Re: Public Relations
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 22:45:01 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 5 Jan 1998, Michael Lorrey wrote:

[discussing the principles and agenda of an "extropian" activist and
lobbying organization]
> Well, I think that the number one goal should be working to maximize
> individual human freedoms everywhere. Not just censorship here or womens
> rights there. I mean, the ACLU, as much as I hate their damliberal
> stance of avoiding protecting the 2nd amendment, I do respect greatly
> for their willingness to at least fight for the 1st amendment rights of
> those who even directly oppose what most ACLU members stand for. We
> should take a similar stance, only with regard to ALL political rights.
> In the US, I think this means we should publicize the 9th Amendment as
> much as possible, as that is what gives the most and broadest power to
> the people. I kinda look at the 9th as the Curley of the Bill of Rights.
> It never gets the attention or respect it deserves, and its always
> getting slapped around by the autocrat, Moe.
> But in general, we should really emphasize that we don't look at rights
> as something that can be treated with a buffet style attitude. Take them
> all or take none. BY making this the issue, we paint both sides of the
> current political spectrum as extremists, and us as the mainstream that
> is for maximizing freedom for the most people.
> I think with a general, but firm message like this, we can attract good
> PR, support from flighty and often vacuous celebrities (so what its the
> message that counts) who can even understand so basic a concept, and
> appeal to the broadest range of people. The technological implications
> are implicit and can be soft pedalled. We know that it will get here.
> What we need to do is prepare the body politic to be receptive to
> technology is a way that is not opressive, and to prevent forces from
> using technology to yoke mankind firther into slavery.

Okay. I have a few quibbles here and there, but the main question, the
question I keep returning to, is this: What makes the organization you
are outlining here *extropian* rather than just fairly conventionally
American libertarian? Your claim seems to be that the best preparation
for the technological future extropians anticipate is to spread as widely
as possible a respect for rights and liberty in their libertarian
formulations. This is arguable, and I wouldn't mind seeing the arguments
so long as they didn't veer too much into Basics. But the thing that is
most relevant to the topic at hand is that the organization you are
outlining would be pretty indistinguishable from a libertarian
organization and I can't see why it wouldn't represent an unecessary
duplication of services. Is there a uniquely *extropian* agenda and space
of activism that remains to be filled, one that might actually deserve the
moniker "the extropian *movement*"? Best, Dale