Theodore J. Kaczynski      The Road    to Revolution With afterwords by Dr. Patrick Barriot         And Dr. David SkrbinaR...
ISBN: 978-2-88892-065-6Copyright @ 2008 by Éditions Xenia, CP 395, 1800 Vevey, Switzerland      www.editions-xenia.com    ...
PUBLISHER’S DISCLAIMERTheodore J. Kaczynski has been convicted for illegally trans-porting, mailing, and using bombs, as w...
CONTENTSFOREWORD by Theodore J. Kaczynski........................................ 13INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE (ISA...
To the memory of Joy Richards, with love.                        He that hath no sword, let him sell                      ...
FOREWORDI have to begin by saying that I am deeply dissatisfied with thisbook. It should have been an organized and system...
to confiscate all my papers. I have, moreover, another reason toavoid delay: The Federal Bureau of Prisons has proposed ne...
thanks, because I’m not sure that they would want to be namedpublicly. But above all I have to thank Dr. Patrick Barriot, ...
The development of the technoindustrial system cannot becontrolled, restrained, or guided, nor can its effects be moder-at...
3. The political left is technological society’s first line ofdefense against revolution. In fact, the left today serves a...
INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE (ISAIF)INTRODUCTION1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been adisaster...
trial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolu-tion against that form of society. This is not to be a P...
ism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which ourdiscussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and...
activists, many of whom do not even belong to any “oppressed”group but come from privileged strata of society. Political c...
orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were nohope of accomplishing anything through rational calculati...
20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Left-ists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intenti...
25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no onecan think, feel and act in a completely moral way. For exampl...
the modern left is oversocialized and that their oversocializationis of great importance in determining the direction of m...
by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not livingup to these principles.29. Here is an illustration of th...
most important principles by engaging in physical violence. Bytheir own account, violence is for them a form of “liberatio...
gle to maintain their power. But leisured, secure aristocraciesthat have no need to exert themselves usually become bored,...
biological needs, and if that effort required him to use his physi-cal and mental faculties in a varied and interesting wa...
satisfying than the pursuit of real goals (that is, goals that peoplewould want to attain even if their need for the power...
autonomy. Either their drive for power is weak or they satisfyit by identifying themselves with some powerful organization...
SOURCES OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS45. Any of the foregoing symptoms can occur in any society;but in modern industrial society they...
tion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricul-tural technology has made it possible for the Earth to suppo...
that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyal-ties to loyalty to the system are usually very ineffici...
very rapid and deep. A man might be born and raised in a logcabin, outside the reach of law and order and fed largely on w...
DISRUPTION OF THE POWER PROCESS IN MODERN SOCIETY59. We divide human drives into three groups: (1) those drivesthat can be...
enough money to satisfy these artificial needs, hence they fallinto group 2. (But see paragraphs 80-82.) Modern man mustsa...
But we think that for the majority of people an activity whosemain goal is fulfillment (that is, a surrogate activity) doe...
niques prescribed by experts must be followed if there is to be achance of success.67. Thus the power process is disrupted...
helpless against the things that threaten him. The modern indi-vidual on the other hand is threatened by many things again...
can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religionwe like (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is ...
through, the young man has no reluctance about settling downto the responsibilities of raising a family. (In contrast, som...
or at least relatively little need for autonomy in the powerprocess. These are docile types who would have been happy aspl...
through the power process. This phenomenon was exploited bythe Fascists, Nazis and Communists. Our society uses it, too,th...
more effort than is necessary to earn whatever money and statusthey require, and this extra effort constitutes a surrogate...
Only a chemist is curious about such a thing, and he is curiousabout it only because chemistry is his surrogate activity. ...
Science is a surrogate activity because scientists work mainlyfor the fulfillment they get out of the work itself.90. Of c...
permissively that power may be exercised. It is important not toconfuse freedom with mere permissiveness (see paragraph 72...
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
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Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski
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Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski

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The ideas and views expressed by Kaczynski before and after his capture raise crucial issues concerning the evolution and future of our society, as well as elucidate the destructive nature of large-scale technology. For the first time, the reader will have access to an uncensored personal account of his anti-technology philosophy, which goes far beyond Unabomber pop culture mythology.

“Like many of my colleagues, I felt that I could easily have been the Unabomber's next target. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument. . . . As difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in [Kaczynski’s writing]. I started showing friends the Kaczynski quote from Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines; I would hand them Kurzweil's book, let them read the quote, and then watch their reaction as they discovered who had written it.” — Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems, in “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired magazine

Theodore J. Kaczynski has been convicted for illegally transporting, mailing, and using bombs, resulting in the deaths of three people. He is now serving a life sentence in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Feral House does not support or justify Kaczynski's crimes, nor does the author receive royalties or compensation for this book. It is this publisher’s mission, as well as a foundation of the First Amendment, to allow the reader the ability to discern the value of any document.

David Skrbina, who wrote the introduction, teaches philosophy at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.

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Transcript of "Technological Slavery by Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski"

  1. 1. Theodore J. Kaczynski The Road to Revolution With afterwords by Dr. Patrick Barriot And Dr. David SkrbinaRipped by: TOTAL FREEDOM, 2009 Xenia
  2. 2. ISBN: 978-2-88892-065-6Copyright @ 2008 by Éditions Xenia, CP 395, 1800 Vevey, Switzerland www.editions-xenia.com info@editions-xenia. com Tel. +41 21921 85 05 skype: xeniabooks
  3. 3. PUBLISHER’S DISCLAIMERTheodore J. Kaczynski has been convicted for illegally trans-porting, mailing, and using bombs, as well as killing two people inCalifornia and one in New Jersey. He is now serving a life sentencein the SuperMax prison in Florence, CO.The crimes committed by Theodore J. Kaczynski cannot andwill never be justified. In no way does this book mean that XeniaPublishing support, stand by or seek to justify these crimes.However, we hold it to be the publisher’s ideal mission, as well asa foundation of freedom of speech, to publish books and let read-ers judge.We believe that reading this book may help to go beyond thepop culture myth that the Unabomber has become and face themany sides of this larger-than-life figure. The ideas and viewsexpressed by Theodore J. Kaczynski before and after his captureraise crucial issues concerning the evolution and future of oursociety. For the first time ever, the reader will have access to anuncensored personal account of his philosophy.Theodore J. Kaczynski receives no royalties or compensation ofany kind for this book. --Both David Skrbina and Patrick Barriot have been in contactwith Theodore J. Kaczynski for many years and have helped makethis book possible. Their commitment is part of the history of thispublication. In their afterwords, they both state the reasons whythey feel So strongly about Kaczynski. None of them representsthe views of the author or the publishers of this book.
