Michael Johnson wrote a piece about Robert Anton Wilson's "Cosmic Schmuck" principle back in July 2012, and now he's followed it up with a sequel posting. Some key sentences in the new piece:
I think Robert Anton Wilson wanted much more of all of that (deliberation, negotiation, collaboration, compromise, playfulness) in his thinking that actuated the Cosmic Schmuck Principle. Why? Well, for one: the need to be "right" all the time seems linked with being repressive and Authoritarian. RAW used a term he attributed to Mike Hoy: "Correct Answer Machine": this is an assumption deeply embedded in out culture, so we take it in, seemingly, with mother's milk: that we must have The One True Answer to any question, as if there were a little machine in our brains that always knew the "correct" answer to everything. Wilson thought this was basically the same as an ideology, but an authoritarian one, almost always based on Aristotelian two-value logic, with no room for the Excluded Middle. Wilson called it "robot circuits in our brains." (see Email To The Universe, p.135)
The whole piece is good, and see also his responses in the comments.
In a somewhat similar vein, Jesse Walker and I Tweeted back and forth after yesterday's piece. After I posted a link to the "Anarchism and Crime" article, Jesse Tweeted, "I am extremely dubious about that Swedish rape statistic." ("We would not have so many rapists and other violent nuisances if our society were not, in some way, training them from birth onward to behave like that. For instance, Sweden has only a few rapes per year; the United States has one every seven minutes.")
I looked it up, and this is what Wikipedia has to say (noting that it's talking about current statistics, not 1970s ones):
Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe and one of the highest in the world. According to a 2009 study, there were 46 incidents of rape per 100,000 residents. This figure is twice that of the UK which reports 23 cases, and four times that of the other Nordic countries, Germany and France. The figure is up to 20 times the figure for certain countries in southern and eastern Europe.
By 2010, The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences - about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants - of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world.
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention claims that it is not "possible to evaluate and compare the actual levels of violent crimes... between countries", but that in any case the high numbers are explained by a broader legal definition of rape than in other countries, and an effort to register all suspected and repeated rapes. It asserts that comparisons based on victim surveys place Sweden at an average level among European nations.
Jesse then Tweeted, "Sometimes Wilson's skepticism failed him. I've heard an early talk where he claimed that cancer was absent among the Eskimos." I replied, "A fair criticism. He probably should have treated many of Tim Leary's claims with more skepticism."
Now, obviously I'm a huge RAW fan and Walker is too (more on that tomorrow), but we can treat Wilson as a human being and separate the wheat from the chaff. See the back and forth in the comments to Michael's new post that I just referenced.