobbyist anarcho-journalists, condescending organizers of the poor, hip nihilo-aesthetes and all the other "anarchists" who thought their pretentious pastimes would go on unchallenged indefinitely—well, it's time to pick which side you're on. It may be that here also is a Rubicon from which there will be no turning back.
Some, no doubt, would prefer to wait for a perfect victim. Many would like to unlearn what they know of the invasive and unchallenged violence generated everywhere by the prevailing order—in order to condemn the Unabomber's counter-terror.
But here is the person and the challenge before us.
Anarchists! One more effort if you would be enemies of this long nightmare!
1998 - Ted has the same message post-arrest
I would like to comment on some statements that were made in reference to the Unabomber’s manifesto in GA 40–41. In an article on pages 21–22, Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous wrote:
"[A] return to undomesticated autonomous ways of living would not be achieved by the removal of industrialism alone. Such removal would still leave domination of nature, subjugation of women, war, religion, the state, and division of labour, to cite some basic social pathologies. It is civilization itself that must be undone to go where Unabomber wants to go."
I agree with much of this. ...
But the removal of civilization itself is a far more difficult proposition, because civilization in its pre-industrial forms does not require an elaborate and highly-organized technological structure. A pre-industrial civilization requires only a relatively simple technology, the most important element of which is agriculture.
How does one prevent people from practicing agriculture? And given that people practice agriculture, how does one prevent them from living in densely-populated communities and forming social hierarchies? It is a very difficult matter and I don’t see any way of accomplishing it.
I am not suggesting that the elimination of civilization should be abandoned as an ideal or as an eventual goal. I merely point out that no one knows of any plausible means of reaching that goal in the foreseeable future. In contrast, the elimination of the industrial system is a plausible goal for the next several decades, and, in a general way, we can see how to go about attaining it. Therefore, the goal on which we should set our sights for the present is the destruction of the industrial system. After that has been accomplished we can think about eliminating civilization.
After the techno-industrial system has been eliminated, people can and should fight injustice wherever they find it. ...
Commando Unabomber Faction
Due to support by the US during the cold war for a military Junta in Greece between 1967 to 1974 and a thriving anarchist movement in Greece opposed to American imperialism around the world, attacks on American corporations have been frequent.
In January 1998, one week after Ted was sentenced to life in prison, a group calling themselves the ‘Revolutionary Subversive Faction-Commando Unabomber’ placed two bombs outside the offices of two American companies in Thessaloniki, Greece.
[The] group claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to a state run television station.
We will all be Unabombers. Burns [the US ambassador] go home. The state terrorist shall not pass.
The attack on the state will not end. State terrorism will not succeed.
Assuming what they said is somewhere close to how they were quoted; what they likely meant was that they saw themselves in a life-or-death struggle with American state terrorism, which meant that to their mind, revolutionary terrorism was justified in reaction, and that many Internationalists would rise up to take the Unabomber’s place.
Due to the high-profile celebrity the Unabomber had achieved in terrorizing the American Empire and the seemingly anti-capitalist nature of the attacks against CEOs, it appears this Greek group were led to perceive the Unabomber as an ally in their struggle.
The group struck again 2 weeks later:
The offices of a fascist organisation, are set on fire … The responsibility … was claimed by … Revolutionary faction … commando Unabomber …
2001 - An ELF cell debates similarly violent acts against people for the wild
In the last meeting of the most active ELF cell in the US, some members argued they should next attempt to assassinate captains of industry. It’s possible that them bringing the idea up to people who disagreed was the only reason it didn’t happen, as they might have feared that other members of the group would sabotage their life or even sell them out to the police, rather than let them go ahead with it:
Narrator: Some members of the group were questioning the actions, but there were others who felt they hadn't gone far enough.
Prosecutor: Some of them had decided they wanted to target captains of industry, target people now, not just property.
ELF Member: The last circle meeting basically cleaved between people who seemingly wanted to talk about it, not even plan it, but just talk about it, and the people that were repulsed by it.
Later it emerged that 2 of the members had become Neo-Nazis:
As their ELF group executed arsons during the late-1990s and early-2000s, a former ELF member told me that two comrades, Nathan “Exile” Block and Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher, shared an unusual love of Scandinavian black metal, made disturbing references to Charles Manson, and promoted an elitist, anti-left mentality. While their obscure references evoked Abraxas, Feral House, and Bouchet’s distribution networks, their politics could not be recognized within the milieu of fascism at the time. However, their general ideas became clearer, the former ELF member told me, whenantifascist researchers later discovered that a Tumblr account run by Block contained numerous occult fascist references, including national anarchist symbology, swastikas, and quotes from Evola and Jünger. These were only two members of a larger group, but their presence serves as food for thought regarding important radical cross-over points and how to approach them.
The martial rhetoric and tabloid graphics found among radical environmentalists amplify such concerns and appear to promote violence, perhaps even terrorism; my own work provides the most detail about violence-related debates within these subcultures. Some Earth First! activists, for example, depict their struggle as a holy war against those who would desecrate a sacred earth, express solidarity with diverse revolutionary movements around the globe' and endorse sabotage that involves at least some risk to human beings. One sabotage manual distributed by an anarchist faction associated with Earth First! even discusses firearms and firebombs. A few have expressed sympathy for the tactics employed by terrorist groups such as the Weather Underground' 8 and even the Unabomber. (See the attached graphics that seem to promote or accept violence as a tactic.)
Furthermore, many Earth First!ers have expressed tacit support for Kaczynski. LWOD, for example, published two writings by Kaczynski in the seventh issue, and in 2011 the Earth First! Journal published an article entitled “Re-visiting Uncle Ted & A Few FC Targets,” which reappraised Kaczynski and implied support for some of his actions.
2003 - A similarly violent insurrectionary network emerges with many anticiv cells
Then in the 2000s the Informal Anarchist Federation emerged in Europe:
Though a variety of direct attack networks, monikers, and individual cells have emerged since the post-millennial reinvigoration of the urban guerrilla, the strategy and momentum of direct, anti-state attack was carried forth most notably by the Informal Anarchist Federation [ Federazione Anarchica Informale ]. The FAI has been linked to attacks as early as 1999, but its current, internationalized, adoptable-moniker form, emerged around 2004 in the Italian city of Bologna. In 1999, the network sent mail bombs to the Greek embassy in Italy, a tourism office in Madrid, and a branch of Citibank in Barcelona (Hanrahan 2013). Subsequently, pre-2003 FAI bombs targeted newspapers, churches, courts, police, prisons, and other targets located in Western Europe, largely in Spain and Italy.
The FAI (2003) explained their motivation in a communiqué entitled “Open Letter to the Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarian Movement.” This document serves to announce the FAI to the world, to begin to develop its methodology for attack, and to communicate with sympathetic allies in the producing of future attacks. According to some historical accounts (Cospito 2014), the letter is a signpost marking the real emergence of the FAI global network. In the text, the network claims responsibility for the attacks, calling their targets the “repressive apparatus that plays the democratic farce and that will bring the main characters and institutions to the new European order” (FAI 2003).
The FAI describe their network as “a federation formed either by groups of action or by single individuals, in order to go beyond the limits implied in single projects and to experiment the real potentialities of informal organization” (2003, 3). The communiqué goes on to describe the network’s interpretation of “informal,” “anarchist,” and “federation” and discusses strategy, organization, and other questions of practicality.
2006 - Ted publicly breaks with anarchism
A vegan primitivist from Turkey wrote to Ted with a long list of questions. Ted responded with a detailed critique of how many primitivists idealize primitive life, arguing that the hierarchical relationships found between many tribal members is natural and therefore neutral or good.
So I agree with the anarchoprimitivists that the advent of civilization was a great disaster and that the Industrial Revolution was an even greater one. I further agree that a revolution against modernity, and against civilization in general, is necessary. But you can’t build an effective revolutionary movement out of soft-headed dreamers, lazies, and charlatans. You have to have tough-minded, realistic, practical people, and people of that kind don’t need the anarchoprimitivists’ mushy utopian myth.
2010 - Similar insurrectionary violence emerges in Mexico in a big way
Beginning around 2010, a sudden surge of insurrectionary-styled, clandestine guerrilla networks emerged in Mexico and launched a series of attacks on the state and capital. While a complete chronology and historical accounting of this movement is beyond the scope of this book, a brief review is warranted. Within Mexico, attacks have been claimed under a variety of the commonly occurring monikers including CCF, ELF, FAI, and so on. To trace a single example of internationalizing monikers, we turn towards the emergence of a Mexican tendency linking CCF and the FAI. According to an inter-movement, self-narrative account authored by the “Mexican Fire Cells Conspiracy/Informal Anarchist Federation” (2011), “[On] September 15  The Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF) faction of the Mexican Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI-M) is formed by affinity groups and like-minded people in several Mexican states.” The following day (16 September 2011), the CCF/FAI-M “carries out three simultaneous arsons … Liberatory fire destroys merchandise, as flames consume Textiles Suburbia, CV Directo, and TF Victor” (Mexican Fire Cells Conspiracy/FAI 2011). From there the network engaged in frequent arson attacks and, in less than two months, set fire to sites including a warehouse, an airport staff training school, two Walmarts, a shopping mall, a lumber warehouse, and at least four other businesses. From the CCF’s Greek roots and those of the FAI found in Italy, it is notable that such a formation occurred so far away, and in such a culturally different venue as Mexico. The development of this new network is reflective of national tendencies, wherein Mexico becomes a site for a renewal of militant actions and the fostering of newly lethal tendencies.
Beyond the rapid expansion of CCF/FAI-M, Mexico also saw the development of nationally-restricted networks … Práxedis G. Guerrero Autonomous Cells for Immediate Revolution (CARI-PGG), and Individualists Tending Towards the Wild (ITS). While, ideologically, the former mirrors the more traditional approach of Western European anarcho- guerrillas such as CCF and FAI, the ITS network resembles a newly emergent praxis borrowing from anarchism’s primitivist and anti-technology tendencies, exacted through an atypically-violent pattern of attack. ITS and CARI-PGG’s predominant deployment of IEDs make them an apt network to study as their tactical and strategic patterns fall well outside of those seen in other insurrectionary networks. In short, these networks’ goals are often to kill and maim individuals associated with targeted institutions, while typical insurrectionary attack aims to destroy symbolic property while avoiding individual targeting of persons for injury and death.
