Saturday, February 28, 2004

As anyone who has read this weblog knows, I sometimes give in to the temptation of including massively long excerpts in my entries. I'm going to yield to this temptation right now by including an excerpt on modern liberalism written by the Unabomber himself.

In June of 1995, the Unabomber sent a 35,000 word manuscript to the New York Times. He promised to personally desist from terrorism if his manuscript was published in a '"respectable" newspaper such as the Times or the Washington Post; if they refused, he would continue making bombs and killing people. The Times and the Post later published the manuscript in its entirety.

The manuscript is available here.

It does not read like the rants of a crazy man; if anything, it seems thought-provoking. I personally think it should be required reading for everyone.

The manuscript begins with an attack on modern liberals which I'd like to reproduce below, without endorsement.

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we
call "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization." Feelings of
inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while
oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of
modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.


10. By "feelings of inferiority" we mean not only inferiority feelings
in the strictest sense but a whole spectrum of related traits: low
self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies,
defeatism, guilt, self-hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend
to have such feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these
feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.

11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said
about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that
he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is
pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong
to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are
hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities. The terms
"negro," "oriental," "handicapped" or "chick" for an African, an
Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory
connotation. "Broad" and "chick" were merely the feminine equivalents
of "guy," "dude" or "fellow." The negative connotations have been
attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal
rights advocates have gone so far as to reject the word "pet" and
insist on its replacement by "animal companion." Leftist
anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about
primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative.
They want to replace the word "primitive" by "nonliterate." They seem
almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive
culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that
primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the
hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

12. 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. Political correctness has its stronghold
among university professors, who have secure employment with
comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual, white
males from middle-class families.

13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of
groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American
Indians), repellent (homosexuals), or otherwise inferior. The leftists
themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit
it to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely
because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with
their problems. (We do not suggest that women, Indians, etc., ARE
inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology).

14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as
strong as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women
may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.

15. 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, they hate rationality. The
reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not
correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West
because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so
forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in
primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he
GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points
out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in
Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the
leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates
America and the West because they are strong and successful.

16. Words like "self-confidence," "self-reliance," "initiative",
"enterprise," "optimism," etc. play little role in the liberal and
leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic,
pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone's needs for them,
take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense
of confidence in his own ability to solve his own problems and satisfy
his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of
competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftist intellectuals tend to
focus on sordidness, defeat and 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.

18. Modern leftist philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science,
objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally
relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the
foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the
concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that
modern leftist philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians
systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply
involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack
these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one
thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent
that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More
importantly, the leftist hates science and rationality because they
classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and
other beliefs as false (i.e. failed, inferior). The leftist's feelings
of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification
of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or
inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the
concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are
antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior
because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or
inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or
blame for an individual's ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is
"inferior" it is not his fault, but society's, because he has not been
brought up properly.

19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of
inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, a self-promoter,
a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith
in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but
he can still conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong,
and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant
behavior. [1] But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings
of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as
individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the
leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization
or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.

20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists
protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke
police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be
effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but
because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion
or by moral principle, and moral principle does play a role for the
leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle
cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too
prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power.
Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of
benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help.
For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black
people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or
dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a
diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal
and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative
action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take
such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs.
Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems
serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and
frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black
people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white
majority tends to intensify race hatred.

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would
have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse
for making a fuss.

23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate
description of everyone who might be considered a leftist. It is only
a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.

Update: The Atlantic Monthly confirms what I've known
for a long time -- the Unabomber would do well on the new SAT.


Post a Comment

<< Home