Looking through the newspaper classifieds this morning, I came across this surprising nugget:
SHOWING HERE! Lot 666, then: a manifesto in pieces. Some of you may recall the strange affair of the Unabomber: a mystery never fully explained. We are told ladies and gentlemen, that this is the very manifesto which figures in the famous disaster. Our workshops have restored it and fitted up parts of it with a series of tubes for the new electric internet, so that we may get a hint of what it may look like when re-assembled. Perhaps we may frighten away the ghost of so many years ago with a little illumination.
I put my newspaper down and shook my head in amazement. “The Federal government is selling off shit from Ted Kaczynski?” I shouted incredulously.
Then, belatedly, I added, “I gots to get me some of that!”
Yes, the Unabomber is back in the news. Even though he’s locked away in the slammer (a federal maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado) serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole, the Unabomber can still bring his 15 minutes of fame.
The Justice Department has announced that it will auction 51 lots of personal property that belonged to the Unabomber, including a sweatshirt with hoodie, sunglasses, and the original handwritten copy of his manifesto. The Justice Department apparently discarded the notion of selling the items together as part of a “Unabomber Starter Kit,” instead opting to sell them as separate lots.
The auctions will have no reserve bids and no price ceilings. One way or another, the items will be sold, at whatever price the “market” is willing to bear.
Being a curious sort, I once located Kaczynski’s “manifesto” online and tried to read it for myself. The actual title is “Industrial Society and its Future.” I’m not ashamed to admit it was a tough read. I found it very hard to follow and ended up reading very little of it. My sense is that if you’re going to go to all that effort to call attention to yourself, your manifesto better damn well be easy to read. Know your audience!
Here’s an excerpt from the manifesto:
The Psychology of Modern Leftism
Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.
But what is leftism? During the first half of the twentieth century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, “politically correct” types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much a movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by “leftism” will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology.
Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn’t seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do is indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th century.
The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call “feelings of inferiority” and “oversocialization.” Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.
If that doesn’t warp your brain then nothing will.
My manifesto is still in progress. I hope to begin shopping it to publishing houses soon.