Re: Politics vs. Extropianism

Eric Watt Forste (
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 10:19:10 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 21 Aug 1996, Ian Goddard wrote:
> IAN: True, but free people can more easily resist and compete with
> the central planning elite. We can't have that. If you told a king,
> tyrant or dictator that he would be better off if he relaxed his
> control over his subjects, he'd laugh in your face before he
> sent you off to the rack.

But laughing in my face isn't an argument, Ian, and you aren't presenting
any arguments either. Why should the members of the conspiratorial elite
prefer the illusory (for it is illusory) sense of control over other
people's lives to drastically improved chances of personal immortality
and vast expansion of access to natural resources (offplanet)?

I agree with you that current governmental institutions need to be
radically changed in a libertarian direction, but I think incompetence
explains why things are bad right now far more effectively than malice
explains it.

As Twirlip of Greymist said, poverty seems to be the default. Likewise,
authoritarianism has been the default for a very long time now, and it
takes a while for everyone to wake up from that way of thinking. I think
that conspiracy theories arise from unbridled impatience to wake everyone
up. "They aren't all realizing that libertarianism is true? The only
possible explanation: conspiracy!" But intellectual laziness and inertia
(plus the fact that things have been improving overall thanks to
technology, despite the fact that the governments have been preventing
them from improving as fast as they might have otherwise) are better
explanations, I think. These are hard problems, and we have to solve them
on their terms.

> Control itself is the goal for political types.

And why do they limit themselves to only a single goal, even at the
ultimate cost of their lives?

> > In short, to hold up your argument, you need to show that it is in the
> > interests of the governing elite to enslave the population of the world.
> IAN: No -- to hold up the argument one need only show that they are
> working overtime to reduce freedoms. They are... any questions ?

Well, that's presuming that the conspiracy exists at all. The only
evidence I've seen of a ruling-class conspiracy is the curious activities
of H. Ross Perot, which seem to me utterly ineffective in the long term.

I was trying to charitably suspend my disbelief in the conspiracy, but
since you aren't interested in trying to understand and explain to me the
*motivations* of the conspiracy you believe in, I'll return to my ordinary
belief that the "conspiracy" is really just a bunch of deluded individuals
doing what they each wrongly think is best.

My very limited studies of the activities of the very worst, most violently
immoral elements of government have led me to the conclusion that these
elements are too incompetent to conspire to run a supermarket, much less
conspire to run a planet.