[extropy-chat] Extropy, Political Viewpoint and the Futureof ExI'sList

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Mon Oct 10 21:06:56 UTC 2005

> >To clarify my position at least...
> >I see politics as being the medium of interaction between people (or even
> >the higher animals).
> Yes, this is what politics means.
When I saw this I felt a strong need for clarification, in terms of what
politics means today, and how its meaning may be changing along with its

Being fairly ignorant of the specifics of politics, since most of my life
I've been attracted to the idealism and integrity of science but repulsed by
the widespread lack of same in politics, I looked up the definition in
various dictionaries. I found two major modes: One is that politics is about
social relations involving authority and power, and that politics is
primarily about government. Both of these these seemed to me a bit too 20th
century for effective discussion in terms of creating our future.

My perception of politics is that it is about processes of social
decision-making applied to groups, expecially with respect to methods of
influence within those processes.

I don't see that politics is *necessarily* about power or authority or
government, although those terms, coming from our immediate experience and
our history, certainly dominate the dictionary definitions, and more
significantly, dominate popular thinking on this subject.

My observations of political thinking on transhumanist lists, at least the
most vocal political thinking, is that there is strong polarization toward
either radical libertarian or radical social-democratic views, both of which
seem to miss some of what we are beginning to learn about the dynamics of
complex adaptive systems.

Politics, in the sense of effective decision-making applied to groups, is
now near the top of my list of subjects important to our well-being and
growth within a rapidly accelerating environment, and I think that an
effective approach requires that we start with clear definitions.

- Jef
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