Activism

Terence McKenna And Alan Watts: We Are Anarchists

Two of the greatest contemporary philosophers talk about why power should remain in the hands of the many, not the few


This video offers two perspectives on anarchism from Terence McKenna and Alan Watts, who both dedicated years of their lives to giving lectures on a wide range of topics including society, popular culture, government and spirituality. Watts was an English-born philosopher whose speeches were greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism and other Eastern schools of thought, while McKenna was critical of all religion and emphasized the importance of personal experience in the search for truth, for which he advocated the use of psychedelic compounds.

Watts died in 1973 and McKenna in 2000, but both men made a lasting impression on the world, and specifically the counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s. In this video by ‘McKennaCountrCulture’ , they speak about authority and freedom.

McKenna talks about his reasons for mistrusting all power structures, and explains why he can’t keep a secret. “I am against hierarchies, lineages; all assumptions of special knowledge are abhorrent to me,” he says. “I am a true anarchist first and foremost.”

Watts also declares himself an anarchist (“the philosophical kind, not the bomb-throwing kind”) and goes on to say he believes there is no distinction to be made between Republicans and Democrats (“they are both the same. It’s just a choice between which group of gangsters you are going to put in power”). According to Watts, we can’t possibly trust the police: “Do they have our best interests at heart? All governments are self-serving with only their best interests at heart.” The solution to freeing ourselves from the bonds of government, Watts says, “depends on our trusting each other. There’s no alternative: we must make that gamble to avoid living in a police state.”


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