Theodore John Kaczynski

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Theodore John Kaczynski
Born United States
Nationality American
Education Harvard University (BA)
Alma mater University of Michigan (MA, PhD)
Notable works Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How (2015)
Industrial Society and Its Future (1995)

Theodore John Kaczynski is an American critic of modern technology.

In 2019, Chad A. Haag published a book reviewing Kaczynski's philosophy in detail. The book is titled The Philosophy of Ted Kaczynski: Why the Unabomber was Right about Modern Technology.[1]


Fleming (2021) identifies influences from French philosopher Jacques Ellul's book The Technological Society (1954), British zoologist Desmond Morris' book The Human Zoo (1969), and American psychologist Martin Seligman's book Helplessness: On Depression, Development, and Death (1975) in Kaczynski's philosophy. He argues that Kaczynski's ideology should not be conflated with radical environmentalism or green anarchism, but should rather be identified as a novel anti-tech radicalism ideology. Kaczynski's anti-tech radicalism focuses on the human condition rather than primarily on ecological conservation issues. Indeed, Kaczynski's 1995 manifesto states, "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race", rather than for the environment or planet.[2]


Kaczynski's cabin was taken away by the FBI shortly after his arrest and remains on display in Washington D.C.[3] The cabin site's original geographical coordinates are 46.90829778019883, -112.65360060673764. It can be reached by ascending a gulch upstream from Fields Gulch Dr.[4][5]

2021 prison transfer

On December 14, 2021, Kaczynski was transferred from the ADX Florence "Supermax" prison in Fremont County, Colorado to FMC Butner (Federal Medical Center, Butner), a federal prison medical facility in Durham County, North Carolina. In a letter from early 2022, Kaczynski revealed in a letter that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told that he had two years to live. He recommended the recipient of the letter to follow "sections 28 & 29 of Chapter Four of Anti-Tech Revolution" and "Rule (iii) of Chapter Three".[6]

In Anti-Tech Revolution, the first sentence of Section 28 in Chapter 4 states:

It is important to study the history and the methods of earlier social and political movements and the techniques developed by successful leaders of such movements.

Rule 3 of Chapter 3 in Anti-Tech Revolution states:

Once an objective has been selected, it is necessary to persuade some small minority to commit itself to the achievement of the objective by means more potent than mere preaching or advocacy of ideas. In other words, the minority will have to organize itself for practical action.


Kaczynski allegedly committed suicide on June 9 or 10, 2023. He was found dead in his prison cell at 12:23 am on June 10, 2023.[7]

Books and articles

Technological Slavery, Vol. 1 (2022, 4th edition; ISBN 978-1-944228-03-3), edited by David Skrbina, is an anthology of Kaczynski's writings.

University of Michigan archives

The University of Michigan Joseph A. Labadie Collection's Ted Kaczynski collection has four series:[8][9][10]

  • Correspondence, the bulk of the collection, which includes letters written to and from Kaczynski since his arrest in 1996
  • Writings of Kaczynski (other than correspondence)
  • Miscellaneous
  • Legal Documents, containing drafts of briefs, excluding any materials that fall under attorney-client privilege

Labadie boxes

At the University of Michigan, Kaczynski's documents are kept in "Labadie boxes". The list below has been adapted from Fleming's (2021) footnotes. The documents are referred to by their Labadie box and folder numbers, and the FBI's K numbers.[2]

  • Letters between Kaczynski and John Zerzan, Labadie Boxes 14 and 15
  • Letters between Kaczynski and Derrick Jensen, Labadie Box 7
  • Kaczynski, private footnotes to ISAIF, undated (1995 or 1996), Labadie Box 64, K1813: ‘These footnotes designated by Roman numerals are private and were not included in the manuscript sent to NY Times’
  • FC to The New York Times, 20 April 1995, Labadie Box 28, Doc. 3348, K1825
  • Kaczynski to David Skrbina, 30 October 2008, Labadie Box 93, Folder 1215.9
  • Kaczynski, ‘Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC’ (unsent letter), 1995, Labadie Box 17
  • Kaczynski to Jim Flynn (Earth First! Journal), 3 October 2000, Labadie Box 17
  • Kaczynski, ‘Progress Versus Wilderness’, Labadie Box 65
  • Kaczynski’s comments on ‘On the Unabomber’ by Scott Corey, 7 July 2001, Labadie Box 58
  • Partial photocopy of The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul with Kaczynski’s annotations, undated, Labadie Box 62. This photocopy appears to be from after Kaczynski’s arrest in 1996.
  • Kaczynski refers to The Technological Society in his 1972 essay, ‘Progress versus Liberty’, Labadie Box 65
  • Kaczynski, ‘In Defence of Violence’, undated, Labadie Box 65
  • List of documents found in Kaczynski’s cabin, Federal Defender’s Office, Labadie Box 29
  • Kaczynski, ‘Reflections on Purposeful Work’, 1978–1979, later parts 1981–83, Labadie Box 65
  • Kaczynski to Jean-Marie Apostolidès, 10 July 1996, Labadie Box 17, Folder 636
  • Kaczynski, handwritten draft of ISAIF, undated, Labadie Box 79, K1814
  • Kaczynski, ‘some notes for a follow-up essay’, Labadie Box 29
  • Kaczynski’s journal, Series I #1, 1969, Labadie Box 82, K2046
  • Kaczynski, notes on Helplessness by Martin Seligman, undated, Labadie Box 80
  • Kaczynski to David Skrbina, 23 October 2010, Labadie Box 93, Folder 1215.10
  • Kaczynski’s correspondence with green anarchists and radical environmentalists, see Labadie Boxes 1–20

Pennsylvania Western University, California archives

In the spring of 2021, James R. Fitzgerald, a retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent, donated 6,000 pages of Kaczynski's writings and documents, many of which were seized from his cabin in Lincoln, Montana, to PennWest California (Pennsylvania Western University, California).[11][12][13]


See also

External links