Theodore John Kaczynski
Theodore John Kaczynski is an American critic of modern technology.
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.
Kaczynski's cabin was taken away by the FBI shortly after his arrest and remains on display in Washington D.C. 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.
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".
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.
Books and articles
- Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How (2015)
- Industrial Society and Its Future (1995)
- Progress Versus Wilderness (1971)
University of Michigan archives
- 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)
- Legal Documents, containing drafts of briefs, excluding any materials that fall under attorney-client privilege
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.
- 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).
- Haag, Chad A. (2019). The Philosophy of Ted Kaczynski: Why the Unabomber was Right about Modern Technology.
- Sean Fleming (2021): The Unabomber and the origins of anti-tech radicalism, Journal of Political Ideologies, DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2021.1921940
- Unabomber's cabin remains on display in DC. Independent Record.
- Ted Kaczynski Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer: The Unabomber Has Been Given Two Years To Live. Bobby 'B.R' Robber (Feb 8, 2022). The Anarch.
- Thrush, Glenn (June 11, 2023). "Kaczynski Died by Suicide, Prompting Questions of Prison Security". The New York Times: p. A20. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/10/us/politics/kaczynski-unabomber-suicide-prison.html. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
- Kaczynski collection at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- The Ted Kaczynski Papers: FBI Files and Photographs. University of Michigan Library blog.
- The Joseph A. Labadie Collection. The Ted K Archive.
- 'Unabomber' Papers: Former FBI profiler donates documents to Cal U. CalU Review. Pennsylvania Western University, California.
- The California University Archive. The Ted K Archive.
- Complete collection of the Unabomber writings. FoLD.
- The Ted K Archive
- Ted Kaczynski at the Anarchist Library
- Kaczynski collection at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Update on the Ted Kaczynski book projects - The unique job or trade in Ann Arbor for anyone curious from r/AnnArbor on Reddit
- Kaczynski, Ellul, and the Future of Anti-Tech Radicalism with Sean Fleming (Feb 9, 2022). Hermitix Podcast.