Unabomber or Unapapa? Pope Francis Is Theodore Kaczynski!!

Theodore Kaczynski

Colby Cosh: Pope’s encyclical on climate change reads like the Unabomber Manifesto 

There is a lot more of this, and I must confess that by the time I got some way into the chapter on “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” the encyclical was no longer reminding me of Russell Brand: it was reminding me of the Unabomber Manifesto. That is, of course, a little unfair. Ted Kaczynski is responsible for nowhere near as much injury to human welfare as the Catholic Church inflicts every 15 minutes, and, besides, he’s a better writer. Still, you tell me with a straight face that some of this stuff doesn’t remind you of good old Ted. Here’s a big hunk:

Unabomber or Unapapa?

“The idea of promoting a different cultural paradigm and employing technology as a mere instrument is nowadays inconceivable. The technological paradigm has become so dominant that it would be difficult to do without its resources and even more difficult to utilize them without being dominated by their internal logic. It has become countercultural to choose a lifestyle whose goals are even partly independent of technology, of its costs and its power to globalize and make us all the same.”

Pure Kaczynski, yeah? The next sentence could easily be “So that’s why I moved to a cabin in the woods and started mailing bombs to scientists.” Let me give you another:

Unabomber or Unapapa?

“The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behaviour that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system. This has nothing to do with the political or social ideology that may pretend to guide the technological system. It is the fault of technology, because the system is guided not by ideology but by technical necessity. Of course the system does satisfy many human needs, but generally speaking it does this only to the extent that it is to the advantage of the system to do it. It is the needs of the system that are paramount, not those of the human being.”

That one’s Ted — or have I switched them? No, despite the stylistic similarities, the parallel quotes, which could be multiplied greatly, does reveal a weakness in my insolent comparison. The Pope is an optimist, and thinks technology can be tamed if human hearts turn to Christ in time. Kaczynski thinks the problems involved in technological progress are inherent. He specifically argues that they cannot be solved by religion, real or contrived.

Although Science Pope does not have the equivalent of a degree in science — many of his non-Catholic supporters seem to have thought otherwise — he did work as a chem-lab technician as a young man. In that capacity he could easily have been the target of an Argentine version of the Unabomber. Fortunately, he escaped to glory.

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