In April 2011, … [ITS] emerged through the international counter-information and translation service of the so-called “black international” …
Meaning their communiqués were widely spread on anarchist websites without disclaimers or critiques.
Environmentalist sabotage groups begin to label their attacks ELF/ALF/FAI, to emphasis the total liberation ideals motivating their attacks.
As much as I sympathize with people wanting to be part of an international organization concretely bringing about a wholistic liberatory world, I think it was a huge mistake to muddy the ELF/ALF ethos with ITS and FAI who both advocate kneecapping and parcel-bombing.
In 2011 the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) referred to a list of groups in Mexico who identified as being part of the network including:
– Earth Liberation Front (ELF) / International Network of Action and Solidarity – Anti-Civilization Informal Group
– Earth Liberation Front (ELF) / Informal Anarchist Federation International Network
– Insurrectional Cell Sole-Baleno of the Autonomous Cells for Immediate Revolution – Praxedis G. Guerrero / FAI
– Commando of Free, Dangerous, Wild and Incendiary Individuals for the Black Plague / FAI / International Network
– Luddites Against the Domestication of Wild Nature / FAI / International Network
– Eco-Anarchist Cell for the Direct Attack / FAI / International Network
Individualists Tending to the Wild emerges
[ITS] has explicitly rejected association with anarchism, and via a subsequent (i.e. second generation) moniker, rejected both the label of “leftist” and “insurrectionary”.
In a rare interview the group provided in 2014, it describes its purpose, stating:
[ITS] deemed it necessary to carry out the direct attack against the Technoindustrial System. We think that the struggle against this is not only a stance of wanting to abandon Civilization, regressing to Nature, or in refuting the system’s values, without also, attacking it.
ITS has received international attention after repeatedly targeting scientists and researchers with lethal force. ITS has stood out from other bombers due to its lengthy, academic-styled communiqués and direct attacks on individuals from outside the typical target set: heads of state and corporations, officials in law enforcement, jailing, etc. ITS is unique in at least two matters: its stated objective to kill, and its specific, tech-related target set. In the 2014 interview, cell members explain:
Our immediate objectives are very clear: injure or kill scientists and researchers (by the means of whatever violent act) who ensure the Technoindustrial System continues its course. As we have declared on various occasions, our concrete objective is not the destruction of the Technoindustrial system, it is the attack with all the necessary resources, lashing out at this system which threatens to close off all paths to the reaching of our Individual Freedom, putting into practice our defensive instinct
… ITS has from the beginning proposed the attack against the system as the objective, striving to make these kinds of ideas spread around the globe through extreme acts, in defense of Wild Nature, as we have done.
According to their own historical account, the group began experimenting in 2011 with “arson attacks on cars and construction machinery, companies and institutions … until we decided to focus on terrorism and not sabotage”. From 2011–2014, ITS deployed at least 13 mail bombs, two mailed threats accompanied by bullets, and assassinated Méndez Salinas, a biotechnologist with the Institute of Bio-Technology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Salinas was shot in the head, and according to ITS, killed by “the most violent cell of ITS in Morelos, being already familiar with the purchase and use of firearms.”
Through their various communiqués and interviews, ITS has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks, many of which were claimed under other monikers and later linked to the ITS network. For example, in August 2014, ITS declared the formation of Wild Reaction (RS):
After a little more than three years of criminal-terrorist activity, the group
… [ITS] … begins a new phase in this open war against the Technoindustrial System … we want to explain that during all of 2012 and 2013, various groups of a terrorist and sabotage stripe were uniting themselves with the group ITS, so that now, after a long silence and for purely strategic reasons, we publicly claim[10 attacks from newly affiliated networks] … All of these have now fused with the ITS groups in Morelos, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Coahuila and Veracruz … Due to this union, the extravagant and little-practical pseudonym of ““Individualists Tending toward the Wild’ (ITS) ceases to exist, and from now on the attacks against technology and civilization will be signed with the new name of“Wild Reaction”(RS).
Prior to this announcement, in April 2014 a group calling itself Obsidian Point Circle of Analysis (OPCAn) activated a new clandestine cell (which would later be absorbed into RS) called Obsidian Point Circle of Attack (OPCA). The formation of OPCAn was preceded by three commentaries on ITS and the authors “becoming tired of simply writing.” In its opening declaration OPCA writes:
It has been some time since we started writing about some situations that had arisen in Mexico concerning the terrorist group ITS; we published a total of three analyses, in which we have publicly demonstrated our support of the group ITS, in their actions as much as their position. Until now we have decided to solely be those who comfortably spread and highlighted the group’s communiques and actions, but that is over. The violent advance of the techno-industrial system, the degradation that civilization leaves in its wake and the oblivion they are forcing us toward, ceasing to be natural humans to the point of turning into humanoids: there must be a convincing response.
We abandon words and analyses in order to begin with our war … We only seek confrontation with the system, the sharpening of the conflict against it. From this day we publicly put aside the word “analysis,” in order to become The Obsidian Point Circle of Attack.
Thus, according to its own narrative, ITS inspired public commentary and critique by OPCAn and, in September 2014, when ITS became RS, it was announced that RS included OPCA as well. In the first declaration by RS, the authors explain: “during this year … two more terroristic groups have united with us who have put the development of the Technoindustrial System in their sights … The ‘Obsidian Point Circle of Attack’ … [and] … The ‘Atlatl Group.’” Therefore, a complete history of ITS’s actions includes both attacks claimed under their name, those claimed under the OPCA and RS, as well as smaller groupings merged under the network’s banner. According to a chronology assembled from the networks’ communications, the network has claimed at least 27 distinct actions including 22 IED attacks (mostly mail and package/parcel bombs), three written threats, several arsons of property, one animal release, and one fatal shooting.
In early 2016, the ITS moniker saw its first usage outside of the borders of Mexico. In the second ITS communiqué of 2016, the “Uncivilized Southerners” cell “abandoned a homemade explosive charge” on a bus in Santiago, Chile writing:
The Eco-Extremist tendency spreads … We are accomplices to its ideas and acts, forming part of it. We are giving life to an international project against civilization.
Because we are bullets to the head, mail-bombs, indiscriminate bombings and incinerating fire, we are:
Individualists Tending Toward the Wild – Chile.
A few days later, in the fourth ITS communiqué of 2016, an ITS cell in Argentina claimed responsibility for placing an IED in a Buenos Aires bus station. In the message accompanying the bomb, the attackers wrote: “ITS is in Argentina”. The emergence of new ITS cells appears to be an ongoing trend. Five days after the Argentina communiqué was posted to a Spanish-language insurrectionary hub, the same site featured a communiqué signed by five cells of ITS, three from Mexico, and one each from Argentina and Chile. The communiqué traces the origin and expansion of the ITS and RS monikers and announces “a new phase of the war against all that represents and sustains the advance of civilization and progress”.
In Mexico, ITS’s bombs have targeted civilian, seemingly ‘non-political’ scientists, professors, technical experts, researchers, and technocrats and within a politic most closely described as (Green) anarcho-primitivism. Famed “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski popularized this framework in the 1980s during a 17-year (1978–1995) bombing campaign involving 16 bombs, which killed three people and injured 23. Following the publication of “Industrial Society and its Future” – popularly known as the “Unabomber manifesto” and released five months after his final attack – Kaczynski’s spirit has been carried forth by ITS and a few similar networks.
The group's origins broadly
The group draws its inspiration from anarcho-primitivism, an "anti-civilization anarchy" from which ITS is largely inspired. “I took the theories of the 'Earth Liberation Front' further, and gave them a different tone,” explains Xale. "I was interested in the issues facing the American continent, in the indigenous cultures that opposed civilization," assures the Mexican member of ITS in the video.
With anarchism, the relationship at the moment is one of rupture, although there is no dishonor in accepting that many eco-extremists and some members of ITS come from anarchism, mostly from insurrectionist and eco-anarchist tendencies. Although at the time there were some ties, today the vast majority of anarchists hate us.
Referring to the groups history, Xale, a member of ITS Mexico wrote:
This chronology could well be added to that of Individualities Tending to the Wild (2011-2013), or that of the anti civilization cells of the Earth Liberation Front (2008-2012), but we decided to focus on RS, for now.
Searching through the over 300 sabotage actions that occurred in Mexico between 2018 & 2012, and the at least 10 with ELF in the title of the post, there do appear to be a few attacks that fit ITS modus operandi and communiqués which fit their early idiolect:
Early this morning, September 21, our cell placed a bomb made of butane gas at the gates of the headquarters of Nueva Escuela Tecnológica [New School of Technology] in the municipality of Coacalco, Mexico State.
The authorities in that municipality had previously implemented security systems that belong in the worst nightmares of Orwell.
Security cameras, artificial eyes guarding their damned social peace, throughout the major avenues in Coacalco.
In the commercial area, the police presence is evident, state police and the mediocre municipal police pass through the streets and on Lopez Portillo Avenue.
Guarding the centers of domination and domestication that are also protected by surveillance cameras and the idiot guardians of the imposed order.
Facing this situation of high surveillance, it seemed impossible to strike, but rebellious creativity is greater than the highest degree of 'security' that the state implements.
The Coacalco commercial area had been previously visited by eco-anarchist cells who conducted significant strikes right in front of the police, who were flabbergasted by an arson, a butane explosion, graffiti and paint spilled in anthropocentric business.
Our action was censured both by the directors of the Nueva Escuela Tecnológica and the Mexico State authorities. They hid the damage that we caused and concealed the evidence of our presence at night. This is not unusual; it happened after the 'celebrations' of the ephemeral bicentennial celebration which were held in 'total' peace.
The Agencia de Seguridad Estatal [state security agency] as well as detectives from the Mexico City police department are aware of our actions and our presence; they know that we were there and that we detonated our explosive charge as the lackeys on patrol passed by unable to stop us.
We chose to attack the NET because it represents the new era of these centers of domestication called schools, where they learn things that are useless for a free life, but necessary for a life of slavery and alienation. They create beings that depend on technology in order to live in these concrete nests called cities, but more closely resemble large prisons. They train malleable minds to be used for entrepreneurship and to expand civilization over wild nature. We will not permit this.
