Re: Extropian DOES NOT EQUAL Libertarianism! [was RE: Gore Shocks

Terry Donaghe (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 05:10:26 -0700 (PDT)

First off I need to apologize for associating Extropianism with Libertarianism. Unfortunately it seems most of you feel that Libertarianism = The Libertarian party. I don't think so, and it was never my intention to throw a political party into the debate. However, I would really like someone to discuss the ways in which Libertarianism the political PHILOSOPHY is different from the Extropian philosophy. I can't see much difference.

Second, I don't think I care to back down on my attack of Joao's support for a coercive government which forces children to learn evolution (or anything for that matter). Joao may well be a great person, and I have never intended to attack him personally, however I may be guilty of failing to give him proper respect - I'll apologize for that as well. BUT I take attacks on liberty and RESPONSIBILITY very personally. A government which forces ideas, thoughts, mores, etc. is a government which is trying to destroy individuality by removing the responsibility of individual thought from it's citizens. We must each come to the conclusion that rational thought is superior to blind emotional stumbling.

I can quote from the Principles as well. #5 Open Society - "Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech, freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power. Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion. Openness to improvement rather than a static utopia." "6. Self-Direction — Seeking independent thinking, individual freedom, personal responsibility, self-direction, self-esteem, and respect for others."

>From #5 - Down in the body of the text...
"Centralized command of behavior constrains exploration, diversity, and dissenting opinion. We can pursue extropian goals in numerous types of open social orders but not in theocracies or authoritarian or totalitarian systems. Societies with pervasive and coercively enforced centralized control cannot allow dissent and diversity. "

"We have no use for the technocratic idea of coercive central control by self-proclaimed experts. No group of experts can understand and control the endless complexity of an economy and society composed of other individuals like themselves. Unlike utopians of all stripes, Extropians do not seek to control the details of people’s live or the forms and functions of institutions according to a grand over-arching plan. "

>From #6 - in the body of the text...

"We vigorously resist coercion from those who try to impose their judgments of the safety and effectiveness of various means of self-experimentation. Personal responsibility and self-determination are incompatible with authoritarian centralized control, which stifles the choices and spontaneous ordering of autonomous persons."

I think Max uses the word coercion (or a form thereof) 11 times in a bad light in this article. Unless my tiny brain is completely incapable of understanding what Max is saying, coercion is a VERY bad thing and something which is not at all compatible with Extropianism.

Again, I'm sorry for jumping all over Joao. That was improper. I'm sorry for associating the word Libertarianism (which is a naughty word for some around here) with Extropianism. I'm not sorry, though for standing up for what I believe in, and I'm not sorry for attacking coercion. If Robert, or anyone else would like to explain how freedom, open and dynamic societies and self-determinism is incompatible with Extropianism, I'm all ears.

Terry Donaghe:
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." --Samuel Adams

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