Talk:Libertarian transhumanism

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Extropianism[edit]

Natasha Vita-More has said: "ExI is not a political organization. Extropians were and are libertarians, democrats, upwingers, non-partisan and whatever else they are.

Years ago, most "extropians" were libertarian in Silicon Valley and LA. Some of them have not been around for about seven or more years. But even if they were, when ExI kept growing, (in the mid to late 1990s) more and more people came on board who were interested in transhumanism, the future, technology and they brought with them their own political views. ExI has never stated that it is a libertarian organization and never required its members to be libertarian. I was a Green and now non-partisan. My artist friends were/are democrats or progressives. My transhuman friends were/are upwingers. My academic colleagues were/are non-partisan or progressives. They were and are all members of ExI. So you can see why they and I do not like being pigeonholed as being members of a political viewpoint that we do not share.

If you want to do something to separate out your groups from ExI to make a statement and show people that you are the more inspiring and beneficial group, then just respect Dr. More and his writings and all else will follow suit. I will quote him in an interview he did for you:

" NeoFiles: The Extropian movement encloses a strong belief in a libertarian pro-free enterprise politics within its basic principles. Do you feel that this is a necessary part of any transhumanist paradigm? Conversely, do you feel that it might unnecessarily exclude potential compatriots? (I, for instance, have basically non-ideological, ad hoc, situational, pragmatic politics – I can, in fact, be rather left wing – depending on the situation.)

Max More: The first sentence is incorrect. It’s a relic of a decade or more ago, and is deliberately perpetuated by some transhumanists (mostly, but not exclusively, socialistic ones) and accepted by those who haven’t checked for themselves. Even the earliest version of the Principles did not, in fact, “enclose a strong belief in a libertarian pro-free enterprise politics.” Granted, the early principles and the tone of our first publications certainly favored a strongly libertarian approach.

Things change. That fact is inconvenient to two groups of people: Critics who are too intellectually dishonest or lazy to tackle extropic transhumanism as it has evolved. And transhumanists who seek to misrepresent extropic transhumanism in order to build their influence over a movement they’re so desperate to control.

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. But you can also go too far with situational pragmatism.

If I must be branded with some label, let it be something like “principled pragmatism.” It may take an apparent oxymoron to convey the tricky and ever-evolving balance between theoretical, principled understanding on one hand, and raw, situation-specific perception on the other."

--Loremaster 03:13, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I too would like to maintain distance from extropianism in the definition. The connection is just a historical detail; more important are the actual beliefs. To this end I moved it down in order of appearance.--SpaceTycoon 23:34, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Natasha Vita-More was not aware of the article on libertarian transhumanism when I posted her comments here. These are from an email conversation she had with a colleague of mine for educational purposes. That being said, I agree with the rationale of your edit. --Loremaster 00:29, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I've edited the article to take into account Vita-More's objection. --Loremaster 09:46, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Criticisms[edit]

I deleted the following text from the Beliefs section, which was added by anonymous User:137.163.19.100:

Contrary to Klaus-Gerd Giesen, many libertarian transhumanists do not consider themselves inegalitarians, meritocrats or biological determinists and do not reduce everything to the hereditary gene and do not have a fantasy of omnipotence.

First of all, this text should have been in the Criticism section not the Beliefs section. Second, it isn't enough to simply state that libertarian transhumanists do not consider themselves the things they are being accused of. The counter-criticism must provide convicing arguments which explain why they are not. Also, please cite sources. --Loremaster 15:11, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Although eventually this article should include a counter-criticism section. SpaceTycoon 02:06, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Only if notable self-described libertarian transhumanists can be cited as providing one. We can't write the counter-criticsm we presume they would say. That would go against Wikipedia: No original research policy. --Loremaster 04:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

References and Sources[edit]

Perhaps we should use Ronald Bailey's Liberation Biology: The Scientific And Moral Case For The Biotech Revolution as the main source for this article. This might entail rewriting the Beliefs section. --Loremaster 21:13, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Death and Taxes[edit]

I've finished improving the Libertarian transhumanism article. However, does anyone know of a source for the following claim:

Libertarian transhumanists disagree with Benjamin Franklin's famous quote, "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes", and would like to eliminate both.

