Aug 27, 1987

Dr. Demento, Robert Anton Wilson, and Walter Block: Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Libertarianism

Robert Anton Wilson was the author (along with Robert Shea) of the popular Illuminatus! trilogy, which won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award in 1986. His other books have found great acclaim as well, many of them achieving “cult classic” status. Wilson was described at various times throughout his life as a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and agnostic mystic.

Walter Block is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans and a Senior Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Previously he was a Senior Economist at the Fraser Institute. Block is an Austrian economist and the author of Defending the Undefendable (1976).

Dr. Demento (Barry Hansen) is a radio broadcaster who has been operating in the Los Angeles area since 1970. He specializes in playing humorous, odd, and novelty recordings and was nationally syndicated from 1978-1992. The Dr. Demento Radio Show is still produced (as of 2012) in a weekly online format.

In this 1987 lecture from the Libertarian Party’s yearly national convention, Block, Wilson and Demento each give their take on libertarianism’s convergence with popular culture. Block talks about sex (taking examples from his book Defending the Undefendable), Wilson on drugs (including the consequences of drug prohibition in America), and Demento tackles rock ‘n’ roll (the FCC, obscenity over the airwaves, and censorship).