Re: degrees of openness

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 4 Dec 1997 15:22:12 -0800 (PST)

> >If we want to discuss our ideas with others who strongly disagree,
> >there's a forum for that, too: it's called Usenet.
> >(Look for me on dejanews)
> I agree 100%
> What I disagree is with your "argument" that because you have money you are
> an extropian and can join the list while I can't. The simple fact that you
> have money - 95$ - to spend makes you nothing better than anyone else in
> discussing any issue in the world. And since basically that's what you are
> trying to do, I'm expressing my disagreement. All I said was as simple as
> that, I disagree with prejudices based on wealth! I disagree when you say
> that you are more "qualified" to discuss extropianism because you have more
> wealth!

The issue here is how ExI's spends its resources here. Respecting
private property is not discrimination based on wealth--it's ordinary
human decency. Whether or not you have $95 doesn't make me believe
you are any better or worse of a person by itself--but if I'm offering
something /I own/ for that price, if you don't have the money you don't
get my goods. That's not discrimination, that's just business, and the
only alternative to that is theft.

That having been said, even if there /is/ wealth-based prejudice in
some minds, I think that's quite a fair and valuable prejudice, and
discriminating on those grounds is not entirely irrational. In earlier
times when wealth was amassed through aristocracy, slavery, conquest,
and other unpleasant means, one might have been justified in
discriminating /against/ the wealthy like Jesus did ("It is harder
for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man
to enter the kingdom of heaven"), and maybe even in some societies
today with corrupt systems of government and business, wealth might
correlate strongly with moral depravity. But in the developed world
today, the greater number of transactions between humans that are
voluntary, the more likely wealth is to correlate with cooperation
and doing valuable service to others. Since earning a living by
free trade is the most socially responsible act one can perform,
choosing to associate with those who do so is quite rational. If by
doing so I miss out on the occasional interesting poor person, well
that's my loss, but I don't have time in my life to accomplish
anything without having prejudices--it's just not possible.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC