[ExI] If anyone wants to Respond to the IEET piece re "Promblems of Transhumanism"

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Feb 8 17:21:11 UTC 2010

On 2/8/2010 11:00 AM, Natasha Vita-More wrote:

> "Libertarian transhumanists like Thiel and More..."
> Please read:  RU's interview with Max:
> http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/people/Max-More/?interview=

That would be the following 2004 discussion:

<I am not a libertarian, unless you take a generously broad view of the 
term. I’m hardly an exception these days. Even going back a few years, a 
survey of Extropy Institute members showed that a substantial proportion 
did not describe their political views with the l-word. When it comes to 
politics and economics, a high degree of pragmatism (in the skeptical 
and empiricist sense) is healthy, and ideology is problematic.>

As far as the actual quote in James Hughe's essay goes, does it 
misrepresent Max's thinking on the topic at issue? This next quote would 
suggest that Hughe's implication of antidemocratic or top-down bias (if 
that's what he means) is wrong:

<OPEN SOCIETY: Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech, 
freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social 
control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power. 
Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion. 
Openness to improvement rather than a static utopia. [...] I find it 
both amusing and revolting to observe socialist transhumanists who 
characterize themselves as "democratic transhumanists" but use the term 
"democracy" as a cover for using governmental power to compel everyone 
to fit into their notion of “equality.” Democracy, in the more generally 
accepted sense, is an important way of implementing the principle of 
Open Society.>

Still, Max is quoted as saying

<Democratic arrangements have no intrinsic value; they have value only
to the extent that they enable us to achieve shared goals while protecting
our freedom. Surely, as we strive to transcend the biological limitations of
human nature, we can also improve upon monkey politics? >

Damien Broderick

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