More details

Between Biceps and Mail Bombs

Giles Hoffman

Between Biceps and Mail Bombs: Bronze Age Pervert, the Unabomber and the Modern Left

Ted Kaczynski sought refuge in the woods from academia and the corporate office, the well-known hives of Bugman existence, at the age of 31. Kaczynski was only one year older than the legendary Zarathustra, who is fabled by Nietzsche to have left his own home for the wilderness, driven to enlightenment by the need to escape “the market-place.” For a quarter of a century Kaczynski embraced the hick’s life of hunting and foraging, but stewed sour over the conditions of the modern world. His hatred for conventional life became central to his anti-system perspective and would later become known in his formal manifesto Industrial Society and its Future. Yet he would resist imprisoning himself in theory, by sending amateurish little mail bombs to unsuspecting – yet symbolic – victims. From the anxiety of his explosive parcels showing up at any doorstep, which haunted the American imagination, Kaczynski was designated a domestic terrorist with an iconic name: “The Unabomber.” (It should be noted that it was only after the publication of his manifesto within the Washington Post (1995) that Kaczynski could accurately be titled a terrorist, since the political aims of his violence had been previously undisclosed). These semantics aside, I prefer to think of Kaczynski as a math nerd who was under the spiritual possession of a black-pilled Henry David Thoreau.

Like many of you I am a proponent of collapsing the reign of the Bugman, to which end it may be useful to read Kaczynski’s manifesto, especially for its descriptions of the modern leftist. But the text is an unworthy manual for the Hard Right, unlike the Bronze Age Mindset, which I’ve called elsewhere our movement’s vade mecum. The reasons are simple: Kaczynski is a brilliant and pitiable misanthrope; you only have to look at him; he is the classic case of the bullied victim who, like the school-shooter, embodies the contemptible qualities of desperate anger and feeble revenge – another casualty of modernity, who falls under the archetype of Dostoevsky’s Underground Man.

I know I do not speak alone when I credit my new sense of optimism to the miraculous emergence of the Bronze Age Pervert, who is also contained inside this sparkling issue of Man’s World. It is furthermore not an exaggeration to call BAP a leader – if not the leader – of our spiritual renaissance; of a worldview which could be said to rely, above all else, on a single premise: the supremacy of the body. This idea is both simple and complex. Of course, our physiology is the source of physical power, which will be necessary in ending a system of control that has been built on lies; but it is also as important and more profound to understand our body as the reliable portal into the laws of nature. A man of good physique and such insight can be an effective weapon against the weak and manipulative, who in their collective interest have actively distorted the very idea of nature, as a way of deceiving their betters.

The easily accessible thesis in Kaczynski’s manifesto is that the industrial-technological system is an inherent existential enemy to human agency. As the system increasingly grows it will diminish human autonomy. He is like the prophet warning Laius to kill his son after foolishly engendering Oedipus. But unlike the movies, Kaczynski’s prophecy does not include an exciting doomsday such as nuclear Armageddon or any near-mythological tale where we stand defiant to an existential threat. He rather foretells a bathetic and slow whimpering out of our species, like so many ants asphyxiated in a bag. The industrial system demands compliance and subtly wages its bureaucracy and medical establishment against men with independent spirits, with its final goal of creating a slave force of “leftists,” a term that when defined is synonymous with Nietzsche’s “Last Man” or BAP’s “Bugman” (the latest iteration).

The leftist is not fundamentally understood as being part of a “movement or an ideology,” according to Kaczynski, but as a “psychological type” who can be found amongst “socialists, collectivists, “politically correct” types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists,” etc. He explains that the leftist, whom we’ve all encountered en masse two-and-a-half decades later, will “invade every private corner and force every thought into a leftist mold” by imposing their quasi-religious convictions so that “everything contrary to leftist beliefs represents Sin.” Kaczynski therefore psychoanalyzes this type, finding “feelings of inferiority” and the tendency to “oversocialization” as the two most pronounced psychological traits driving the modern leftist.

