Industrial Society and Its Future
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Industrial Society and Its Future

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  390 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical su...more
Paperback, 149 pages
Published 1995
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonThe Prince by Niccolò MachiavelliTravels with Charley by John SteinbeckGiovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Jeff Buckley's Bookshelf
117th out of 158 books — 28 voters
The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
409th out of 548 books — 629 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 820)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Apr 05, 2009 Laura added it
I hope that the FBI knows that I was just curious.
Cooper Cooper
I expected this book to be a paranoid rant by a mad dog, but was pleasantly surprised—it is straightforwardly written, under control except for an occasional brief outburst, and carefully (though in some cases wrongly) reasoned. By the end of the manifesto I was convinced that Kaczynski is a fanatic but not crazy (unless you consider all fanatics crazy—a diagnosis worth considering).
Ted K’s argument goes something like this:

*Man is dehumanized and disempowered by the complexity of civilizatio...more

It would be unfair and naive to review the Industrial Society and Its Future without also at least mentioning the author.

Ted K. is an American Mathematician, and was while in academia, a genius in his field. However, he became disillusioned with society and instead sought to seek a life living one on one with nature. He lived this way for several years - watching society encroach his small sanctuary. Eventually he realized that his life in the wild was unsustainable - society was expanding too...more
Every word hits home. This was over 10 years ago, and look at the world now...
Yea so the guy went a bit to far, the ideas he presented in this work (the full version, unlike the ones published in the newpapers), show a man of compassion(?) fed up with the direction he believed the world was heading and wishing to make things better. It has been said the extreme makes an impression, and while I do believe what he did was wrong, I can not question the idea's for which he did them.
Quite possibly the best piece of literature ever written. By my boyfriend. Teddy. Contains a chapter titled: Why Revolution is Easier Than Reform. Indeed.
Sep 03, 2008 Christokeil marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This will probably put me on an FBI watchlist.
Muneel Zaidi
The "Final Note" on paragraph 231 is very important for this reading, and I suggest that it be the prologue, not epilogue. Readers should start there, then goto paragraph one if they feel it is worth their time. Here's a quote that summarizes that paragraph well:

"Throughout this article we've made imprecise statements that ought to have had all sorts of qualifications and reservations attached to them; and some of our statements may be flatly false".

It's refreshing to hear an author point out...more
neo-Luddite... That sums it up.
Jan 25, 2012 Elly added it
Shelves: philosophy
"...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."

"Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive. In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religion we like (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is dangerous to the system). We can go to bed wi...more
Kaczynski believes that freedom and technological society are deeply incompatible. Technology after all demands a powerful centralized social system, and such a system must restrict freedoms of the individual. When he says we lack freedom he doesn't mean it in the conventional sense (the rights in the United States Constitution for example). Rather he defines freedom as the ability to go through what he calls the "power process": an individual's ability to set a meaningful goal, work at it, and...more
Many reviews have already summarized Ted's main points so I won't repeat them here. Rather I would like to clarify assumptions made by both the author and the reviewers.

A large discrepancy comes from an apparent misunderstanding of what Ted considers "ideal living." Many assume he's suggesting reverting to a lifestyle similar to the Middle Ages. As reiterated in his 2010 novel Technological Slavery, this is not the case. The Middle Ages involved serfs laboring vigorously in agriculture to not on...more
Jun 29, 2010 Šarlo added it
The main problem I have is with Kaczynski usage of the term "power", that is, the power process. Specifically, he understands it as an axiom for a fulfilling human life / fulfilling a human life, which I cannot consider an absolute truth once the individual is successfully outside of the system (or industrial society), whereas the author never even touches on the potential topic of freeing oneself from the power process. Before I get disapproved for being a bit, erm, irrelevant, I did not make a...more
Aaron Crofut
Just skimmed through the Unabomber Manifesto. Rather amusing, actually. Same problem as Rousseau, but rather than attempting to fix society, he opts to burn it all to the ground and go back to Nature.

Not all that dissimilar from the Occupy people, really.

I do have to give him small props for having an argument at all. Society creates people with too much time, which leads to psychological complexes and unhappiness. He (rightly) rejects the social engineer's claim that they can "fix" society. W...more
Ian Madewell
While I personally disagree with a variety of statements and arguments made by Theodore, I admire his willpower and cold determination in regards to his beliefs.Theodore writes with great urgency, for the ideas and associated fears he bears are dire. Mr Kaczynski theorizes that technological growth will inevitably lead to the diminishing of the rights of the individual. While I do agree with this central idea, idea I disagree with his reaction. Where he sees that the only way to free ourselves i...more
I was assigned a case study on Ted Kaczynski for my final paper in my abnormal psych class so I figured his manifesto would be a pretty good place to start. The entire time I was reading it I kept waiting for the sh*t to hit the fan and get totally crazy, but it never did. For the most part I was really in to this and found myself genuinely interested in a number of the ideas that he brought about. The bits on then power process/surrogate goals and activities were pretty interesting, as were the...more
Amazingly insightful and surprisingly well written. Definitely don't think that the ends justify the means and can't help wishing he had taken a few short more years to write this manifesto. Had he used his own uncanny foresight on on our rapidly advancing technological society and waited a little longer, his ends could have come to fruition via much less violent means (self-publishing, etc) than it did. One wonders though, without in any way trivializing the heinousness of the tragedies he infl...more
Daniel Munro
While written by a disturbed human being, he raises some ethical issues that should be something society is aware of: mans dependence on technology, modern medicine, and the system of education we use.

