From: E. Shaun Russell (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 21:08:25 MST
Just a few quick unreferenced thoughts on Ben's article.
Besides what others have mentioned, libertartianism is based upon personal
responsibility, without imposing anything on others. Coercion is the
ultimate no-no, and even beyond physical force, forcing one's will is
equally contemptable. The result of this is that if I assume full
responsibility for my own actions and choose not to coerce, I cannot be a
burden to anybody.
If I walk down a street in a slum neighborhood, perhaps I'll toss a bum a
buck or two. This is my choice, but I wouldn't expect others to toss this
bum an equivalent amount. The bum has his own reasons for being a bum, and
I have my reasons for being who I am. We have both made choices for which
we are ultimately responsible, and while I can't speak for the bum, I
personally have no regrets, because I acknowldge that every thought and
action I have carried out has been prompted by a conscious (and hopefully
always rational) impulse.
So why should a government force me to pay this bum against my will? With
the government out of the equation, the bum and I are two separate entities
who may or may not have a significant interaction...a mutually acceptable
position; but with the government involved, I am indirectly forced to put
my money into the bum's palm through taxation etc. Now why in the world
should two separate people who have carved their own paths be forced to
interact? I truly owe the bum nothing, and I don't expect him to owe me
In regards to Ben's claim about the libertarian feel to some Extropian
texts, I will admit that many have presumed the same thing. Would I were
an American, I would *personally* have voted for Browne, but there is no
actual political affiliation between Extropianism and libertarianism. In
the Self Direction and Open Society principles, there are some general
statements about how authoritarian regimes are not beneficial to progress,
but this is based on fact. Otherwise, politics are pretty much peripheral
to what Extropianism is all about. Leave the specifics up to individuals.
E. Shaun Russell Operations Officer, Extropy Institute
"Yesterday we created the present; today, we're inventing our
future. Kineticize your potential."
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