Once again we say: not with their cameras, nor their police officers, nor with their investigators, nor their prisons, will they be able to stop us; we once again skinned the rotten bastards, godammit!
This action is dedicated to the Chilean anarchist prisoners, captured after the wave of repression in that country on August 14; we send much strength, from mexico we remember them in every direct action.
We did not want to wait until the 24th to show our solidarity.
Support is not only for one day, it is in our everyday actions!
Direct solidarity for the eco prisoners Abraham López and Adrian Magdaleno, for the eco revolutionaries on hunger strike in Switzerland, for the animal liberation prisoner Walter Bond in the U.S., and the vegan warriors imprisoned in Italy!
Keep running Diego, you're fucking awesome!
Earth Liberation Front/Mexico
Upon reading translated Unabomber material they started along a road that began with committing arsons aimed at sabotaging evil companies and ended with them desiring to have the wider effect of terrorizing people through fear of injury or death out of a simple hatred for humanity:
… in 2011 the (newly formed) ITS was testing various modus operandi (from known and attempted arson attacks on cars and construction machinery, companies and institutions in Coahuila, Guanajuato, and Veracruz State of Mexico, until we decided to focus on terrorism and not sabotage).
Here are old members of the FAI / CCF in Mexico acknowledging former collaboration and ideological crossover:
Exactly 5 years and seven months ago we signed a “joint statement” at the request of a comrade for whom we feel great affection and respect. That text was entitled “2nd Joint Statement of the Anarchist Insurrectional and Eco-Anarchist Groups”. …
Back then, we let it be known publicly and energetically that:
“With these ITS partners, we can have theoretical differences and discuss them (always arguing fraternally in a constant attempt to update ideas and by building a unitary criticism attuned to the reality of the anarchist struggle), but we have never disagreed with the methods used, understanding anti-authoritarian violence and propaganda for the facts as they are : valid practices consistent with our ethical principles.”
Although ITS were one of the few clusters with which we did not directly coordinate when undertaking joint actions, we were in solidarity with them, in the same way that some of the comrades that made up our affinity groups obtained monetary resources for them to solve specific difficulties when requested. That has been (and is) the basis of practical co-ordination between the new anarchic insurrectionalism and eco-anarchism.
In their early communiques they would express solidarity with anarchist prisoners:
Total support with the Anti-civilization prisoners in Mexico, with the Chilean comrades and with the furious Italians and Swiss. …
One more time: Direct and total support with the anti-civilization prisoners of Mexico, with those eco-anarchists of Switzerland, to the affinities in Argentina, Spain, Italy, Chile and Russia.
Here is an answer members of ITS gave in a text interview in 2014 I think showing they were leftists, in that they only later rejected leftist mass movement building and so are not simply post-left-&-right:
Individualists tending towards the wild formed at the beginning of 2011, and was motivated by the reasoning acquired during a slow process of getting to know, questioning, and the rejection of all that encompasses leftism and the civilized, and accordingly, employing all the above, we deemed it necessary to carry out the direct attack against the Technoindustrial System. We think that the struggle against this is not only a stance of wanting to abandon Civilization, regressing to Nature, or in refuting the system’s values, without also attacking it.
Finally, ITS also claimed that more ELF and Anarchist groups joined them later when they briefly took on the name Wild Reaction:
First of all, we want to explain that during all of 2012 and 2013, various groups of a terrorist and sabotage stripe were uniting themselves with the group ITS, so that now, after a long silence and for purely strategic reasons, we publicly claim:
1) The “Informal Anti-civilization Group,” which on June 29, 2011, took responsibility for the explosion that severely damaged a Santander bank in the city of Tultitlan, Mexico.
2) “Uncivilized Autonomous,” who on October 16, 2011 set off a bomb inside the ATMs of a Banamex, located between the cities of Tultitlan and Coacalco in Mexico State.
4) “Wild Indomitables,” who on October 16, 2011 left a butane gas bomb that did not detonate in a Santander bank in the Álvaro Obregón district of Mexico City. The act was never claimed until now.
5) “Terrorist Cells for the Direct Attack – Anti-civilization Fraction,” which in 2010 and 2011 left a fake bomb in front of the IFaB (Pharmacological and Biopharmeceutical Research), and detonated an explosive outside the building of the National Ecology Institute (INE), both in the Tlalpan district of Mexico City.
6) “Luddites against the Domestication of Wild Nature,” who during 2009 to 2011 had taken part in various incendiary attacks in some cities in Mexico State and various districts of Mexico City, claimed or unclaimed.
8) “Earth Liberation Front – Bajío”, which on November 16, 2011 set off an explosive charge creating damages within the ATM area of a branch of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the city of Irapuato in Guanajuato.
All of these have now fused with the ITS groups in Morelos, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Coahuila and Veracruz.
Due to this union, the extravagant and little-practical pseudonym of “Individualists Tending toward the Wild” (ITS) ceases to exist, and from now on the attacks against technology and civilization will be signed with the new name of “Wild Reaction” (RS).
These were groups that other anarchists were relating to as anarchists also. As the joint declaration of the insurrectional anarchist and eco-anarchist groups of Mexico referred to earlier was signed by some of these groups who later merged with ITS or had a very similar ideology:
Luddites against the Domestication of Wild Nature (LDNS)
Earth Liberation Front (FLT)
Free, Dangerous, Savage and Incendiary Individuals for the Black Plague(ILPSIPN)
Kaczynski’s influence specifically
An ITS propagandist:
Born out of various radical ideologies such as animal liberation, insurrectionary anarchism, anarcho-primitivism, and the neo-Luddism of Theodore Kaczynski, it has germinated and sprouted forth into something entirely other …
We have never denied that the essay, “Industrial Society and Its Future” has been an important part of our formation into what we are now. For that reason, in the past we used such terms as “leftists,” “power process,” “feelings of inferiority,” “liberty and autonomy,” etc. that in the present we have omitted or changed for other words so that we distinguish ourselves from the “indomitistas” of Kaczynski. …
[ITS] specifically address their relationship to Kaczynski in their fourth communiqué:
Have ITS copied Ted Kaczynski? The million-dollar question.
Without a doubt, we see this person as an individual who with his profound rational analysis contributed greatly to the advance of antitechnological ideas; his simple way of living in a manner strictly away from Civilization and the persecution of his Freedom in an optimal environment make him a worthy individual who due to a family betrayal is serving multiple life sentences in the United States … If we cite Stirner, Rand, Kaczynski, Nietzsche, Orwell, some scientists and other people in our communiques they are only for references, we do not have reason to be in agreement with all their lines and positions … It has been said that we imitate the Unabomber; perhaps we have seen as strategic the action of [Kaczynski’s moniker] the Freedom Club against scientific personalities in the United States in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s, and we have adopted this, but let it be clear that we have not imitated all his discourse in its totality, since as we said above, there are points that are plainly contrary to the positions of the FC.
In their sixth communiqué, ITS (2012) notes that their early writings (i.e. first and second communiqués) did in fact borrow from Kaczynski, but that after reflecting on their “poor interpretations” the group has “discarded [Kaczynski’s ideas] and now for us they have no validity.” Despite what many regard as similarities in critique, and despite ITS occasionally quoting Kaczynski directly, ITS subsequently denies ideological connections. In the first communiqué as “Wild Reaction, ‘Kill or Die’ Group” (2014) the group writes:
We deny being followers of Ted Kaczynski … we have indeed learned many things from reading Industrial Society and Its Future, the texts after this and the letters before this text signed by ‘Freedom Club’ (FC), but that does not mean that we are his followers. In fact our position clashes with Kaczynski’s, FC’s … since we do not consider ourselves revolutionaries, we do not want to form an ‘anti-technological movement’ that encourages the ‘total overthrow of the system,’ we do not see it as viable, we do not want victory, we do not pretend to win or lose, this is an individual fight against the mega-machine; we don’t care about getting something positive from this, since we are simply guided by our instincts of defense and survival.
Here one can witness RS’s declared revolutionary intent, to “bring it all crashing down” while avoiding the trapping of movement building and conceiving of the conflict in terms of winners and losers. In this communiqué, after the group changed its name, RS goes on to further declare their ideological independence from the prominent critics of technology (e.g. primitivists) as well as the global anarcho-insurrectional milieu through which their communications are circulated and consumed. In their proclamation of non-affiliation, RS states:
Thus neither Kaczynski … or any other with the (supposed) “primitivist” stamp represents RS. Nor do the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), Feral Faun, or any other with the “ecoanarchist” or “anti-civilization cell of …” stamp. RS and its groups only represent themselves. (Wild Reaction, “Kill or Die” Group 2014)
Despite ITS/RS’s insistence to the contrary, prominent anarcho-primitivist thinker John Zerzen, often spoken of as the “founder” of the movement, notes that “ITS group is real slavish to Ted Kaczynski” (Morin 2014). Zerzen goes on to say that he does not believe ITS’s methods will prove successful and that he is “turn[ed] off” by their usage of mailed explosives and their cavalier dismissal of human causalities (Morin 2014).
In thought and in action, Kaczynski is a lone wolf. His Manifesto articulates a theory or worldview that is peculiar to him and built from a unique combination of Ellul’s, Morris’s, and Seligman’s ideas. Terrorism scholars have recently questioned ‘whether it is time to put the “lone wolf” category to rest altogether’, since alleged lone wolves are rarely as independent as they appear: ‘ties to online and offline radical milieus are critical’. Yet, as I have shown, Kaczynski is unusual in that most of his ideological formation took place in a library, outside of any radical milieu. His association with radical environmentalists, who shared his disdain for modern technology, was a consequence rather than a cause of his radicalization. The Unabomber case shows that terrorists can emerge from a relative ideological vacuum, even if this is rare, and that the concept of the lone wolf might therefore be worth retaining.
Although Kaczynski began his anti-tech bombing campaign as a lone wolf, he has since become the leader of a pack. Just as he had hoped, his Manifesto has spawned an ideology – a public discourse of anti-tech – and inspired a cluster of anti-tech radical groups. Kaczynski is not just an extreme example of an anti-tech radical, but also the founder and lodestar of a new form of anti-tech radicalism.
