Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source: Workshop "How do you manage? Unravelling the situated practice of environmental management" (2012)
, deep ecology
, managed ecological militancy
Although Professor of Mathematics Ted Kaczinski has been portrayed as an odious vil- lain in the struggle for environmental justice due to his use of violent methods to subvert and desist technology-based environmental degradation to the planet, his development of an elaborate experimental resistance repertoire deploying a unique combination of management control functions has yet to be examined through an objective lens. This unique repertoire consisted of simultaneous multimodal managerial change strategies that were intended to optimize individual, organizational, and systemic production and consumption patterns to impede and reverse detrimental effects of technology upon the planets fragile ecosystems. The pa- per will demonstrate how the Unabomber instrumentalized carefully selected ideologies, actors, processes, and outcomes in an elaborate project management operation spanning two decades designed to sensitize the public to the aberrant activities of scientists, public officials, co-opted green activists, and other institutions whose anti-ecological activities threaten our very existence. Through a complex public information campaign intended to mitigate environmental damages brought on by unbridled technology, his managerial control of an imagined community of scientifically-motivated, consumption-oriented, capitalist-driven fanatic saboteurs were identified and sanctioned for hindering an emerging postmaterial revolutionary consciousness required for sustainable living. His multimodal management project deploying anonymous interventions had enormous consequences upon societal ecological and technological discourse throughout his period of activity, so that tremendous media resources were devoted to construct a public relations campaign in opposition to his highly effective, counter-hegemonic, ecological pedagogies. Pathologizing biographical portrayals in the media, educational delegitimation by government investigators, and carefully constructed moral panics associated with rising interest in anarcho-primitivist ideologies are just some of the factors that will be explored in this historical case study of Kaczynskis Managed Ecological Militancy [MEM].
The analysis will demonstrate that the Unabombers approach to Managed Ecological Milit- ancy consisted of calculative, cooperative, and coercive transactions (Handy 1999, 1993) which functioned as systemic exchanges of resource flows not limited to a continuum of sanctions com- mensurate with a given actors contributions to environmental damages to the planet. From threatening letters of shame published in the New York Times to homicidal incendiary devices delivered to residences in lavish upper class neighborhoods, the Unabomber used meticulous methods to draw public attention to the planets worst ecological villains, as well as to the exorbitant levels of material fanaticism contributing to these environmentally detrimental activities. In addition to pedagogical environmental justice systemic transactions among relevant stakeholders, elements of counter-militancy tactics such as the coincidental disappearances of key stakeholders who sustained his legacies upon incarceration, changes to the American penile system to criminalize and inhibit his prolific literary dissemination campaign from prison, and other draconian conditions of punitive interment designed to hinder any further popularization or diffusion of his postmaterial anarcho-primitivist consumption ideologies from being dissem- inated around planet will also be explored. The analysis intends to demonstrate how media content, exchanges within transactions, motivational rewards, and linear evolutionary premises were assets or liabilities in the diffusion of ecological principles intended educational, adaptation, and policy-oriented benefits from coming to fruition.
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