If no one does, it will have to be deleted soon. --Loremaster 04:33, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted the unsourced claim. --Loremaster 20:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you could source the libertarian claim on taxes and the transhumanist claim on death. It would be easy to source that Libertarians would like to eliminate taxes and easy to source that transhumanists would like to eliminate death. It seems like an obvious statement concerning the two philosophies. If presented in this way with sources, the statement presented above probably wouldn't need one. Morphh (talk) 22:20, 06 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. I don't think your suggestion holds up to Wikipedia guidelines on such matters. --Loremaster 22:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I've heard the quote too, but I can't remember where. Without a reference (to the juxtaposition of the two, not merely each individually), I agree that deleting it is better.
Wellspring (talk) 16:16, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Biased?[edit]

I am always suspicious when I find a "criticisms" section that is longer than the descriptive portionn of the article. It does not seem very appropriate to an encyclopaedia to write articles in this way. The "criticisms", being at the end, acts as a "last word" and is thus inherently presenting a point of view. It does not present discussion, it simply presents a "takedown" of the thing the article is supposed to be about. One could do this to any subject. It creates a false view for the reader.

The criticisms section here presents various views from various opponents of, it seems, libertarianism in general. Why are the views of these people particularly significant? To argue that libertarian transhumanism is inegalitarian is obvious; since libertarianism itself is not egalitarian in the way social authoritarians use the term- though libertarians may argue that the actual consequence of libertarianism is ultimately a society with less privelege which thus becomes more equal in the longer term. Whether this is true I do not know. The point is, it's a general argument between libertarians and authoritarians, not specific to libertarian transhumanism.

Anyway, the main point I'm making is that use of a "criticisms" section seems like an underhanded way for opponents of the subject in the article to get in a "last word" to rubbish the thing being described. That's not what encyclopaedias are for. They should describe the subject for the interested reader, not attempt to influence their opinion- that is beyond an encyclopaedia's remit. Isn't there some kind of "NPOV" rule here?82.71.30.178 (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

As the person who created, expanded and improved this article, I can assure you that all your impressions and accusations are mistaken. (I made sure that all the criticisms are specifically about libertarian transhumanism and its related subcultures not libertarianism in general) That being said, I agree that the criticism section being longer than the descriptive section is a problem. I've tried to expand but I haven't found the time to read enough libertarian transhumanist essays and books to do a good job. If you want to help me with that, you're more than welcomed. :) --Loremaster (talk) 18:14, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Incredibly biased[edit]

Holy shit is this ever biased. You crazy socialists and your progress hating ways. Did you ever see star trek? They live in a post capitalist society. Things became so advanced the free market let the prices lower and lower and eventually reach zero so poor people could afford them(people that actually worked hard got them first of course.) Socialism completely destroys technological progress and keeps people down. Just look at the amount of investing going on in nanotech right now. Socialism sucks and won't be necessary in the future. No one will force anyone to work for anyone else. Anyways this article is biased as hell. Do something about it.