In the immediate aftermath of his arrest, many of Kaczynski’s followers came from the outer fringe of the green movement. One of his early correspondents and confidants was John Zerzan, a prominent anarcho-primitivist. Another was Derrick Jensen, cofounder of the radical environmentalist group Deep Green Resistance.Kaczynski’s alliances with green anarchists and radical environmentalists were tenuous and short-lived. He ultimately fell out with Zerzan, Jensen, and their respective movements for the same reason: they are committed to many ‘leftist’ causes that he considers to be dangerous distractions.Whereas Kaczynski’s opposition to technology is stubbornly single-minded, Zerzan and Jensen see technology as only one facet of ‘civilization’, alongside patriarchy, racism, and exploitation of animals. Only years later did Kaczynski begin to attract a following that was committed to his brand of anti-tech radicalism. As he notes in his 2016 book, ‘it is only since 2011 that I’ve had people who have been willing and able to spend substantial amounts of time and effort in doing research for me’. Coincidentally or not, 2011 is also the year that the Mexican terrorist group ITS emerged.
John Jacobi, a follower of Kaczynski, distinguishes three clusters of Kaczynski-inspired anti-tech radicals.First are the ‘apostles’ of Kaczynski, the indomitistas, led by his pseudonymous Spanish correspondent Último Reducto. The indomitistas devote themselves mainly to translating and analysing Kaczynski’s writings. They comprise part of his ‘inner circle’, which also conducts research for him and operates the publisher, Fitch & Madison, which prints his books.The other two clusters are the ‘heretics’, who are inspired by Kaczynski’s writings but diverge from him and the indomitistas about the finer points of doctrine, strategy, and tactics. One is Jacobi’s own group, the wildists, which broke away from the more orthodox indomitistas to build a broader coalition of ‘anti-civilization’ radicals.The other cluster of heretics, which is my focus in this article, comprises ITS and its offshoots. Whereas the indomitistas and the wildists focus on developing and propagating anti-tech ideas, ITS is eager for dramatic and violent action.
Journalists and terrorism scholars have labelled ITS ‘eco-terrorists’ and sometimes ‘eco-anarchists’, comparing the group to Deep Green Resistance and the Earth Liberation Front.ITS itself uses the term ‘eco-extremist’, which invites these comparisons.However, ITS is not just a more bellicose variant of radical environmentalism or green anarchism. An analysis of the group’s communiqués shows that its ideology is a distinctly Kaczynskian form of anti-tech radicalism.
Although ITS was influenced by radical environmentalism, the ‘eco’ in ‘eco-extremism’ is misleading. It does not refer to ‘deep ecology’; ITS rejects the ‘sentimentalism, irrationalism and biocentrism’ that it sees in many radical environmentalist groups.Instead, the ‘eco’ refers to the group’s ideal of ‘wild nature’, which accords a central place to human nature. ITS’s central concern, like Kaczynski’s, is that ‘human beings are moving away more dangerously from their natural instincts’. Adopting Kaczynski’s ‘bioprimitivism’, as I have called it, ITS argues that ‘the human being is biologically programmed … through evolution’ for the life of a ‘hunter-gatherer-nomad’.
Although it shares the hunter-gatherer ideal with green anarchists, ITS vehemently rejects any such label: ‘we are not “eco-anarchists” or “anarcho-environmentalists”‘. The group describes as ‘delusional’ those who ‘romanticize Wild Nature’ and ‘believe that when Civilization falls everything will be rosy and a new world will flourish without social inequality, hunger, repression, etc’. This thinly-veiled attack on Zerzan’s anarcho-primitivism echoes Kaczynski’s essay, ‘The Truth About Primitive Life’, where he sets out to ‘debunk the anarcho-primitivist myth that portrays the life of hunter-gatherers as a kind of politically correct Garden of Eden’. ITS follows Kaczynski in condemning green anarchism as ‘leftist’.
Kaczynski’s influence on ITS is difficult to miss. Many parts of the group’s communiqués are merely paraphrases of the Manifesto: ‘The essence of the power process has four parts: setting out of the goal, effort, attainment of the goal, and Autonomy’. But the depth of Kaczynski’s influence on ITS is difficult to appreciate without knowing the origins of his ideas. ITS cites Morris’s The Human Zoo in support of its claim that ‘the Wild Nature of the human being in general was perverted when it started to become civilized’. The same communiqué later echoes Morris without citing him: ‘it is totally abnormal to live together with hundreds of strangers around you’.
ITS explicitly acknowledges some of its debts to Kaczynski. But this has not been enough to prevent misconceptions, because Kaczynski himself has also been lumped in with radical environmentalists and green anarchists. It is necessary to understand Kaczynski’s distinct constellation of concepts in order to appreciate the ideological distinctness of ITS. The group uses his signature vocabulary: the technological system, the power process, surrogate activities, leftism, feelings of inferiority, oversocialization, etc. This is not the vocabulary of radical environmentalism or green anarchism. With the exceptions of ‘civilization’ and ‘domination’, ITS explicitly rejects the ‘leftist’ vocabulary of anarchism: oppression, solidarity, mutual aid, class struggle, hierarchy, inequality, injustice, and imperialism. Further, as I have already shown, even the ‘green’ parts of ITS’s communiqués have been filtered through Kaczynski. ITS is not an eco-terrorist or green anarchist group, but a novel kind of anti-tech terrorist group. The group’s ideology is distinctly Kaczynskian, genealogically and morphologically.
The modus operandi of ITS is not typical of radical environmentalists or green anarchists, who tend to be saboteurs or ‘monkeywrenchers’. Environmental radicals almost always target property rather than people. ITS, on the other hand, declares that it ‘is not a group of saboteurs (we do not share the strategy of sabotage or damage or destruction of property)’. Instead, as Kaczynski did, ITS aims to kill or maim people, such as scientists, whose surrogate activities propel the development of the technological system.
Anti-tech radicals and environmental radicals have different attitudes towards violence in large part because they have different ideals. As Bron Taylor argues, environmental radicals share ‘general religious sentiments – that the earth and all life is sacred – that lessen the possibility that [environmental] movement activists will engage in terrorist violence’. As he correctly points out, there is ‘no indication that Kaczynski shared the sense, so prevalent in radical environmental subcultures, that life is worthy of reverence and the earth is sacred’. Kaczynski is instead committed to the ideal of wild nature, which serves to naturalize violence. He argues, and ITS concurs, that ‘a significant amount of violence is a natural part of human life’. Part of what it means to be a wild human being is to be a violent one, unencumbered by the fetters of civilized morality.
The ideal of wild nature helps to explain anti-tech radicals’ target selection. For Kaczynski and ITS, living things have value only insofar as they are wild, and to be wild is to be ‘outside the power of the system’. When human beings become instruments of the system, they forfeit any value or dignity that they might have had. Scientists and technicians are permissible targets of violence because they have betrayed their wild nature, and they are desirable targets because they symbolize the technological system.Whereas environmental radicals’ reverence for life tends to steer them away from violence, towards destruction of property, anti-tech radicals’ ideal of wild nature serves to justify their violence.
Yet ITS diverges from Kaczynski about the purpose of violence. For Kaczynski, violence is primarily a means to overthrow the technological system. ITS, on the other hand, argues that Kaczynski’s proposed revolution is ‘idealistic and irrational’. Not only is this revolution bound to fail; Kaczynski also falls into the trap of leftism when he models his revolution on the French and Russian revolutions.For members of ITS, violence is not a means to revolution, but a way to affirm or reclaim their own wildness: ‘the attack against the system … is a survival instinct, since the human is violent by nature’. Kaczynski condemns ITS and accuses the group of misappropriating his ideas. He hurls the charge of leftism right back at them, along with a diagnosis of learned helplessness: ‘The most important error that ITS commits is that they express, and therefore promote, an attitude of hopelessness about the possibility of eliminating the technological system’. This attitude of hopelessness gives ITS a more vengeful and nihilistic character than Kaczynski himself.
Other anarchist actions inspired partially by Kaczynski
Cambridge, UK: Bank action in solidarity with eco-anarchist prisoners. 17 June 2011:
Early Friday morning, 17 June, we brought disorder to Chesterton Road, Cambridge. The HSBC bank was graffitied, its locks glued, its cashpoint trashed using glue and spray paint. The offices of Seetech, a ‘back to work’ training company, was graffitied with the words FUCK WORK and circled As, a bike lock was used to chain the front doors and the locks were glued. We then visited the Chesterton Road Job Centre and graffitied the front saying FUCK WORK B4 IT FUCKS U and so on. We then sabotaged the cashpoints of the Lloyds TSB and the Barclays banks nearby, also graffiting both offices and gluing locks. A few other nearby businesses had their locks glued and were graffitied, including the slogan SMASH AUTHORITY, FUCK THE POLICE.
This goes out to other marginalised people, those who cannot and/or will not integrate into this sick society.
International solidarity to imprisoned fighters, including American eco-anarchist prisoners Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, also not forgetting another long term caged freedom lover Ted Kaczynski (aka FC or ‘Unabomber’).
We will not forget or give in, subversive complicities are our strength! Until all cages are destroyed…
2012 - Various eco-anarchist actions reference Ted K as a source of inspiration
Logging corporation sabotaged in solidarity with Ted K
In 2012 anarchists smashed up a logging corporation building and claimed the act in solidarity with Ted Kaczynski and ITS Mexico:
On the night of June 11th in the sleepy town of Olympia, WA, we laid waste to the Washington State Loggers’ Association building, breaking out all 24 of their windows and leaving the painted message “YOU ARE NEVER SAFE. GO LOG IN HELL (A).”
Roughly a decade after the fervent period of Earth Liberation activity that occurred in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, we find ourselves in a far more hopeless situation, immersed in an ever-deepening desert.
Some cling to the idea of hope and others view this as nothing more than a deceitful delusion. Neither narrative concerns us. What truly concerns us is that the living world around us is dying, and that the strength of our heart atrophies through inaction.
How many of us feel disgust being embedded in a concrete jungle, a suburban wasteland, an ocean of meaninglessness?
How many of us mourn the yawning devastation of a clearcut?
While smashing out two dozen windows was only a humble act of revenge in the face of the wholesale destruction of wild life, comrades, let us cease to be eaten up inside by our unactualized rage!
This is an international call to wage war on all those who profit from the rape of the earth.
