Re: An Extropian Nation ??!

Hagbard Celine (
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 14:05:38 -0400

den Otter wrote:
> In recent mailings there has been talk of "changing the system from within"
> by an "Extropian Party" or something like that. I can almost guarantee you
> that this won't work, because (true) Extropians are such an incredibely
> small
> minority.

Yet the meme is infectious.

> In fact if Extropy were some suicidal CULT it would have more
> "followers"
> than it has now.

Suicide doesn't quite swell the ranks. :-)

> Our "enemies" are not just the politicians and business
> conglomerates and their henchmen who rule the present "system", but also
> "the people" themselves. They are the ones who really hold the system up,
> and prevent important social/political/ economical/technological change.

The "people" are you and I as well. My point is that, given the best of
information, the "people" will generally choose to better themselves.
The problem then becomes giving the people the best of information.

> The reasons for this are of course a childish fear of "the unknown", an
> aversion to personal responsibility, pure laziness, stupidity and related
> negative characteristics. Indeed, most people prefer to huddle up
> under the ubusive wings of Big Brother, pretending to be safe, rather than
> to boldly and independently surge forwards in life, always looking for
> improvement.

This is a common view and, in my opinion, untrue. People do not "huddle"
with Big Brother. Indeed, it is Big Brother who "corrals" them into
finite areas bounded by law. People are, in my opinion, by nature
self-aggrandizing animals. Fear may have once been the reason for the
social contract. However the only things "unknown" these days are of
concern to the most expert of scientists. Indeed, it is arrogant to
underestimate the collective intelligence of the human race -- or at the
very least the democratic electorate. People are smarter together than
by themselves -- once again, if they have the best of information.

> Therefore, any attempt to change the system from within is certain to fail,
> the
> progressive Extropian ideas simply lack a broad popular support.
> Consequently, Extropian politicians would be a small minority and thus an
> easy target for their less enlightened colleagues. Their progressive
> proposals would either be badly
> compromized, or be ignored/defeated.

Watered-down policy is the essence of Madisonian political architecture.
I would expect nothing less than a half-baked attempt at deregulation of
key industries.

> What are the alternatives then; doing nothing? No, this would definately
> be very
> un-Extropian.

"When the proper man does nothing, his thought is felt ten thousand
miles." -- Lao Tse


> Any "tough" future colonists (the real Extropians) out there?

I appreciate your vision.

Hagbard Celine

Not a clerk of the nostalgia of the declining ruling class.