  4. 4. CONTENTSFOREWORD by Theodore J. Kaczynski........................................ 13INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE (ISAIF)...................... 19Postscript to the Manifesto........................................................... 101THE TRUTH ABOUT PRIMITIVE LIFE(A Critique of Anarchoprimitivism)................................................ 103THE SYSTEM’S NEATEST TRICK.............................................. 161THE COMING REVOLUTION...................................................... 174THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION..................................................... 187MORALITY AND REVOLUTION.................................................. 194HIT WHERE IT HURTS................................................................ 206LETTERS TO DAVID SKRBINA................................................... 212EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS TO A GERMAN............................ 304EXTRACT FROM LETTER TO A.O.............................................. 317LETTER TO SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.......................................... 320LETTER TO M. K.......................................................................... 322LETTER TO J. N........................................................................... 329AN INTERVIEW WITH TED.......................................................... 339UNITED STATEs OF AMERICA V. THEODORE JOHN KACZYNSKI(Explanation of the Judicial Opinions)........................................... 352AfterwordsWHY THE FUTURE NEEDS TED KACZYNSKIby Dr.Patrick Barriot..................................................................... 359A REVOLUTIONARY FOR OUR TIMESby Dr.David Skrbina..................................................................... 371Bibliography…………………………………………………………. 387Index............................................................................................ 393
  5. 5. To the memory of Joy Richards, with love. He that hath no sword, let him sell his cloak, and buy one. Luke 22:36
  6. 6. FOREWORDI have to begin by saying that I am deeply dissatisfied with thisbook. It should have been an organized and systematic expositionof a series of related ideas. Instead, it is an unorganized collec-tion of writings that expound the ideas unsystematically. Andsome ideas that I consider important are not even mentioned. Isimply have not had the time to organize, rewrite, and completethe contents of this book.The principal reason why I have not had time is that agenciesof the United States Government have created unnecessary legaldifficulties for me. To mention only the most important of thesedifficulties, the United States Attorney for the Eastern Districtof California has formally proposed to round up and confiscatethe original and every copy of everything I have ever written andturn over all such papers to my alleged “victims” through a ficti-tious sale that will allow the “victims” to acquire all of the paperswithout having to pay anything for them. Under this plan, thegovernment would even confiscate papers that I have given tolibraries, including papers that have been on library shelves forseveral years. The documents in which the United States Attor-ney has put forward this proposal are available to the public:They are Document 704 and Document 713, Case NumberCR-S-96-259 GEB, United States District Court for the EasternDistrict of California.At this writing, I have the assistance of lawyers in resisting thegovernment’s actions in regard to my papers. But I have learnedfrom hard experience that it is unwise to leave everything in thehands of lawyers; one is well advised to research the legal issuesoneself, keep track of what the lawyers are doing, and intervenewhen necessary. Such work is time-consuming, especially whenone is confined in a maximum-security prison and therefore hasonly very limited access to law books.I would have preferred to delay publication of the presentbook until I’d had time to prepare its contents properly; but itseemed advisable to publish before the government took action13
  7. 7. to confiscate all my papers. I have, moreover, another reason toavoid delay: The Federal Bureau of Prisons has proposed newregulations that would allow prison wardens to cut off almostall communications between allegedly “terrorist” prisoners andthe outside world. The proposed regulations are published in theFederal Register, Volume 71, Number 63, pages 16520-25.I have no idea when the new regulations may be approved, butif and when that happens it is all too possible that my communi-cations will be cut off. Obviously it is important for me to publishwhile I can still communicate relatively freely, and that is whythis book has to appear now in an unfinished state.The version of “Industrial Society and its Future” that appearsin this book differs from the original manuscript only in trivialways; spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and the like havebeen corrected or improved here and there. As far as I know, allearlier versions of “Industrial Society and its Future” publishedin English or French contain numerous errors, such as the omis-sion of parts of sentences and even of whole sentences, andsome of these errors are serious enough so that they change orobscure the meaning of an entire paragraph.What is much more serious is that at least one completelyspurious article has been published under my name. I recentlyreceived word from a correspondent in Spain that an article titled“La Rehabilitación del Estado por los Izquierdistas” (“The Reha-bilitation of the State by the Leftists”) had been published andattributed to me. But I most certainly did not write such an arti-cle. So the reader should not assume that everything publishedunder my name has actually been written by me. Needless to say,all writings attributed to me in the present book are authentic.I would like to thank Dr. David Skrbina for having asked ques-tions and raised arguments that spurred me to formulate andwrite down certain ideas that I had been incubating for years.I owe thanks to a number of other people also. At the end of“The Truth About Primitive Life” I have thanked by name (andwith their permission) several people who provided me withmaterials for that essay, and some of those people have helpedme enormously in other ways as well. In particular, I owe a heavydebt of gratitude to Facundo Bermudez, Marjorie Kennedy, andPatrick Scardo. I owe special thanks to my Spanish correspon-dent who writes under the pseudonym “Ultimo Reducto” andto his lady friend, both of whom provided stimulating argument;and Ultimo Reducto moreover has ably translated many of mywritings into Spanish. I hesitate to name others to whom I owe14
  8. 8. thanks, because I’m not sure that they would want to be namedpublicly. But above all I have to thank Dr. Patrick Barriot, whohas shown me the greatest kindness and without whose gener-ous help this book could not have been published.For the sake of clarity, I want to state here in summary formthe four main points that I’ve tried to make in my writings.1. Technological progress is carrying us to inevitabledisaster. There may be physical disaster (for example, some formof environmental catastrophe), or there may be disaster in termsof human dignity (reduction of the human race to a degradedand servile condition). But disaster of one kind or another willcertainly result from continued technological progress.This is not an eccentric opinion. Among those frightenedby the probable consequences of technological progress areBill Joy, whose article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need US”[l]is now famous, Martin Rees, author of the book “Our FinalCentury”[2], and Richard A. Posner, author of “Catastrophe: Riskand Response”[3]. N one of these three is by any stretch of theimagination radical or predisposed to find fault with the exist-ing structure of society. Richard Posner is a conservative judgeof the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.Bill Joy is a well-known computer wizard, and Martin Rees is theAstronomer Royal of Britain. These last two men, having devotedtheir lives to technology, would hardly be likely to fear it withouthaving good reason to do so.Joy, Rees, and Posner are concerned mainly with physical disas-ter and with the possibility or indeed the likelihood that humanbeings will be supplanted by machines. The disaster that tech-nological progress implies for human dignity has been discussedby men like Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford, whose books arewidely read and respected. Neither man is considered to be outon the fringe or even close to it.2. Only the collapse of modem technological civilizationcan avert disaster. Of course, the collapse of technological civi-lization will itself bring disaster. But the longer the technoindus-trial system continues to expand, the worse will be the eventualdisaster. A lesser disaster now will avert a greater one later.1. Wired magazine, April 2000.2. Published by William Heineman, 2003.3. Oxford University Press, 2004.15
  9. 9. The development of the technoindustrial system cannot becontrolled, restrained, or guided, nor can its effects be moder-ated to any substantial degree. This, again, is not an eccentricopinion. Many writers, beginning with Karl Marx, have notedthe fundamental importance of technology in determining thecourse of society’ s development. In effect, they have recognizedthat it is technology that rules society, not the other way around.Ellul especially has emphasized the autonomy of technology, i.e.,the fact that modern technology has taken on a life of its ownand is not subject to human control. Ellul, moreover, was not thefirst to formulate this conclusion. Already in 1934 the Mexicanthinker Samuel Ramos[4] clearly stated the principle of techno-logical autonomy, and this insight was adumbrated as early asthe 1860s by Samuel Butler. Of course, no one questions the obvi-ous fact that human individuals or groups can control technologyin the sense that at a given point in time they can decide whatto do with a particular item of technology. What the principle oftechnological autonomy asserts is that the overall developmentof technology, and its long-term consequences for society, arenot subject to human control. Hence, as long as modern technol-ogy continues to exist, there is little we can do to moderate itseffects.A corollary is that nothing short of the collapse of techno-logical society can avert a greater disaster. Thus, if we wantto defend ourselves against technology, the only action we cantake that might prove effective is an effort to precipitate thecollapse of technological society. Though this conclusion is anobvious consequence of the principle of technological autonomy,and though it possibly is implied by certain statements of Ellul,I know of no conventionally published writer who has explicitlyrecognized that our only way out is through the collapse of tech-nological society. This seeming blindness to the obvious can onlybe explained as the result of timidity.If we want to precipitate the collapse of technological society,then our goal is a revolutionary one under any reasonable defini-tion of that term. What we are faced with, therefore, is a needfor out-and-out revolution.4. El perfil del hombre y la cultura en México, décima edicion, Espasa-Calpe Mexicana, Mexico City, 1982 (originally published in 1934), pages104-105.16
  10. 10. 3. The political left is technological society’s first line ofdefense against revolution. In fact, the left today serves as akind of fire extinguisher that douses and quenches any nascentrevolutionary movement. What do I mean by “the left”? If youthink that racism, sexism, gay rights, animal rights, indigenouspeople’s rights, and “social justice” in general are among themost important issues that the world currently faces, then youare a leftist as I use that term. If you don’t like this application ofthe world “leftist”, then you are free to designate the people I’mreferring to by some other term. But, whatever you call them, thepeople who extinguish revolutionary movements are the peoplewho are drawn indiscriminately to causes: racism, sexism, gayrights, animal rights, the environment, poverty, sweatshops,neocolonialism it’s all the same to them. These people consti-tute a subculture that has been labeled “the adversary culture”[5].Whenever a movement of resistance begins to emerge, theseleftists (or whatever you choose to call them) come swarming toit like flies to honey until they outnumber the original membersof the movement, take it over, and turn it into just another left-ist faction, thereby emasculating it. The history of “Earth First!”provides an elegant example of this process.[6]4. What is needed is a new revolutionary movement,dedicated to the elimination of technological society, thatwill take measures to exclude all leftists, as well as the assortedneurotics, lazies, incompetents, charlatans, and persons defi-cient in self-control who are drawn to resistance movements inAmerica today. Just what form a revolutionary movement shouldtake remains open to discussion. What is clear is that, for a start,people who are serious about addressing the problem of technol-ogy must establish systematic contact with one another and asense of common purpose; they must strictly separate themselvesfrom the “adversary culture”; they must be oriented toward prac-tical action, without renouncing a priori the most extreme formsof action; and they must take as their goal nothing less than thedissolution of technological civilization.5. See Paul Hollander. The Survival of the Adversary Culture.6. The process is ably documented by Martha F. Lee, Earth First!:Environmental Apocalypse, Syracuse University Press. 1995.17
