Re: POLI: quiet socialist revolution

J. de Lyser (
Sat, 22 Feb 1997 09:41:49 +0100

At 17:53 21-02-97 -0800, you wrote:
>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.

The problem with socialism is that it often limits economic growth, as well
as individual freedom. While i'm by no means an absolute/complete
anarchist, and free market capitalist. 'Forcing' people into being
altuistic, like it is being done today, is not my idea of an ideal society

> 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

Actually i just noted in the other thread that i assumed extropianism
believes in the old liberal/humanist idea that people will automatically do
what is good for them, and that this itself will bring benefit to society
as a whole.

My point excactly was that the more education people receive, the better
they will be able to do so. A system like they propose *could* go spiraling
down in a few generations, if there is no coordination, there is no
guarantee that it will, but there is no guarantee that it won't. Problem is
to find a form of coordination (a social contract if you will) which still
leaves complete individual freedom intact. Extropianism suggests a
completely voluntary system, which i believe in. Just not with the same
kind of blind optimism that the system will take care of itself, of some of
the other people on this list.

It's funny to be on the other side once, defending the ideas of the people
i normally 'criticize'. But i think you'll find a great difference here in
'degrees' to which people believe in this system. And as they told me when
i joined, 'you don't have to be a libertarian in order to be an extropian'.
My experience is you automatically become a moderate libertarian when you
stay on this list long enough ;-)

I also wonder how many of the individualists here call themselves 'true'
extropians. How the hell do you organise individualists or anarchists ?.
Maybe it's like in that monty python movie 'life of brian' when brian says:
don't follow me: 'you are all individuals', and the crowd replies
simultaneously: 'Yes we are all individuals!' We're individualists, yet we
all seem to have flocked together on this list, instead of mailing to
eachother via our own lists, which you should expect from ultra-
individualists really. It makes us a rather bizarre, but all the more
interesting 'collective'. :-)

J. de Lyser