Harvard University alumni attending their 50th class reunion this week are getting updates on classmates, but one person stands out among those sharing news about career moves, retirements and grandkids — Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
Kaczynski graduated in 1962 and is locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Colorado for killing three people and injuring 23 during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995. In an alumni directory, he lists his occupation as “prisoner” and says his awards are “Eight life sentences, issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, 1998.”
The main difference, however, between the philosophy that Kaczynski acted upon and that which was at the heart of ’60’s radicalism is not the philosophy but the implementation. Unlike Kaczynski, who went to the mountains and practiced long-distance terrorism, most of the ’60’s radicals like Bill Ayers went mainstream in their methodology (not without hiccups) and many of those who fill our elite in government and the non-profit sector (and that includes education) reflect that. They did this because they realised what Kaczynski did not–that tactics such as they used in the late 1960’s and 1970’s didn’t serve to implement the changes they wanted but only put their opponents on alert.
But the question we must answer is this–irrespective of the methodology, would the results of their success be any different? One thing we know is the same–the Ivy Leaguers are in the thick of it.