Culturally, we’ve always been a people up to something in our garages that was none of your business. As the world’s great hothouse for growing crazy people, America produced masses of harmless quacks, surrounded on the edges by a few world-changing geniuses and a fair number also of Mansons, Meteskys, and Starkweathers. With the exception of the occasional Anti-Saloon League or Un-American Affairs Committee, the freedom of spirit at the heart of this equation has for most of our history been celebrated more or less uncontroversially as a core American value.
Usually, a majority figured the odd Scientologist or laetrile dealer was worth tolerating if we also got flying machines, the telephone, and Star Wars out of the bargain.
That dynamic is changing, and the remote unsupervised farm is fast being replaced by a vast, searchable electronic grid. Before, if you wanted to gobble mushrooms and invent Mormonism, who could stop you?
Now we’ve got a class of experts who think even enlightened self-abuse can’t be tolerated on their watch.Continue reading “Matt Taibbi on Substack today”