Should Americans be cancelled for the “sin” of reading the writings of particularly controversial figures? That seems to be the underlying question posed by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt—the guy who had Alex Jones banned from half the internet—in a recent hit piece targeting The Gateway Pundit’s Cassandra Fairbanks.

Fairbanks recently streamed a short reading of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto which was first published simultaneously by the Washington Post and New York Times during his 17-year-long campaign of terrorism. In the manifesto he lays out various problems he sees developing in society owing to our technological advancement. “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences,” the manifesto begins, “have been a disaster for the human race.”

And haven’t they? Don’t take our word for it. We’re flanked on this issue by some quite “respectable” company. Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Fox News, MIT’s Tech Opinion Editor, and countless others have dared to speak the self-evident truth that is apparent to anyone who bothers to give the work a fair reading: Kaczynski had some brilliant and clairvoyant predictions to share. Those predictions, which grow more accurate by the year, are a work of genius independent of the atrocities Kaczynski committed.

And that was Fairbanks point and seemingly Holt’s main beef with her Periscope stream—he went so far as to dramatically highlight her description of Kaczynski’s work as “brilliant” in his headline, as if it was some big revelation about Fairbank’s character. 

What about the rest of the country though? Isn’t there something that all Americans would agree with if they were to peel their eyes away from their phones for a moment? 

Americans surely have a deep subconscious understanding that a potential future wherein multinational and megacorporations place each individual into a technological slavery could come to pass. If this were not the case, the media they consumed would be far different than its current dystopian nature. From The Hunger Games to Divergent, from Westworld to Altered Carbon. Need more? There’s also Blade Runner 2049, Soylent Green, The Matrix, Minority Report, Snowpiercer, and Elysium. Children watch movies like WALL-E and Avatar. The list goes on and on. Clearly these types of films resonate with the population.

Holt’s Feelings Of Inferiority And Oversocialization

But, for her part, Fairbanks’ reading was more focused on responding to a specific instance of social media pitchfork-raising. A Twitter user, Sonia Fereidooni, riled up over 100,000 users to attack a high school student for making a joke she found offensive. She posted his mother’s contact details, his school’s emails, and multiple private social media profiles of his. Soon after, he and his mother were both receiving threats.

At the time, I had taken to Twitter myself, ironically to comment on what I viewed as Sonia’s overly socialized nature, which I believed led her to launch this crusade against the unsuspecting teen and completely upturn his life, all while confusing herself for the virtuous party in the affair.

Fairbanks, well-read and seeing this, was reminded of Kaczynski’s writing on the topic.

And, with little else to do and facing the warped schedule we’re all dealing with under quarantine, she decided to stream a bit of herself reading from his manifesto in order to further highlight the psychological analysis Kaczynski made about leftist activism.

(You can read the entirety of the pertinent passages at the end of this piece, and the entirety of the manifesto here. Please note that Fairbanks did not read everything posted below.)

She was soon contacted by Jared Holt of the parasitic Right Wing Watch, an organization that fancies itself as some combination of the internet police and shepherds of cancel culture—ironically the exact sort of outfit that Kaczynski was referring to (note: see paragraphs 12 and 21 from the manifesto below). 

Holt made it clear that he intended to write a hit piece on Fairbanks and a few hours later it was published. But Fairbanks refused to back down and instead boldly responded by streaming a second reading from the Unabombers work.

Fairbanks, it seems, is simply able to do something that Holt is incapable of—she can tackle a controversial figure and separate his thoughts from his actions. Holt, for his part, suffers from what Kaczynski might describe as “feelings of inferiority” and can do little more than point a finger and blame.

Some say Randall was loosely based off of Jared Holt.

While it is tragic that the Unabomber’s struggle with society manifested itself in the form of murder and destruction, it would be foolhardy to dismiss an argument that has merit because the source is distasteful. Thankfully, some are still willing to approach the most controversial of topics head on.

So what do some of the more daring elites think of the writings of Ted Kaczynski? What follows are just a few examples.

