[extropy-chat] Defending freedom

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Thu Apr 19 15:12:00 UTC 2007

At 08:36 AM 4/19/2007 +1000, Brian wrote:
>Max wrote:


>They aren't questions Max they are statements. I do respect
>that in the past you have had the courage and integrity to be
>open about your reservations about democracy. I too have
>reservations about democracy. If no one did then nothing
>better could arise.
>I am a libertarian. Being a libertarian in my book carries
>duties to defend freedom when freedom is threatened.

So it seemed to me back in 1996 when the scientology cult threatened 
freedom of speech by trying to destroy a news group.  Somebody had to do 
it, but I can tell you the cost so far has been a large multiple of the 
most I ever earned in a year.

>George W Bush's "war on terror" is the stupidist most
>absurb proposition turned into policy that a country full
>of appeasers has sat and nodded at since Caligula married
>his horse.
>When the nazis came to power in Germany they were able
>to do so because men and women that could have together
>done something about it did not act early enough.

I used to think that way.  Wore a white rose to my court appearances 
even.  Now I am not at all sure they could have had an effect against the 
social forces at work and the psychological traits humans have that came 
out of our history as hunter gatherers.

>I have issues with American libertarians because they are
>not, in sufficient numbers or more importantly in significant
>effective efforts, defending the most fundamental freedoms
>of all.

It takes organized groups to affect policy in a democracy.  Organizing 
libertarians is a task akin to herding cats.  Max did it better than anyone 
else I know.  I am even more of a "lead by example" and look where it got me.

>Your extropian principles were an excellent effort by the
>younger man that was yourself to articulate a vision for a
>way forward. But fine words uttered in ones youth are not
>If one will not stand up and fight for a principle and struggle and
>even die for a principle, ones most cherished principle, then one
>is not really alive.

I agree with you.  Sorry if I have not been paying attention, but could you 
fill me in with what you have been doing?  I know it is not on the level 
you want to deal with, but would you like to picket the scientology cult 
with me?  It isn't *that* likely to get you jail time or make you an exile.

>Why haven't I see you lobbying or writing for the impeachment
>of President Bush Max? There are people in your country that
>are - the case for it, the need for it could hardly be clearer. Why
>aren't you defending the constitution that is the bedrock of your
>real freedom?

You really should not expect people to maintain the fire for more than a 
few decades.

>Your extropian principles, as has been discussed before, by folk
>like Hal come into tension with each other.
>We all have to make our living in this less than ideal world. But
>if we don't take a stand on anything because the highest goal
>we have is always to keep ourselves alive then we never really

That's true.  I have been with Max when we both had HIV contaminated fluids 
up to our elbows.  That's taking a stand and a serious risk to life.  By 
your standard we have really lived.  Hope you have really lived as well.

>Bush has attacked science and reason and technology and
>people. He has said you are with us (meaning him) or against
>us.  When Presidents or Feuhrers say those things and act
>above the law we cannot not take them seriously.

Unfortunately, an irrational leader is what you should expect to develop 
when the hunter gatherer band is under attack.  But if you have any 
specific ideas, please let me know.  Private email if you like.

>The rule of law could use your support at this point in history
>Max.  Humanity could.  I could.

It's a much more difficult situation than I thought it would be eleven 
years ago.  The rule of law depends on honest courts.  What can you do when 
you find the courts themselves are committing criminal acts?  Try here if 
you want to see an accidently exposed document that demonstrates that.



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