The purpose of industrial society is to conduct warfare on an industrial scale, and my ultimate criticism of primitivists is they don’t have a realistic plan for conducting warfare against other technological societies. It’s a deceptive form of pacifism adopted by soul-sick men to preserve their egos while being out-competed by physically weaker men with superior social intelligence. In particular, Kaczinsky’s unspoken assumption is that America will have overwhelming military superiority forever such that he’ll never need a factory-made AK-47 and ammo produced by Russian industrialization. Primitivists point to the Taliban as if they would have done just as well without the AK-47s given to them by industrial society. In the final analysis, edenists are losers whining about how hard it is to adapt to the psychological mismatch of modern society. They are under the misapprehension that humans historically did not struggle to adapt to previous situations of psychological mismatch until their psychology was traumatically molded to fit each new situation. Hunting, herding, or farming may seem natural to a modern man, but there was a time when they were new and stressful.
There is a correct criticism of industrial society: too much of it too fast saps the society’s will to struggle and survive. You’ll note that this traces to the same premise that I’m using to criticize primitivism–that’s because the evolutionary purpose of both things, society and technology, is to kill people from other societies:
The will to live is at least as important as sheer numbers or bronze weapons, so this is another catastrophic failure mode for a civilization*. Women become decadent and men become disenchanted enough with these decadent women that they cease to be interested in violence. And I believe this disenchantment is the root of primitivism: if women aren’t worth fighting for, then there’s no good reason to stress yourself out adapting to the psychological mismatch of modern industrial warfare. The correct approach then is to introduce technology such that it maximizes military strength. It must not be pursued at the complete expense of morale, but neither can morale be pursued at the complete expense of industrial weaponry, as overemphasizing either variable leads to extinction at the hands of less foolish societies in group selection.
Kaczinsky otherwise has some good points and some bad points, but his purpose is misguided by the (presumably unexamined) belief that human life is supposed to be free and tranquil rather than ruthlessly competitive and filled with mass murder, rape, looting, slavery and other existential anxieties that produce psychological mismatch. But he’s just plain wrong–those things are the rule rather than the exception, and if he weren’t a soul-sick utopian he would be able to look at that historical reality directly and clearly with his extraordinary intelligence. It’s like Ed Dutton’s been saying lately: the new crucible of evolutionary selection is mental illness induced by industrial-scale social gaslighting, and like the feminists and the anti-natalists Kaczinsky and his followers didn’t make the cut.
This is a longer-form way of saying something I’ve said before, which is that I agree with Paul Cooijmans’ take on the matter. It’s likely that this mechanism of selection, failure to discern and navigate industrial-scale social gaslighting, is what causes the over-representation of autistic-leaning engineers among terrorists as observed by Diego Gambetta.
The importance of studying the Unabomber’s manifesto lies in trying to understand how an apparently highly intelligent individual gets to using violence against innocent.
The Unabomber’s central and fatal conclusion can be summed up as:
Technological society is incompatible with individual freedom and must therefore be destroyed and replaced by primitive society so that people will be free again.
I think this is an irrational conclusion, affected by the Unabomber’s mental illness. However, only part of the manifesto is directly related to this conclusion; much of the rest is sound and rational, whether one agrees with it or not. There is valid criticism in his writing that can not be dismissed as the product of a disordered mind.https://paulcooijmans.com/psychology/unabomber.html
*It would be interesting to analyze the failure modes by way of these three military variables: quantity of men, quality of men, and the quantity/quality of their weapons. The quantity of men is the most fundamental, because getting wiped out makes the other two variables become irrelevant, and it’s the outcome that signifies failure in the other two areas. We care whether men lose the will to fight (i.e. treating their will as their “quality”) because when the morale variable drops to zero you lose wars, and then the quantity variable drops to zero, inarguably signifying total defeat.