Unabomber as Thinker

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sun Oct 1 12:58:12 MDT 1995

>He idealizes  early society and "wild nature" advocating a rather undeveloped
>notion of a small communitarian kind of society.

About 'wild nature', I was reminded of Theodore Oizermann's comments on the
German Ideology and the criticism of Feurbach: "Marx shows that the 'true
socialists'  demands to restructure society in accordance with human nature
were borrowed from Feurbach, who asserted that in man nature contemplated
itself, loved itself, etc. They saw socialism as the overcoming of the
dichotomy between man and nature, man's alienation from nature. etc.  In
this context, Marx and Engels write: 'The first fact asserted is that man
possesses self-consciousness. The instincts and energies of individual
natural beings are transformed into the instincts and forces of "nature,"
which then, as a mater of course, "are manifested" IN ISOLATION IN these
individual beings.  This mystification was needed in order later to effect
a unification of these instincts and forces of 'Nature' in the human
self-consciousness.  Thereby the self-consciousness of man is, of course,
transformed into the self-consciousness of nature within him.  This
mystification is apparently resolved in the following way:: in order to pay
nature back for finding ITS self-consciousness in man, man seks his, in
turn, in nature--a procedure which enables him, of course, to find nothing
in nature except that what he has imputed ot it by means of the
mystification described above'.  [from the German Ideology--rb] This
imprtant critical remark shows very well that Feurbach's anthropologism is
groundless and that it has been definitely overcome for good." From the
Making of Marxist Philosophy. Moscow: Progress, 1981, p. 424

This section of Oizerman's wonderful book--recommended by that acerbic
anti-Stalinist Ralph Dumain--is a study of how Marx and Engels attempted to
enrich the work of the French Utopians with a "scientific analysis of
economic relations and the struggle between classes"; Oizerman also
attempts to show how the immaturity of German capitalist development led
critical critics to substitute the contradiction between classes for
supra-class truths about alienation, about the relation between individual
and society, about the conflict between man and nature.

This is not to say that Unabomber does not comprehend a scientific analysis
of economic relations and the struggle between classes.  It is only to pose
the question of whether perhaps the movement for decentralization and
autonomous communities are an appropriate way for people to free themselves
 from their role as proletarians to capital in its run-away movement; what
is the most effective  way for the proletariat to abolish itself?

> In the course of this
>argument he makes the quite correct point that small scale organization and
>meaningful decentralized power is incompatible with modern technology with
>its complex indurstrial interrelations and massive population density.

Perhaps but then why the technological revolutions in Western Europe in the
first place.  It has been argued by many that because Western Europe was
decentralized--unlike China--competition led to technological change.
Couldn't one argue that greater centralization and planning would allow for
the control of technological change?


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