Unabomber is like, not cool and stuff.

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Thu Oct 5 13:08:59 MDT 1995


I have never once spoken in favor of the Unabomber's terrorism against
innocent people.  Like Tim Wohlforth, I am interested in Unabomber as
Thinker.   

Matt, that minorities often focus on the fight against racism is the
greatest proof of racism.  If we are Marxists at all, we must think that
control over the nature and direction of production is paramount.  This was
driven home to me last night as I listened to the famous LA activist
Michael Zinzun on Nightline; he bascially called for more community control
over the LAPD and presented this issue as of the greatest importance to the
Black community.    

>It seems to me you're sliding through Habermas-land (technics/techniques =
>instrumental rationality?) on your way to some sort of critique of the
>"modern world" and all the "convergence/modernization" pseudo-theories that
>entails.  It is the capitalist class that is oblivious to, or rather opposed
>to, the human need and happiness of the rest of us.

It has been too long since I read Habermas' 1969 (?) essay on technological
rationality, his criticism of Marcuse.  If I remember correctly, Habermas
finds unproblematic rationalization through techno-organizational means
within production but criticizes the invasion of  such a principle of
rationalization to other spheres of life.  I think that Habermas attempted
to bury some important critical insights of Marcuse about
techno-organizational rationalization of production both in terms of the
effect on the worker and nature. I believe that Sohn-Rethel later advanced
some of these insights.    If I remember correctly, there is an interesting
discussion of Habermas in Phil Slater, ed. Outlines of a Critique of
Technology. Ink Links, 1980.  

Also, capital is not just a social relation; it is a social relation
materialized in the actual organization of production, and we can do no
better than Marx's own critique of the very labor process.  For him, the
liberation of humanity clearly required liberation from the very act of
proletarian labor. Emancipation requires more than a change in the
ownership of the means of production.  

But as I have pointed out, none of this is in the Unabomber's Manifesto,
which treats such romantic concerns as liberty and community; critical
Marxists, along with Simone Weil,  have been concerned with the
self-abolition of proletariat, but the Unabomber abandons any commitment to
proletarian exclusivism.  

R






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