Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 17:23:55 MDT

Jason Joel Thompson wrote:
> > Jason Joel Thompson wrote:
> > >
> > > Mike quoted:
> > >
> > > > "A person who wants a society that is both safe and free, wants what
> > > > never
> > > > has been, and what never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson
> > >
> > > Ah, there's the rub. Why are so many people so mentally/philosophically
> > > challenged at the prospect of negotiating a non-absolute line of
> compromise
> > > between these two concepts?
> >
> > Being free is like being pregnant. You either is, or you isn't.
> You believe that freedom is an absolute? Don't you think, for instance,
> that one can be free to do certain things and not free to do others? Can't
> we be simultaneously free and not-free?
> I think the insistence that one is either 100% free or 100% enslaved is
> rudimentary and a poor model to describe the actual interactions of complex
> individuals. In fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to describe a scenario
> in which an individual is 100% free (which it appears one must be in order
> to be defined as free at all by your interpretation?) I agree that we
> cannot have a society that is both -100%- safe and -100%- free-- the two
> qualities necessarily impose upon each other. The balance we need to strike
> instead is of finding an acceptable compromise-- we pay for security with
> the currency of our freedom.
> The dilemma of massively destructive technologies is the need for
> overwhelming security in the face of individual power. I do not relish the
> prospect of an absolute police state.

The reasonable limits on freedom are where they conflict with the
freedoms of other individuals, the old "your right to swing your fist
ends at my nose" routine. The problem today is that this is not seen as
the boundary anymore. The boundary is now seen as that point at which
other people feel safe to have you around, usually this mandates that
jack booted government goons be the ones to make sure they do feel safe.
This is not freedom. Just as I say a part time slavery to the
government is morally no different than a full time slavery to other
individuals, you cannot be partly free. Limits to your freedom based on
the freedoms of others does not enslave you. Limits placed on your
freedom for the benefit of the government, or for peoples perception of
safety, that is slavery, no matter what degree you those limits are.
100% free is when all individuals are equally 100% free, and government
is acting its proper part as our servant. When a government agent has
more rights than you do, you are no longer free.


Mike Lorrey

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." --- Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

"A person who wants a society that is both safe and free, wants what never has been, and what never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson

"It's a Republic, if you can keep it..." --- Benjamin Franklin

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