Also this: http://reason.com/archives/2005/05/11/trans-human-expressway

There is nothing biased about having a criticism section. All good articles have one in one form or the other. On the contrary, what would be biased is for the article to have no criticism section. --Loremaster (talk) 16:32, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
It's almost like you started this topic just to bash it. Most of the stuff in the criticism section is complete nonsense and belongs in the criticism of transhumanism article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.0.106.24 (talk) 23:40, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I didn't start this topic to bash it. However, you unwittingly bring up a good point. If it wasn't for me, this article might never have existed. That being said, your assertion that most of the content of the criticism is complete nonsense is nothing more than your opinion and not a valid reason to have it deleted. Furthermore, it doesn't belong in the criticism section of the Transhumanism article since it is obviously criticisms specifically directed at libertarian transhumanism. Bottom line: Stop vandalizing the article otherwise you will be reported and possibly blocked from editing Wikipedia. --Loremaster (talk)) 02:21, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Notice how there are NO criticisms on democratic transhumanism article. Socialism will be unnecessary in the future because all products and services will be FREE due to capitalism. We won't have to force anyone else to work for us. unlike socialism. Also, socialism destroys medical progress dramatically. Can't you put any critisism in the democratic transhumanism article or are you going to continue to be a biased asshole.
I suggest you familiarize yourself with talk page guidelines since you must be polite, assume good faith, and avoid personal attacks at all times otherwise you will be reported to a Wikipedia administrator and possibly blocked from editing Wikipedia. That being said, you do bring up a good point that the Democratic transhumanism article should have a criticism section. It never occured to me to make one simply because only one person has ever bothered criticizing democratic transhumanism (as far as I know) while many people have criticized libertarian transhumanism directly and indirectly. That being said, your criticism of socialism demonstrates that (like most ignorant right-wing libertarian/conservative Americans) you have an extremely poor knowledge and understanding of what true socialism is and isn't and that you have a dangerously delusional faith in capitalism if you seriously think that all products and services will be free in the future because of it! While I work on improving and expanding the Democratic transhumanism article, I strongly recommend you read Nobel-Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz's July 2009 article Wall Street’s Toxic Message in order to possibly learn something new. --Loremaster (talk) 18:07, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
lol wow. Why do you think they were ALLOWED to make such risky decisions. Anti-capitalist policies and the federal reserve. You know jack shit about capitalism. Protip: Prices decrease due to competition. Once more intelligent people start altering these articles the truth will come out. I'm to lazy to edit it.
  1. This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Libertarian transhumanism article. This is not the place to discuss the pros and cons of either capitalism or socialism. Furthermore, please respect Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines (be polite, assume good faith, avoid personal attacks, and be welcoming) and remember to sign your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~) at all times otherwise you will be reported to a Wikipedia administrator and possibly blocked from editing Wikipedia even anonymously.
  2. If you ever overcome your lazyness and decide to edit the Libertarian transhumanism article or any Wikipedia article, please read, understand, and respect the guidelines of the Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, and Wikipedia:Verifiability policy pages.
--Loremaster (talk) 20:03, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I would suggest the both of you seem pretty ignorant of economics and 'capitalism'.Your criticisms of his conclusions are fairly spot on but your use of the phrase' faith in capitalism' is a tell tale sign of economic ignorance/political bias —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.220.49.251 (talk) 20:23, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
I suggest you both read the Criticism of capitalism article. That being said, this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Libertarian transhumanism article not criticizing people for their points of view. --Loremaster (talk) 20:31, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
"That being said, this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Libertarian transhumanism article not criticizing people for their points of view." Why did you rant against libertarianism/conservatism/capitalism in your comment, then? Am I to take "dangerously delusional faith in capitalism" as an improvement to the article? Are you not criticizing someone for their point of view? The irony. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 23.16.126.89 (talk) 01:58, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Socialist Transhumanism is an oxymoron. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.161.32.150 (talk) 20:49, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Libertarian transhumanism article. This is not the place to discuss whether or not “socialist transhumanism” is an oxymoron. That being said, I suggest you read James Hughes' essay The Politics of Transhumanism in order to understand why socialist transhumanism is not an oxymoron. --Loremaster (talk) 17:57, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Right-libertarianism?[edit]

“Right-libertarianism” names several related libertarian political philosophies which support capitalism while “left-libertarianism” names several related libertarian political philosophies which support socialism. All of the notable transhumanists who describe themselves as “libertarian transhumanists” support capitalism while none of them support socialism. Furthermore, even if they don't use the term “right-libertariahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_Licensenism” in their writings, their description of “libertarian transhumanism” excludes socialism. Therefore, by using the term “right-libertarianism”, we are simply clarifiying which type of libertarianism these notable transhumanists embrace and promote. So I don't see a need for an obvious fact to be sourced. --Loremaster (talk) 22:37, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