MIT The Tech’s Opinion Editor Anders Hove: “The Unabomber actually makes some interesting points about contemporary society”

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“Of all the works of William Shakespeare, I like Hamlet the best. Crazed people with bizarre motivations sometimes have a lot to say. Generations of Hamlet readers will agree that just because someone has gone off the deep end and murdered a court intellectual or two doesn’t mean he can’t tell a hawk from a handsaw.”

“ Unlike most Op-Ed writers, the Unabomber actually makes some interesting points about contemporary society. He begins with a crushing attack on leftist intellectuals, arguing that the entire “politically correct” movement is motivated by self-hatred and low self-esteem.”

“Finally, nobody should be worried that anarchism will spread through the publication of the manifesto. The marketplace of ideas remains the best place for the airing of political views of any type”

The Rolling Stone: “He’s a highly intelligent person”

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But Andrew Sodroski, executive producer of the new Discovery mini-series, Manhunt: Unabomber, thinks there is plenty to take away from Kaczynski’s words. As he said in a phone conference with reporters leading up to the show, “What the manifesto has to say about our relationship with technology and with society is more true right now than it was when Ted published it.”

He’s a highly intelligent person who wanted to try and stop where he saw humanity headed by any means necessary – including murdering people. Yet he routinely points out throughout his manifesto that there very well might be no stopping the inevitable.

Yet there is something to be taken away from his words if you read closely; it’s that we give up a piece of ourselves whenever we adjust to conform to society’s standards. That, and we’re too plugged in. We’re letting technology take over our lives, willingly…Kaczynski, to steal a phrase from the tech world, was just an early adopter of these thoughts.

Fox News’ Dr. Keith Ablow: “[Kaczynski] was precisely correct in many of his ideas”

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Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team

Well, Kaczynski, while reprehensible for murdering and maiming people, was precisely correct in many of his ideas.

He saw the political “left” as embracing these technologies with special fervor, because they were in keeping with the “leftist” ideology that centralized power was the way to govern men.

Well, I would rather be correct, than politically correct. And it is time for people to read “Industrial Society and its Future,” by convicted serial killer Ted Kaczynski.  His work, despite his deeds, deserves a place alongside “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley, and “1984,” by George Orwell.

The Chicago Tribune: “The Unabomber had a point”

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The introduction of the new iPhone X — which features wireless charging, facial recognition and a price tag of $999 — appears to be a minor event in the advance of technology. But it’s an excellent illustration of something that has long gone unrecognized: The Unabomber had a point.

Stanford’s Interview With French Professor Jean-Marie Apostolidès: “Theodore Kaczynski may have been right”

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He was intrigued by the killer’s anti-technology stance, and says that on that score, Theodore Kaczynski may have been right. “Technology transformed humanity into something different than it was before, into a new creation – flesh and technè,” he said

“In the past, I was in a certain way tied to a secret that I think has no more value,” he explained. Shortly after the arrest, Apostolidès was approached by Kaczynski’s team of lawyers, who said they were concerned for the prisoner’s sanity and well-being in prison.

In an interview, Apostolidès leaned forward across the desk in his campus office and his voice dropped: “This will shock you. He’s a very nice guy, sweet, open-minded. And I know he has blood on his hands. You cannot be all bad – even if you kill, even Hitler.”

“I do not agree with his ideas, let alone his means to spread them,” Apostolidès said. Nevertheless, “The role of a scholar is to go beyond my own emotions and analyze everything.

Excerpts From Industrial Society And Its Future, The Unabomber’s Manifesto

10. By “feelings of inferiority” we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum of related traits; low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self- hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have some such feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.

11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities and about anything that is said concerning minorities. The terms “negro,” “oriental,” “handicapped” or “chick” for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory connotation. “Broad” and “chick” were merely the feminine equivalents of “guy,” “dude” or “fellow.” The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights activists have gone so far as to reject the word “pet” and insist on its replacement by “animal companion.” Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the world “primitive” by “nonliterate.” They seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

12. Those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect” terminology are not the average black ghetto- dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any “oppressed” group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to upper-middle-class families.

