Timothy Leary on the Coming Totalitarianism
Now that we’ve entered the age of 15-minute cities, restrictive ecology (left) and surveillance capitalism (right), I felt like to share a few quotes of Timothy Leary, yes the “LSD prophet”, a brilliant psychologist, and – in my opinion – a public intellectual, an original thinker, and a great personality.
From Space Migration (draft, 197x)
I could talk at great length about the fact that we are running out of the mobility option. I mentioned in earlier that we are animals, we are primates and we need room. As soon as we crowd together we fraction the family, we fraction the molecular social group. We’re basically primates, we need to live in small groups, our children have to grow up with other children.
The nuclear family crowded in an apartment is an insectoid form of life. For thousands of years we have grown up in small groups in extensive, open village space with our uncles, aunts and grandparents living in close proximity, learning from each other. Extended families and village life require space and this room to move is being eliminated, step-by-step, by urbanization in most countries on this planet.
Mobility is being limited by increasing centralization: There are only about two dozen democracies left in the world and every year we see another democracy topple. Democracy means freedom to move. The general political trend on this planet is clearly centralized, insectoid authority, in which the family is being destroyed, in which individualism is being destroyed. The small familial and cultural village type groups which have given us our strength and given us our molecular-social insight are being eliminated. The Central State is becoming husband, wife, God and the source of all our love. This cramped, static insectoid existence is very different from my own aspirations and goals, and many who share my view of the situation.
Watch carefully these restrictions on speed, 55 mile restrictions, Concorde limitations, passports and visas – which limit our ability to move at the speed which comes naturally.
The point is it’s better to move on than to fight. I think that if you look back at the history of intelligence as it moves across this planet, you’ll see that the intelligent people always move on rather than fight. Because the problem with fighting over turf and territory is that it’s an endless struggle. As soon as you win you’re on top and everyone is trying to knock you off. The only way to expand and explore and to grow and to evolve culturally and psychologically is not to fight over the limited old but to move on and upward to the limitless new.
Space Migration (draft chapter) Timothy Leary 197?
Quotes from a San Diego interview (1976)
[T]his planet is going to become an anthill. Our overpopulation will mean that we will all live in smaller areas. We will have to be governed by a police state. There will be no options for going where you want to and doing what you want to. It’s going to become as the Soviet Union and China are becoming – homogenized, police-run, restricted, limited.
Ecology which is pro-technology is good, but ecology which is anti-technology is turning us back to the Paleolithic. Solar energy ecology is good because it is getting people to think about what they are doing. But any ecological movement which is moralistic, which says that you have to restrict, limit, “Think small” is not evolutionary. Ralph Nader wants our cars and our lives to be small, drab, weak, and slow. I think that’s because Ralph Nader’s vision of himself is a human being who is slow, drab, small, and weak. The answer to evolution is always to expand, to move faster — as long as you know where you are going, and as long as you keep in mind it’s O’Neill’s key phrase to multiply your options, multiply the diversity of the human spirit. The only way to do that is in space.
When the first fish climbed out of the sea, there were many fish left behind who knew they would never climb out, because they still had gills. I think that’s why so many people are depressed today, they know they still have gills and they’re going to be left behind while the rest of us climb out of this earth.
You’re either terrestrial or you’re post-terrestrial. You’re either a caterpillar or a butterfly. It’s you that decides. When the astronaut Mitchell looked down through the dark blue velvet of space to this agate marble planet, he became a post-terrestrial. It’s a great revelation, and when people get it, they’ve really got it. Wow! I don’t belong here anymore! That’s an incredible liberation. That’s why I’m not interested in politics anymore. I’m not going to struggle with another caterpillar for Northern Ireland or whatever. It’s tremendously humorous and liberating, you see; we’re not against anything. The meek can inherit the earth. They can have it.
Timothy Leeeeeary – in jail in San Diego Richard Louv Oct. 14, 1976 San Diego Reader https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/1976/oct/14/cover-timothy-leeeeeary/
Remember: The biggest conspiracy is those of the Normals. They, normal people, are the biggest threat. They cause insectoid totalitarian states. Leary would have called those normals the “larval stage”.
Robert Anton Wilson, a friend of Timothy Leary, founded Discordianism and from that, the Church of the SubGenius sprang. Also Dan Brown was very probably influenced.
The C.O.N.S.P.I.R.A.C.Y., short for Cliques Of Normals Secretly Planning Insidious Rituals Aimed at Controlling You, is the evil organization that the Church of the SubGenius was created to combat. It is also known as the Conspiracy of Normals, the Conspiracy, or just the BIG CON. Fandom
The Church of the SubGenius, usually regarded as a “parody religion,” offers a sophisticated critique of Western values focused on resistance to a consumerist conspiracy. […] a world in the grip of a totalitarian materialist conspiracy is largely realistic. Yet, this ‘rational’ rejection of consumerism is undermined by the portrayal of J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, the salesman messiah, based (partly) on L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), and the science fictions trappings of the extraterrestrial conspiracy. It is argued that humor is the key to making sense of the Church, as it integrates the bad taste, shock value, and contrariness of the religion into an effective spiritual path of resistance. Carole M. Cusack, abstract of Ch.23, Handbook of Conspiracy Theory and Contemporary Religion.
Note that materialism and consumerism are neither left or right; I refer the reader to the writings of Hannah Arendt.
Technology and Spirituality
Timothy Leary on Spiritual Technology; warns against Totalitarianism
Source files: mobility_leary.zip