Re: A Message to the Membership

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sun Jan 02 2000 - 18:35:34 MST

Eliezer S Yudkowsky wrote:

> Robert Owen wrote:
> >
> > Colleagues,
> >
> > I wish to give notice here that I must dissociate myself
> > and my organization from any effort to politicize our
> > Transhumanist Movement.
> This, I just don't get. What do you mean, "politicize"? You think that
> transhumanists shouldn't meddle in politics? I agree that we shouldn't
> meddle unnecessarily, or meddle in things that don't need to be handled
> by *us in particular* - Clemmensen's Law, don't y'know. But politics is
> inextricably interwoven into life as we know it *and* the human
> neurology. Even if you live in a box, you're a power counter for those
> who claim to help the homeless. I don't understand what you mean by not
> wanting to be "politicized".

Dear Eliezer,

I understand "Transhumanism" to be a philosophy of life and neither a
social nor political ideology. It does not seem possible to me for us to
deduce or infer principles of government or public administration from
the axioms of our philosophy. Therefore any position taken by members
with respect to social problems such as crime, underemployment and
unemployment, and illiteracy, or to political issues such as taxation,
public assistance, or business regulation would necessarily be the
expression of personal preference and as such internally divisive if
presented as the "politically correct" stance of those who consider
themselves transhumanists.

Of course, each of us acts in one way or another as a political agent--
but as a citizen, not an Extropian. Since our organization is international,
the alternative is a descent into provincialism and disunity.


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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