Source - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manifesto
In the recent past, we have been treated to two major manifestos:
*The first came from the convicted "unabomber", Ted Kaczynski. You can read it here:
*The second came from the court-recognized founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. You can read it here:
These two manifestos are diametrically opposed to each other. Since they deal with two wildly different possible futures for humanity, I think it wise to compare and contrast them to see what we might learn from these two sages.
I don't think one could find two people so unlike each other:
- Ted was a loner, while Mark is the consummate social animal.
- Ted warned us about the dangers of what he called "the industrial-technological system", while Mark preaches its gospel as one of its most enthusiastic disciples.
- Ted was a victim of the CIA's MKUltra "mind control" program, while Mark is a key practitioner of its Internet-age equivalent.
- Ted owns nothing, not even the clothes on his back, while Mark is one of the eight persons who owns half the wealth of all humanity.
Apparently these differences of history and personality influenced the content of their respective manifestos:
- Ted advocates revolution against the industrial-technological system, while Mark urges us to embrace it.
- Ted warns us against the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), while Mark speaks only of its alleged benefits.
- Ted suggests that violence may be necessary to break free from our bonds, while Mark wants us to bind together in a perpetual kumbaya moment.
Ted's manifesto was written before the Internet age, but he seems to have anticipated both it and the impact of social networking in some of his musings about leftism:
219. Leftism is a totalitarian force. Wherever leftism is in a position of power it tends to invade every private corner and force every thought into a leftist mold. In part this is because of the quasireligious character of leftism; everything contrary to leftist beliefs represents Sin. More importantly, leftism is a totalitarian force because of the leftists’ drive for power. The leftist seeks to satisfy his need for power through identification with a social movement and he tries to go through the power process by helping to pursue and attain the goals of the movement (see paragraph 83). But no matter how far the movement has gone in attaining its goals the leftist is never satisfied, because his activism is a surrogate activity (see paragraph 41). That is, the leftist’s real motive is not to attain the ostensible goals of leftism; in reality he is motivated by the sense of power he gets from struggling for and then reaching a social goal.
220. Suppose you asked leftists to make a list of ALL the things that were wrong with society, and then suppose you instituted EVERY social change that they demanded. It is safe to say that within a couple of years the majority of leftists would find something new to complain about, some new social “evil” to correct because, once again, the leftist is motivated less by distress at society’s ills than by the need to satisfy his drive for power by imposing his solutions on society.
221. Because of the restrictions placed on their thoughts and behavior by their high level of socialization, many leftists of the oversocialized type cannot pursue power in the ways that other people do. For them the drive for power has only one morally acceptable outlet, and that is in the struggle to impose their morality on everyone.
Mark quoted Abraham Lincoln in his manifesto, but in a way both he and Ted fit more in the mold of Thomas Jefferson than Lincoln. One might even say that Ted's manifesto was his "declaration of independence", while Mark's is a "declaration of interdependence".
What these two declarations most remind me of is the story of the Tower of Babel:
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:4-9 KJV
Mark Zuckerberg appears to be in the role of a modern Nimrod, who beckons mankind to enter his corral while promising them Paradise. Ted Kaczynski, on the other hand, warns us that Zuckerberg's is a false paradise whose acceptance causes us to lose our souls. There is value in NOT entering the hive and connecting to the matrix, and that value goes far beyond merely seeking to not offend G-d.
The choice between the two is yours to make, but as I have said many times before - pray hard, and do not take the mark (no pun intended).