You just can't say anything about the whole libertarian transhumanism (except those two words, yeh). It's too big and manifold.
Some examples of left-libertarian transhumanists:
* http://freestateproject.org/node/16941
* http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4906
* http://transocialism.com/trans-soc.html
* http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/10/27/134818/22
* https://plus.google.com/102101883437931272596/about
Also, James Hughes is probably left-libertarian transhumanist (see this article and his work).
So, its not so obvious as you think. You need reliable sources for your statement. -Ewigekrieg (talk) 14:13, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. Most if not all of your sources are neither reliable nor relevant to support the notion that left-libertarian transhumanism is a variant of libertarian transhumanism and/or an existing current of transhumanism.
  2. The fact that two unnotable people describe themselves as “left-libertarian transhumanist” or talk about left-libertarianism is not enough. A Google+ profile not a reliable source. Mentioning on your profile that you are a “left-liberatian transhumanist” doesn't mean that you are notable left-liberatian transhumanist. He or she needs to have actually published an article or book on the subject AND/OR secondary sources, such as a newspaper article or scholarly essay, must describe him or her as a left-libertarian transhumanist.
  3. Speculation about a hypothetical future biopolitical scenario where both left- and right-libertarian values prevail obviously does not support the notion that there is an existing left-libertarian transhumanist movement.
  4. “Transhumanist socialism” and left-libertarian transhumanism are not the same thing. The former is pro-state and while the former is anti-state. The advocates of transhumanist socialism you have found do not explicitly nor implicitly talk about left-libertarian transhumanism.
  5. James Hughes is actually a “democratic transhumanist” who advocates for a strong social democratic state. He is the person most critical of libertarian transhumanism and always describes it as “right-wing”, “anarcho-capitalist”, “anti-state/pro-market”, etc. In fact, Hughes' essays (such as The Politics of Transhumanism) are the best sources for statements implicitly describing libertarian transhumanism as being as right-libertarian! (I guess I should have argued that point from the beginning).
  6. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth — what counts is whether readers can verify that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true.
  7. That being said, if and when we do find reliable sources that support the notion that left-libertarian transhumanism is a variant of libertarian transhumanism and/or an existing current of transhumanism, I will be more than happy to revamp the article to accurately report this fact.
--Loremaster (talk) 22:55, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit. "The necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges".
Please, provide reliable source for the statemant "All of the notable transhumanists who describe themselves as “libertarian transhumanists” support capitalism". If you can't, you can't include this "right-" thing in the definition of Libertarian transhumanism. - Ewigekrieg (talk) 11:35, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Putting aside the fact that the specific statement I made is not in the article, James Hughes explains in his essays and his book Citizen Cyborg that transhumanists he describes, or who describe themselves, as “libertarian transhumanists” are “right-wing”, “anarcho-capitalist”, “anti-state/pro-market”, etc. Therefore, you provide us with the reliable sources you are demanding. ;) --Loremaster (talk) 12:18, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Can you provide some quotations? - Ewigekrieg (talk) 17:26, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Sure. Here are three from The Politics of Transhumanism:

Much transhumanist proto-politics is distinctly the product of elitist, male, American libertarianism, limiting its ability to respond to concerns behind the growing Luddite movement, such as with the equity and safety of innovations. Committed only to individual liberty, libertarian transhumanists have little interest in building solidarity between “posthumans” and “normals,” or in crafting techno-utopian projects which can inspire broad social movements.

Libertarian Transhumanism: Max More and the Extropy Institute: This is really what is unique about the Extropian movement: the fusion of radical technological optimism with libertarian political philosophy… one might call it libertarian transhumanism. (Goertzel, 2000)

In the first issue of Extropy in 1988 More and Morrow included libertarian politics as one of the topics the magazine would promote. In 1991 Extropy focused on the principle of emergent order, publishing an essay by T.O. Morrow on David Friedman’s anarcho-capitalist concept of "Privately Produced Law", and an article from Max More on "Order Without Orderers". In these essays Morrow and More made clear the journal’s commitment to radical libertarianism, an ideological orientation shared by most of the young, well-educated, American men attracted to the extropian list. The extropian milieu saw the state, and any form of egalitarianism, as a potential threat to their personal self-transformation. More’s fifth principle “Spontaneous Order” distilled their Hayek and Ayn Rand-derived belief that an anarchistic market creates free and dynamic order, while the state and its life-stealing authoritarianism is entropic.

The appeal of the Singularity for libertarians such as the extropians is that, like the Second Coming, it does not require any specific collective action.