  11. 11. INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE (ISAIF)INTRODUCTION1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been adisaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “‘advanced” countries, butthey have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, havesubjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespreadpsychological suffering (in the Third World to physical sufferingas well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world.The continued development of technology will worsen the situa-tion. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignitiesand inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probablylead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, andit may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced”countries.2. The industrial-technological system may survive or it maybreak down. If it survives, it MAY eventually achieve a low levelof physical and psychological suffering, but only after passingthrough a long and very painful period of adjustment and onlyat the cost of permanently reducing human beings and manyother living organisms to engineered products and mere cogsin the social machine. Furthermore, if the system survives, theconsequences will be inevitable: There is no way of reforming ormodifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people ofdignity and autonomy.3. If the system breaks down the consequences will still be verypainful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous theresults of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it hadbest break down sooner rather than later.4. We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrialsystem. This revolution mayor may not make use of violence; itmay be sudden or it may be a relatively gradual process spanninga few decades. We can ‘t predict any of that. But we do outline ina very general way the measures that those who hate the indus-Industrial Society and its Future19
  12. 12. trial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolu-tion against that form of society. This is not to be a POLITICALrevolution. Its object will be to overthrow not governments butthe economic and technological basis of the present society.5. In this article we give attention to only some of the negativedevelopments that have grown out of the industrial-technologi-cal system. Other such developments we mention only briefly orignore altogether. This does not mean that we regard these otherdevelopments as unimportant. For practical reasons we have toconfine our discussion to areas that have received insufficientpublic attention or in which we have something new to say. Forexample, since there are well-developed environmental andwilderness movements, we have written very little about envi-ronmental degradation or the destruction of wild nature, eventhough we consider these to be highly important.THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MODERN LEFTISM6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubledsociety. One of the most widespread manifestations of the crazi-ness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychologyof leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of theproblems of modern society in general.7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th centuryleftism could have been practically identified with socialism.Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who canproperly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this arti-cle we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, “politicallycorrect” types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animalrights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associatedwith one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying toget at in discussing leftism is not so much a movement or anideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of relatedtypes. Thus, what we mean by “leftism” will emerge more clearlyin the course of our discussion of leftist psychology. (Also, seeparagraphs 227-230.)8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good dealless clear than we would wish, but there doesn’t seem to beany remedy for this. All we are trying to do here is indicate ina rough and approximate way the two psychological tendenciesthat we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. Weby no means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftistpsychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modem left-20
  13. 13. ism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which ourdiscussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early20th centuries.9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern left-ism we call feelings of inferiority and oversocialization. Feelingsof inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole,while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segmentof modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY10. By “feelings of inferiority” we mean not only inferiorityfeelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum of related traits:low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tenden-cies, defeatism, guilt, self-hatred, etc. We argue that modernleftists tend to have some such feelings (possibly more or lessrepressed), and that these feelings are decisive in determiningdirection of modern leftism.11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anythingthat 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 activists,whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rightsthey defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used todesignate minorities and about anything that is said concern-ing minorities. The terms “Negro”, “oriental”, “handicapped”, or“chick” for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a womanoriginally had no derogatory connotation. “Broad” and “chick”were merely the feminine equivalents of “guy”, “dude” or“fellow”. The negative connotations have been attached to theseterms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights activistshave gone so far as to reject the word “pet” and insist on itsreplacement by “animal companion”. Leftish anthropologists goto great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoplesthat could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want toreplace the word “primitive” by “nonliterate”. They seem almostparanoid about anything that might suggest that any primitiveculture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply thatprimitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out thehypersensivity leftish anthropologists.)12. Those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect”terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asianimmigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of21
  14. 14. activists, many of whom do not even belong to any “oppressed”group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correct-ness has its stronghold among university professors, who havesecure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majorityof whom are heterosexual white males from middle to upper-class families.13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the prob-lems of groups that have an image of being weak (women),defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals), or other-wise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups areinferior. They would never admit to themselves that they havesuch feelings, but it is precisely because they do see thesegroups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We donot mean to suggest that women, Indians, etc., ARE inferior; weare only making a point about leftist psychology.)14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women areas strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by afear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of beingstrong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate West-ern civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. Thereasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc., clearly donot correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate theWest because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric andso forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist coun-tries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them,or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas heENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates)these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it isclear that these faults are not the leftist’s real motive for hatingAmerica and the West. He hates America and the West becausethey are strong and successful.16. Words like “self-confidence”, “self-reliance”, “initiative”,“enterprise”, (“optimism”, etc., play little role in the liberal andleftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collec-tivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them,satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is notthe sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in hisability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. Theleftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because,deep inside, he feels like a loser.17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftish intellectuals tendto focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or else they take an22
  15. 15. orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were nohope of accomplishing anything through rational calculation andall that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of themoment.18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason,science, objective reality and to insist that everything is cultur-ally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions aboutthe foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all,the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvi-ous that modern leftish philosophers are not simply cool-headedlogicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge.They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth andreality. They attack these concepts because of their own psycho-logical needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility,and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive forpower. More importantly, the leftist hates science and rational-ity because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful,superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e., failed, inferior). The left-ist’s feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerateany classification of some things as successful or superior andother things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejectionby many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utilityof IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations ofhuman abilities or behavior because such explanations tend tomake some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Left-ists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual’sability 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 feel-ings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, aself-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has notwholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of powerand self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as having thecapacity to be strong, and his efforts to make himself strongproduce his unpleasant behavior[l]. But the leftist is too fargone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that hecannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable.Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as amember of a large organization or a mass movement with whichhe identifies himself.1. We are not asserting that ALL, or even most, bullies and ruthlesscompetitors suffer from feelings of inferiority.Industrial Society and its Future23
