Saturday, December 10, 2011

What some libertarians believe

Robert Anton Wilson quite often referred to himself as a "libertarian," and I've often called myself that, even now, even though I am wary of being tied too closely to any ideology. On some occasion, I will get around to arguing that even perfectly intelligent, nondogmatic people can proudly self-identify as libertarians.

Today, though, I want to observe that, unfortunately, the "freedom movement" includes not a few folks who aren't terribly well-informed or respectful of other opinions. Today,when I checked my email, I got a forwarded message asking me to read it carefully.

It was this. (It was attributed to David Kaiser.) (Blogger's note: As Michael points out in the comments, not the same guy who wrote How the Hippies Saved Physics.)

Related to this, here's an observation from RAW, from the "New Libertarian Notes" interview reproduced at this site: "I also read at least one periodical every month by a political group I dislike -- to keep some sense of balance. The overwhelming stupidity of political movements is caused by the fact that political types never read anything but their own gang's agit-prop."

2 comments:

michael said...

This story reminded me a little of the story about the origination of the high school graduation piece for 1999, "Wear Sunscreen," which got a lot of play on the "alternative" rock station in LA when I lived there. It seems to get some play still, every year around June 1st.

Paul Krassner, in one of his books, went over the chronology of who wrote it. He was implicated, so was Kurt Vonnegut, and of course the director Baz Luhrmann.

Chomsky has pointed out many times that the highly educated classes are very prone to propaganda, because they read so much, and it's very difficult to maintain a skepticism about what you read when you read so prodigiously, omnivorously, indiscriminately.

We might want to point out to those who don't read the links: this is NOT the same David Kaiser that has been discussed here w/regard to the history of science and especially the wonderful book How The Hippies Saved Physics.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Michael,

The incident reminded me of the "Wear Sunscreen" commencement speech, too.

On my work blog, I blogged about that piece, and a piece attributed to Abe Lincoln that is a favorite of conservatives:

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/jackson-street-beat/2011/oct/04/blog-honest-abe-admits-i-didnt-write-it