We greatly embrace and encourage those whose seeds of ferocious intentions have lain dormant thus far to burst forth and raze the cities to the ground. Those cities depend on an empire, a civilization that depends on the ensnarement and suppression of a wild world of meaning and beauty.
“ For every action there is a reaction. So as civilization abuses and mistreats fire, fire will abuse civilization. Throughout modern history cities have burned – Rome burned. The civilized order will come to know the true purifying power of fire soon enough. Like wildfires whipping through forests clearing out all the dead wood, making room for new growth to emerge. Civilization will perish in a firestorm, clearing the way for like to sprout and grow unmolested.”
This was done in solidarity with Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, Luciano “Tortuga,” the Kimki Forest Defenders, all ELF and ALF prisoners and fighters, the Individuals Tending Towards the Wild, the still imprisoned Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber), and all those who acted in vengeance, in defiance, and who got away. May you forever run free.
FOR THE TERRIFYING FREEDOM!
LONG LIVE ALL EARTH WARRIORS!
Greek anarchist anti-tech cell quotes Ted K
That same month in 2012, 3 anarchists reversed a minivan through the glass doors of Microsoft offices in Athens, Greece. They then preceded to spread out sheets doused in gasoline and light the van on fire before taking off. The attack was claimed by a terrorist cell calling themselves “Deviant Behaviors for the Spread of Revolutionary Terrorism” and they aligned themselves with other anarchists under the name “International Revolutionary Front.”
In a statement claiming the attack, the group argued that cities had turned us into slaves and quoted Ted Kaczynski on the utility of violence. They also posited conspiracy theories overemphasizing the risk of nuclear meltdowns in stable nations and about the danger to life of genetically modified crops. Finally, they ended by arguing that the left should give up on voting and non-violent protests:
On Wednesday, June 27, at dawn, we attacked the headquarters of Microsoft with a vehicle-bomb. We drove through the main entrance and detonated the bomb van in the building, with about 150 litres of gasoline as a gift. Throughout the course of the operation the team ensured that no one would be in any danger, and, contrary to the assertions of several newspapers, they did not use firearms to immobilize the security personnel. It was an act of war against the widespread insidious silence and captivity generated by this modern world.
It is true that the modern world, largely, has gained a foothold in the minds of his subjects, in the hearts of all his slaves. This fact makes us think of the metaphor of what exists as a ship without captain or chief engineer, continues its route without problems thanks to its well alienated sailors.
“… Prisoners in the prisons-society – Tearing down the walls”
The attack was organized as an urgent action in solidarity with the rebel Olga Ekonomidou. The day we completed the attack on Microsoft, Olga met 54 days of isolation for her refusal -with no regrets- to submit to humiliating nude body searches.
Our choice of target might seem to have no relation to judicial and law enforcement institutions, but we know that the struggle is everywhere, and our point is that the system is all connected and completely shaken after the small and large shocks of our action. We believe active revolutionaries should constantly attack repression, but also to take the opportunity to broaden the perspective and range of our attacks and our revolutionary discourse.
The building was selected because Microsoft is one of the strongest companies in the field of computers, these magnificent and terrifying machines that at first sought to replace the human mind and now carry on their backs capitalism. Their software that they developed runs the vast majority of computers, to stupefy the kids in video games or to give life to computers of the states, tax offices, armies and capitalist corporations. Each company that participates in the techno-industrial system, regardless of their contribution, is our target.
Before we forget, the funds accumulated by the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, are now being invested in nuclear projects by him, for example, to finance the construction of a new and more promising nuclear reactor, even after the events of Fukushima; plus investing in genetically modified products, a modern threat to human health and nature that is still sold as a life-giving product, when in fact it gives death – one example among many: thousands of farmers committed suicide due to the inefficiency of Monsanto products, by consuming them in some cases. Gates also invests in medicines, vaccines and the“ intervention” of the genetic code in order to support his ideas. All this, of course, to showcase the fight against hunger, for charity, better health, better living standards, environmental protection and the fight against climate change.
Anyway, his fortune lets him buy and sell any kind of power he wants, do you want a simple example? The vast funding news agencies the world’s largest by theBill and Melinda Gates Foundationfor the promotion of investments, crushing any arguments on technology differentiation between innocent and guilty in the bourgeois world.
“Death to the techno-industrial complex”
“ [...] Violence itself is nothing wrong. In each specific case, that violence is good or bad depends on how you use it and the purpose it serves. So why do people today see violence as something eminently bad? They do it only for one reason: because propaganda has brainwashed them. Modern society uses different methods of propaganda to educate people to be scared and horrified at violence, because the techno-industrial system requires a population shy, docile and afraid to assert themselves, a population that does not face their problems and shifts proper functioning of power to the system. Power depends, ultimately, on physical force. To teach people that violence is wrong (except the violence used by the system through the police or the army), the system maintains a monopoly of physical power and, therefore, maintains all the power in their hands. [...] ”
- Ted Kaczynski
For us, ANARCHY IS A WAY OF LIFE. It doesn’t begin after ending employment or when the student finishes the program or any course hours are done. Even when an attack ends posters are put up where the “job was done” or aggressive energy is present.
Whoever fights does not need any approval from any profile to“ sell your face.” The anarchist struggle is in itself, selfless by nature, not with a Christian type victimized humility, BUT AS AN ATTITUDE OF “SPEAKING LITTLE AND DOING A LOT.” The struggle is not an issue debated in cafe gossip, the gaps between student / working hours, at “anarcho” cafes in fucking Exarchia.
Away from elitism.
Away from the flavoured lifestyle that has infected the revolutionary circles.
Away from the public pseudo-dilemma of social action or guerrilla, media fetishism and meaningless splits about polymorphism of the struggle or union.
Against the conception that the end justifies the means, therefore inciting collaborations / friendships aiming at revolutionary benefits.
Against overwhelming perceptions that underestimate people, undermining their prospects for development, applying universal standards for interpreting the submissive attitude of society as a whole- not throwing people into garbage bags.
After all,“ he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Whoever thinks and considers themselves uncontaminated has become so without knowing…
Our own struggle is “struggling” daily from inside the minds of all those who still think.Fermented with countless individual characteristics of each person. Enriched with the diverse range of concepts in the social field. Reaches beyond deadlock and suicide in the walls of fear and resignation that tower! Until other comrades follow the battle…
Leading the fight are people around the world who fight fiercely for the impossible, even in their heads. Whatever your political identity, respect all to all those who give their lives, because they love life and know that a dangerous free life is worth more than the life of a slave, drowned within the compromises with authority…
It is… the rebels in the Niger Delta fighting against multinational giant “Shell” which pollutes and destroys vast areas, the subversive militant movements that develop in the U.S. claiming space and time outside the state mandate of economic dictatorship, the Palestinian armed resistance, the armed fighters of the FARC in Colombia, the land occupations in Brazil who are forcibly evicted because of the Olympics, the rebels in England, ghettos in France, the conflict of miners’ strikes in Spain and the insurgents of Egypt and Syria- despite the thousands of deaths and repression, they filled the streets and squares of cities, confronted the uniformed pigs and became armed against the regime.
It is… the spread of militant anarchy and the practice of establishing it at all levels; by molotovs in Santiago to arson in Athens and armed attack in Italy, it is the propagation of anarchist-revolutionary discourse by tens of unknown companions…
Even with our anarchist comrades there will always be points of disagreement, shock and tears because in our world against authority there is no common line and everyone is differently placed between between contracts and rebellion. The challenge is to remain one fist against our common enemy … we recognize something deep in common with the rebel base: struggle and resistance against domination – Passion for life and freedom.
Life is struggle and revolution. The revolution and the struggle is life. Life is here while we live, while we fight, while we look to the sky … When this ends, everything is shut down, along with red and black flags, symbols of the hammer and sickle, and ideologies.
Our struggle is hard, painful and at the same time, unlimited and enthusiastic. The source of our rebellion is and will be, experience.
Our struggle is polymorphic. We explode like our bombs, smell of pure lead like our bullets, we spread like fire, the heart speaks as well as our texts, we pollute the decaying city with our posters like smiles to our friends, we fall in love passionately and often are encapsulated as timid misfits.
Our struggle is our “contribution” to the global underground war that occurs daily in our fight within and against the social machine. Our accomplices are NOT characterized by REVOLUTIONARY PURITY.
Our struggle does not serve anyone or anything. Only reflects our wishes and desires. Our hatred and hope. Our joy and sorrow. Our thoughts and feelings.
“About the electoral carnival”
Our attack took place just after the election. The mapping of the motives of those who voted and those who did not participate, no doubt, is impossible. Definitely not a big change we look forward to on the left … To some of those who took to the streets to vent their anger -for they feel the need to exhaust it more than ever - from our point of view, to vote in the bubble of the traditional left is not enough, nor the sterile and harmless“ protest” through abstinence, which are only options that serve as pressure relief valve and relief.
We project the radicalization of everybody who does not have a mind replaced with that of a TV and is looking for a real meaningful reaction and resistance. The radicalization of the action in schools, the workplace, in the popular assemblies and wherever each one is militant and, mainly, in the street. This is where consciences grow, thoughtfully meet and share concerns. Where the experience takes the place of virtual reality and opens roads that were carefully closed. In street fighting and barricades. We consider this field the most fertile for the spread of anarchist theory and practice.
As for the voters of the Golden Dawn, they had the opportunity to see who strengthened. Excuses like“ I voted to feel safe” or“ to do make a protest vote” will not be enough to calm our hostility towards them. We should not be indifferent to the continued growth dynamic of the fascists, because even a seemingly non-serious risk can become a surprise when we find ourselves with something unpleasant. The thugs-members do not remain quiet, thinking that now the cops protect them. As the saying goes: with one stone, two birds.
Because, even if we break our faces, our individual victory came in building these relationships and our collective struggle to expand the anarchist revolution. Because, if we had arrived late for our appointment, we might not have stormed heaven. Our aim is to build a solid foundation for the basics of creative destruction. Materializing the disgust and hatred for everything that keeps us prisoners to the perverse world of dead objects, inanimate souls, consciences seduced, genetically calculated horror, cold acceptance of bloody idols. Let’s stay in the spiral of the senses and their dangerous desires.