  16. 16. 20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Left-ists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionallyprovoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics mayoften be effective, but many leftists use them not as a meansto an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated bycompassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does playa role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassionand moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activ-ism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior;so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is notrationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the left-ists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes thataffirmative action is good for black people, does it make senseto demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obvi-ously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and concil-iatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolicconcessions to white people who think that affirmative actiondiscriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take suchan approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs.Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race prob-lems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostilityand frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harmblack people, because the activists’ hostile attitude toward thewhite majority tends to intensify race hatred.22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftistswould have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselveswith an excuse for making a fuss.23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be anaccurate description of everyone who might be considered a left-ist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.OVERSOCIALIZATION24. Psychologists use the term “socialization” to designate theprocess by which children are trained to think and act as societydemands. A person is said to be well socialized if he believesin and obeys the moral code of his society and fits in well as afunctioning part of that society. It may seem senseless to say thatmany leftists are oversocialized, since the leftist is perceived asa rebel. Nevertheless, the position can be defended. Many left-ists are not such rebels as they seem.24
  17. 17. 25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no onecan think, feel and act in a completely moral way. For example,we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet almost everyone hatessomebody at some time or other, whether he admits it to himselfor not. Some people are so highly socialized that the attempt tothink, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. Inorder to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceivethemselves about their own motives and find moral explanationsfor feelings and actions that in reality have a non-moral origin.We use the term (“oversocialized” to describe such people[2].26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense ofpowerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most importantmeans by which our society socializes children is by making themfeel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’sexpectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is espe-cially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed ofHIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the over-socialized person are more restricted by society’ s expectationsthan are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority ofpeople engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. Theylie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goofoff at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or theyuse some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. Theoversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does dothem he generates in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred.The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt,thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted moral-ity; he cannot think (“unclean” thoughts. And socialization is notjust a matter of morality; we are socialized to conform to manynorms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality.Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leashand spends his life running on rails that society has laid downfor him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense ofconstraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. Wesuggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruel-ties that human beings inflict on one another.27. We argue that a very important and influential segment of2. During the Victorian period many oversocialized people sufferedfrom serious psychological problems as a result of repressing or tryingto repress their sexual feelings. Freud apparently based his theories onpeople of this type. Today the focus of socialization has shifted from sexto aggression.25
  18. 18. the modern left is oversocialized and that their oversocializationis of great importance in determining the direction of modernleftism. Leftists of the oversocialized type tend to be intellectu-als or members of the upper middle class. Notice that universityintellectuals[3] constitute the most highly socialized segment ofour society and also the most left-wing segment.28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off hispsychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling. Butusually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basicvalues of society. Generally speaking, the goals of today’s leftistsare NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the contrary,the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own,and then accuses mainstream society of violating that principle.Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poorpeople, peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedomof expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally, the dutyof the individual to serve society and the duty of society to takecare of the individual. All these have been deeply rooted valuesof our society (or at least of its middle and upper classes[4]) for along time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed orpresupposed in most of the material presented to us by the main-stream communications media and the educational system. Left-ists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do notrebel against these principles but justify their hostility to society3. Not necessarily including specialists in engineering or the “hard”sciences.4. There are many individuals of the middle and upper classes whoresist some of these values. but usually their resistance is more or lesscovert. Such resistance appears in the mass media only to a very limitedextent. The main thrust of propaganda in our society is in favor of thestated values. The main reason why these values have become, so tospeak, the official values of our society is that they are useful to theindustrial system. Violence is discouraged because it disrupts the func-tioning of the system. Racism is discouraged because ethnic conflictsalso disrupt the system, and discrimination wastes the talents of minor-ity-group members who could be useful to the system. Poverty mustbe “cured” because the underclass causes problems for the systemand contact with the underclass lowers the morale of the other classes.Women are encouraged to have careers because their talents are usefulto the system and. more importantly. because by having regular jobswomen become integrated into the system and tied directly to it ratherthan to their families. This helps to weaken family solidarity. (The lead-26
  19. 19. by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not livingup to these principles.29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocial-ized leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional atti-tudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion againstit. Many leftists push for affirmative action, for moving blackpeople into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in blackschools and more money for such schools; the way of life of theblack “underclass” they regard as a social disgrace. They wantto integrate the black man into the system, make him a businessexecutive, a lawyer, a scientist just like upper middle-class whitepeople. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is tomake the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, theywant to preserve African-American culture. But in what does thispreservation of African-American culture consist? It can hardlyconsist in anything more than eating black-style food, listeningto black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and going toa black-style church or mosque. In other words, it can expressitself only in superficial matters. In all ESSENTIAL respectsmore leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the blackman conform to white middle-class ideals. They want to makehim study technical subjects, become an executive or a scien-tist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that blackpeople are as good as white. They want to make black fathers“responsible”, they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc.But these are exactly the values of the industrial-technologicalsystem. The system couldn’t care less what kind of music a manlistens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion hebelieves in as long as he studies in school, holds a respectablejob, climbs the status ladder, is a “responsible” parent, is nonvio-lent and so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, theoversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man into thesystem and make him adopt its values.30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the over-socialized type, NEVER rebel against the fundamental values ofour society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some oversocialized left-ists have gone so far as to rebel against one of modern society’ sers of the system say they want to strengthen the family. but what theyreally mean is that they want the family to serve as an effective tool forsocializing children in accord with the needs of the system. We argue inparagraphs 51,52 that the system cannot afford to let the family or othersmall-scale social groups be strong or autonomous.)27
  20. 20. most important principles by engaging in physical violence. Bytheir own account, violence is for them a form of “liberation”.In other words, by committing violence they break throughthe psychological restraints that have been trained into them.Because they are oversocialized these restraints have been moreconfining for them than for others; hence their need to breakfree of them. But they usually justify their rebellion in terms ofmainstream values. If they engage in violence they claim to befighting against racism or the like.31. We realize that many objections could be raised to the fore-going thumbnail sketch of leftist psychology. The real situation iscomplex, and anything like a complete description of it wouldtake several volumes even if the necessary data were available.We claim only to have indicated very roughly the two most impor-tant tendencies in the psychology of modern leftism.32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problemsof our society as a whole. Low self-esteem, depressive tenden-cies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they areespecially noticeable in the left, they are widespread in our soci-ety. And today’s society tries to socialize us to a greater extentthan any previous society. We are even told by experts how toeat, how to exercise, how to make love, how to raise our kids andso forth.THE POWER PROCESS33. Human beings have a need (probably based in biology) forsomething that we will call the power process. This is closelyrelated to the need for power (which is widely recognized) but isnot quite the same thing. The power process has four elements.The three most clear-cut of these we call goal, effort and attain-ment of goal. (Everyone needs to have goals whose attainmentrequires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least someof his goals.) The fourth element is more difficult to define andmay not be necessary for everyone. We call it autonomy and willdiscuss it later (paragraphs 42-44).34. Consider the hypothetical case of a man who can haveanything he wants just by wishing for it. Such a man has power,but he will develop serious psychological problems. At first hewill have a lot of fun, but by and by he will become acutely boredand demoralized. Eventually he may become clinically depressed.History shows that leisured aristocracies tend to become deca-dent. This is not true of fighting aristocracies that have to strug-28
