Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at
Tue Apr 19 02:22:44 UTC 2005

Joseph Bloch wrote:

> Adrian Tymes wrote:
>>One can't defeat government on one's own.  
> I think that's the problem right there; the idea that government is 
> something to be "defeated".

> ... I believe government has legitimate functions beyond 
> enforcing contracts and national defense (at least until the advent
> of the PostHuman era, ....), and from a practical standpoint the 
> view is even grimmer ...

> Would I like less government? Sure. Would I like to pay less taxes
> to fund less government? Of course. Do I want to "defeat
> government"? Nope, and people who do are either anarchists, 
> whackos, or (most likely) both. And they most certainly won't 
> succeed.
> And I want to succeed. If we don't, we're toast.

So without "defeating government" how "practically" do you plan
to "succeed" and so avoid becoming "toast"?  By conventional 
standards individuals that do "succeed", still become toast by 
most standards of a "PostHumen era" I have heard of.   Bill Gates,
George Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, these are the names of 
"successful" human *mortals*. 

Do you think a "PostHuman era" can emerge with existing governments
in place?

I think technological change will change the nature of governments
but the rate of change that is technologically possible will be greatly
reduced by the fact of government. That is not meant to be an anti-
government statement, just an observation on a reality of the landscape. 

Unless the "PostHuman era" is reduced down to something more
politically deliverable like "incremental change", I don't think national
governments can deliver a PostHuman era within the lifetime of anyone
on this list (say within a 100 years). Talk of a PostHuman era that 
involves more than incremental change is likely to look to most national
governments pretty much like talk of ultra-libertarians seems to look to
you. Unrealistic and to the extent that it is realistic dangerous to the 
existing order. 

My point is a simple one. The amount of change that PostHuman 
aspirants want to achieve in their lifetimes has to take place within
something less than 25 Presidential elections of four years. Patents
are usually granted for about 17 years. So in a 100 years maybe
6 generations of patented products will come and go. 

The amount of technological change that can be squeezed through
existing systems of government to produce radically longer lifespans
without rending the social fabric is limited. Either the social fabric
will be torn or the technological rate of change will not be permitted to
go as fast as this generation of mortals would want it to for them to be
"immortal", or even have lifespans of hundred of years. Or perhaps
both the social fabric will be torn AND the rate of technological
development will be slowed. 

Countries that allow some of their populations to have lifespans of
hundred of years whilst vast numbers of others in their populations
continue to die will be countries with massive internal political

Brett Paatsch 

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