I’ve included on this site the archived issues of two magazines I helped run from 2014-2017: The Wildernist and Hunter/Gatherer.
Homeless after high school, I travelled to North Carolina to find anarchists that had made the news during the Occupy Wall Street movement. I found them, and I worked with them on several anti-prison and anti-police projects. I was mostly disillusioned with what I had found, however, so I kept searching for ways to explain the unease I felt about the world around me. During this time a friend gave me an essay entitled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” and it explained my problems with modern society quite well. Later, however, I figured out that it was written by Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber. I write about my thoughts on this revelation in Dark Mountain‘s “Ted Kaczynski and Why He Matters.” Suffice it to say, while I was uncomfortable with the authorship, I was convinced of the ideas.
I eventually wrote the man, intending to help with his goal of anti-industrial revolution. He wrote back, though the exchange was short-lived. From the first letter I sent onward, I spent time posting Kaczynski’s writings on the internet along with old writings from the early Earth First! movement. These are now on this site as the Ted Kaczynski Archive and the Earth First! Archive.
With several students at UNC, I formed a group we named “UNC Freedom Club (UNCFC).” The name was a reference to the initials “FC,” which Ted Kaczynski used to sign his communiques during his 17-year bombing campaign. Our main project was a magazine we entitled FC Journal. We published only one preliminary issue — “issue 0” — after which we realized we should probably change our name. So we dissolved UNCFC and changed the name of FC Journal to The Wildernist.
After Kaczynski broke with me I began working with some of his political associates, most of them based in Spain. The Wildernist was published during my work with them. It featured several original pieces, many high quality and with strong historical value. For example:
- “On the Question of Technological Slavery” by David Skrbina — University of Michigan philosophy professor David Skrbina responds to a critique of Ted Kaczynski in The American Reader.
- “Interview with Dave Foreman” by David Skrbina — David Skrbina interviews founder of Earth First! Dave Foreman. Some of the questions were sent to him by Kaczynski’s political associates. You can read their Spanish-language version of the interview at Naturaleza Indómita.
- “Our Primal Future” by David Gessner — Gessner is the author of All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West.
- “The Tseringma Pilgrimage, 1971: An eco-philosophic ‘anti-expedition’” by Nils Faarlund — Faarlund was friend with Arne Naess, with whom he helped devise the Deep Ecology philosophy. For an academic account of the “anti-expedition,” see the entry on Deep Ecology in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
- “Scrublands: What Living Off-the-Grid in Europe Looks Like” by Antoine Bruy — Bruy is a photographer whose work has been featured in high profile magazines like WIRED and Slate.
We also published some writings by Kaczynski’s associates. One, “The Myth of Erk,” was translated by Kaczynski himself. However, as I explain in the preface of my forthcoming book, Repent to the Primitive, I eventually broke from Kaczynski’s associates as well. This effectively ended The Wildernist. For a time another student became an editor while I started another, more personal publication entitled Hunter/Gatherer. But The Wildernist did not publish much after I left, so we ended the project and merged the teams of both publications.
General-interest articles on nature and conservation were all well and good. But I felt the need to articulate my philosophy a little more exactly — and, in some cases, to figure out what I believed. So I started Hunter/Gatherer with a small group of other individuals, intending to publish the conversations we were having about these ideas. It turned out looking a little awkward, however. Of those who had the time to write, only a few were willing to write publicly; of those who were willing to write publicly, only I spoke English. In other words, most of the articles, despite being the product of a collective conversation, looked like the contradictory rantings of a single person — myself. I went on doing this until issue 2.1, at which point I decided I was sure enough of my beliefs to publish them in a book, a form much better suited to single authorship. With the completion of the book (Repent to the Primitive) I shut down Hunter/Gatherer.
Please note: I do not stand by all of the things I wrote in these magazines. In fact, some of the content is downright embarrassing. But I think it has some historical value, and the library scientist in me can’t throw it away. For an accurate depiction of my beliefs, see Repent to the Primitive.