  21. 21. gle to maintain their power. But leisured, secure aristocraciesthat have no need to exert themselves usually become bored,hedonistic and demoralized, even though they have power. Thisshows that power is not enough. One must have goals towardwhich to exercise one’s power.35. Everyone has goals; if nothing else, to obtain the physicalnecessities of life: food, water and whatever clothing and shel-ter are made necessary by the climate. But the leisured aristo-crat obtains these things without effort. Hence his boredom anddemoralization.36. Nonattainment of important goals results in death if thegoals are physical necessities, and in frustration if nonattain-ment of the goals is compatible with survival. Consistent fail-ure to attain goals throughout life results in defeatism, low self-esteem or depression.37. Thus, in order to avoid serious psychological problems, ahuman being needs goals whose attainment requires effort, andhe must have a reasonable rate of success in attaining his goals.SURROGATE ACTIVITIES38. But not every leisured aristocrat becomes bored anddemoralized. For example, the emperor Hirohito, instead of sink-ing into decadent hedonism, devoted himself to marine biology, afield in which he became distinguished. When people do not haveto exert themselves to satisfy their physical needs they oftenset up artificial goals for themselves. In many cases they thenpursue these goals with the same energy and emotional involve-ment that they otherwise would have put into the search forphysical necessities. Thus the aristocrats of the Roman Empirehad their literary pretentions; many European aristocrats a fewcenturies ago invested tremendous time and energy in hunting,though they certainly didn’t need the meat; other aristocracieshave competed for status through elaborate displays of wealth;and a few aristocrats, like Hirohito, have turned to science.39. We use the term “surrogate activity” to designate an activ-ity that is directed toward an artificial goal that people set up forthemselves merely in order to have some goal to work toward,or, let us say, merely for the sake of the “fulfillment” that theyget from pursuing the goal. Here is a rule of thumb for the iden-tification of surrogate activities. Given a person who devotesmuch time and energy to the pursuit of goal X, ask yourself this:If he had to devote most of his time and energy to satisfying his29
  22. 22. biological needs, and if that effort required him to use his physi-cal and mental faculties in a varied and interesting way, would hefeel seriously deprived because he did not attain goal X? If theanswer is no, then the person’s pursuit of a goal X is a surrogateactivity. Hirohito’s studies in marine biology clearly constituteda surrogate activity, since it is pretty certain that if Hirohito hadhad to spend his time working at interesting non-scientific tasksin order to obtain the necessities of life, he would not have feltdeprived because he didn’t know all about the anatomy andlife-cycles of marine animals. On the other hand the pursuit ofsex and love (for example) is not a surrogate activity, becausemost people, even if their existence were otherwise satisfactory,would feel deprived if they passed their lives without ever havinga relationship with a member of the opposite sex. (But pursuit ofan excessive amount of sex, more than one really needs, can bea surrogate activity.)40. In modern industrial society only minimal effort is neces-sary to satisfy one’s physical needs. It is enough to go througha training program to acquire some petty technical skill, thencome to work on time and exert the very modest effort neededto hold a job. The only requirements are a moderate amountof intelligence and, most of all, simple OBEDIENCE. If one hasthose, society takes care of one from cradle to grave. (Yes, thereis an underclass that cannot take the physical necessities forgranted, but we are speaking here of mainstream society.) Thusit is not surprising that modern society is full of surrogate activi-ties. These include scientific work, athletic achievement, human-itarian work, artistic and literary creation, climbing the corpo-rate ladder, acquisition of money and material goods far beyondthe point at which they cease to give any additional physicalsatisfaction, and social activism when it addresses issues thatare not important for the activist personally, as in the case ofwhite activists who work for the rights of nonwhite minorities.These are not always PURE surrogate activities, since for manypeople they may be motivated in part by needs other than theneed to have some goal to pursue. Scientific work may be moti-vated in part by a drive for prestige, artistic creation by a needto express feelings, militant social activism by hostility. But formost people who pursue them, these activities are in large partsurrogate activities. For example, the majority of scientists willprobably agree that the “fulfillment” they get from their work ismore important than the money and prestige they earn.41. For many if not most people, surrogate activities are less30
  23. 23. satisfying than the pursuit of real goals (that is, goals that peoplewould want to attain even if their need for the power processwere already fulfilled). One indication of this is the fact that, inmany or most cases, people who are deeply involved in surro-gate activities are never satisfied, never at rest. Thus the money-maker constantly strives for more and more wealth. The scientistno sooner solves one problem than he moves on to the next. Thelong-distance runner drives himself to run always farther andfaster. Many people who pursue surrogate activities will say thatthey get far more fulfillment from these activities than they dofrom the “mundane” business of satisfying their biological needs,but that is because in our society the effort required to satisfythe biological needs has been reduced to triviality. More impor-tantly, in our society people do not satisfy their biological needsAUTONOMOUSLY but by functioning as parts of an immensesocial machine. In contrast, people generally have a great dealof autonomy in pursuing their surrogate activities.AUTONOMY42. Autonomy as a part of the power process may not be neces-sary for every individual. But most people need a greater orlesser degree of autonomy in working toward their goals. Theirefforts must be undertaken on their own initiative and must beunder their own direction and control. Yet most people do nothave to exert this initiative, direction and control as single indi-viduals. It is usually enough to act as a member of a SMALLgroup. Thus if half a dozen people discuss a goal among them-selves and make a successful joint effort to attain that goal,their need for the power process will be served. But if they workunder rigid orders handed down from above that leave them noroom for autonomous decision and initiative, then their need forthe power process will not be served. The same is true whendecisions are made on a collective basis if the group making thecollective decision is so large that the role of each individual isinsignificant[5].43. It is true that some individuals seem to have little need for5. It may be argued that the majority of people don’t want to maketheir own decisions but want leaders to do their thinking for them. Thereis an element of truth in this. People like to make their own decisionsin small matters, but making decisions on difficult. fundamental ques-tions requires facing up to psychological conflict, and most people hate31
  24. 24. autonomy. Either their drive for power is weak or they satisfyit by identifying themselves with some powerful organization towhich they belong. And then there are unthinking, animal typeswho seem to be satisfied with a purely physical sense of power(the good combat soldier, who gets his sense of power by devel-oping fighting skills that he is quite content to use in blind obedi-ence to his superiors).44. But for most people it is through the power process-having a goal, making an AUTONOMOUS effort and attainingthe goal-that self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of powerare acquired. When one does not have adequate opportunity togo through the power process the consequences are (dependingon the individual and on the way the power process is disrupted)boredom, demoralization, low self-esteem, inferiority feelings,defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouseor child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior,sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc.[6].psychological conflict. Hence they tend to lean on others in makingdifficult decisions. But it does not follow that they like to have decisionsimposed on them without having any opportunity to influence those deci-sions. The majority of people are natural followers, not leaders, but theylike to have direct personal access to their leaders, they want to be ableto influence the leaders and participate to some extent in making eventhe difficult decisions. At least to that degree they need autonomy.6. Some of the symptoms listed are similar to those shown by cagedanimals. To explain how these symptoms arise from deprivation withrespect to the power process: Common-sense understanding of humannature tells one that lack of goals whose attainment requires effort leadsto boredom and that boredom. long continued, often leads eventually todepression. Failure to attain goals leads to frustration and lowering of self-esteem. Frustration leads to anger. anger to aggression, often in the formof spouse or child abuse. It has been shown that long-continued frustra-tion commonly leads to depression and that depression tends to causeanxiety, guilt, sleep disorders, eating disorders and bad feelings aboutoneself. Those who are tending toward depression seek pleasure as anantidote; hence insatiable hedonism and excessive sex. with perversionsas a means of getting new kicks. Boredom too tends to cause excessivepleasure-seeking since. lacking other goals, people often use pleasureas a goal. See accompanying diagram. The foregoing is a simplification.Reality is more complex, and of course deprivation with respect to thepower process is not the ONLY cause of the symptoms described. By theway. when we mention depression we do not necessarily mean depres-sion that is severe enough to be treated by a psychiatrist. Often onlymild forms of depression are involved. And when we speak of goals we32
  25. 25. SOURCES OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS45. Any of the foregoing symptoms can occur in any society;but in modern industrial society they are present on a massivescale. We aren’t the first to mention that the world today seemsto be going crazy. This sort of thing is not normal for humansocieties. There is good reason to believe that primitive mansuffered from less stress and frustration and was better satisfiedwith his way of life than modern man is. It is true that not all wassweetness and light in primitive societies. Abuse of women wascommon among the Australian aborigines, transsexuality wasfairly common among some of the American Indian tribes. Butis does appear that GENERALLY SPEAKING the kinds of prob-lems that we have listed in the preceding paragraph were farless common among primitive peoples than they are in modernsociety.46. We attribute the social and psychological problems ofmodern society to the fact that that society requires people tolive under conditions radically different from those under whichthe human race evolved and to behave in ways that conflict withthe patterns of behavior that the human race developed whileliving under the earlier conditions. It is clear from what we havealready written that we consider lack of opportunity to prop-erly experience the power process as the most important of theabnormal conditions to which modern society subjects people.But it is not the only one. Before dealing with disruption of thepower process as a source of social problems we will discusssome of the other sources.47. Among the abnormal conditions present in modern indus-trial society are excessive density of population, isolation of manfrom nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the break-down of natural small-scale communities such as the extendedfamily; the village or the tribe.48. It is well known that crowding increases stress and aggres-sion. The degree of crowding that exists today and the isolationof man from nature are consequences of technological progress.All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The indus-trial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the propor-do not necessarily mean long-term, thought-out goals. For many or mostpeople through much of human history, the goals of a hand-to-mouthexistence (merely providing oneself and one’s family with food from dayday) have been quite sufficient.33
  26. 26. tion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricul-tural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support afar denser population than it ever did before. (Also, technologyexacerbates the effects of crowding because it puts increaseddisruptive powers in people’s hands. For example, a variety ofnoise-making devices: power mowers, radios, motorcycles, etc. Ifthe use of these devices is unrestricted, people who want peaceand quiet are frustrated by the noise. If their use is restricted,people who use the devices are frustrated by the regulations.But if these machines had never been invented there would havebeen no conflict and no frustration generated by them.)49. For primitive societies the natural world (which usuallychanges only slowly) provided a stable framework and thereforea sense of security. In the modern world it is human society thatdominates nature rather than the other way around, and modernsociety changes very rapidly owing to technological change.Thus there is no stable framework.50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay oftraditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technologi-cal progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs tothem that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technol-ogy and the economy of a society without causing rapid changesin all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapidchanges inevitably break down traditional values.51. The breakdown of traditional values to some extent impliesthe breakdown of the bonds that hold together traditional small-scale social groups. The disintegration of small-scale socialgroups is also promoted by the fact that modern conditions oftenrequire or tempt individuals to move to new locations, separat-ing themselves from their communities. Beyond that, a techno-logical society HAS TO weaken family ties and local communitiesif it is to function efficiently. In modern society an individual’sloyalty must be first to the system and only secondarily to asmall-scale community, because if the internal loyalties of small-scale communities were stronger than loyalty to the system, suchcommunities would pursue their own advantage at the expenseof the system.52. Suppose that a public official or a corporation executiveappoints his cousin, his friend or his coreligionist to a positionrather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. Hehas permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to thesystem, and that is “nepotism” or “discrimination”, both of whichare terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies34