Deviant Behaviours for the Spread of Revolutionary Terrorism - International Revolutionary Front
An anticiv cell in Russia calling itself ELF share their support for FAI & ITS
On October 3, 2012:
RUSSA, PHEASANTS RELEASED AND REPEATER SET ON FIRE BY THE ELF / ALF – FAI
On September 24, we set fire to a cell phone repeater that had doubled its satellite transmissions. It was located in the Kolomna district (near Moscow), several dozen miles from human dwellings. The fire eventually consumed the entire length of the repeater and we enjoyed the glow of the instrumentation exploding for quite some time.
All the previously mentioned actions have been carried out in the spirit of solidarity and support of eco-anarchist and insurrectionalist anarchist prisoners, suspects and fugitives around the world within the new wave of decentralized attacks.
Greetings to the Friends of Freedom, the Russian cell of the CCF, the BlackBlocg collective and the various anonymous anarchist urban guerrilla groups active in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Full support to ITS and CI-MSA in Mexico.
A warm hug to all insurgent groups in the world.
Wolfpack, ELF / ALF-Russia, Informal Anarchist Federation
A few days later a longer statement was made in support of the Informal Anarchist Federation project by ELF Russia:
Now we believe it’s time for next part of our plan, and so we salute with raised fists and step back into the darkness of our forests and glades. We keep in touch, we carry on fighting side by side with our comrades-in-arms from IRF/ FAI for another world we know is possible. Our participation in IRF/ FAI was made possible in large part because of your efforts, friends, your dedication and courage. This project gave us new and dear companions and co- conspirators, opened our minds to new possibilities of struggle and provided us with a lot to think about.
Earth Liberation Front (Russia) / Informal Anarchist Federation – International Revolutionary Front
2013 - Electrical substation attacked
In April 2013, a still-unidentified group of brave and determined individuals managed to infiltrate a crucial substation belonging to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) located in California. The attack took place in the middle of the night, when the group entered an underground vault at PG&E’s Metcalf substation and proceeded to cut fiber cables.
Following this, the group began firing on the substation for a total of twenty minutes, during which time they succeeded in taking out seventeen transformers vanishing long before police arrived. …
While the attack did not succeed in causing a blackout, it did constitute the “most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the United States, according to former Federal Energy Regulatory (FERC) Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff.
This group had discipline and planned excessively. They likely had a police scanner radio. They cut the fiber optic cables first in order to prevent the station from communicating or alerting the power company. This means they had inside information, and it is almost certain that one of their members worked for the power company, or had an electrical engineering background. They had armament, ammunition, firearms training. They made no noise leading up to the event. No evidence has ever been found. No manifesto. Law enforcement and government officials were unable to infiltrate this group, meaning they likely did not pass substantive communications over the Internet.
The Metcalf team knew what they were doing.
They did it exceptionally well - and they still failed.
For all their preparation, diligence, determination, and intelligence, they did not succeed in causing even a local blackout in Silicon Valley. Instead, their actions called nationwide attention to the country’s feeble electrical infrastructure. Committees were formed. Laws were passed. Security measures put in place. The system recognized a threat and took steps to strengthen itself.
We believe that a revolution is possible. We put this list together and this information out into the world because we believe this.
It is not impossible to bring down the system, but it will be staggeringly difficult. There is not a single organization– let alone the network of organizations in existence today-that would be able to cause even a single blackout.
The event would need to be carried out with high precision; if not all at once, then within the span of a few days. Fast enough that law enforcement and the military would have to spread themselves thin while attempting to mitigate the chaos from the first few blackouts–too thin to be effective at interrupting those that would follow. This would require robust, secure, encrypted radio communications networks, almost zero Internet presence, training, discipline, courage, an enormous amount of time, money, and resources, and an unwavering determination to do something that will inevitably lead to the deaths and suffering of many thousands.
Failure would result in the system strengthening itself.
More laws would be passed. More security measures put in place. More high-tech solutions churned out of laboratories and factories to “solve” our “energy crisis”. Those responsible, if caught, would spend the rest of their lives in prison. The revolution would be stifled for another generation or more, and all the work done and progress made for its fruition would have been for worse than nothing. Failure simply isn’t an option. At current, failure is the only potential outcome. We simply are not remotely prepared.
Success, however, is equally frightening. The horrific effects of a nationwide blackout cannot be understated. …
The same network that would prepare to bring about chaos and destruction must also be prepared to organize and defend their local communities. They must also be willing and prepared to lead an anti-tech revolution. They must have understood and implemented the principles and tactics in Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How by Ted Kaczynski, including the development and proliferation of a revolutionary myth, a foundational belief system upon which the common people can build and which communicates clearly an understanding of the world and a new relationship with it. There will be much resistance, and the ability to organize, lead, and inspire people will be the most important quality of an anti-tech organization.
If what you are reading here is that an anti-tech revolution, beginning with the annihilation of the U.S. energy grid, is impossible without the proper development and maintenance of such a network of organizations, then you are reading this essay correctly.
This is a call to action. Just not the action you may have expected.
If we organize now, if we really organize, if we establish this network and help it grow, if we do everything absolutely right, then the revolution is possible. But even then, it will be difficult. Stupendously so.
We believe that if these substations were to be damaged, and those damages resulted in the destruction of all high-voltage transformers present, most, if not all of the country would be plunged into a chaotic blackout lasting no fewer than twelve months. We believe this would be the beginning of a real anti-tech revolution. We believe that this revolution is possible. We believe it is necessary.
We put this list out into the world to prove that the system is not invincible. We put this list out into the world so that whatever form these organizations take in the future, however the network of anti-tech revolutionaries establishes itself, at least some of the work has been done.
And there is so much work to be done.
1. GET ORGANIZED. FORM SMALL, RELIABLE GROUPS OF PEOPLE YOU CAN TRUST LOCALLY.
2. ESTABLISH METHODS OF COMMUNCATION THAT ARE NOT RELIANT ON THE INTERNET AND ARE IMPERVIOUS TO SURVEILLANCE. LOOK INTO RADIO TECHNOLOGY.
3. FIND OTHER GROUPS. NETWORK, COMMUNICATE REGULARLY AND INTELLIGENTLY.
4. INVEST IN THE PROPER EQUIPMENT.
In the following article, we take a look at how a highly organized and efficient group managed to almost cause a blackout in Silicon Valley.
Again. They failed. Though their deed was honorable, and we believe, justified, we must emphasize again that our publishing this information does not mean we are advocating violence against these or any other substations. To do so now would result only in failure, complete and utter.
If you stand with the anti-tech cause and truly believe in freedom from technological slavery, then you understand that this is not an option.
So we say it again: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SABOTAGE ANY OF THESE SUBSTATIONS!
Ted's book 'Anti-Tech Revolution' is published
The book makes it more publicly known that Ted has cemented himself as a kind of Machiavellian vanguardist.
In his most recent book … he notes the possibility of radicals using entryist tactics employed by the Bolsheviks to take control of the Earth First! Journal, which they could then use for revolutionary ends.
(ii) If a member of the anti-tech organization can find a place on the editorial board of a radical environmentalist periodical (for instance, the Earth First! journal), he will be able to influence the content of the periodical. If a majority of anti-tech people can be placed on the editorial board, they will be able in effect to take the periodical over, minimize its leftist content, and use it systematically for the propagation of anti-tech ideas. ...
How can anti-tech revolutionaries get themselves into positions of power and influence in radical environmentalist groups? The most important way will be through the moral authority of hard work. In every organization which they seek to capture, the communists are the readiest volunteers, the most devoted committee workers, the most alert and active participants. In many groups, this is in itself sufficient to gain the leadership; it is almost always enough to justify candidacy [for leadership].
The [Communists] in penetrating an organization ... become the 'best workers' for whatever goals the organization seeks to attain.
Prior to that final struggle, the revolutionaries should not expect to have a majority of people on their side. History is made by active, determined minorities, not by the majority, which seldom has a clear and consistent idea of what it really wants.
When the system becomes sufficiently stressed and unstable, a revolution against technology may be possible. The pattern would be similar to that of the French and Russian Revolutions. French society and Russian society, for several decades prior to their respective revolutions, showed increasing signs of stress and weakness. Meanwhile, ideologies were being developed that offered a new world-view that was quite different from the old one. In the Russian case revolutionaries were actively working to undermine the old order. Then, when the old system was put under sufficient additional stress (by financial crisis in France, by military defeat in Russia) it was swept away by revolution. What we propose is something along the same lines.
“The current political turmoil provides an environment in which a revolutionary movement should be able to gain a foothold.” He returned to the point later with more enthusiasm: “Present situation looks a lot like situation (19th century) leading up to Russian Revolution, or (pre-1911) to Chinese Revolution. You have all these different factions, mostly goofy and unrealistic, and in disagreement if not in conflict with one another, but all agreeing that the situation is intolerable and that change of the most radical kind is necessary and inevitable. To this mix add one leader of genius.”
Some of Ted’s proposed political strategies also read as a fascistic desire to rabble rouse the most vulnerable into being the first to fall in a war that would be directly against their own interests:
It seems to me, that there are discontented groups that could be very useful if we could, so to speak, recruit them.
Then when the right moment comes, they will be in a position to strike. The thing is that people will tend to be attracted to a movement not only on the basis of agreeing with its ideas, but if they see it as effective, having a clear-cut agenda, cohesive, purposeful and active.
In certain quarters, there is a rejection of modernity, among muslim militants, and I’m wondering what extent it might be useful to our movement to carry on discussions with the Muslim militants and see whether there is sufficient common ground there for any sort of alliance.
“Osama bin Laden has been portrayed as an opponent of modernity,” Kaczynski wrote in December 2001. “If he were simply that, I might be inclined to support him, but my guess is that his motive is less an opposition to modernity than a desire to create an Islamic ‘great power’ that would be able to compete on equal terms with other great powers of the world. If that is true, then he is just another ruthless and power-hungry politician, and I have no use for him.”
