In my writing experiences, I have learned a lot from many writers. I have learned a lot from reading Hunter S. Thompson, but I have also learned a lot from reading (Mao) 毛澤東. What I really learned from him is how much he came to appreciate the earlier writers and philosophers from his own past, such as 老子 who wrote the (Tao Te Ching) 道德經 and 孫子, author of (The Art of War) 孫子兵法. Even though he didn’t care much for (Confucius) 孔子, he did occasionally quote him and one of his followers (Mencius) 孟子.
I have learned to appreciate such ancient writers as ΔHMOKPITOΣ (Democritus),
APIΣTIΠΠOΣ(Aristippus) and EΠIKOYPOΣ (Epicurus). There’s also T. Lucretius Carus and Thomas Jefferson. It was Antonio Gramsci who wrote that we should not judge a person, in the past, for having some wrong views. He said people are a product of their time. He pointed out that Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600, was a monk, yet he inspired Karl Marx.
I found some similarities between Aristippus and his Cyrenaic school of philosophy; and the ideas of sexual liberation of the 1960s and ‘70s, while writing my new book, Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie.