POLI: quiet socialist revolution

Geoff Smith (geoffs@unixg.ubc.ca)
Fri, 21 Feb 1997 17:53:03 -0800 (PST)

What do people think about the way the industrialized, non-communist world
has been heading towards gradual socialization ever since Marx? Extropy
appears to have a faith in evolution and boundless expansion-a constant
increase in extropy created by life wading upstream against the
"inevitable" heat death of the universe due to the laws of thermodynamics.
Why, then, do we see the flourishing of socialism? Is it simply due to
the entropic influence of socialistic idealists? If I were to accept this
answer, one would have to tell me why it is that Japan, being one of the
more socialistic of the industrialized nations, is so extropic- by this I
mean they are way ahead of the rest of the world in longevity(mostly
because their cuisine is naturally high nutrient/low calorie) and they
produce new technology at a rate much higher than the rest of the world.
It seems that if the technological singularity spawns from one point, it
will be Japan. Also, the country I am from, Canada, is very socialistic
and also very technologically-oriented(which is not what some
"brazil-of-the-north" environmental alarmists might have you believe,
suggesting that Canada is a wood-harvesting-based economy)
Canadians are in general optimistic about technology, interested in
longevity, and positive about the future, yet this is combined with a
strong feeling that government and social agencies play an important role
in the future, and I don't think many believe volunteer organizations are
ready to take over the function of these institutions. It seems to me
that the most competent workers and minds in our society are not
volunteers- society tends to condition talented people to use their
talents to make money, rather than to volunteer for the benefit of
humankind. Although I agree with the other principles of extropianism, I
am not wholly convinced that people will volunteer enough to maintain the
social programs such as secondary and post-secondary education that we
enjoy today. This seems to me like a similar assumption to that of Karl
Marx, that people are just going to "do their part" because they are so
glad to be in the idyllic society that they are in . For Marx, it was an
idyllic society of equality, for extropianism, it is an idyllic society of

Geoff Smith
e-mail: geoffs@unixg.ubc.ca