The authors solution was to overthrow the system and return to an agrarian society to maintain a healthy population and lifestyle. This plan is endorsed by those who have never set foot on a farm.
Trey Shiver
Feb 09, 2009 Trey Shiver added it
Shelves: political
An interesting and incredibly thoughtful little treatise, but I think he's misguided in assuming that technology MUST be a downfall. Surely we can find a way to harness our learning and industry to improve our quality of life as well as the health of our environment...even if we're not really 100% dedicated to that premise at this point in our history.
Nicole Koob
I agree with most of the things he has to say but he pretty much just keeps repeating things over and over to the point where you want to tell him to shut the hell up. He basically just rants about the problems with society but offers few solutions. I also thought the fact that he pretended to be a group of people was pretty childish.
You say you want a rev-oooo-lu-tion... The Freedom Club (aka Ted Kaczynski's) manifesto is provocative, arrogant, insightful and from what I can tell, somewhat plagiarized from a variety of reputable enviro-anarchists. Anyway, what kind of asshole mails a pipe bomb to a university in order to gain media exposure?
David Koblos
Scary, scary, scary.... Less popular, though more realistic than 1984 or Brave New World, this book truly gets you thinking about the direction we are going. Whether you agree or not is still up to you, but the points he makes are worth the consideration.
Ganglion Bard-barbarian
A fascinating insight into the psychology of a desperate and alienated third positionist. Not for the impressionable-minded. Interesting ideas, but all and all a part of the desert of politics.
Essential reading for all who want to destroy civilization as we know it. He explains why!
Now I'm going to be on some sort of FBI list...
Ivan Kapersky
Kaczynski was an academic genious. I felt motivated to read his manifesto because I wanted to learn how he think, maybe why he did all the bombings. The narrative it tends to be humdrum, the author refers to a certain sector known in society as "leftist", which is consisted of people who has low self-steem or morale towards society and always seeking victimization. The way the author describes it, is very prejudice and the author doesn't expose a argument that supports his point of view.

While r...more
Contiene un bel po' di ingenuità, ricicla diverse idee non certo nuove, rivela un retroterra moralista odoroso del puritanesimo contadino USA ed è profondamente tecnofobo.
Ah, sì, il suo autore ha anche fatto fuori un po' di gente a casaccio, cosa che ad alcuni potrebbe effettivamente sembrare discutibile.
Ma sorvolando su queste minuzie, bisogna ammettere che Il manifesto di Unabomber contiene parecchî spunti di riflessione su cui vale la pena fermarsi e con cui confrontarsi.
(Magari anche per dim...more
Kaczynski argues for nature and a return to natural ways but cant it be argued technology and technological progress is natural in of itself? If there is a return to nature do we persecute those with technology advancing ideas EX: Witch hunts. Wouldnt we in large be putting self restraints on our own freedom of thought? If this is true Kaczynskis contradicts the arguemnt of freedom because if one is free they have freedom to think up new technologies to better life. Where is the line drawn on ac...more
This is an interesting book through and through. The version I read had an introduction by Ray Kurzweil, the futurist author who discusses human's coming merger with technology. He was targeted by Kaczynski during his bombing campaign, which allows his introduction to take on a facinating dialectic between opposites on the same plane. The writing itself is a more paranoid version of much primitivist/luddite literature you read, but its critiques of the left-wing elements of "anarcho-primitvism"...more
Ted Kaczynski was a child prodigy who gone wrong. His Industrial Society and it's Future is no different. Check the topics of oversocialization, the power process, surrogate activities, autonomy to get a glimpse of what genius he's been and the topics of technology is a more powerful social force than the aspiration for freedom, revolutions is easier than freedom, human race at cross roads, and strategy where he over shoots and misses the mark completely but still given a chance takes this one a...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Anyone up for discussing this? 2 23 Jun 06, 2011 11:41PM  
  • Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance
  • The Conquest of Bread
  • Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism
  • The Coming Insurrection
  • Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (Counter-Power vol 1)
  • Anarchism
  • Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes
  • Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
  • Myth of the Machine : Technics and Human Development
  • Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections
  • Statism and Anarchy (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Government in the Future (Open Media Series)
  • Revolution of Everyday Life
  • The Pornography of Meat
  • The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise
  • Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice
  • Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization
  • Globalization: The Human Consequences
Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski, a.k.a. "The Unabomber". L'effondrement Du Système Technologique Truth Versus Lies Apocalypse Culture II

Share This Book

“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.” 13 likes
More quotes…