  27. 27. that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyal-ties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look atLatin America.) Thus an advanced industrial society can tolerateonly those small-scale communities that are emasculated, tamedand made into tools of the system[7].53. Crowding, rapid change and the breakdown of communi-ties have been widely recognized as sources of social problems.But we do not believe they are enough to account for the extentof the problems that are seen today.54. A few pre-industrial cities were very large and crowded,yet their inhabitants do not seem to have suffered from psycho-logical problems to the same extent as modern man. In Americatoday there still are uncrowded rural areas, and we find therethe same problems as in urban areas, though the problems tendto be less acute in the rural areas. Thus crowding does not seemto be the decisive factor.55. On the growing edge of the American frontier during the19th century, the mobility of the population probably brokedown extended families and small-scale social groups to at leastthe same extent as these are broken down today. In fact, manynuclear families lived by choice in such isolation, having noneighbors within several miles, that they belonged to no commu-nity at all, yet they do not seem to have developed problems asa result.56. Furthermore, change in American frontier society was7. A partial exception may be made for a few passive, inward-lookinggroups, such as the Amish, which have little effect on the wider soci-ety. Apart from these, some genuine small-scale communities do exist inAmerica today. For instance, youth gangs and “cults”. Everyone regardsthem as dangerous, and so they are, because the members of thesegroups are loyal primarily to one another rather than to the system,hence the system cannot control them. Or take the gypsies. The gypsiescommonly get away with theft and fraud because their loyalties are suchthat they can always get other gypsies to give testimony that “proves”their innocence. Obviously the system would be in serious trouble iftoo many people belonged to such groups. Some of the early-twentiethcentury Chinese thinkers who were concerned with modernizing Chinarecognized the necessity of breaking down small-scale social groups suchas the family: “[According to Sun Yat-Sen] the Chinese people needed anew surge of patriotism, which would lead to a transfer of loyalty fromthe family to the state. ..[According to Li Huang] traditional attachments,particularly to the family had to be abandoned if nationalism were todevelop in China” (Chester C. Tan, Chinese Political Thought in the Twen-tieth Century, page 125, page 297).35
  28. 28. very rapid and deep. A man might be born and raised in a logcabin, outside the reach of law and order and fed largely on wildmeat; and by the time he arrived at old age he might be workingat a regular job and living in an ordered community with effec-tive law enforcement. This was a deeper change than that whichtypically occurs in the life of a modern individual, yet it does notseem to have led to psychological problems. In fact, 19th centuryAmerican society had an optimistic and self-confident tone, quiteunlike that of today’s society[8].57. The difference, we argue, is that modern man has the sense(largely justified) that change is IMPOSED on him, whereas the19th century frontiersman had the sense (also largely justi-fied) that he created change himself, by his own choice. Thus apioneer settled on a piece of land of his own choosing and madeit into a farm through his own effort. In those days an entirecounty might have only a couple of hundred inhabitants and wasa far more isolated and autonomous entity than a modern countyis. Hence the pioneer farmer participated as a member of a rela-tively small group in the creation of a new, ordered community.One may well question whether the creation of this communitywas an improvement, but at any rate it satisfied the pioneer’sneed for the power process.58. It would be possible to give other examples of societies inwhich there has been rapid change and/or lack of close commu-nity ties without the kind of massive behavioral aberration thatis seen in today’s industrial society. We contend that the mostimportant cause of social and psychological problems in modernsociety is the fact that people have insufficient opportunity togo through the power process in a normal way. We don’t meanto say that modern society is the only one in which the powerprocess has been disrupted. Probably most if not all civilizedsocieties have interfered with the power process to a greater orlesser extent. But in modern industrial society the problem hasbecome particularly acute. Leftism, at least in its recent (mid- tolate -20th century) form, is in part a symptom of deprivation withrespect to the power process.8. Yes, we know that 19th century America had its problems, and seri-ous ones, but for the sake of brevity we have to express ourselves insimplified terms.36
  29. 29. DISRUPTION OF THE POWER PROCESS IN MODERN SOCIETY59. We divide human drives into three groups: (1) those drivesthat can be satisfied with minimal effort; (2) those that can besatisfied but only at the cost of serious effort; (3) those thatcannot be adequately satisfied no matter how much effort onemakes. The power process is the process of satisfying the drivesof the second group. The more drives there are in the thirdgroup the more there is frustration, anger, eventually defeatism,depression etc.60. In modern industrial society natural human drives tend tobe pushed into the first and third groups, and the second grouptends to consist increasingly of artificially created drives.61. In primitive societies, physical necessities generally fallinto group 2: They can be obtained, but only at the cost of seri-ous effort. But modern society tends to guarantee the physicalnecessities to everyone[9] in exchange for only minimal effort,hence physical needs are pushed into group 1. (There may bedisagreement about whether the effort needed to hold a job is“minimal”; but usually; in lower- to middle-level jobs, whatevereffort is required is merely that of OBEDIENCE. You sit or standwhere you are told to sit or stand and do what you are told todo in the way you are told to do it. Seldom do you have to exertyourself seriously, and in any case you have hardly any auton-omy in work, so that the need for the power process is not wellserved.)62. Social needs, such as sex, love and status, often remainin group 2 in modern society, depending on the situation of theindividual[10]. But, except for people who have a particularlystrong drive for status, the effort required to fulfill the socialdrives is insufficient to satisfy adequately the need for the powerprocess.63. So certain artificial needs have been created that fall intogroup 2, hence serve the need for the power process. Advertis-ing and marketing techniques have been developed that makemany people feel they need things that their grandparents neverdesired or even dreamed of. It requires serious effort to earn9.We leave aside the “underclass”. We are speaking of themainstream.10. Some social scientists, educators, “mental health” professionalsand the like are doing their best to push the social drives into group 1 bytrying to see to it that everyone has a satisfactory social life.37
  30. 30. enough money to satisfy these artificial needs, hence they fallinto group 2. (But see paragraphs 80-82.) Modern man mustsatisfy his need for the power process largely through pursuitof the artificial needs created by the advertising and marketingindustry[11], and through surrogate activities.64. It seems that for many people, maybe the majority, theseartificial forms of the power process are insufficient. A themethat appears repeatedly in the writings of the social critics of thesecond half of the 20th century is the sense of purposelessnessthat afflicts many people in modern society. (This purposeless-ness is often called by other names such as “anomie” or “middle-class vacuity”.) We suggest that the so-called “identity crisis” isactually a search for a sense of purpose, often for commitmentto a suitable surrogate activity. It may be that existentialism is inlarge part a response to the purposelessness of modern life[12].Very widespread in modern society is the search for “fulfillment”.11. (Paragraphs 63, 82) 15 the drive for endless material acquisitionreally an artificial creation of the advertising and marketing industry?Certainly there is no innate human drive for material acquisition. Therehave been many cultures in which people have desired little materialwealth beyond what was necessary to satisfy their basic physical needs(Australian aborigines. traditional Mexican peasant culture, some Africancultures). On the other hand there have also been many pre-industrialcultures in which material acquisition has played an important role. Sowe can’t claim that today’s acquisition-oriented culture is exclusively acreation of the advertising and marketing industry. But it is clear that theadvertising and marketing industry has had an important part in creat-ing that culture. The big corporations that spend millions on advertis-ing wouldn’t be spending that kind of money without solid proof thatthey were getting it back in increased sales. One member of FC met asales manager a couple of years ago who was frank enough to tell him,“Our job is to make people buy things they don’t want and don’t need”.He then described how an untrained novice could present people withthe facts about a product and make no sales at all, while a trained andexperienced professional salesman would make lots of sales to the samepeople. This shows that people are manipulated into buying things theydon’t really want.12. The problem of purposelessness seems to have become less seri-ous during the last fifteen years or so [this refers to the fifteen yearspreceding 1995]. because people now feel less secure physically andeconomically than they did earlier, and the need for security providesthem with a goal. But purposelessness has been replaced by frustrationover the difficulty of attaining security. We emphasize the problem ofpurposelessness because the liberals and leftists would wish to solve our38
  31. 31. But we think that for the majority of people an activity whosemain goal is fulfillment (that is, a surrogate activity) does notbring completely satisfactory fulfillment. In other words, it doesnot fully satisfy the need for the power process. (See paragraph41.) That need can be fully satisfied only through activities thathave some external goal, such as physical necessities, sex, love,status, revenge, etc.65. Moreover, where goals are pursued through earning money,climbing the status ladder or functioning as part of the systemin some other way, most people are not in a position to pursuetheir goals AUTONOMOUSLY. Most workers are someone else’semployee and, as we pointed out in paragraph 61, must spendtheir days doing what they are told to do in the way they are toldto do it. Even most people who are in business for themselveshave only limited autonomy. It is a chronic complaint of small-business persons and entrepreneurs that their hands are tied byexcessive government regulation. Some of these regulations aredoubtless unnecessary, but for the most part government regula-tions are essential and inevitable parts of our extremely complexsociety. A large portion of small business today operates on thefranchise system. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal afew years ago that many of the franchise-granting companiesrequire applicants for franchises to take a personality test thatis designed to EXCLUDE those who have creativity and initia-tive, because such persons are not sufficiently docile to go alongobediently with the franchise system. This excludes from smallbusiness many of the people who most need autonomy.66. Today people live more by virtue of what the system doesFOR them or TO them than by virtue of what they do for them-selves. And what they do for themselves is done more and morealong channels laid down by the system. Opportunities tend tobe those that the system provides, the opportunities must beexploited in accord with the rules and regulations[13], and tech-social problems by having society guarantee everyone’s security; but ifthat could be done it would only bring back the problem of purposeless-ness. The real issue is not whether society provides well or poorly forpeople’s security; the trouble is that people are dependent on the systemfor their security rather than having it in their own hands. This. by theway, is part of the reason why some people get worked up about theright to bear arms; possession of a gun puts that aspect of their securityin their own hands.13. Conservatives’ efforts to decrease the amount of governmentregulation are of little benefit to the average man. For one thing, only a39
