John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the 20th Century, KLF: Chaos, Magic, Music, Money and I Have America Surrounded: A Life of Timothy Leary, talks with The Quietus, a British online and pop music magazine. Much of the interview concerns Robert Anton Wilson. I thought this exchange between Ben Graham and Higgs was interesting:
HIGGS: This is fascinating, in that over here there are a lot of British socialists who absolutely love Robert Anton Wilson, and over there you get all these American libertarians. These are two tribes who really shouldn't have anything in common. But they just get on great, and it's partly because they've read Robert Anton Wilson and they don't believe that their one singular viewpoint is the one that has to be inflicted on everyone else. You saw this at the Find the Others Festival in Liverpool. There was this great coming together of people who had nothing whatsoever in common except for the fact that they'd read Robert Anton Wilson.
Wilson mocks Ayn Rand mercilessly in a lot of his stuff. In the Illuminatus trilogy, Atlas Shrugged is mocked as Telemachus Sneezed. There was a brief period where he found her interesting, but he quite quickly recognised Ayn Rand for what she was. So you don't get that strain of libertarianism that has this messianic faith in Ayn Rand liking Robert Anton Wilson. You just get people who are mistrustful of the state, but don't necessarily believe in the virtue of selfishness like Ayn Rand did, or anything like that. Robert Anton Wilson always used to say that the left's view of corporations is true, just as the right's view of the state is true. Multiple model agnosticism is not necessarily a political viewpoint; it sort of hovers above them all and it's valuable to everyone on the political spectrum, I think.