Re: ExI: Announcing Extropy Institute's Transhumanist FAQ version 0.7

From: cryofan (
Date: Sun Dec 30 2001 - 05:32:21 MST

On Sat, 29 Dec 2001 21:54:33 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

>Harvey deferred when cryofan asked about the sticky problems
>of libertarianism and immigration. I tend to agree with
>Harvey that there isn't an easy solution, but I will attempt
>to parse some of the stickybuns...
>> Since the Extropian movement is heavily invested in libertarian
>> philosophy,
>(Begin Side-bar -- Is it true the Principles are not linked into the current
>ExI web site??? If so, I'd request this be fixed ASAP. I'm lucky
>I had an old link in my history file... End Side-bar).
>Checking both the Principles and the FAQ, I see no mention of
>"libertarian". In fact "politics" is only mentioned once in
>either document and only then from the perspective that we
>should not "surrender independent judgement" with regard to it.


>Libertarianism creeps in on the heels of "freedom", particularly
>IMO on the "freedom" to evolve. However(!) the Principles also
>cite the importance of "personal responsibility". I suspect that
>"personal responsibility" involves a great deal of the self image
>an individual may have and what communities one views oneself most
>closely connected to.

non sequitir...

>> which purportedly stresses individual rights and property
>> rights, how do the Extropians reconcile the "open borders" philosophy
>> advocated by Extropians,
>This trips *right* into the transhumanist ethical dilemma.
>I'll state it as harshly as I can -- do "individual" rights
>(from which property rights derive as an enforcement mechanism)

of course property can be held by groups of citizens...

>entitle one to claim a greater share of the computronium (matter
>& energy) and thereby deny others with relatively equivalent
>a priori claims their fair share? is this relevant?

>I think this can be simplified -- "Which is better -- natural
>selection or fairness?"

You have once again wandered in a fantasyland of extropian jargona and
doctrine....massive non sequitir....

>I'm fairly sure that I've said it before but it is probably worth
>repeating -- if you opt for fairness (the human "social animal"
>preference most likely) you are likely to end up with sub-optimal
>This is in some respects a recasting of the captialism vs. socialism
>or communism approaches to societal organization (yea, I'm sure the
>readers well versed in political history may slice this analogy into diced
>ham, but from my arm-chair position [not too different from J. Q. Public]
>it works).
>> with the fact that most American citizens oppose open borders
>In spite of the fact that most Americans are descended from
>people who took advantage of relatively open borders.

How is this relevant? At what point does this twisted logic end? When
there are 6 billion people here?

>In part this is natural human xenophobia and in part this

That's good...I always respond to labels like "xenophobe" and "commie,

>is simple economics -- wanting to preserve the advantages
>(position, connections, environmental adaptations, etc.)
>that one has developed over one or more generations.
>Make it really simple -- Why should I as a taxpayer with
>no children in the city of Seattle be paying taxes to educate
>the children of the XYZZY class of immigrants? The only
>rational arguments I can make for this are if I plan to be
>an employer and I expect to need an educated workforce
>(or an extropian who would like more educated rational
>people in the world -- but that is probably really stretching
>the public educational system).
>The immigration system by its very nature was designed to
>promote production -- ~200 years ago it was designed to
>promote the production of furs. ~100-150 years ago it was
>designed to promote the production of metals and food.
>~50-100 years ago it was designed to promote industrial
>manufacturing. It is my sense that the immigration policy
>is now passed on because those of us whose ancestors at one
>point were able to use it as a point of leverage feel it
>is only just that others should be able to do so as well.
>In other words its a "generous gift" and not a "right".

The immigration system ALWAYS benefited those who own and hurt those
who work...

And now history is used as emotional leverage...

>To resolve this problem from an ethical perspective, one has
>to construct a complete view of precisely what obligation
>any human has with regard to the survival opportunities
>of any and each other human.
>> Seems as if Extropians would wish to trample
>> the individual rights of most Americans by implementing open
>> borders--not to mention taking the food out of the mouths of working
>> class Americans by lowering wages with immigration...
>One could have an open border policy with no guarantess of
>"rights to work" policy. With sufficiently strict enforcement
>there would be no lowering of wages. One could have a
>"right to work" and "pay social security" with no rights
>to benefits.

People who tresspass into the USA in the name of stealing benefits of
citizenship are criminals and should be prosecuted as such. That
should deter illegal immigration. The will of the American punlic
(60% want less immigration) should be enforced.

>There are lots of possible architectures that would create
>a more graduated system between the country from which people
>might choose to emigrate and workin the U.S.A. Adopting such
>architectures places us in the middle of the "fairness" issue and
>I think that is someplace that the American public and ExI are
>currently unable to reasonably position themselves.

huh? Could you poosibly write in a more convoluted and oblique style,
as befits this forum? :=)

Anyway, here is an interesting URL:

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