Re: The Extropian Principles

Max More (
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 20:15:54 -0700 (MST)

At 10:38 AM 8/12/96 +0100, Sarah Marr wrote:
>At 17:14 11/08/96 -0700, Max More wrote:
>>I'd say governments are the result of a kind of SO, but they are not
>>examples *of* SO. Spontaneously ordering processes can produce results that
>>themselves are inimical to spontaneous order.
>>Actually, if spontaneous order is to have any meaning, we have to restrict
>>the processes that we characterize that way.
>Max, aren't you therefore defining 'spontaneous order' on the basis of the
>Extropian desirability of both the order and the process of achieving that
>order? I, like you, am not sure that the process leading to central
>government is one of spontaneous order, but if it _were_, how could we then
>say that the result was not spontaneous order, merely because we didn't
>agree with the nature of that order, or the way it was reached? The phrase
>'spontaneous order' doesn't lend itself to such value judgements.

Sarah: You raise a good point. However -- no, I am not defining S.O. on the
basis of its desirability from an extropic point of view. Extropians tend to
like the idea of S.O. because they are so valuable in social coordination.
This does not mean that all S.O.'s are to be judged good from an extropic
point of view. Their desirability is not part of their definition or
conditions for being distinguished from centrally-realized orders.

If you read my "Order Without Orderers" in Extropy #7 (I should add it to my
Web site soon) you'll see that I do grant a major place for non-spontaneous
orders. Both kinds have their place (corporate structures have major
elements of planned order for example). S.O.s are especially valuable when
it comes to economies and societies as a whole. S.O.'s can contain within
themselves valuable planned orders. Precisely in which situations one kind
of order is preferable to another -- or what mix of each on any level is
desirable -- is a fascinating question.