Saturday, September 20, 2014

Giving props to Prop Anon

Propaganda Anonymous, right, with artist Shepard Fairey, from the rapper's Facebook page. 

Just a little bit more regarding the new online pay-what-you-can afford Maybe Logic Academy course on Robert Anton Wilson, which starts Tuesday. 

I'm pretty familiar with three of the four people teaching the course; I've written about Bobby Campbell, Bogus Magus and Steve "Fly Agaric" Pratt quite a bit. (If the names don't ring a bell, please see my previous post.) But I really didn't know anything about rapper and activist Propaganda Anonymous until a couple of weeks ago. 

Bobby Campbell sent me the link to this excellent 2003 interview of RAW by Propaganda Anonymous. It's a long interview that covers a lot of ground,  and while inevitably there is some overlap with other RAW interviews, there's quite a big that was new to me. (It turns out that RAW was not a big rap music fan but could dig the lyrics.)

If I attempted to quote all of the bits I liked, this would be a very long blog post, but here is one bit:

Prop: I read in a previous interview that you considered yourself
an Anarchist earlier in your career.

Wilson: At one point I was calling myself an Anarchist, an Atheist,
and a Witch. Then when I reached my 40's I softened that. I
started to describe myself as a libertarian, a pantheist, and
a neopagan. And since then I moved on to a decentralist, a pragmatist, and
a proponent of maybe logic…. I got the idea from T.S. Eliot.
T.S. Eliot was the most popular poet of the 1920s, and suddenly
in the 1930s he announced he was a monarchist in politics, a
classicist in literature, and an Anglo-Catholic in religion.

It horrified most of his previous admirers, and it brought
him a whole new bunch of admirers from the other side
of the literary world.

Then Dylan Thomas declared himself an Anarchist in literature,
a Drunkard by religion, and a Welshman in politics.

There's another good bit where Wilson expands on his political philosophy:

I'm sort of a half-time Harry Browne fan. You
know him? He's the Libertarian candidate for president last term.
He has a weekly column he sends out on e-mails. Well, I agree
with him on half and disagree with him on half. Like most libertarians,
we never agree with one another totally. The greatest
thing he ever wrote was in a recent e-mail, "America fears most
of the world and most of the world fears America." Everybody's
afraid of America, with good cause. In America you're afraid
of everybody else, with good cause. I get more reactionary all
the time. Jefferson and Adams and Washington, Madison, that whole
group seems so much smarter than the people who are running
the government today. Back in the 18th century we had people
smarter than me. Now we've got Bozo. See: every rebel becomes
a reactionary.

RAW doesn't use the words "classical liberal," but that's what it kind of sounds like. 

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