13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals) or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We do not mean to suggest that women, Indians, etc. ARE inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology.)

14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.

15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist’s real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.

16. Words like “self-confidence,” “self-reliance,” “initiative,” “enterprise,” “optimism,” etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftish intellectuals tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were no hope of accomplishing anything through rational calculation and all that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of the moment.

18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftish philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the leftist hates science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e., failed, inferior). The leftist’s feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual’s ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is “inferior” it is not his fault, but society’s, because he has not been brought up properly.

19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong, and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant behavior. [1] But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.

20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists’ hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.

23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate description of everyone who might be considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.

OVERSOCIALIZATION

24. Psychologists use the term “socialization” to designate the process by which children are trained to think and act as society demands. A person is said to be well socialized if he believes in and obeys the moral code of his society and fits in well as a functioning part of that society. It may seem senseless to say that many leftists are oversocialized, since the leftist is perceived as a rebel. Nevertheless, the position can be defended. Many leftists are not such rebels as they seem.

25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way. For example, we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet almost everyone hates somebody at some time or other, whether he admits it to himself or not. Some people are so highly socialized that the attempt to think, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceive themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations for feelings and actions that in reality have a non-moral origin. We use the term “oversocialized” to describe such people. [2]

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized person are more restricted by society’s expectations than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think “unclean” thoughts. And socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to conform to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human beings inflict on one another.

27. We argue that a very important and influential segment of the modern left is oversocialized and that their oversocialization is of great importance in determining the direction of modern leftism. Leftists of the oversocialized type tend to be intellectuals or members of the upper-middle class. Notice that university intellectuals [3] constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society and also the most left-wing segment.

28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off his psychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling. But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basic values of society. Generally speaking, the goals of today’s leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the contrary, the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses mainstream society of violating that principle. Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people, peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom of expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally, the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the individual. All these have been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its middle and upper classes [4] for a long time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of the material presented to us by the mainstream communications media and the educational system. Leftists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do not rebel against these principles but justify their hostility to society by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not living up to these principles.

29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional attitudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion against it. Many leftists push for affirmative action, for moving black people into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in black schools and more money for such schools; the way of life of the black “underclass” they regard as a social disgrace. They want to integrate the black man into the system, make him a business executive, a lawyer, a scientist just like upper-middle-class white people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, they want to preserve African American culture. But in what does this preservation of African American culture consist? It can hardly consist in anything more than eating black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and going to a black- style church or mosque. In other words, it can express itself only in superficial matters. In all ESSENTIAL respects most leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the black man conform to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make him study technical subjects, become an executive or a scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that black people are as good as white. They want to make black fathers “responsible,” they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc. But these are exactly the values of the industrial-technological system. The system couldn’t care less what kind of music a man listens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long as he studies in school, holds a respectable job, climbs the status ladder, is a “responsible” parent, is nonviolent and so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, the oversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man into the system and make him adopt its values.

30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the oversocialized type, NEVER rebel against the fundamental values of our society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some oversocialized leftists have gone so far as to rebel against one of modern society’s most important principles by engaging in physical violence. By their own account, violence is for them a form of “liberation.” In other words, by committing violence they break through the psychological restraints that have been trained into them. Because they are oversocialized these restraints have been more confining for them than for others; hence their need to break free of them. But they usually justify their rebellion in terms of mainstream values. If they engage in violence they claim to be fighting against racism or the like.

31. We realize that many objections could be raised to the foregoing thumbnail sketch of leftist psychology. The real situation is complex, and anything like a complete description of it would take several volumes even if the necessary data were available. We claim only to have indicated very roughly the two most important tendencies in the psychology of modern leftism.

32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems of our society as a whole. Low self-esteem, depressive tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they are especially noticeable in the left, they are widespread in our society. And today’s society tries to socialize us to a greater extent than any previous society. We are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how to make love, how to raise our kids and so forth.