RE: Politics of Transhumanism, Singularitarianism and Nazis

From: Max More (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 22:39:11 MST

At 07:45 PM 1/7/02, J. Hughes wrote:

>Re: Extrop List politics: I understand from some of the responses I received
>that I have missed a set of serious political discussions on the list that
>revealed that the vocal libertarians are in fact (at least now) a minority.

I don't know the proportions and I'm not terribly interested in how many
are willing to apply particular labels to themselves. However, I *have*
noticed that amongst the hard line libertarian voices, there are a growing
number of less committed views. These (like mine) may frequently sound
libertarian, but are more pragmatic and more interested in results than in
clinging to any particular ideology for the sake of "consistency" or
ideological purity.

> Its not that I don't want to hear from
>libertarians, I just don't want to be flamed off by them. For instance Mike
>Lorrey's response to my essay:

This is certainly reasonable, and I have to agree that Mike Lorrey's
pinning on you of a bolshevik label strikes me as entirely inappropriate.
His equation of "social democratic" with "bolshevik" is mistaken in any
case. "Menshevik" would be more consistent, though still not the same thing.

>But far more important than the potential troublemaking of these Volks is
>the fact the majority of people (unfairly and irrationally) hear Nazi
>undertones when they first hear of the transhumanist goal of humans
>transcending limitations through technology.

This morning I did an interview with one of the major German newspapers.
This is, so far as I can recall, the first time that I've talked with a
German media representative or audience without the Nazi question coming up
in some form. Perhaps it was the emphasis I put on the ideas all the way
through, but I was still pleasantly surprised.

>You, and Nick Bostrom BTW, assert that Nazi transhumanism is an oxymoron.

Since I seem to be agreeing with you for a change, I must note that I agree
on this point also. I think Nick defines transhumanism so that it is
intrinsically incompatible with racism or fascism or Nazism. I think it is
reasonable to make such a case, based on our humanist roots. But all things
considered, I would allow that there can be these forms of transhumanism.
Of course you cannot be an extropian and hold such views, since that would
conflict with the Extropian Principles. The Extropian philosophy is
transhumanism seen from a perspective that excludes those memetic niches.


Max More, Ph.D. or
Strategic Philosopher
President, Extropy Institute. <>

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