RE: The Politics of Transhumanism

From: estropico > (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 09:53:33 MST

>…you continue to position extropian thinking as necessarily libertarian.
>Libertarian views fit with those principles extremely well. But those
>principles do not exclusively require a libertarian view. While they
>certainly do exclude highly statist views (which presumably would be
>allowed in the WTA), they are compatible with non-libertarian views where
>those are clearly intended to support self-direction and maintain an open

OK, my analysis was far from subtle, I know… I did originally mention that
I was going to put it "rather brutally" when I proposed that
extropy=CMT+libertarianism... ;-)

Would it be fair to say, then, that libertarianism is one of the (if not
*the*) main political influence on the politics of the extropian movement?
Perhaps, followed in importance by humanism and/or liberalism (in the
european sense)?

Anyway, whatever the political influences of the extropian philosophy or
transhumanism in general, what’s important (for the purposes of this post)
is that all of those political views are already out there, all already well
represented by a number of parties and organisations.

IF the above is correct, then the following thinking-out-loud might make
sense to you (especially the last paragraphs):

> > This relative ease of “adoptability” of the
> > CMT is something we should be very aware of,
> > but it is not a bad thing: it will make life
> > harder for the emerging anti-CMT alliance
>I have no objection to what you are saying here, estropico. By "CMT" I
>believe you are referring to the idea that we can use technology to alter
>the human condition. I agree that such a view can and probably will be
>combined with socio-political views that are neither libertarian nor even
>individualistic or democratic. Nationalist, racist, collectivist, and even
>religious forms of transhumanism seem possible.

I am glad you are aware of these possibilities.
This is an important point, IMHO.

>If that should happen, ExI will be especially important in fostering
>freedom in connection with transhumanism. ExI could ally with other
> >transhumanist organizations to jointly promulgate freedom-friendly
> >transhumanism. We might have narrow, tactical alliances with less
>freedom-friendly forms of transhumanism to the extent that this enables us
>to stand firm again potentially powerful anti-
>transhumanists [snip]

I agree completely on what the role and strategy of *ExI* should be.


My intent here is to post an advance warning to the transhumanist community:
if and when transhumanist ideas (or, more specifically, the CMT) will go
mainstream, the original transhumanist organisations such as ExI and the WTA
risk finding themselves marginalised by those larger and more established
organisations that will have, by then, more or less adopted the CMT (despite
the inevitable internal splits and arguments). The more established
organisations I am referring to, are no other than the present-day
centre-right and center-left parties and other, smaller, political groups.
Since transhumanism does not offer any *novel* political views, as far as I
can see (please correct me if I’m missing something!) once the CMT is out
of the equation, the transhumanist movement would not have much left to
offer that wasn’t already being offered by other, more established,

All this brings me to another (and rather delicate) question that’s been
bothering me for a while: given all of the above, wouldn’t it make tactical
sense to set up a pro-CMT pression group whose politics was very limited
(say to the acceptance of western-style democracy) so to have broader
appeal? (Could Pro-Act fit the bill?) This should not be in direct
competition with more politically defined organisations such as ExI, but I,
for one, would definitely consider a double membership. The advantages I see
in such a CMT-only organisation would be to be free of the political infight
that seems typical in transhumanist circles and, more importantly, to
appear as less “controversial” and more acceptable to the general public.
It could be a very useful tool in accelerating the “mainstreaming” of the
central meme of transhumanism.


Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:36 MST