Re: Immortality and Resources

J. de Lyser (
Tue, 04 Feb 1997 17:11:41 +0100

At 18:00 3-02-97 -0800, Eric Watt Forste wrote:

>Authoritarian socialism didn't work for Diocletian any better than
>it worked for Brezhnev, and the reasons why have nothing to do with
>the presence or absence of democratic institutions. I fail to
>understand why it is wrong for me to refuse to adapt to policies
>that I am quite sure are counterproductive to the vast majority of
>human goals, including my own.

Socialism did work for Russia in the first half of the century, (even
authoritarian) but don't force me into defending a system i don't believe
in. I'm just saying many polictical systems have elements that are
productive and elements that are counterproductive. And that denying that
is irrational.

Counterproductive policies are present in most political systems. Having a
(minimal) state/ or having policies *should* allow a society control over
natural forces that become counterproductive, needless to say it's often
the state that institutionalises counterproduvtive policies. Saying there's
more counterproductive policies in socialist thought than in capitalist
thougth i agree to wholeheartedly. Saying theres no counterproductivity in
capitalist systems is denying facts, saying there will be none in any other
proposed system is utopy.
'laissez faire' ideals are very high on my list of priorities, but assuring
they keep working somehow is a logical goal isn't it ?

> >Personally i'd go with any political system that allows the best
> >possibilities for the realization of transhumanist goals, A system >
>that works, works.

>Transhumanist goals to one side, I will not "go with" any political
>system that legitimizes the use of violence to punish voluntary
>and consensual exchanges without first proving a specific negative

ALL political systems legitimize the use of violence to punish voluntary
and consensual exchange to some degree (you've already stated an example
later on in your reply). The problem here is that your 'specific negative
externality' is a very vague concept, and may very well conflict with the
both the 'voluntary' and 'consensual' parts of your statement.

>I will not "go with" any political system that treats
>half the laboring time of its human population as a resource to be
>disposed of at the government's whim, which is the current situation
>in most of the world.

Problem is that socialist thought is so integrated in our current societies
that it may not be possible to abandon without abandoning democracy. Why
spend effort on goals that are unrealistic, why not focus on ones that are
acchievable instead ?

>I will not "go with" any political system
>that legitimizes the imprisonment of human beings for such harmless
>acts as growing and selling cannabis plants.

Well why not ? The Democracy (=majority=consensus) has decided for you that
they are harmfull, just like you decide and agree with the majority other
things are harmfull or 'unwanted behaviour' for other people. That's the
way the system works Eric, do you publicly oppose the democratic system ?
;-) (don't feel you have to answer this one)

>Nor will I seek a
>political order in which the government loots the resources of
>non-transhumanists in order to finance the pursuit of transhumanist
>goals, and I will oppose those who do seek such a political order.

Nor do i Eric, i assure you. Like you their are policies of political
systems i would never 'go with', but i don't think you fully realize that a
political system and it's infrastructure forms an individuals sense of
Reality. His rationality, his ethics, his LOGIC are shaped to work within
that system. And personally i don't see why there could have been no
transhumanist movement in even a communist state, or a fascist state,
ofcourse linked with ideals we would all view very sceptically.

What i am saying is that transhumanist goals are very high on my list of
priorities, higher maybe than political systems and their policies, but not
higher than human rights and freedom. Some people on this list just place
their political priorities (personal?) over the long term priotities of
humanity, i guess.

>I guess you didn't notice, but it seems to me that many of the
>Americans on this list favor quite radical changes in the system
>of government here... only the changes favored are in the opposite
>direction from what you are suggesting we "accept".

Oh i did notice, i also noticed that libertarians political influence is
very small, and allthough i sincerely hope that will change, i also hope
transhumanists among them do not lose their sense of reality. I don't
favour socialist thought, but the majority in your country seems to do so
for the moment, even though THEY may not be aware of it being socialist
thought :-).

ANY planning/strategy a RATIONAL organisation has, cannot allow their
personal dislike of certain policies to blind themselves to these. Refusing
to accept that they are there, and will be there for the immediate future
to deal with, will lead to fleeing / hiding oneself in utopy, and will
certainly be counterproductive...

>Many of the people on this list are agorists (propertarian anarchists),

I don't doubt the seriousness of the people on this list and the ideals
they believe in. But fact remains that MOST peoples political choice is,
has always been, and will always remain based on their personal financial
improvement, and are perfectly willing to give up some freedom for that, as
they perfectly logically mistake the organisational power of the state for
financial power. Bread and circusses...

>and emphatically *not* democrats. Personally, I think a "United
>States of Earth" would be a political disaster, and I will do what
>little I can to prevent such a behemoth from forming as long as I
>live on this planet. Constitutionally-limited representative
>democracy seems to me to be the least evil form of insolent
>aristocracy under which human beings have slaved and sweated their
>days on Earth so far, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, and
>I don't.

The Eurocracy of Europe is already forming, we now have four governements
to suck us dry instead of three. Yet it's reality, and all indications
point towards a continuation of this process. To deny or ignore it is
silly, to oppose it, a waste of effort. It offers counterproductivity in
ways of more beurocracy, and increase in productivity in ways of free
trade. The monetary union will probably spice up investment levels. Only
time will tell...

Again, all ideals we value i hope to one day see realized in an efficient
form that works for humanity, but until that day comes (if it ever comes)
we have to operate and function within the system/infrastructure we have.
You in the USA are very lucky to have found a political party that supports
part of your views, but i think you'll find no equivalents of libertarians
in social democracies. (most european countries, and probably New Zealand)

Don't forget that we're just moving out of a situation not unlike that of
Athens and the Delian league. Not that i do, but publicly opposing or even
questioning democracy is illegal in most other western countries. We work
with the system we have, if we are to acchieve something, that is.

>Just say no to death and taxes.

i keep saying no, but they keep coming back :-)

J. de Lyser.