ArtiFact #34: A Climate Activist Dissects Ted Kaczynski’s Manifesto | Arnold Schroder, Alex Sheremet

ArtiFact: Books, Art, Culture

23-12-2022 • 1時間 59分

After embarking on a two-decade terrorist campaign of mail bombs, Ted Kaczynski forced the Washington Post to publish “Industrial Society And Its Future”, or, the Unabomber Manifesto, in 1995. This was an infamous tract on climate change as well as on the philosophical and pragmatic ramifications of accelerating technology.

In ArtiFact #34, Alex Sheremet is joined by radical climate activist Arnold Schroder of the Fight Like An Animal podcast to discuss “The Industrial Society And Its Future”. They tackle Ted Kaczynski’s claims about Leftism and political psychology, his time frame for ecological collapse, his use and misuse of terms such as “freedom”, and more. In assessing the Unabomber manifesto, they conclude that while Ted Kaczynski is often labeled insane or a genius, he is in fact neither. Rather, he is very much within his milieu, as well as a statistically likely end-product of his times.

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B Side topics: Alex's "unbelievable" banana; political turning points for Alex and Arnold Schroder; Arnold's activism and upbringing; the nature of the 1990s; political illusions; 90s vs. 2000s Internet, message boards, sever hosting; the over-willingness for everyone, of all ideological stripes, to be subsumed by fads, lingo, non-expression; how right-wing elements use liberal PMC empathy; the failure of social movements, narrowing of political possibilities; Bill Clinton's once-in-a-generation political talent; technological stimulation & human contentment

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0:00 – Ted Kaczynski was neither a madman nor a genius

01:18 – introducing Arnold Schroder, Ted Kaczynski, the Fight Like An Animal Podcast; human nature, human psychology; the first battles fighting climate change have been lost; the Unabomber manifesto

8:54 – why Alex wasn’t impressed with the craft of Industrial Society And Its Future; how Ted Kaczynski is representative of 20th century pathologies; unethical experiments; Arnold’s background growing up in a cult prepared him to better understand Ted Kaczynski

18:00 – tackling the opening paragraph of the Unbabomber manifesto; the Nietzsche / Steven Pinker / Ted Kaczynski connection; ideas of human progress, cooperation; Ted Kaczynski does not properly define freedom; violence vs. authoritarianism

35:16 – ambiguity in Industrial Society And Its Future; some failures of Third Way and Fourth Way politics; the syncretic nature of politics and art; Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as historical syncretism

50:52 – how Ted Kaczynski’s claims about “optional technology” proved true

58:10 – deeper issues in the Left/Right divide; why modern language of liberalism and conservatism is misleading; environmentalism is only recently a “liberal” issue

01:07:10 – Ted Kaczynski’s claims for Left/Right; hierarchy, openness, sexuality; moralizing about sexuality leads to ideological attachments; a masturbatory issue with zoos; pleasure and dopamine

01:15:45 – the Unabomber’s definition of Left Wing and liberal: political correctness, interest in feminism, gay rights, animal rights, antiracism; Ibrahim X. Kendi & what the Stop Asian Hate campaign got wrong; discussions of class & academia; liberal pathologies, hyper-sensitivities; the Left vs. objectivity; leftists exerting strength

01:31:00 – Ted Kaczynski’s argument about leftist values interfering with climate projects; de-growth and abundance; (slightly) greater scarcity as a psychological positive; discussing transitional states; food crises, inflation, collapse; the 2010s as a turning point

01:57:10 – previewing the patron-only bonus show: Arnold Schroder’s activism, the 1990s, Internet cultures in transition, historical promises, & more

Tags: #Unabomber, #TedKaczynski, #climatechange