Concerning the recent terrorist action in Britain: Quite apart from any humanitarian considerations, the radical Islamics' approach seems senseless. They take a hostile stance toward whole nations, such as the US. or Britain, and they indiscriminately kill ordinary citizens of those countries. In doing so they only strengthen the countries in question, because they provide the politicians with what they most need: a feared external enemy to unite the people behind their leaders. The Islamics seem to have forgotten the principle of "divide and conquer": Their best policy would have been to profess friendship for the American, British, etc. people and limit their expressed hostility to the elite groups of those countries, while portraying the ordinary people as victims or dupes of their leaders. (Notice that this is the position that the US. usually adopts toward hostile countries.)
So the terrorists' acts of mass slaughter seem stupid. But there may be an explanation other than stupidity for their actions: The radical Islamic leaders may be less interested in the effect that the bombings have on the US. or the UK. than in their effect within the Islamic world. The leaders' main goal may be to build a strong and fanatical Islamic movement, and for this purpose they may feel that spectacular acts of mass destruction arc more effective than assassinations of single individuals, however important the latter may be. I've found some support for this hypothesis:
“[A] radical remake of the faith is indeed the underlying intention of bin Laden and his followers. Attacking America and its allies is merely a tactic, intended to provoke a backlash strong enough to alert Muslims to the supposed truth of their predicament, and so rally them to purge their faith of all that is alien to its essence. Promoting a clash of civilizations is merely stage one. The more difficult part, as the radicals see it, is convincing fellow Muslims to reject the modern world absolutely (including such aberrations as democracy), topple their own insidiously secularizing quisling governments, and return to the pure path.”
It’s also clear that in Ted's view, no energy should be exerted in countering racist people and groups, as these are stresses on society which he sees as useful in helping bring down the collapse of industrial society faster:
134. For all of the foregoing reasons, technology is a more powerful social force than the aspiration for freedom. But this statement requires an important qualification. It appears that during the next several decades the industrial-technological system will be undergoing severe stresses due to economic and environmental problems, and especially due to problems of human behavior (alienation, rebellion, hostility, a variety of social and psychological difficulties). We hope that the stresses through which the system is likely to pass will cause it to break down, or at least weaken it sufficiently so that a revolution occurs and is successful, then at that particular moment the aspiration for freedom will have proved more powerful than technology.
"150. As we mentioned in paragraph 134, industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of severe stress, due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to economic and environmental problems. And a considerable proportion of the system's economic and environmental problems result from the way human beings behave. Alienation, low self-esteem, depression, hostility, rebellion; children who won't study, youth gangs, illegal drug use, rape, child abuse , other crimes, unsafe sex, teen pregnancy, population growth, political corruption, race hatred, ethnic rivalry, bitter ideological conflict (i.e., pro-choice vs. pro-life), political extremism, terrorism, sabotage, anti-government groups, hate groups. All these threaten the very survival of the system. The system will be FORCED to use every practical means of controlling human behavior."
Cars burnt under the umbrella of ELF/FAI
On February 26, 2016 another action was claimed under the umbrella of ELF & FAI:
Germany: Nine Cars Burnt in Mulheim by Wildfire Cell – ALF/ELF/FAI
In the early hours of February 14th, we set fire to the urban-cemetary of Mulheim An Der Ruhr, burning nine cars by placing home made incendiary devices on the tires. To us all cars are equally disgusting and toxic machines of the techno-industrial system, so we burn them indiscriminately, choosing not to limit ourselves to targeting some abstract definition of “luxury” cars.
This attack was an act of vengeance for all the nonhuman comrades crushed on the roads of human “progress”, and whose lives and homes are destroyed every day to produce cars for the smooth functioning of society and the accumulation of power to the hands of the corporations destroying our home, the natural environment.
We chose to act one day before the original date of the court case for theattempted escapeof Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – Imprisoned Members Cell, to stand with them until all prisons are ashes and ruins, and all human and nonhuman comrades are free.
We also send our greetings, love and rage to Monica Caballero and Francisco Solar, whose court trial has been set for the 8th, 9th and 10th of March for the bombing of two churches in Spain.
This is a gesture of complicity in the war for total liberation.
Onward with the violent rejection of civilization and its values.
Until all are free!
Wildfire Cell – ALF/ELF/FAI
2019 - Ted disavows any identification as an anarchist
In an extra paragraph to a footnote Ted added to his manifesto in 2016, that was published in the 2019 update of his book Technological Slavery, Ted wrote the following. Shown in here in it's full context starting with the paragraph from the main body of the manifesto:
... 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.
[Paragraph] 215. The anarchist34 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.
[Footnote] 34. 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.
I think the distribution and application of high-level technology will become the primary political conflict of the future, therefore leftists and anarchists do have to take seriously the protection and re-establishment of more minimum viable technology lifeways if we want to win more people over to our philosophy and make our preferred means of organization the tried and tested policies of the future.
This would simply be one ethical outlook with prescriptions within leftist and anarchist discourse worth promoting.
As discussed earlier, Ellul is a great person to read for both a critique of technological overconsumption and an antidote to the rigid position of Kaczynski:
If we see technique as nothing but objects that can be useful (and we need to check whether they are indeed useful); and if we stop believing in technique for its own sake or that of society; and if we stop fearing technique, and treat it as one thing among many others, then we destroy the basis for the power technique has over humanity.
As well David Charles has some great tips for how to practice living a low-impact lifestyle:
Technology is there to solve the little problems of existence and support us in our lives. There’s a lot of amazing tech out there and it’s easy to get sucked into saying yes to every little advance, whether it’s needed or not.
Technology solves problems. That’s good. But when the problem is solved, I think we should stop there. Paying for something when I haven’t got any cash on me is a mild inconvenience, but my debit card solves it with little fuss. Saving a further twenty seconds at the checkout is simply not a problem that I have.
In fact, far from being a problem solved, shaving seconds from that interaction is actually a bad thing. Solving problems that aren’t problems will always have consequences. In this case, it alienates us a little further from the people who serve us our Meal Deals.
I’m far from being against all technology (he says, publishing this on the vast interconnected technologies of the internet), but I do think we should always use the minimum viable technology for a task. In other words, we should use the most basic tools that will still get the job well done. …
The more basic the technology, generally speaking, the greater the skills you must learn and deploy.
For example, motorists who grew up in the 40s, 50s and 60s had to become semi-skilled mechanics in order to keep their cars on the road. Modern motorists have no such need. In fact, car manufacturers deliberately make their technology unhackable, so that you must go back to the approved dealer for expensive repairs.
The same is true of modern computers. You used to have to understand the fundamentals of programming to use a PC properly. Nowadays, user interfaces have evolved to the point where the internal workings of your computer are shrouded in mystery. When something goes wrong, the user is clueless and open to exploitation.
Of course, for many people, myself included, this ease of use is a good thing. But ease of use and incomprehending dependence are two completely different things.
Dependence is hierarchical and undemocratic, concentrating knowledge and power in the hands of the few. It reminds me of the worst excesses of medieval religion, where divine forgiveness was sold to the layman by a corrupt hierarchy of priests.
Using the minimum viable technology for a task often has hidden benefits. For example, writing long hand on paper is important to cognitive development in children, helps you learn by combining visual, motor and brain processing, could make us more creative and stave off mental decline as we get older. Not bad for something that is so obviously “backward” in this screen-filled age.
These hidden benefits apply to almost every positive constraint that I’ve experimented with: No Hot Showers, No Mobile Phone, No Supermarket.
The Tool is not the Task
In our search for the most efficient technology, we forget that 99% of a task is not about the tools we use.
Cleaning yourself is not about power showers, hot water tanks or expensive shampoos; it’s about water and scrubbing. Jumping into a lake would do it.
Communication is not about 4G, wifi or GSM; it’s about talking to other human beings. Like the ones you see on the train every morning.
Grocery shopping isn’t about foil-packed for freshness, 138 different varieties of soup or self-service checkouts; it’s about building a strong and healthy relationship to your food and the people who supply that food. You find that at your local greengrocer, not in the aisles of a supermarket warehouse.
The Best Things in Life are Simple
Using the minimum viable technology reminds us that the best things in life are not complicated.
There is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than pulling on a pair of walking shoes (my minimum viable technology for travel without blisters), slinging a small backpack over my shoulder (MVT for basic food and camping gear), walking out into the sunset, sleeping the night on a hilltop in my bivvy bag (MVT for sleeping) and waking to the warming glow of the sunrise.
I don’t need much more than that. Anything else is a luxury and distracts from the task at hand: exploring the corners of the life I have been given.
Technology is there to support us when we need it, not to be taken for granted. When the support falls away – and it will one day – will you be able to stand on your own two feet?
Colin Ward’s life’s work also provides a great example on the value of pursuing an incrementalist approach:
Ward’s anarchism rests on three main ideas: pluralism, the presence of anarchy in existing society, and a focus on problem-solving. First, Ward argues that all societies solve problems using a variety of mechanisms. They use commercial, market-based techniques; they use authority and directive and bureaucratic techniques; and they also use techniques of mutuality – techniques of mutual aid and cooperative self-help. Within this pluralist framework, ‘anarchy’ refers to the space in which the latter techniques of mutual aid and cooperative self-help predominate. The aim of anarchism should be to try to push society in the direction of greater anarchy in this sense – to shift the balance of society’s pluralistic problem-solving in a more anarchic direction.
Second, related to this pluralist perspective, is Ward’s claim that anarchy is already very much part of our social world:
“far from being a speculative vision of a future society … [anarchy] is a description of a mode of human organization, rooted in the experience of everyday life, which operates side by side with, and in spite of, the dominant authoritarian trends of our society … the anarchist alternatives are already there, in the interstices of the dominant power structure. If you want to build a free society, the parts are all at hand. (Anarchy in Action) Examples of anarchy in action that Ward gives include Alcoholics Anonymous, Friendly Societies, squatters’ movements, tenants’ housing co-operatives and efforts to bring workplaces under ‘workers’ control’.”
The anarchist aim should be to build out from already existing anarchy in society, extending its coverage to wider and wider spheres of social life: To do this, anarchist thinking must, in Ward’s view, have a resolutely practical, problem-solving focus. Anyone wanting to theorize the intricacies of ‘autonomy’ or ‘anarchy’ as abstract concepts will look to Ward’s writings in vain. His work is overwhelmingly concerned with discussion of concrete issues such as housing, urban planning, education, welfare and transport, trying to show how the anarchic techniques of mutual aid and cooperative self-help might be applied.