Hughes discusses “libertarianism” and “libertarian transhumanism” as if libertarianism is exclusively right-wing and there is a good reason for that. Unlike in Europe, libertarianism and right-libertarianism have become synonyms in United States. I remember having a discussion many years ago with a young, well-educated, American man who laughed when I talked about left-libertarianism and libertarian socialism because in his mind and in that of many many Americans like him, libertarianism is and can only be a right-wing pro-capitalist ideology. This is the reason why the Anarchist FAQ felt the need to have a page that explains why the term “libertarian socialism” isn't an oxymoron [1] and why many left-libertarians prefer using a different term all together to describe themselves. --Loremaster (talk) 00:21, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Ok, we can add some content about right-wing ideas in Extropian movement. But I don't see any confirmation of "all notable libertarian transhumanists are right-libertarians" idea.
And one more thing. Logic. libertarian transhumanism <> right-libertarian transhumanism. It's oblivious. Compare: socialism <> libertarian socialism. Many modern socialists have libertarian ideas. And? Should we change the definition of socialism? - Ewigekrieg (talk) 17:03, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. Hughes's statements about libertarian transhumanists are not exclusively about extropians but inclusive of non-extropian libertarian transhumanists.
  2. There are no notable persons who describe themselves or have been described by reliable sources as left-wing libertarian transhumanists.
  3. Your argument about logic isn't logical. Notable proponents AND critics of libertarian transhumanism explicitly or implicitly describe “libertarianism” as an anti-state/pro-market ideology hence right-wing and “libertarian transhumanism” as a fusion of right-libertarianism and transhumanism. Although you and I know and agree that libertarianism itself isn't limited to its right-wing variant, we have to report how proponents and critics view it. This is why adding the qualifier “right-” is helpful so that readers are not fooled into thinking that, for example, critics of libertarian transhumanism are lumping notable left-wing libertarians transhumanists (if they existed) with notable right-wing libertarian transhumanists (who do exist) when they criticize libertarian transhumanism. This fact has no bearing on the definition of socialism or libertarian socialism since there are notable people who promote libertarian socialist ideas and describe themselves or have been described by reliable sources as “libertarian socialists”.
--Loremaster (talk) 21:57, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
1. No, they are not.
2. There are no notable persons who describe themselves or have been described by reliable sources as non-libertarian socialists. And?:)
3. "We have to report how proponents and critics view it" - thats the issue. We have to report this, I'm completely agree. But why in definition? Can't you just add something like "many libertarian transhumanists are right-libertarians" (just after the second sentence of the article, for example)?
Many libertarian transhumanists are right-libertarians, no doubt. but libertarian transhumanism <> right-libertarian transhumanism, ok?
Also, thanks for the opportunity to improve my English:) We will have many interesting (and really long) discussions here. I promise :о] - Ewigekrieg (talk) 18:47, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
1. We can email James Hughes to settle this dispute once and for all.
2. “Non-libertarian socialists” usually describe themselves or have been described by others as “state socialists”. Not only do they exist but reliable sources discuss them. The same cannot be said of “left-wing libertarian transhumanists”. Ultimately, my point is that if no notable left-wing libertarian transhumanists can be found it reinforces the fact that the term “libertarian transhumanism” refers exclusively to a synthesis of right-libertarianism and transhumanism until proven otherwise.
3. Both notable proponents and critics implicitly or explicitly define libertarian transhumanism as a synthesis of right-libertarianism and transhumanism. Until we find proponents and/or critics who define it differently, we have no choice but to report this definition.
--Loremaster (talk) 23:11, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

This is Wikipedia, and as such, it comes down to sources. And the source here uses "libertarian" and "libertarianism" dozens of times, but makes no reference to any such term as "right-libertarianism" (an arbitary term coined by a couple nobody-writer opponents). You can't change it just because you simply...don't like the fact that this capitalist libertarian source isn't using your frivolous prefix. Until you can provide sources that explicitly identify libertarian transhumanism as "right-libertarian transhumanism," I'm going to go ahead and switch it back.

I do like your pseudonym, though, by the way. --Adam9389 (talk) 18:53, 31 May 2013 (UTC)