Prototype dissidents: Timothy Leary and Václav Havel at the dawn of the internet age

Dissidents Vaclav Havel and Timothy Leary “The case of Dr. Leary is outright a case of persecution of ideas and texts–the persecution of his philosophy. Though arrested for grass, he was imprisoned for opinion. Denied bail for grass possession, he was detained behind barbed wire for Ideological Heresy” - Allen Ginsberg, "Declaration of Independence for… READ THE REST

Interestingly, Havel later became a sort of middle-of-the-road right-winger. For instance, he supported the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. His dissidence ended when the power in charge turned capitalist. I think it’s possible that Leary’s message to him wasn’t sent because Leary, or someone, perceived Havel’s actual ideological color and understood that it might not be welcome.

Dissidence frequently ends when the dissident gets a bit of power himself. Funny that.

This is an excellent piece… and a very timely one. Thanks for it and for all of the valuable links.

His experience in the hands of totalitarian government in Czech Republic certainly factored into his opinions about the war to depose Saddam (and whatever other purposes it had). Perhaps he was a bit fooled by the disinformation released prior to the Iraq war, but I don’t see how this is hypocrisy on his behalf. Keep in mind that Saddam considered himself next to God on the planet, was a very ruthless and brutal man. I don’t see how supporting his removal is the sort of hypocrisy you make it out to be.

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