Re: Down With Democracy?

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sat Oct 06 2001 - 11:54:06 MDT

Following Anders's lead on linking stuff to Extropianism: How does Hoppe's
views -- in and his
recent book _Democracy: The God that Failed_ -- on government relate to
Extropianism or, at least, transhumanism?

Well, they could for or against or some mix.

I think they are mostly complimentary. In order to sustain technological
and cultural progress we need a market like social structure -- one that can
easily, nonlinearly search the possibility space for new ideas. (Markets
are spontaneous orders; ultimately, the kind of libertarianism proposed by
others and me is based on an equality of authority -- each person being her
or his own leader -- rather than an equality of some results.)

A command structure -- the only social alternative; another nonsocial one
being autarky where there are not social interactions -- would not do this.
It would centralize all the decision making and limit the search space to
whatever either the majority as a majority or the leadership could imagine
or desire.

Therefore, I think market-like structures -- or social structures that allow
market interactions -- i.e., individual, voluntary ones -- are more
Extropian than the alternatives. This does not mean every society must be
exactly the same, down to the lowest interaction level.

Notably, the more free, in terms of individual initiative -- what other type
of freedom is there? -- a social there is, the more overall progress there
typically is. Also, self-transformation and not serving a social order is
the hallmark of such societies. (Granted, members of such societies might
not always choose the right way to do this and most people, sadly, prefer
confromity, but this is true of all society types.) Such societies also
exhibit practical optimism, since the focus of change is usually at the
microlevel -- not at the level of grand social schemes than absorb and blur
out individual choice. All of these are Extropian values, right?

Now, a society that stifles microlevel change is, in my eyes, less like a
dynamic society able to support progress. At best, the command society can
foster sweeping changes but only top down. The directions for change are
limited, and typically many individuals are unable to adjust. They get left
out. Strict majority rule, e.g., does this. The majority gets its way. If
the majority wants pizza, the rest can't choose to have the salad or

Let me explicate another point. I think we can all agree that Extropianism
to be optimally carried out is not compatible with every form of society.
This is a meta-issue in this debate. Or do we agree on this?

I'm not saying Hoppe would totally agree with this -- or that I would
totally agree with Hoppe.


Daniel Ust
    See my "Baxter on Births, Individualism, and Inheritance" at:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:12 MDT