Housing was a particular interest – he spent his early career working as an architect – and illustrates his general approach. Here he was highly critical of state-heavy efforts, led by middle-class housing professionals, to provide housing for the working classes. In an open letter to the Labour MP Tony Crosland, then shadow minister for housing, Ward drew out the paternalism he saw in the social-democratic tradition:
“You … see the homeless, the ill-housed and overcrowded and the newly-weds just coming up for membership of the Housing Shortage Club, as the inert objects, the raw material of policy, waiting to be processed by the Housing Problems Industry. ( Housing: An Anarchist Approach, 1976)”
Against this paternalism, Ward asserted the principle of ‘dweller control’ of housing, exemplified in tenants’ co-operatives, self-build projects and, not least, squatters’ movements.
Ward’s resistance to paternalism inevitably brought him into conflict with the Marxist tradition. In his 1985 book When We Build Again, Ward refers to the ‘ludicrous polemics among Marxist pundits’. Reflecting on the claim that council-house provision is ‘decommodification’, Ward points to the older use of the word ‘commodity’ to refer to that which is useful or commodious. He then argues that, in this sense, the mass council housing of the postwar period has indeed been a tremendously successful experiment in ‘decommodifying’ how many working-class people live.
It would nevertheless be quite wrong to see Ward’s anarchism only in terms of a series of interventions in specific policy areas. In a 1968 interview for BBC Radio 3, he described himself as ‘an anarchist-communist, in the Kropotkin tradition’. And underpinning the various interventions there is indeed a unifying vision drawn from the work of Kropotkin and from Ebenezer Howard’s original conception of the garden city. Ward edited a version of Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops for Freedom Press in 1975 with commentary on what he saw as its contemporary relevance in the new era of energy crisis and stagflation.
The vision is of a society in which local communities are the prime political unit and in which economic activity is localized around a mix of agricultural/horticultural and industrial production. The citizen might work on her allotment on Monday, teach for the next three days a week for the Teachers’ Guild in a local school (where children’s attendance is not compulsory) and then spend Friday in the Community Workshop making items for a Local Exchange and Trading Scheme. One evening a week might be spent at a meeting of the neighbourhood council.
Ward stood, in effect, at the confluence of two traditions. On the one hand, he knew his anarchist classics, particularly Kropotkin’s work, and he drew on them. On the other, he was inspired by the diffuse traditions of working-class and popular self-help – resolutely practical traditions concerned to get things done, to make the world better in some simple but important and measurable way, and which have little time for theoretical niceties. He sought to bring the traditions into dialogue, for their mutual benefit.
Summarizing what tactics I view as most effective going forward, I wrote an essay discussing the role of the far-left, effective activism & violence:
Mutual aid – We should put the time into helping our neighbors and volunteering, for example on a food not bombs stall, to both manifest and get enjoy the positive benefits of a communalist caring society.
Direct action – We should try to mostly choose targets which the largest amount of people can sympathize with, for instance the sabotaging of a fox hunt in order to highlight the direction we’d like to move in with legal animal rights, going from mostly ending blood sports, to mostly ending animal captivity, to mostly ending hunting for taste pleasure.
Campaigning – We should look for the easiest squeeze points to rack up small wins, like the picketing of a cafe to reclaim lost wages, so that word spreads and it creates a domino effect.
Education – We should be educating ourselves and helping others know what work and rent union to join, what to keep a record of at work, how to defend yourself from rapists and fascists, how to crack a squat and how to write a press release, etc.
Electoral politics – Its often obvious which party is the lesser evil long-term and I think it’s virtuous to vote that way as more people will have a qualitatively less bad experience than the few who do. So it’s the trolley problem. We wouldn’t desire to put in the electoral system ourselves, but some of us engage with it for a few hours every 4 years and use the discourse surrounding it to rally people to the far-left.
We need to get well educated on how even the baby step policies toward the left would be an improvement on where we are now, we need to learn the internal politicking of government and get good at having friendly arguments with comedy to appeal to friends and acquaintances basic intuitions.
The goal being that we can talk the latest news and (1) Win over conservatives to obvious empirically better policies on the left, and (2) Win over liberals when center-left parties are in power to feel dismayed at the slow pace of change, and so acknowledge how much better it would be if there was a market socialist in the position willing to rally people to demonstrate and strike to push through bills.
This still must entail a cynical clarity about how many swing voters you meet will be responding to the seesaw effect in politics of blaming the last person in power for everything wrong, so knowing how much time to invest and picking your battles.
The limits of violence
Finally, here’s an experimental list of anarchist principles to end on:
Some groups and projects try to put together an aims and principles list to explain what campaign news and philosophy they will focus on, and I think this can positively influence what actions people take and think are justified. Some examples I know of include:
You also have people using slogans like ‘by any means necessary’ going all the way back to Malcolm X & Franz Fanon in the 60s, which I guess is an attempt to say we’ll go as far as we’re pushed, so be careful what state terror tactics you use on us.
My aims are reflected in the CrimethInc exercise in what an anarchist program might look like. And I’ve already written about my ethics broadly, but I’ll try to be more specific here, in experimenting with drawing up a list of principles that I think would be useful to the calculation of what tactics I think are useful and justifiable in the UK today which is in my view a non-revolutionary period, which to me just means a time when social tensions are not at their height:
1) Never act with reckless indifference to human and non-human animal life.
2) Never physically hurt people for the purpose of achieving political goals as it runs counter to our philosophy on the left that material conditions create the person and so we should make every peaceful effort to rehabilitate people.
Some tricky to explain examples that are justified, but only just outside this principle are:
(A) Community self-defense and self-defense by proxy, where you might desire to fight fascists in the street in order to block them from marching through immigrant communities or where you might desire to push your way through huntsmen in order to save a fox from getting mauled to death by dogs.
(B) Survivor-led vigilantism, where to the extent that some current institutions fail to rehabilitate people and the process of seeking justice through the institutions available can sometimes cause more trauma than its worth, then personal violence in order to resolve feelings of helplessness in the face of evil acts can sometimes be reasonably viewed as justified to regain feelings of agency.
3) Never take actions on the basis of anti-science beliefs or with the intent to propagate anti-science beliefs e.g. disproven conspiracy theories.
4) Take care to respect the difference between property which is personally and privately owned.
So, it could be seen as ethical to choose material targets of evil actors in order to cause economic damage and make a statement, so long as in the case of personal property, the item has no intrinsic sentimental value and can be replaced because the person is wealthy and that the item was paid for through the exploitation of others labor. Or is private property, meaning the means of production which should be owned collectively anyway.
The action would be an outlet for legitimate anger against that which causes us suffering and a means of developing people’s thinking and creating a wider base of people joined in sympathy for those ideals.
For example, if taking the risk to slash slaughterhouse trucks’ tyres in the dead of night both draws attention to animal suffering and also helps you to develop stronger bonds with a group of people and learn from other liberation struggles, then the action is both productive and leads to personal growth.
5) Never take actions in the hopes of helping in part instigate a revolutionary war sooner than it’s reasonable to believe you would have the capability to win. Similarly don’t use rhetoric about how tensions in society have escalated to the state of civil war or a third world war. For example, even if the revolutionary left got really good at assassinating captains of industry and getting away with it, there would be reasonable fears around the psychology of people who would take such an act against people who they could have grown up and been socially conditioned to be themselves, which would inexorably lead to a more authoritarian society and worse foundations on which to work towards a better society.
I do think we can hypothesize the unrealistic case of 99% of society desiring a referendum on a shift from parliamentary representative system to a federated spokes council system and the MP’s dragging their feet, the same way both parties gerrymander the boundaries to make it easier to win despite it being the one issue most everyone agrees is bad, and people needing to storm the halls of power to force a vote to happen.
More likely though, an opportunity for revolution might arise from such a confluence of events as climate refugees and worker gains forcing the state and corporations into trying to crack down on freedoms in order to preserve their power and enough people resisting that move, who are then able take power and usher in radical policy change, with either the army deciding to stand down or splitting into factions.
Most can sympathize with quick revolutions against dictatorships where the result is a freer society, like the Kurdish uprising in Northern Syria which took power from a regime who had rolled tanks on demonstrators and outlawed teaching of their native language.
But, even there, there are key foundations you need to work from, like the probability you won’t just give an excuse for the oppressor committing even worse horrors as was the case with the Rohingya militants who ambushed a police checkpoint, resulting in army & citizen campaign to burn down many villages, plus murder and rape those that couldn’t get away.
Also, there would be a responsibility to put down arms after winning political freedoms and a majority are in favor of diplomacy through electoral politics, like in Northern Ireland today.
Under representative democracies, the sentiment of most is that, even if it could be argued that a war of terror (not a revolutionary war) against the ruling class was the easiest route to produce a better society, that it would still be ethically wrong to be the person who takes another’s life just because it’s the easiest way. Since regardless of manufactured consent or anything else you still could have worked to build a coalition to overcome those obstacles.
And I agree, it would be an act of self-harm to treat life with such disregard when we could have been that same deluded person shrouded in the justificatory trappings of society which normalizes that behavior. I don’t think the way we win today is by treating a cold bureaucratic system with equally cold disregard, by justifying our resort to threat and violence because we have fewer resources, and a belief in the importance of our message. Time on earth is a foundational value worth fighting for, and everybody deserves some amount of breathing room to make mistakes and learn from them.
 Ted Kaczynski. Ted Kaczynski's Letter Correspondence With David Skrbina. From Ted to Skrbina — August 29, 2004. Technological Slavery. Fitch & Madison Publishers, 2022. https://fitchmadison.com/product/technological-slavery-volume-one-2022/. Archived Link.
 Lis W. Wiehl and Lisa Pulitzer. Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America’s Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist [Book]. Nelson Books. April 28, 2020. Original link. Archived link.
 Ted Kaczynski. U-7: Letter and envelop from FC to Warren Hoge (Assistant Managing Editor, NY Times) [Letter]. California University of Pennsylvania Special Collections. Original link. Archived link.
 Pierce Skinner. Garden [Zine], Issue #3. Web Archive. 2022. [Source link and archived text removed after a threat that it was deemed illegal by the domain provider]
 Ted Kaczynski. Technological Slavery. Fitch & Madison Publishers, 2022. https://fitchmadison.com/product/technological-slavery-volume-one-2022/