Is He Serious? :
There comes a time when everyone has something to say. The next step would be to find someone to listen. If that doesn't work, I suppose you just have to make them listen. The Unabomber's Manifesto was probably one of the most interesting and thought provoking points of view that I have read in a while. It's just too bad that every time he made a point that I could relate with, he would contradict himself before I was finished with the paragraph. In my opinion, the entire manifesto and every viewpoint expressed therein, was a strange mix of confusion, fact and storytelling. Although written with an abundance of detail and many strong convictions, I finished reading the selection without being able to see the purpose behind it all and what he stood to gain. I'm sure that wasn't exactly his intentions when he wrote it. I feel there is one thing the author deserves credit for right from the start. His uncanny ability to set a pessimistic mood. From the minute you glance at the introduction, he, assuming the author is male, begins to paint a picture of destruction and demise of the world in which we live. What could cause such a catastrophe? According to the author, it would have to be industry and technology of all things.
He was convinced that due to the industrial-technological system in which we live, ultimately humans are going to be subjected to world wide suffering and inevitably a total shut down of humanity. Now at this moment I felt a little disbelief. I had heard he was actually an intelligent person, but I was starting to wonder. His whole theory was based on the fact, that at one point or another, the human race will be taken to the point of complete break down. He feels that if it's bound to happen, we should make it happen now. The longer we wait, the more people will suffer. Now, I know our sun will eventually burn out, so does that mean that it should be the concern of everyone on the planet to devise a method to destroy it immediately and save us the trouble of having to do it later? I guess I wasn't too surprised when I read how he intended to induce an early break down with a revolution, but the next thing I read left me a little confused. I was interested in how and when he planned to do this. It didn't take me long to run across it. I would expect a violent display from the Unabomber, especially in a revolution, but his answer to that was that he may or may not use violence. Well, maybe he'll keep some details quiet, but I was sure he would release an approximate idea of how long he planned this new world revolution to last. He wrote that it may be sudden or it may span decades. There were many things that made sense to me after reading that, for instance, if he was this vague when he walked his pen across, it's no wonder he's been able to stay free for this long.
Now, from this point on, I think his writing became much more understandable to me. I started to agree with much of what he had to say and what he used to describe the majority of our society. I shared a lot of his beliefs in the fact that our society needs help, we all do sometimes. I just don't believe that things are so bad that it's time to clear the pallet and start over. He seems to have a perfect ideal of how each group of people should act and respond to the world around them. If they don't posses these features, then there has to be something wrong with society, because that's not the way he remembers them. He seems to group everyone in the world into two groups…The weak and the weaker. There are the leftists, or the ones who should the social rebels and the over socialized, or the ones who have to grow up obeying society's rules. Now, I feel it wouldn't matter which category he placed me in. According to him, people jump from one group to another constantly. Either group, in his opinion, has deteriorated into a flock of sheep. No one has a mind of their own, nor do we stand up for ourselves, nor believe in anything. He believes that due to this Evil Indus trial-technological society in which we live, everyone operates with low self esteem, guilt, and self-hatred. Because we think we're so advanced, we are afraid to say anything which may offend others. We will constantly change our minds to suit the situation or just to make ourselves look better. Now don't get me wrong, but since we are such an advanced society, couldn't that be viewed as progress towards understanding others and caring for their needs? His pessimistic outlook was getting annoying. His discussion then moved into power. In his perfect view, we all must work as hard as possible to really appreciate what we have. I believe that, very much so, but he also states that people today have all their needs filled or taken care of so easily that we don't appreciate anything. People as a collective group are getting bored, therefore more and more generations are causing trouble just to have something to do. He actually has a good point there. I have to agree with him, because we are driving and driving for something better in our lives, the unfortunate who don't have direction are getting left out. Is that our demise? I don't think so. Life in general has always been survival of the fittest, it's a natural process. The next topic pertains to all the sources of our problems. If he truly believes he knows all of them, then why can't he tell us so we won't have the problems? He says we blame all our problems on the fact that our lives are so different from our ancestors. I agree, that's called progress. We dominate nature according to him, we are too detached from the outdoors. I suppose that's why we have national parks, since we're moving towards a society that won't need these things. We don't have family values because we can't favor our family over others due to the fear of nepotism or discrimination. Is that just being fair to others? Besides, how many people can work with their family members anyway? If that's the extent of our problems, I would rather deal with those than bother about a revolution.
I believe this about the point where he begins to go off the deep end. All this talk about technology and industry and how it affects us, and no one to believe him. I guess that would get to me as well. That shows our freedom to decide not to listen to him. The freedom that he claims we have lost due to technology ruling the law. Electronic surveillance, police forces, propaganda we see on television, what's this world coming to? He tries to make his point by saying that laws like freedom of speech should not be considered a freedom because the average person doesn't have access to television or radio to get his point across. Can't argue there, but it doesn't mean it's not a freedom because I can't use it at the moment. It's a freedom because I can use it when I need to. He says it is impossible to have freedom with modern technology. I just say it gives me more time to enjoy my freedom.
It's only a matter of time when society will not accept society and use technology to improve it. He has a point with that statement. How does he think technology has come so far? Because man has and always will have a need to improve himself. He takes that one step over the edge when he states that man will eventually build better men, a stronger race. We strive for individualism. Society will never accept a world full of cloned shells. If man can rid each other of all disease and suffering, then by all means. If he wants to stop progress and live in the dark, then that's his freedom or lack there of through his eyes. When someone believes they are sick, they can actually make them selves sick. If we had more people like this guy around, I suppose society would probably start to fall apart. It's those who believe there's something better out there who actually make a difference.
Technology was a turning point in man's struggle in life. When we were first learning to use it, we used it for the wrong reasons. I believe we're moving past that now. We don't fear technology like he does any more. More and more people, including older generations are learning to use it. Not because they have to, but it's only natural for the majority of us to try something new. When everyone begins to use it, working together, that's what advances us into tomorrow. If everyone was as pessimistic as he, where would we be? Sometimes it takes someone like him to remind us what we used to be and how we used to think. It helps us all stay on track. In the long run, he just becomes someone who wouldn't change and society will forget him. It's ironic to think that we already have. People don't want war, revolution or violence. We don't need to be the aggressor and more. Our survival isn't assured, but at least we have the means to provide it, to really harvest it when that need arises. People like the Unibomber only give us the motivation to keep on going. And what do we have to thank for our advancement?
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