[extropy-chat] Taking A Stand

John Grigg desertpaths2003 at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 19 13:54:59 UTC 2007

Max wrote:

>>PS. I respect that in the past you have not taken positions in
>> favour of democracy. I hope you would not take a position in
>> favour of fascism and promise breaking.
> I can barely believe that you asked me that 
> question. However, my eyes insist that these 
> incoming photons accurately represent the words 
> you wrote, so I suppose I must. I'm not deeply 
> enthusiastic about democracy because I see it as 
> restricting the liberty (and responsibility) of 
> the individual. That's as far as I will go in 
> dignifying an answer to this particular question.

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 wrote:
  As Winston Churchill was quoted as saying "Democracy is a bad system, but still the best one around"  I'm wondering if the above mentioned problem with democracy is that the majority of politically active people tend to close-minded and fractious, which causes suffering for the individual who wants to go his own way and not be hemmed in with red tape at every corner.  I would hope AI and nanotech will allow humanity to become more creative and just in terms of government choices.  We will see.    
I am a libertarian. Being a libertarian in my book carries
duties to defend freedom when freedom is threatened. 

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. 

  I wrote:
  I would say Neville Chamberlain's attempts at appeasing Adolph Hitler were right up there on the list.  Bush surely has his faults but he does not order congressmen to have their wives have sex with him or else die.  Also, the president does not have an army of secret police assassins going around and killing all his enemies on the domestic front.  If Caligula somehow visited our time, I'm sure he would be quite shocked at the lack of power Bush must deal with as compared to the free rein of a Roman Emperor.
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 wrote:
  Do you see a "The Handmaid's Tale" type scenario eventually gripping the United States as a result of the Bush Administration's policies?  I'd like to know what exactly you think is coming down the pike.  I also wonder what Australian political ambitions and actions would be if your continent were much more arable with a population comparable to the United States.  Now that would make for a good science fiction story.  
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. 

  I wrote:
  I have been to several lectures by prominent Libertarians and always felt they were out of touch with political reality.  I tend to think many Libertarians would rather fantasize about stripping down the U.S. federal government to almost nothing, etc., rather than dealing with the current urgent realities of this country and the world.  I even recall that during my college years the Libertarian presence was not taken very seriously by the students there.    
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

  I wrote:
  Aha!  But could these be the fine words uttered in *your* youth?!  :  )
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 wrote:
  The founding fathers of the United States would surely agree with you.  Perhaps you should become a U.S. citizen to better carry on the fight.
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?

  I wrote:
  Brett, how do you know what Max has been doing behind the scenes? Hmm?  Attempting to impeach the current president is not a realistic plan but doing something like trying to get congress to put a deadline on the time our troops will spend in Iraq is very doable.  I hope to see the next president (either hopefully Obama or Clinton, I envision Obama winning) hit the brakes on the excesses of the "war on terror" and to pull U.S. soldiers out of Iraq.  I see the Constitution as "sacred" and if our civil liberties are seriously curtailed for an extended/permanent period of time then the terrorists really have won.  This is all about the classic quote "in fighting monsters do not become one."  
Your extropian principles, as has been discussed before, by folk
like Hal come into tension with each other.  

  I wrote:
  As any veteran Extrope would know, the Extropian Priniciples are a work in progress. : )
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

  I wrote:
  Does this tie in with the classic science fiction staple of the cowardly immortal? lol  Critics of cryonics often accuse those involved of being very self-centered.  On the other hand I tend to think of Transhumanists/cryonicists as optimistic do-gooders who really want a better world.  But perhaps they fall too easily into simply talking about it and not doing much on the practical "real world" level.  
  I often feel to have really lived I must join the military and see combat in a "good war."  This is a family tradition of sorts and like many American men, deep down I somewhat believe to be a "real man" I must serve my country in the military and even go to the extent of seeing combat.  I don't know if this is a common feeling among European males.  
  I do think in an era of indefinite lifespan that this will change because of what will be at stake.  But perhaps I will be proven wrong.  If cryonics work, I'd like upon my reanimation to join the "Mobile Infantry" or "Starfleet" of the time, even if it means gambling with my indefinite lifespan.        
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.

  I wrote:
  It amazes me that Bush continues to attack stem cell research with his veto power.  We are now at a point where even other conservative Republicans are breaking party ranks to go against him on this vital issue.  When a national leader acts as to be above the law we must take him/her *very* seriously and then act accordingly.

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

  I wrote:
  I consider Max More a great man so I agree.  But again, you do not know all he has been up to lately in these trying times.    

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