Are Libertarian Futurists Stuck in the Nineteenth Century?

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Over at the H+ blog, RU Sirius sums up an argument between some of web's futurist muckymucks, arguing over whether PayPal founder Peter Thiel, a big contributor to singularity-related causes, was right to post a rant which included these choice ideas:

The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women-two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians-have rendered the notion of "capitalist democracy" into an oxymoron . . . I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible . . . In our time, the great task for libertarians is to find an escape from politics in all its forms-from the totalitarian and fundamentalist catastrophes to the unthinking demos that guides so-called "social democracy.

After much screaming on all sides, Phil Browermaster got the last word:

One area where transhumanists consistently disappointment me is politics. We can talk about accelerating change and singularities and human enhancement and the possibilities are endless, but when the subject comes to politics, everyone seems to revert to one of a very small number of philosophical templates, most of them created in the 19th century or earlier. And for some reason those are inviolate.


Read about the whole kerfuffle on H+.