Re: What is to be done?

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 19:38:52 -0800 (PST)

> >> Thus a strategy for "what is to be done" might be to distance
> >>transhumanist technological goals from libertarianism and
> >>anarcho-capitalism, at least at the public-relations and educational
> >>interface to the rest of the non-transcended world.
> And at 03:44 PM 3/23/97 GMT, Guru George commented:
> >Sorry, but this strikes me as cowardice.
> Does it really? It strikes me as abundant good sense. The alternative
> strikes me as narrow-minded, self-defeating sectarianism.

It's not cowardice, but it is short-sightedness, something Extropians
should certainly work against.

Support of high-tech transhumanist goals is good, but what good will it
be if we get jailed for acting on those goals when they arrive because
we failed to keep our politics in line with our goals? Where will we be
if we are prevented from discovering the new technologies we need by
failing to use effective epistemology?

This is the same argument libertarians hear constantly: Why don't
you work to reduce government without being so vocal about drug
legalization? Why don't you concentrate on civil rights instead
of being so negative about taxes?

Well, the questions could easily be reversed: Why doesn't the LP
concentrate on the evils of drug prohibition and less on the anti-
government rhetoric? Why don't they work to lower taxes, and spend
less time on unpopular ideas like legalizing prostitution? Or in
the present case, why don't Extropians spend more time concentrating
on real-world, immediate goals like libertarian politics and
evolutionary epistemology rather than sci-fi fantasies?

The LP supports policies because they are consistent with a single
vision. It is that vision we believe in, and we would lose sight of
it if we chopped it up into pieces. Extropianism is a vision, and
that vision has consequences in /all/ fields of human endeavor. It
is not mere stubbornness to be consistent in that vision, because we
are open to changing as our vision clarifies and the environment we
hold it in changes. But it would be narrow minded, perhaps even
evasive, to shy away from parts of the vision just because they aren't
popular yet.