Timothy Leary, the Internet, and the LP


In my recent Wash Post review of the new Timothy Leary biography, I mentioned in passing how the generally apolitical acid eater deluxe was both an early advocate for the Internet and a supporter of 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ron Paul (now, and one hopes forever, a congressman from Texas), for whom he threw a Beverly Hills fundraising event.

Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo writes with news of an account that neatly ties together Leary's enthusiasm for computer networks and libertarian politics. The following is from a talk given by Eric Garris, the webmaster of Antiwar.com and Lewrockwell.com:

At the 1977 Libertarian Party Convention, mind-expansion advocate and LSD guru Timothy Leary gave a speech that few of us took very seriously. He spoke of something called the Internet, a network that would connect computers worldwide, allowing participants from around the globe to sign on and retrieve text, photographs, audio and video instantaneously, and to communicate in realtime with anyone in the whole world who also had a computer and a connection. He said that it would be the new revolution against the current social order and stifling status quo. He predicted it would be much, much bigger than drugs in its ability to overthrow the establishment. Whereas tuning in, turning on and dropping out had been of great interest to a somewhat narrow subset of the population, everyone would be able to use the Internet, in his own way, and thus the new revolution against the old order would transcend class, age, nationality and all other demographics. The bourgeois would have just as much interest and use for it as the so-called counterculture. And nothing would ever again be the same.

Whole Garris bit here. And don't miss Hammer of Truth's dilation on same here. And then there's this link at Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing.

And if you need more Learyania, don't miss his sometime-collaborator RU Sirius's interview with Robert Greenfield, the author of the new bio, here.