  32. 32. niques prescribed by experts must be followed if there is to be achance of success.67. Thus the power process is disrupted in our society througha deficiency of real goals and a deficiency of autonomy inthe pursuit of goals. But it is also disrupted because of thosehuman drives that fall into group 3: the drives that one cannotadequately satisfy no matter how much effort one makes. One ofthese drives is the need for security. Our lives depend on deci-sions made by other people; we have no control over these deci-sions and usually we do not even know the people who makethem. (“We live in a world in which relatively few people-maybe500 or 1,00-make the important decisions”, Philip B. Heymannof Harvard Law School, quoted by Anthony Lewis, New YorkTimes, April 21, 1995.) Our lives depend on whether safetystandards at a nuclear power plant are properly maintained;on how much pesticide is allowed to get into our food or howmuch pollution into our air; on how skillful (or incompetent) ourdoctor is; whether we lose or get a job may depend on decisionsmade by government economists or corporation executives; andso forth. Most individuals are not in a position to secure them-selves against these threats to more than a very limited extent.The individual’s search for security is therefore frustrated, whichleads to a sense of powerlessness.68. It may be objected that primitive man is physically lesssecure than modern man, as is shown by his shorter life expec-tancy; hence modern man suffers from less, not more thanthe amount of insecurity that is normal for human beings. Butpsychological security does not closely correspond with physi-cal security. What makes us FEEL secure is not so much objec-tive security as a sense of confidence in our ability to take careof ourselves. Primitive man, threatened by a fierce animal or byhunger, can fight in self-defense or travel in search of food. Hehas no certainty of success in these efforts, but he is by no meansfraction of the regulations can be eliminated because most regulationsare necessary. For another thing, most of the deregulation affects busi-ness rather than the average individual, so that its main effect is to takepower from the government and give it to private corporations. What thismeans for the average man is that government interference in his life isreplaced by interference from big corporations, which may be permitted,for example, to dump more chemicals that get into his water supply andgive him cancer. The conservatives are just taking the average man fora sucker, exploiting his resentment of Big Government to promote thepower of Big Business.40
  33. 33. helpless against the things that threaten him. The modern indi-vidual on the other hand is threatened by many things againstwhich he is helpless; nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food,enviromental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of hisprivacy by large organizations, nationwide social or economicphenomena that may disrupt his way of life.69. It is true that primitive man is powerless against some ofthe things that threaten him; disease for example. But he canaccept the risk of disease stoically. It is part of the nature ofthings, it is no one’s fault, unless it is the fault of some imagi-nary, impersonal demon. But threats to the modern individualtend to be MAN-MADE. They are not the results of chance butare IMPOSED on him by other persons whose decisions he, asan individual, is unable to influence. Consequently he feels frus-trated, humiliated and angry.70. Thus primitive man for the most part has his security in hisown hands (either as an individual or as a member of a SMALLgroup), whereas the security of modern man is in the hands ofpersons or organizations that are too remote or too large for himto be able personally to influence them. So modern man’s drivefor security tends to fall into groups 1 and 3; in some areas (food,shelter, etc.) his security is assured at the cost of only trivialeffort, whereas in other areas he CANNOT attain security. (Theforegoing greatly simplifies the real situation, but it does indi-cate in a rough, general way how the condition of modern mandiffers from that of primitive man.) ,71. People have many transitory drives or impulses that arenecessarily frustrated in modern life, hence fall into group 3.One may become angry, but modern society cannot permit fight-ing. In many situations it does not even permit verbal aggres-sion. When going somewhere one may be in a hurry, or one maybe in a mood to travel slowly, but one generally has no choicebut to move with the flow of traffic and obey the traffic signals.One may want to do one’s work in a different way; but usuallyone can work only according to the rules laid down by one’semployer. In many other ways as well, modern man is strappeddown by a network of rules and regulations ( explicit or implicit)that frustrate many of his impulses and thus interfere with thepower process. Most of these regulations cannot be dispensedwith, because they are necessary for the functioning of indus-trial society.72. Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive.In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we41
  34. 34. can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religionwe like (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is danger-ous to the system). We can go to bed with anyone we like (aslong as we practice “safe sex”). We can do anything we like aslong as it is UNIMPORTANT. But in all IMPORTANT matters thesystem tends increasingly to regulate our behavior.73. Behavior is regulated not only through explicit rules andnot only by the government. Control is often exercised throughindirect coercion or through psychological pressure or manipula-tion, and by organizations other than the government, or by thesystem as a whole. Most large organizations use some form ofpropaganda[14] to manipulate public attitudes or behavior. Propa-ganda is not limited to “commercials” and advertisements, andsometimes it is not even consciously intended as propaganda bythe people who make it. For instance, the content of entertain-ment programming is a powerful form of propaganda. An exam-ple of indirect coercion: There is no law that says we have togo to work every day and follow our employer’s orders. Legallythere is nothing to prevent us from going to live in the wild likeprimitive people or from going into business for ourselves. But inpractice there is very little wild country left, and there is room inthe economy for only a limited number of small business owners.Hence most of us can survive only as someone else’s employee.74. We suggest that modern man’s obsession with longevity,and with maintaining physical vigor and sexual attractiveness toan advanced age, is a symptom of unfulfillment resulting fromdeprivation with respect to the power process. The “mid-lifecrisis” also is such a symptom. So is the lack of interest in havingchildren that is fairly common in modern society but almostunheard-of in primitive societies.75. In primitive societies life is a succession of stages. Theneeds and purposes of one stage having been fulfilled, thereis no particular reluctance about passing on to the next stage.A young man goes through the power process by becoming ahunter, hunting not for sport or for fulfillment but to get meatthat is necessary for food. (In young women the process is morecomplex, with greater emphasis on social power; we won’tdiscuss that here.) This phase having been successfully passed14. When someone approves of the purpose for which propaganda isbeing used in a given case, he generally calls it “education” or applies toit some similar euphemism. But propaganda is propaganda regardless ofthe purpose for which it is used.42
  35. 35. through, the young man has no reluctance about settling downto the responsibilities of raising a family. (In contrast, somemodern people indefinitely postpone having children becausethey are too busy seeking some kind of “fulfillment”. We suggestthat the fulfillment they need is adequate experience of thepower process-with real goals instead of the artificial goals ofsurrogate activities.) Again, having successfully raised his chil-dren, going through the power process by providing them withthe physical necessities, the primitive man feels that his workis done and he is prepared to accept old age (if he survives thatlong) and death. Many modern people, on the other hand, aredisturbed by the prospect of physical deterioration and death, asis shown by the amount of effort they expend trying to maintaintheir physical condition, appearance and health. We argue thatthis is due to unfulfillment resulting from the fact that they havenever put their physical powers to any practical use, have nevergone through the power process using their bodies in a seriousway. It is not the primitive man, who has used his body dailyfor practical purposes, who fears the deterioration of age, butthe modern man, who has never had a practical use for his bodybeyond walking from his car to his house. It is the man whoseneed for the power process has been satisfied during his life whois best prepared to accept the end of that life.76. In response to the arguments of this section someone willsay, “Society must find a way to give people the opportunity togo through the power process”. This won’t work for those whoneed autonomy in the power process. For such people the valueof the opportunity is destroyed by the very fact that society givesit to them. What they need is to find or make their own opportu-nities. As long as the system GIVES them their opportunities itstill has them on a leash. To attain autonomy they must get offthat leash.HOW SOME PEOPLE ADJUST77. Not everyone in industrial-technological society suffersfrom psychological problems. Some people even profess to bequite satisfied with society as it is. We now discuss some of thereasons why people differ so greatly in their response to modernsociety.78. First, there doubtless are innate differences in the strengthof the drive for power. Individuals with a weak drive for powermay have relatively little need to go through the power process,43
  36. 36. or at least relatively little need for autonomy in the powerprocess. These are docile types who would have been happy asplantation darkies in the Old South. (We don’t mean to sneer atthe “plantation darkies” of the Old South. To their credit, most ofthe slaves were NOT content with their servitude. We do sneerat people who ARE content with servitude.)79. Some people may have some exceptional drive, in pursuingwhich they satisfy their need for the power process. For example,those who have an unusually strong drive for social status mayspend their whole lives climbing the status ladder without evergetting bored with that game.80. People vary in their susceptibility to advertising andmarketing techniques. Some people are so susceptible that,even if they make a great deal of money, they cannot satisfy theirconstant craving for the shiny new toys that the marketing indus-try dangles before their eyes. So they always feel hard-pressedfinancially even if their income is large, and their cravings arefrustrated.81. Some people have low susceptibility to advertising andmarketing techniques. These are the people who aren’t inter-ested in money. Material acquisition does not serve their needfor the power process.82. People who have medium susceptibility to advertising andmarketing techniques are able to earn enough money to satisfytheir craving for goods and services, but only at the cost of seri-ous effort (putting in overtime, taking a second job, earningpromotions, etc.). Thus material acquisition serves their need forthe power process. But it does not necessarily follow that theirneed is fully satisfied. They may have insufficient autonomy inthe power process (their work may consist of following orders)and some of their drives may be frustrated (e.g., security, aggres-sion). (We are guilty of oversimplification in paragraphs 80-82because we have assumed that the desire for material acquisi-tion is entirely a creation of the advertising and marketing indus-try. Of course it’s not that simple[11].)83. Some people partly satisfy their need for power by iden-tifying themselves with a powerful organization or mass move-ment. An individuallacking goals or power joins a movement oran organization, adopts its goals as his own, then works towardthese goals. When some of the goals are attained, the individual,even though his personal efforts have played only an insignifi-cant part in the attainment of the goals, feels (through his iden-tification with the movement or organization) as if he had gone44
