[extropy-chat] Politics: Extropian party

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Wed Jul 14 05:48:42 UTC 2004

--- Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> Found the transhumanist party?

Would you believe the Extropians were, in at least one
widely-consumed piece of science fiction, a major
political party?  (At least, one of the two major
parties was called the Extropians, and its beliefs
were not that different from ExI's official

The rest of this post applies primarily to the U.S.A.,
although one can see minor edits to apply it to, say,
the E.U.

I wonder whether it would be worthwhile for there to
be a major Transhumanist party, and as part of that
consideration, what would need to be done to create
one?  By "major" I mean fully the equivalent of the
Democrats or the Republicans as they are today, not
widely ignored like the Libertarians and Greens are.
No offense to members of those parties, BTW, but they
are, and there are reasons for that.  (For those who
would place the blame on the American voters: that
doesn't solve anything.  It is those voters, as they
are, who will put a politician in power or not - so
those who seek power must work with them, flaws and
all.  And yes, sufficient voter sentiment will
overcome any and all gaming of the system, as has
happened many times before.  Even if you believe the
worst about them, Diebold's executives are pansies
compared to certain operatives in the past.)

One aspect that would need to be addressed is fleshing
out the application of transhumanist philosophy to
non-central themes.  For instance, where do we stand
on farm subsidies?  Mining rights (in the very near
future, well before molecular nanotechnology can
change things)?  How would we best spin our
advocation of personal enhancement's effect on sports,
and the logical promotion of dual leagues - today's
league for the unenhanced with all the same
regulation, and another where technological innovation
(largely fuelled by money, granted, but not entirely)
reigns supreme over natural muscle even on the
platform of the human body?  What about security - we
wouldn't allow it to override personal liberty, true,
but how would we promote actual security?  Or how
about trade (which can tie in to security: make the
leaders know much of their nations' strength depends
on trade with us, and watch them crack down on threats
to us - for all that France dislikes us right now, few
of its leaders would even dream of doing us great
harm, even covertly)?  Immigration (say, do we have
any clever solutions for dealing with the mass of
people who see opportunity here that they do not at
home, yet for one reason or another do not go through
official channels*)?  What about religion and
morality (like it or not, there are a lot of voters
who call themselves Christian, so an outright assault
on the entire Christian faith - as opposed to, say,
pointing out why certain interpretations of Jesus's
words, like the ban on stem cells, actually go against
His wishes - would be counterproductive)?

* An idea on immigration: what if, instead of quotas,
we made it so all who reach our borders can be granted
citizenship if they otherwise pass the usual criteria
(pass the basic civics tests, swear allegiance to the
U.S., not be a wanted criminal here or at home unless
applying for amnesty, and so forth)?  Coming here and
refusing (or excessively failing) to meet the other
criteria (save for not being a criminal, which gets
dealt with in the usual way) would be punishable by
registration (fingerprinting, photo ID, and possibly
DNA sampling) and deportation on the first offense,
although cases of ignorance (likely the majority of
cases: some laborer hears America is the land of gold
and either does not consider or, given experiences at
home, actively disbelieves that it might be better to
do so legally) would be educated about what legal
immigration actually entails and given a chance to
comply.  Repeat offenses would get jail time or maybe,
if potentially a threat to national security (these
are foreigners breaching our laws on our soil, after
all), death.

Geh.  From all the parentheticals, you can tell how
complex this thought is.  And that's only scratching
the surface - and doesn't even get into the
practicalities of organizing a support base, getting
on the ballot (or getting transhumanist candidates
seriously capable of defeating Dem & Rep candidates
through already-on-the-ballot third parties**), or
considering if it's worth it?

** Logical extension: use the Dems or Reps themselves?
Probably not worth it: the parties tend to say, "thou
SHALT vote our way regardless of your personal
feelings or we sack and replace you", far more often
than seems a good price to pay.

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