Feelings of inferiority are explicit and found in expressions of shame, guilt, depression, self-hated, hysteria, neurosis, low self-esteem – the list goes on. In an effort to cope with their self-contempt the leftist will conspicuously attach himself to whatever “virtuous” cause is trending, promoting its demands through superficial activism. For Kaczynski, their real motivation, however, is betrayed by the fact that the “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, [and] they hate rationality.” One of Kaczynski’s more interesting insights comes by his observation of the leftist’s preferences in art. He accurately notes that the “Art forms that appeal to modern leftish intellectuals tend to focus on sordidness, defeat, 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.” Now, every university campus and national gallery seems to be at the brim with transsexual “intellectuals” who carry unread copies of Camera Lucida in canvas bags and praise the “socially conscious” art of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

(In a complete tangent, but since I’ve brought up Basquiat – who might have been Pop Art’s house N, or Warhol’s catamite – I’ll tell you what I think of his art: what is called neo-expressionism in his style is really Afro-tribal scribbling and is made only – remotely – interesting because of its American bearing. What Basquiat’s frantic movements might really represent is the Black spirit imposed with a Western consciousness, an anxiety that must be externalized to relieve the confusion between itself and the non-native culture. Of course, the heroin that finally dispatched Basquiat could be said to reveal the same dislocation. This irony continues to undergird the many black-dissident artists. In their formal accusations against colonialism, which is anti-civilization per se, the BIPOC always uses Western principles communicated in a European language to justify his hatred. This fact betrays his total Western orientation. This self-harming irony is similarly represented by the trained guard-dog that sticks her fangs in her master’s hand as he fills her food bowl.)

The other tendency, oversocialization, is a defect of magnitude. As a psychological concept, “socialization” refers to the process by which people are adjusted to the norms of a culture. Therefore, Kaczynski’s prefixed version of the word describes an extremely adjusted person – i.e., the sycophant. Oversocialization is adopted by people when their culture’s norms become so demanding, what we call “puritanical,” that “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.” Of course, we all have moments of low self-esteem that motivate conformity to our environment, but again, the leftist loses his balance and becomes distressed by an excess of both self-worthlessness and wanting to fit in. Though Kaczynski doesn’t make this particular claim, I think that oversocialization better describes the modern liberal and conservacuck (or is it cuckservative?) who are happy to adjust their own opinions to whatever finds them in good standing. In plain language, the overspecialized types are the spiritual whores for whom words and values are mere currency.

According to Kaczynski the leftist is the product of the system, rather than the reverse, because of two other theories. He justifies his IEDs as a means to bring our attention to the modern lifestyle, wholly made of contrived activities, that perniciously disrupts “the power process” and has us seeking “surrogate activities” as the sublimated scratching for our real instinctual itch. The power process is the ability for us to derive satisfaction from accomplishing goals that require struggle. It’s particularly vital for men. But the modern state has erected obstacles to this process, either by fulfilling our most animalistic desires without effort, resulting in passivity and boredom and addiction, or by coming from the other end, unravelling red tape policies under the pretence of “safety.” It should be apparent that all activities that are stuttered by the requirement of licenses, often additionally overburdened with high insurance, are concerted efforts to repress the male instinct. To compensate we “throw” ourselves into our careers and use leisure time for hobbies, sports watching, and twitter spats, as alternative ways to find some subterranean relief for the soul. The rewards of surrogate actives lack in fulfilment, however, and so we turn to the analgesic effects of alcohol and drugs to pacify our thumos. And if you are unable to quell the yearnings of your conscience, the establishment is ready to support you in therapy sessions where “vulnerability is strength,” and antidepressants or anxiolytics are dispensed at a rate that any ghetto pusher would envy.

The system requires compliance because its workings are too complex and interlaced; every cog – you and me – needs to be obedient if not useless, since anything else can compromise its stability. This is how Kaczynski has distilled the machinations of the industrial-technological complex. Without saying as much, the Unabomber has imagined a subconscious conspiracy invisible and inside the ghost of the machine, as if it has become an emergent entity – that is, an entity that plots against human agency. The reason why men (italicized to distinguish them from spiritual faggots) feel this more than women is because, compared to the fairer sex, we are the agential sex. According to Kaczynski it is nothing personal.

