[extropy-chat] Politics: Extropian party

Acy James Stapp astapp at fizzfactorgames.com
Mon Jul 19 17:34:25 UTC 2004

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> On Jul 14, 2004, at 12:56 PM, Acy James Stapp wrote:
>> I have had a few thoughts on extropianism as a political movement.
>> Candidates:
>> Most third-party candidates are hopeless. In order to compete
>> politically our candidates need to be professional politicians.
>> They need the affect, the appearance, and the attitude to be
>> elected. In short, they need to be 'electable'.
> I hope I am not alone in wanting first and foremost a candidate that
> stand on and for well articulated  principles.   I could care less if
> the person looks/acts/talks like a "professional politician" as most
> of these are utterly adverse to principles.

You are not alone, but you are atypical. I personally vote for 
candidates based on their issues; however, the majority of the 
electorate (the part that matters) is not only unaware of the 
existence of third-party candidates until they see the name on 
the ballot, but thinks that the third-party candidates they are 
aware of are kooks and nutballs.
>> experience. We need to decide which issues are most salient for
>> extropian values and then be as centrist as possible on all
>> other issues. I know, you all have your pet issues that you
> Being "centrist" is extreme times with our future on the line is worse
> than worthless.  Cherry-picking "issues" while really standing for
> nothing in hopes of manipulating the machine to get into office is
> what most politicians do today.  We have seen what it brings us. 
> Don't even bother to start a party if you are only out to play the
> same tired game.

'Manipulating the machine' is the only way to get into office.
Forming a political party indicates an intent to work within
the existing political system to effect change conducive to
extropian ideals. That's a key word, 'ideals'. Almost all issues
can be approached with an extropian slant, but we should 
focus on our ideals, and have a well-articulated core platform.
Campaign on the platform, both to get yourself elected and to
legitimise the party and platform. Deal with your pet issues
after you are in office.

>> Social Stratification:
>> People will vote for the party that improves their situation
>> the most. This results in party boundaries along social class
>> lines. We need to convince people of all socioeconomic back-
>> grounds that extropianism will improve their life and their
>> situation mroe than any of the other parties.
> Rational or irrational "improvement"?   The major parties are powerful
> because they more or less have goodies for sale.  But this is not
> exactly a rational improvement.

Improvement in the sense of making their day-to-day life less
better. If you can't afford food, it's certainly nice when
someone promises you food stamps. If you are unemployed,
it sure is nice if the government pays the rent for you.
If you are a wealthy investor and make much of your income
from capital gains, a reduction or elimination of the capital
gains tax will be appealing. Rational or not, selfishness is
one reason people choose parties.

>> We have to convince big business to give us money. Everyone
>> knows it is happening and it's an integral part of the modern
>> political process. Pretending it doesn't exist is stupid, and
>> ideological objections to it will ensure that we never achieve
>> high office. Pragmatism is the way to go.
> In short you will be owned by everyone and everything other than the
> principles that supposedly make you different and worth considering.

Sad, I know, but necessary. Politics is a dirty business.

>> Disentrenchment:
>> We need to use our efforts not only to promote the extropian
>> party, but the ideals of a true multi-party system. Easing
>> ballot access is a big one. Our best bet may be to take over
>> an existing political party and let the entrenchment of the
>> two-party system work in our favor.
> More maneuvering without really bothering to define and offer a real
> difference?    I realize you said these are just thoughts off the top
> of your head but this is tired and singularly uninspiring, even to the
> choir.

Tired and uninspiring perhaps, but still needed and necessary for 
the formation of an effective extropian party.

> -s

Thanks for the input. I certainly share your disdain for the political
system in the US, but we obviously have differences of opinion on
how to change it. If you have any suggestions for achieving extropian 
political power I am excited to hear them.


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