Re: Extropian Principles 3.0: Please comment on new version draft

Mary Therise Gleason (
Sun, 11 Oct 1998 04:04:06 -0400

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Max More <>
>Date: Saturday, September 12, 1998 10:20 PM
&gt;At 08:21 PM 9/10/98 -0400, Dan Fabulich wrote:
>><shrug> Like I say, it's pretty easy to explain to others, but I'd much
>>rather prefer that DO's definition be self-evident rather than easy to
>You've probably already seen my suggestion of a change to "Practical
>Do you like that one?

How about this? Not meddling in people's "emotions". Could such an approach be fruitful in your estimation, both in terms of allowing you to be less judgmental and more in tune with your own feelings?

>>The very concept of ownership is, IMO, political.
>I'm toying with the idea of dropping the name "Self-Ownership" in favor of
>"Personal Autonomy" or something like that. As you say, the concept of
>ownership is primarily political, although it has been used in psychology in a
>sense like the one I wanted. For instance "own your emotions" does not mean
>that you have property rights in your feelings, but that you accept them rather
>than pretending that you don't have those feelings, or avoiding dealing with
>them. The term "autonomy" comes with philosophical baggage that I don't want,
>but non-philosophers won't be carrying that baggage.

I once suffered from Clinical Depression as a teenager. The extent of suffering brought on by this illness cannot be overstated. The condition was diagnosed at an advanced stage and medicine did very little good in alleviating the symptoms (hopelessness, despair, feeling like my limbs were so heavy I couldn't even move, utter ennui and the sense that time was

standing still...). Gradually, I burnt it out of my system, but with it I think
I lost something. Like the other side of the coin, "happiness", if you can
understand that...

Do you assert that you "are" or can relate to "non-philosophers", whatever those may "be"?

>>In that same vein, I see markets as a particular technology which
>>extropians will use in order to grow, explore and develop. Just as I
>>wouldn't say "So-and-so doesn't think ubiquitous nanoelectronics will be
>>energetically feasible; he/she must not be an extropian," neither would I
>>be comfortable saying "So-and-so doesn't think that the market system works
>>as well as some other moneyless resource allocation system does; he/she
>>must not be an extropian."
>I don't see markets as just another technology. I still think the difference
>between us may lie in you seeing "markets" as referring to something very much
>like what we have today, even though the Principles explicitly do not make this
>assumption. Some other "moneyless resource allocation system" could easily be a
>market. Money may not be necessary to markets--in the past we had barter, and
>in the future we may have something not yet conceived. If it is a centralized,
>coercive allocation mechanism then it certainly is not a market. But markets in
>the open sense I mean do not necessarily use money, nor any of the existing

When did this become a semantics discussion? Those who dictate the meaning of words, then try to dictate the connotations and how people should react to those words and ideas, seem to me to resemble those described as "dictators" in a more general sense. Reverberations of George Orwell, "I'd rather have rats eat my face than be conditioned to believe that 2+2=5."

Markets are a form of technology, and the term greatly corresponds to the "system" we have today. I don't think you really take the idea of "moneyless resource allocation system" seriously. You certainly do anything but show openness to the idea. Perhaps you prefer the continued plunder and exhaustion of humankind before the God Work and Money? That doesn't sound too inspiring for "man fulfilling his fullest potential"; much of the "success" we see today comes at the expense of others, and the exploitation and reinforcing of the LOWEST common denominator.

When machines do 90% of the work in
producing goods for consumption, doesn't it seem illogical to suggest man's continued dependence on work for consumption privileges? (not to mention suicidal?) 90% automation SHOULD equal 90% reduction in price of goods, thus achieving the ABUNDANCE which we could so easily achieve. But the "market" is OUT OF WHACK, and people conditioned to dependence on this "technology" would NEVER be willing to give goods away for free, i.e. within the context of a "moneyless resource allocation system". Why? Because someone is assumed to "own" those machines and resources, thus gaining the "right" to dictate who can have the fruits off the price system's forbidden tree. By the practice of PRICE-RATIONING, "normal" people - the +80% whose incomes have been stagnant or declining for the past 25 years - can't "afford" the good life we are afforded by technology, so THEY exist on a banker's/investor's treadmill, which the elite accelerate on an hourly basis.

>Perhaps, contrary to our current understanding, some kind of centralized
>allocation system will one day be better than markets. I doubt it, but if so, I
>will revise the principles then! For now, I want to retain an explicit
>Extropian favoring of markets in the very open and flexible sense I've laid out
>in the Principles.

In other words, "how could *I* be wrong? The great god More has spoken, CAPITALISM IS IDEAL." Sorry, YOUR principles aren't open or flexible in any sense. There's no such thing as an "Extropian". That's just a word you made up to feel superior to everyone else.

>If this is favoring one particular technology, then it's an extremely general
>kind of technology. I don't see that as much different from favoring the use of
>reason as an effective means of knowledge, or optimism as a psychological

Favoring? No, that's too STRONG a word. "Perhaps, contrary to MY current understanding, some kind of centralized allocation system will one day be better than markets. I doubt it, but if so, *I* will revise the PRINCIPLES then!" Translation: don't mess with my dogma.

As was the case with Ayn Rand, you suffer the delusion of thinking your pronouncements are absolute and unassailable. Many have aided in toppling Rand's views on "Reason" and "Rationality", but you must not have been paying attention, since you still put so much stock in those empty ideas.

The idea of markets definitely describes a technology, slightly more particular than vacuous noises like "reason", "knowledge", "optimism", and "psychology". That technology DEPENDS on "price", which you refuse to associate with the money system in general. Without "price", there is no market. (we'll gladly do without adjectives like "free" being applied, since the market is a coercive mechanism in both a positive and negative sense, often to the extreme detriment and peril of human organisms).

>I've added to the end of one paragraph to stress this point further:
>"Supporting free markets does not mean that we see current business structures,
>institutions, and processes as ideal. On the contrary the market is a discovery
>process that, when not stifled by government, continually challenges our
>existing practices. The market embodies a perpetual “creative destruction” in
>which experimentation, improvement, and progress predominate. Future markets
>may not use money, may replace banking and corporations with other means. Our
>support for markets means support for any effective implementation of
>spontaneous orders in the economy, not a defense of any existing structures as

Well, the Dr. has spoken. But let's ask ANY economist if the term "free market" is compatible with the term "moneyless resource allocation system". Then we'll see how much substance there is behind his open-minded posturing. It's easy to be open to an abstract idea like "moneyless", but how about "PRICELESS"? That gets us to the very heart of the matter, I think.

Mary-Therise "Silauren" Gleason

>Max More, Ph.D.
> (soon also: <>)
>Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies
>President, Extropy Institute: