Can Industrial Technology and Freedom Really Coexist?
It’s been a few years since I first read prof. Kaczynski’s writings about the industrial revolution and its consequences. But I can’t help but notice that his works are more relevant than ever. Especially in the age of the so called “COVID-19 Pandemic,” with governments exerting ever more stringent technocratic measures against our bodily sovereignty and freedom of assembly.
So called “experts” have flooded the mainstream airwaves with vaccine propaganda, hit-pieces against alt-facts and have endlessly perpetuated the cult of “just trust the science(tm).” All this while multinational corporations have united to spout their dystopian pipedream known as the “fourth industrial revolution.”
Is this the result of an elaborate agenda orchestrated by a cabal of globalist elites, or is this the natural (and inevitable) endgame of industrial society? In my opinion, both theories cannot be discounted.
In this article, I will explore and digest some of the ideas of prof. Kaczynski’s manifesto, in the present context of COVID tyranny.
Can Industry Be Reformed?
The development of modern technology has, from the beginning, been aimed at strengthening the industrial system. This came at the cost of individual freedom and local autonomy as any change designed to protect liberty often runs contrary the greater trend of industrial development.
Take the hypothetical case of a vaccine-skeptic named Joe. Joe believes that he deserves the right to his own body and hence rejects the premise of mandatory vaccination. For this, Joe is ostracized by the industrial system for “jeopardizing the health of the collective.” And hence Joe is the enemy of progress and the industrial system.
Kaczynski postulates that any reform made to the industrial system is nothing but a transitory phase. This means that if timid, the reform will be cast down the memory hole and if substantial, it will effect society in unpredictable ways. This more often than not ends up working in the industrial system’s favor.
According to Kaczynski, “it seems highly improbable that any way of changing society could be found that would reconcile freedom with modern technology.”
Humanity’s Tendency Towards Comfort and Security
Since technology has objectively increased the living standards of modern humans, it is incredibly difficult to return to any system with lower living standards.
Many capitalists argue that capitalism “turned everyone into kings and queens” with an abundance of commodity, food and mind-numbing entertainment. This is certainly true, since industrial-capitalism has indeed lifted billions out of so called poverty.
However, this paradigm has left mankind in a conundrum. Will people accept governments if they promise lower living standards and less security in exchange for more individual liberty? My guess is that most, if not all, will likely not.
This is clearly seen through the public’s response to “COVID”, where even president Trump sported the idea of receiving COVID vaccines.
And herein lies the problem, humanity seeks comfort and security over hardship and liberty. This has only been exacerbated by the every growing hegemony of the industrial system.
Can We Just Keep The “Good” Parts of Industry?
According to prof. Kaczynski, “modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another.” This is to say, you cannot just arbitrarily remove the subjectively negative elements of industrial society and expect to have a better system overall.
There exists a network of trees in Utah known as Pando connected by an intricate root system. You cannot destroy the colony just by cutting down one tree. The exact same logic applies if you consider the entire colony to be the industrial system and one tree to be the negative element. Even after cutting down one tree, a fundamentally identical tree can spout up somewhere else, albeit not necessarily in the exact same form.
You can’t get rid of the “bad” parts of technology and retain only the “good” parts. Take modern medicine, for example. Progress in medical science depends on progress in chemistry, physics, biology, computer science and other fields. Advanced medical treatments require expensive, high-tech equipment that can be made available only by a technologically progressive, economically rich society. Clearly you can’t have much Progress in medicine without the whole technological system and everything that goes with it.Prof. Kaczynski
In closing, even if industry was corrupted by a well funded cabal of evil elites, it has to originally lend itself as a highly volatile system capable of platforming such evil.
Society evidently suggests that technology is a one way road, it can only progress but not regress nor reform. Neither is the political left or right solely to blame, since industry itself has created ideal conditions for tyrannical ideas to flourish.