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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Jesse Walker releases paper on Wilson and Shea in the battle over sex education

American newspaper publisher R.C. Hoiles. Hoiles was one of the few in U.S. newspapers to speak out against the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. 

Jesse Walker recently wrote about attending a conference on conspiracy theories in Florida and presenting a paper there. Jesse has now publicly released the most recent draft of his paper, "The Great Groomer Panic of 1968–70: Birchers, Discordians, and the Sex Ed Wars," and it's available to be read at the link. 

As the title suggests, the paper provides some Discordian history, but in depicting the fight over sex education within the libertarian movement, Jesse also gives some background on Illuminatus! The libertarians favoring sex education in the dispute are none other than Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. 

Here is the abstract for the paper: "Anaheim, California, was one of the first battlegrounds in the wars over sex education that started erupting in the 1960s. Radical libertarians found themselves playing notable parts (though not always high-profile ones) on both sides of the conflict. This paper examines the roles of R.C. Hoiles on the anti-sex-education side of the debate and of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea on the pro-sex-education side; it also describes how another radical libertarian, Ralph Raico, essentially synthesized the Hoiles and Wilson/Shea positions. The paper argues that these rival approaches reflect conflicting ideas about liberty that can also be found outside the libertarian movement, sometimes in ways that confound conventional models of the ideological spectrum."

Here is Jesse's promotional Tweet: "In case you missed it yesterday, here's a history paper I've been working on. The cast of characters includes a surf-rock producer, a conspiracy-chasing newspaperman, a pair of pranksters at Playboy magazine, John Carradine, Walter Winchell, and (in a footnote) Orson Welles."

1 comment:

Hugh said...

A great point: . “Charles
G. Koch” — not the oilman with a history of supporting libertarian causes, but the
anonymous Twitter account that has jokingly appropriated Koch’s name—has suggested
that the “entire political spectrum outside of radical libertarianism is also replicated
within radical libertarianism.”61 So perhaps it just isn’t surprising that on an issue like
this, which centers around how the government should conduct itself in a sphere it
already controls, a “left-wing” libertarian would ally himself with the left and a “rightwing” libertarian would ally himself with the right.