With exception to the previous sentence, the impression one could form is that BAP and Kaczynski are revolutionary bedfellows. (It is slightly beside the point but they also might have a common education, which is merely a question about numbers). But this impression would be wrong. Despite being similarly disposed in their negative relation to the system, in which the Last Man is their common enemy, they differ significantly. Even in their general attitude towards civilizational decay, a departure can clearly be perceived. Whereas Kaczynski reviles the present and fears the future, BAP sees our dreadful condition as historically auspicious, since the fall of any regime is the only fertile ground for philosophy and is inseparable from resurrection of the noble pirate.

Though they have reached consensus over what plagues our species, their different diagnostic approach has resulted in incompatible aetiologies and conflicting prescriptions. This is best explained by observing their philosophical inspirations. Between Kaczynski and BAP we find the three “Masters of Suspicion,” the three men whose imperishable ideas are continually waged against the other in the modern world: Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. In the case of BAP we know that he expressly credits Nietzsche’s perspective as central to his life-based analysis; Kaczynski, who doesn’t cite his inspiration, is clearly observing the world through the lens of historical materialism (Marx) and the subconscious (Freud).

It is only through the relations of production and the id that Kaczynski, who ironically uses these concepts against the left, has put the nebulous “system” in his crosshairs. His remedy is to call on all his imagined votaries, to destroy everything that we have discovered and invented so that we can return to a primitive, preconscious Utopia (it occurred to me while writing this that Kaczynski’s recommendation is the inverse of the Futurists). His impossible request is that we bomb ourselves back to Eden, in the hope that we rewind the stately hands of the grandfather clock back to a time before its invention.

But man is chimera of beast and god who must accordingly consummate his instincts and his ideals. Is the Unabomber really more than a pure misanthrope (like his supporting environmentalists), whose aim is to ablate anything that is remotely ambitious, reducing our species to a beast of burden, so that we may become indistinguishable from plowing cattle? I don’t think so.

For Nietzsche, BAP, and men with higher souls, the enemy is not an invention, our industry, human creation, or any other category that contains the heights of Man’s genius. Much of this is to be revered! Especially the works of great beauty. We rather attack weakness that postures as strength, and our mission is to reassert the primal right of natural power. With the same passion of Filippo Marinetti, our genius “must break down the gates of life to test the bolts and the padlocks!” to see the crepuscular light of sunrise, since “nothing equals the splendor of its red sword which strikes for the first time in our millennial darkness!” If Marinetti’s spirit, the precursor of Italian fascism, found optimism in the dawning light, then Kaczynski is the melancholy and regret of an endless night.

At last this brings us to terrorism. In his rage against the machine, Kaczynski murdered three people and maimed 23. This kind of debased action is not the spiritual “rebarbarization” that gives us hope, but the last cry of a weak man who wants to be noticed. Similar are the examples of Elliot Rogers, Anders Breivik, and Brenton Tarrant, who although they share with us some criticism of the Bugman, are themselves forms of lower life. Even if mass shooters are not luftmensch by definition, they are still archetypal losers whose views are caricatures of our side (something the media enjoys portraying without distinction). BAP and the emerging leaders of this movement should be wise not to court this type of basement resentment, or else they’ll taint the loftiness of our struggle with the life-denying ugliness of random murder. We don’t need the hillbilly equivalent to the establishment’s battering rams. And here lies the essential difference between the Kaczynski and BAP: the former is life-denying, and the latter beseeches us to become yes-sayers. This is what matters.

1200 630

Man’s World in Print

MAN’S WORLD is now available, for the very first time, as a high-quality printed magazine. Across 200 glorious pages, you’ll find everything that made the digital magazine the sensation that it was – the best essays, the most brilliant new fiction, interviews, art, food, sex, fitness – and so much more.

Man’s World in Print

MAN’S WORLD is now available, for the very first time, as a high-quality printed magazine. Across 200 glorious pages, you’ll find everything that made the digital magazine the sensation that it was – the best essays, the most brilliant new fiction, interviews, art, food, sex, fitness – and so much more.

You must submit

Want to write for
Man’s World?

Here at Man’s World, we’re always looking for new contributors to dazzle, inform and amuse our readership, which now stands in the hundreds of thousands. If you have an idea for an article, of any kind, or even a new section or regular feature, don’t hesitate to get in contact via the form below.

Generally, the word limit for articles is 3,000; although we will accept longer and (much) shorter articles where warranted. Take a look at the sections in this issue for guidance and inspiration.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
I have an idea for a