  37. 37. through the power process. This phenomenon was exploited bythe Fascists, Nazis and Communists. Our society uses it, too,though less crudely. Example: Manuel Noriega was an irritant tothe U.S. (goal: punish Noriega). The U.S. invaded Panama (effort)and punished Noriega (attainment of goal). The U.S. went throughthe power process and many Americans, because of their identi-fication with the U.S., experienced the power process vicariously.Hence the widespread public approval of the Panama invasion; itgave people a sense of power[15]. We see the same phenomenonin armies, corporations, political parties, humanitarian organi-zations, religious or ideological movements. In particular, left-ist movements tend to attract people who are seeking to satisfytheir need for power. But for most people identification with alarge organization or a mass movement does not fully satisfy theneed for power.84. Another way in which people satisfy their need for thepower process is through surrogate activities. As we explainedin paragraphs 38-40, a surrogate activity is an activity that isdirected toward an artificial goal that the individual pursues forthe sake of the “fulfillment” that he gets from pursuing the goal,not because he needs to attain the goal itself. For instance, thereis no practical motive for building enormous muscles, hitting alittle white ball into a hole or acquiring a complete series of post-age stamps. Yet many people in our society devote themselveswith passion to bodybuilding, golf or stamp-collecting. Somepeople are more “other-directed” than others, and therefore willmore readily attach importance to a surrogate activity simplybecause the people around them treat it as important or becausesociety tells them it is important. That is why some people getvery serious about essentially trivial activities such as sports, orbridge, or chess, or arcane scholarly pursuits, whereas otherswho are more clear-sighted never see these things as anythingbut the surrogate activities that they are, and consequentlynever attach enough importance to them to satisfy their needfor the power process in that way. It only remains to point outthat in many cases a person’s way of earning a living is also asurrogate activity. Not a PURE surrogate activity, since part ofthe motive for the activity is to gain the physical necessities and(for some people) social status and the luxuries that advertis-ing makes them want. But many people put into their work far15. We are not expressing approval or disapproval of the Panama inva-sion. We only use it to illustrate a point.45
  38. 38. more effort than is necessary to earn whatever money and statusthey require, and this extra effort constitutes a surrogate activ-ity. This extra effort, together with the emotional investment thataccompanies it, is one of the most potent forces acting towardthe continual development and perfecting of the system, withnegative consequences for individual freedom. (See paragraph131. ) Especially, for the most creative scientists and engineers,work tends to be largely a surrogate activity. This point is soimportant that it deserves a separate discussion, which we shallgive in a moment (paragraphs 87-92).85. In this section we have explained how many people inmodern society do satisfy their need for the power process toa greater or lesser extent. But we think that for the majority ofpeople the need for the power process is not fully satisfied. Inthe first place, those who have an insatiable drive for status, orwho get firmly “hooked” on a surrogate activity, or who iden-tify strongly enough with a movement or organization to satisfytheir need for power in that way, are exceptional personalities.Others are not fully satisfied with surrogate activities or by iden-tification with an organization. (See paragraphs 41, 64.) In thesecond place, too much control is imposed by the system throughexplicit regulation or through socialization, which results in adeficiency of autonomy, and in frustration due to the impossibil-ity of attaining certain goals and the necessity of restraining toomany impulses.86. But even if most people in industrial-technological societywere well satisfied, we (FC) would still be opposed to that form ofsociety, because (among other reasons) we consider it demean-ing to fulfill one’s need for the power process through surrogateactivities or through identification with an organization, ratherthan through pursuit of real goals.THE MOTIVES OF SCIENTISTS87. Science and technology provide the most important exam-ples of surrogate activities. Some scientists claim that they aremotivated by “curiosity” or by a desire to “benefit humanity”.But it is easy to see that neither of these can be the principalmotive of most scientists. As for “curiosity”, that notion is simplyabsurd. Most scientists work on highly specialized problems thatare not the object of any normal curiosity. For example, is anastronomer, a mathematician or an entomologist curious aboutthe properties of isopropyltrimethylmethane? Of course not.46
  39. 39. Only a chemist is curious about such a thing, and he is curiousabout it only because chemistry is his surrogate activity. Is thechemist curious about the appropriate classification of a newspecies of beetle? No. That question is of interest only to theentomologist, and he is interested in it only because entomol-ogy is his surrogate activity. If the chemist and the entomologisthad to exert themselves seriously to obtain the physical necessi-ties, and if that effort exercised their abilities in an interestingway but in some nonscientific pursuit, then they wouldn’t givea damn about isopropyltrimethylmethane or the classification ofbeetles. Suppose that lack of funds for postgraduate educationhad led the chemist to become an insurance broker instead ofa chemist. In that case he would have been very interested ininsurance matters but would have cared nothing about isopro-pyltrimethylmethane. In any case it is not normal to put into thesatisfaction of mere curiosity the amount of time and effort thatscientists put into their work. The “curiosity” explanation for thescientists’ motive just doesn’t stand up.88. The “benefit of humanity” explanation doesn’t work anybetter. Some scientific work has no conceivable relation to thewelfare of the human race-most of archaeology or compara-tive linguistics for example. Some other areas of science presentobviously dangerous possibilities. Yet scientists in these areasare just as enthusiastic about their work as those who developvaccines or study air pollution. Consider the case of Dr. EdwardTeller, who had an obvious emotional involvement in promotingnuclear power plants. Did this involvement stem from a desire tobenefit humanity? If so, then why didn’t Dr. Teller get emotionalabout other “humanitarian” causes? If he was such a humanitar-ian then why did he help to develop the H-bomb? As with manyother scientific achievements, it is very much open to questionwhether nuclear power plants actually do benefit humanity. Doesthe cheap electricity outweigh the accumulating waste and therisk of accidents? Dr. Teller saw only one side of the question.Clearly his emotional involvement with nuclear power arose notfrom a desire to “benefit humanity” but from the personal fulfill-ment he got from his work and from seeing it put to practicaluse.89. The same is true of scientists generally. With possiblerare exceptions, their motive is neither curiosity nor a desire tobenefit humanity but the need to go through the power process:to have a goal (a scientific problem to solve), to make an effort(research) and to attain the goal (solution of the problem).47
  40. 40. Science is a surrogate activity because scientists work mainlyfor the fulfillment they get out of the work itself.90. Of course, it’s not that simple. Other motives do play a rolefor many scientists. Money and status for example. Some scien-tists may be persons of the type who have an insatiable drive forstatus (see paragraph 79) and this may provide much of the moti-vation for their work. No doubt the majority of scientists, likethe majority of the general population, are more or less suscep-tible to advertising and marketing techniques and need moneyto satisfy their craving for goods and services. Thus science isnot a PURE surrogate activity. But it is in large part a surrogateactivity.91. Also, science and technology constitute a powerful massmovement, and many scientists gratify their need for powerthrough identification with this mass movement. (See paragraph83.)92. Thus science marches on blindly, without regard to thereal welfare of the human race or to any other standard, obedi-ent only to the psychological needs of the scientists and of thegovernment officials and corporation executives who provide thefunds for research.THE NATURE OF FREEDOM93. We are going to argue that industrial-technological societycannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progres-sively narrowing the sphere of human freedom. But because“freedom” is a word that can be interpreted in many ways, wemust first make clear what kind of freedom we are concernedwith.94. By “freedom” we mean the opportunity to go through thepower process, with real goals not the artificial goals of surro-gate activities, and without interference, manipulation or super-vision from anyone, especially from any large organization.Freedom means being in control (either as an individual or as amember of a SMALL group) of the life-and-death issues of one’sexistence: food, clothing, shelter and defense against whateverthreats there may be in one’s environment. Freedom meanshaving power; not the power to control other people but thepower to control the circumstances of one’s own life. One doesnot have freedom if anyone else (especially a large organization)has power over one, no matter how benevolently, tolerantly and48
  41. 41. permissively that power may be exercised. It is important not toconfuse freedom with mere permissiveness (see paragraph 72).95. It is said that we live in a free society because we have acertain number of constitutionally guaranteed rights. But theseare not as important as they seem. The degree of personal free-dom that exists in a society is determined more by the economicand technological structure of the society than by its laws orits form of government[16]. Most of the Indian nations of NewEngland were monarchies, and many of the cities of the Ital-16. When the American colonies were under British rule there werefewer and less effective legal guarantees of freedom than there wereafter the American Constitution went into effect, yet there was morepersonal freedom in pre-industrial America, both before and after theWar of Independence, than there was after the Industrial Revolutiontook hold in this country. We quote from Violence in America: Historicaland Comparative perspectives, edited by Hugh Davis Graham and TedRobert Gurr, Chapter 12 by Roger Lane, pages 476-478: ..The progressiveheightening of standards of property, and with it the increasing relianceon official law enforcement [in 19th century America]. ..were common tothe whole society. ..[T]he change in social behavior is so long term andso wide-spread as to suggest a connection with the most fundamentalof contemporary social processes; that of industrial urbanization itself..;“Massachusetts in 1835 had a population of some 660.940, 81 percentrural, overwhelmingly preindustrial and native born. Its citizens wereused to considerable personal freedom. Whether teamsters, farmers orartisans, they were all accustomed to setting their own schedules, andthe nature of their work made them physically dependent on each other.. .Individual problems, sins or even crimes, were not generally cause forwider social concern” ; “But the impact of the twin movements to the cityand to the factory, both just gathering force in 1835, had a progressiveeffect on personal behavior throughout the 19th century and into the20th. The factory demanded regularity of behavior, a life governed byobedience to the rhythms of clock and calendar, the demands of foremanand supervisor. In the city or town, the needs of living in closely packedneighborhoods inhibited many actions previously unobjectionable. Bothblue- and white-collar employees in larger establishments were mutuallydependent on their fellows; as one man’s work fit into another’s, so oneman’s business was no longer his own”; “The results of the new organi-zation of life and work were apparent by 1900, when some 76 percent ofthe 2.805.346 inhabitants of Massachusetts were classified as urbanites.Much violent or irregular behavior which had been tolerable in a casual,independent society was no longer acceptable in the more formalized,cooperative atmosphere of the later period. . .The move to the citieshad, in short, produced a more tractable, more socialized, more ‘civi-lized’ generation than its predecessors”.49

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