Re: The FAQ is completed!

Natasha Vita-More (
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 23:05:19 -0600

At 12:52 AM 2/21/99 -0500, you wrote:

>You explicitly denied being libertarian (and also said something
>about a political party, but that's not really relevant ;).

Yes this is true in regards to the party alignment, and it is relevant to me.

>>What I advocate is freedom of choice. As far as I understand, Extropy
>>Institute does not align itself with any one political party. As for Max,
>>he is an individual and can chose for himself.
>Now *I* have no idea. :) Libertarianism is a philosophy, which in part
>deals with politics (or the lack thereof). There is also a Libertarian
>Party, but it is less libertarian than it once was, and many people
>(including myself) refer to ourselves as "libertarians", to distinguish
>us from "Libertarians" who are part of a political party.

Yes, this is true about libertarians and the Libertarian party. Thanks for making this distinction.

>Given that libertarianism is the belief that force should not be used
>except in self-defense, do you believe that the term is no longer
>compatible with "extropy"? If so, why has this changed (since
>*someone* put this into the extropy memeset)?

Libertarianism is a political philosophy emphasizing the rights of the individual and its doctrine stresses the right to self-ownership and, by extension, the right to private ownership of material resources and property. Most oppose any form of taxation and was espoused by anarchists in the 19th century.

In 1970s Libertarianism reappeared in U.S. political thinking representing individual liberty in light a bulging government entering in all aspects of life. The party was founded in the U.S. in 1972 and "candidates have run for political office, including the presidency, in all 50 states, but it has not won enough adherents to be a major political force."

Now: Rights of the individual is extropian. Taxes happen, and although I oppose them I'd rather pay than go to jail. Also, I do not mind paying some of my taxes. Growing government control is an issue that Americans need to deal with in the best ways possible. The Libertarian Party does not get enough votes to swing any major political force. There are other alternatives that I would like to be involved with.

I think Milton Friedman's talk at the Cato Conference a few months ago was an important reminder of the too much government control. "In my view, reducing the scope of government is our most important single objective." (Friedman)

Do I think that force should only be used in self-defense? Do you mean would I push my views on someone against their will? No. Do I think government should push its views on me against my will? No.