In 2017, the deputy editor of the conservative publication First Things, Elliot Milco, credited Mr. Kaczynski with « shrewd (even prophetic) insights ». In 2021, during an interview with businessman and politician Andrew Yang, Tucker Carlson quoted Mr. Kaczynski’s thought in detail without any hints.
Online, young people with a variety of partisan loyalties, if any, have developed an intricate vocabulary of half-ironic Unabomber support. They proclaim themselves « anti-civ » or #tedpilled; they refer to « Uncle Ted ». Unabomber-related songs, voiceovers, and dance videos on TikTok have garnered millions of views, according to a 2021 item in The Bewilderment.
Mr. Kaczynski was no longer the mysterious killer who had belatedly engineered an outlandish justification for violence; he now he was the mastermind of one of the many styles of transgression and omniscient condemnation to be adopted online. His crimes lay in a past the young men had never known, and he was imprisoned, no longer an active threat to society.
Its online support didn’t indicate how many ecoterrorists had recently been minted, but it did measure a prevalence of cynicism, boredom, dissatisfaction with modern life, and gloom about its prospects for change.
During his imprisonment, Mr. Kaczynski hand-copied his correspondence and forwarded it to the University of Michigan’s Joseph A. Labadie Collection, an archive dedicated to radical protest, which has amassed dozens of boxes of Kaczynskiana.
According to New York magazine, Mr. Kaczynski’s cards have become one of the most popular offerings in the collection. In an interview with the magazine, Julie Herrada, the curator of the collection, declined to describe people who are so intrigued by Mr. Kaczynski that they visit the library to consult his archive. She only said one thing: « No one seems crazy. »
Glenn Thrush and Remy Tumin contributed reporting.