[extropy-chat] Futures Politics
transhumanist at goldenfuture.net
Thu Nov 3 03:25:44 UTC 2005
Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> Since I will be asked my political views this coming weekend in an
> interview with a French film on the future, I have outlined my futures
> politics as 4 points:
> 1. Nonpartisan. I believe that no political party today advocates
> solutions for the world's most immediate issues.
I see you not advocating a "nonpartisan" approach here so much as
wishing there was a new party to which you could adhere. As in, if there
were a party that did "advocate solutions for the world's most immediate
issues", you would be willing to support it. Even supporting Dirk's
nascent party is a form of "partisanship" in that sense.
> 2. Neither right nor left, but "forward." Drawing a hard line
> between conservatives and liberals is ineffective and looking ahead is
> the best position to take when addressing what the world needs to
> focus on in the coming decades.
I tend to agree. (Although I should point out that I think Dirk in his
response was speaking to the idea that traditionally the political Left
advocates the interests of the State over the Individual, and
traditionally the Right advocates the reverse, in his rather terse reply
to you, which you didn't seem to understand.) I think that politics in
the future will transcend these pre-French Revolution ideas and move to
something else. What that will be, I cannot say, and I daresay none of
us can, inasmuch as we will (if our aspirations come to fruition) be
several orders of magnitude more intelligent than we are today, and our
current political views will seem as quaint to us then as our opinions
in kindergarden seem to us today as adults.
> 3. Futures Strategy. Designing strategic analysis of issues that
> society faces and producing alternative "futures" for society to
> review before voting. The Futures Strategy would provide the means
> for people - anywhere and at anytime - to learn about issues, possible
> options for dealing with and solving problems, and to voice their own
> opinions through a time-efficient and cost-effective P2P architecture.
This presupposes two things. 1) That the democratic ideal of a
well-informed electorate is superior to the decision-making process
achieved by experts in the matter at hand, and, 2) a well-informed
electorate is something which is achievable on a practical level.
Ignorance of complex issues notwithstanding, we are faced with the fact
that most people simply don't care enough to cast a vote, and most of
those who do, do so on the basis of ill-defined party loyalties. I
direct your attention to the upcoming elections here in the US next
Tuesday, which I predict will see as dismal a turnout as any in recent
memory (with the possible exception of California, which is seeing a LOT
of money being poured into the ballot measures offered in the special
election), because people just don't care.
> 4. Encouragement of critical thinking. In order to understand issues
> society needs to be skilled at critical thinking.
This I wholeheartedly agree with, but you run smack-dab into the face of
various religious interests, which considering they comprise 90+% of the
population here in the United States, renders this a less-than-optimal
strategy, at least here. Look no farther than the renewed debate about
evolution, for crying out loud. Africa and Asia seem to be even worse.
Perhaps in Europe...
In the most general sense, we cannot by definition know what posthuman
politics will be like, any more than an australopithicus could know what
the World Cup would be like.
It is also clear that no political ideology is currently aimed at
bringing about a posthuman ideology, with any realistic chance of success.
Forming a political party with that express purpose seems somewhat
premature. What we must do, it seems to me, is to lay the groundwork so
that such a movement is seen as inevitable, and be prepared to act as
its vanguard, ideologically if nothing else, organizationally if possible.
It all comes down to a single question. Does Posthumanity need us? If
yes, we need to get organized and get things moving, because there are
forces which actively and effectively oppose us. If no, if market forces
for human enhancement will inevitably trump the political triumphs of
the Leon Kass's and Francis Fukyama's of the world, then just sit back
and enjoy the ride.
Personally, I reluctantly admit the former scenario to be much more likely.
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