[ExI] Transhumanist European Front

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 10:10:08 UTC 2009

Since the cat is out of the bag by now, I am pleased to announce
"officially" a new international transhumanist Web site, established by
Riccardo Campa and myself at http://www.transhumanismus.eu.

The site is still at a very primordial stage, and its future development
will depend to a large extent to the data and materials that the selected
local orgs may care to submit.

Please note that as a purely personal initiative the same does not involve
any responsibility from the side of the Associazione Italiana Transumanisti,
nor of course of any other association already or in the future mentioned

This is the statement of its mission:

<<The purpose of this Web site is to create a single point of reference for
European transhumanism, aimed at a long overdue increase in its visibility
and in the reciprocal exchanges and cooperation amongst its several
components and local organisations.

 Accordingly, we have no plan to replace them, but rather to support,
promote and integrate their activities. Nor for that matter is it our
intention to try and compete with Humanity Plus, formerly the World
Transhumanist Association, of which many of the groups mentioned herein are
local chapters.

Yet, the name of this initiative is eloquent as to the very explicite
stances which have commanded its establishment.

*EUROPEAN*: In spite of a wide use of a "global" or "globalist" vocabulary,
or perhaps because of it, transhumanism is still too often perceived as a
niche, peculiar US phenomenon, and this impression is reinforced by the
over-representation of American initiatives, mentality, events, political
and cultural debates, points of views, authors, concerns in its
international fora and press. While the "hub" role that the United States -
or, for that matter, California - may have historically played in the
establishment of contemporary, organised transhumanism cannot be denied,
this fact obviously does not make for an easier penetration and adoption of
our ideas in other parts of the world, let alone where globalism is more
likely to be perceived as an entropic loss of diversity, identity and
popular sovereignty. Additionally, Europe in particular has expressed along
the years a vibrant thread of cultural movements and trends and writers
deserving attention and recognition as obvious precursors of transhumanism,
or as open transhumanists themselves, irrespective of the adoption of the T
word itself. This makes for a richness and for a difference in flavours
which should not be underestimated and/or neglected, and for an important
opportunity for cross-pollination amongst different European transhumanist
cultural environments.

*TRANSHUMANIST*: In order for the best, most balanced and reasonable
policies to be adopted at national, continental and international levels, we
believe that the case should be bluntly and unabashedly presented for
technology, scientific freedom, biological self-determination, grand
civilisational projects, fundamental research and generous financing
thereof, directed evolution and eugenics, up to and beyond a posthuman
change in plural directions. Exactly as the opposite is done by the
adversaries of all that. Even without resorting to Nietzsche, Foucault,
Heidegger and Lyotard (or, more recently, Roberto Marchesini or Peter
Sloterdijk or Rémi Sussan), we contend that simply on the basis of
contemporary scientific worldviews "humanity" may well be considered an
important evolutionary step, but not something which should emotionally be
more important to us than, say, "simianity" or "mammalism". Moreover, we
deem it unlikely that an attempt to think a posthuman-ist future can spare
the effort of developing a post-humanist vision - whatever positive values
humanism may have had in its time having being encompassed, as the WTA
Transhumanist Declaration used to say in its point five,... by transhumanism
itself. Thus, we do not cater to the idea that transhumanism's first concern
should be that of appeasing the fears of neoluddites, comply with western
political correctness, or struggle for a "respectability" that would only be
the mark of irrelevance. "Compromises", "tradeoffs" and "doublespeak" are
the tools-in-trade of governments, politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats,
entrepreneurs. Not of lobbies, visionaries, think tanks or grass-roots

*FRONT*: We chose to adopt this provocative word with its political and
military undertones to express the idea that transhumanism in our view is
emphatically NOT a cheerleading ring for technological developments bound to
take place automagically no-matter-what, a fandom, or a tea-club for some
Gedankenexperimente on a Rapture-(or Possible-Doom-Unless-X)-to-Come. We see
transhumanism as a metapolitical, social and cultural struggle, aimed at a
revolutionary change of our way of life on the scale of the neolithic
revolution, and in the shorter term fighting for self-determination and
access to technology, against prohibitionist policies at a national as well
as at an international level. Whatever changes may be prophesised or hoped
for, for the near or the remote future, we maintain that it will only take
place if somebody will make them happen. Indulging in the investment of too
many energies in discussing how to steer in the most responsible and
consensual fashion eschatological transformations taken for granted, when
everything in our reality indicates a spotty scenario at best, and
stagnation or relinquishment at worse, does not bode well for
transhumanism's credibility and seriousness. In conclusion, transhumanism
has an interest for us only inasmuch as it is a movement with an agenda,
competing for mindshare with other similar movements; and as it has
supporters willing to accord priority to the achievement of its short- and
mid-term goals over old ideological splits.>>

Stefano Vaj
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