The very notion of being able to transform ones self into something like a cyborg inherently appeals to concepts of individual liberty. Misguided transhumanists typically attempt to utilize Libertarian philosophy to justify their goals, but in actuality they instead engage in rationalization with false notions of liberty.
Libertarian philosophy is arguably the height of understanding of freedom and liberty. Naturally, most transhumanists openly embrace Libertarianism and typically use its concepts as the argument for their ambitions to become living gods. It would seem to make sense, on the surface.
If you want to augment yourself into a ‘something better’ than ordinary humans, shouldn’t that be ones right? Not if you truly understand the core of libertarian philosophy. The primary principle is that you can do what you want with yourself or your own property… just so long as it doesn’t harm other persons or their property.
That’s libertarianism in a nutshell. The problem with transhumanists, in a nutshell, is that it seems inherent that either they haven’t thought their ambitions all the way through, or they simply don’t care what happens to others as a result of their agenda. For celebrities such as Ray Kurzweil (who attempt to champion Libertarianism), they know full well the implications.
Kurzweil, and many others such as Kevin Warwick (the “first human cyborg”) openly admit that when their goals of AGI come become reality, the only option will be to merge with the technology both to have any chance of participating with the new society and as the only insurance to not be eventually terminated by the machine. (Why would it kill you if you were part of it?)
Few prominent transhumanists openly lament the idea of Strong AI (AGI), as its the ultimate mechanism to kickstart the NBIC utopia. The only example I can think of is I saw Max Moore talk about it being bad if machine AGI a hard take-off and reduced humans to the significance of ants. But you can bet Moore will be one of the first in line to get the brain implants and the rest involved in the merging with the machine.
It’s a matter of join us, change yourself, or face elimination in one shape or another. The new society wouldn’t even have to kill you outright. When the new society of transhumans (and eventually posthumans) are both physically and mentally superior than the mere humans, one would have little chance in competing with these superhumans economically or academically. If we’re given no choice other than to assimilate or live in poverty, then it should be obvious that that harm is being done to people and even their property when they can no longer afford a home they might have gotten a loan for several years ago before the Great Unleveling event.
This new frontier of “freedom” is hardly anything new in human history. It’s akin to imperialism, and is deeply Social Darwinistic. Years ago I wrote a lengthy piece on the freedom we hear politicians and other talking heads discuss on TV. Like on 9/11, when Bush said “Freedom itself was attacked”, in reference to the “freedom” to dominate the world and occupy the Middle East (which its proven to be what motivates suicide terrorism). Naturally, elitists love ‘freedom’. The more ‘freedom’ the better, and what better way to maximize your own ‘freedom’ than to interfere with and soak up the prosperity of others.
The perversion of freedom is the freedom to do what you want, despite the consequences that might occur to others freedoms. This is in gross conflict with libertarian philosophy. Don’t believe me, take it from Michael Badnarik, the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, who repeats this concept over and over in his “Constitution Class”.
Before we shift gears, another key facet of transhumanism is radical life extension. It might be worthwhile in this narrative to mention the fact that the world cannot handle billions of humans getting indefinite lifespans, whom will bear children who will then have indefinite lifespans, ad infinitum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a staunch critic of Malthusian philosophy, but the earth inherently must have a limit to its actual carrying capacity. Whatever that might be, which is always under-exaggerated by the sorts of elitist / Social Darwinist types who trumpet Malthusian theory, human population would in this case explode beyond belief if there were open access to life extension.
Therefore, by extension, this facet of transhumanism promises to harm potential future generations of the human experience as the smartest immediate solution to a true population crisis would be to drastically limit population growth (Zero Population Growth). It’s no wonder we see all the hysteria propagated by the Big 5 Media about overpopulation and the environment. Looking back, this isn’t about humanity. It’s about transhumanity, which doesn’t much appear to care about current humans, therefore why would it care about future humans?
Moving on, another staunch element of libertarianism is the idea of small government. Libertarians generally prefer the smallest government possible, often with its role being reduced as much as possible other than just enough to enforce the Rule of Law (which would be mostly concerned with keeping people from hurting others). Kurzweil and friends, such as Ben Goertzal, are strong advocates of government coordinated initiatives bent on rapid technological progress in pursuit of their efforts. So in truth, they want maximum government, not limited government.
Then we have the Privacy Crisis. Libertarians consider privacy a basic right (i.e. the freedom of privacy). Trannys scoff at privacy. Many even argue that we should all have our personal DNA code openly available on the Internet, searchable on Google, with little software applets that allow people to pull up others DNA and search through it for unfavorable characteristics (that may be based on pseudoscience). In general, in the Utopian vision of future earth would have billions upon billions of ‘ubiquitous’ computers (i.e. smart dust) blanketed all over the earth monitoring every aspect of earths resources and humans private lives, by Strong AI computers and anyone whose minds are plugged into the system, forever. This transhumanist ideal of ‘heaven on earth’ is akin to a libertarians ‘hell on earth’.
Libertarians are about the staunchest critics of taxes you could ever hope to find. You couldn’t hope to find a libertarian type who wasn’t opposed to taxes. Wealth (income) represents property, and taxes means having your property taken away from you and potentially being put towards things you don’t wish to take part in. For instance, as a libertarian minded person, they are currently taxing me and using the money for transhumanist related projects that I don’t agree with. They’re stealing peoples property in pursuit of everything this commentary is against. The contradiction between libertarianism and transhumanism drips from this paragraph. It’s sloppy wet, as in promoting the idea of the government stepping in to advance technological progress (which apparently isn’t good enough as it is), you’re also promoting the idea of the government stealing property in order to do it.
Pursue your own selfish desires if you want, as I am in writing this piece. But don’t think about harming myself or my property, as all I’ve stolen from you is your time. Though I personally consider time as more valuable than Federal Reserve Notes, you’ve had the choice of whether or not to read this far. Isn’t libertarianism grand? It would if we had enough of it in this system. We’d all be more wealthy for one thing, but if you had transhumanism we all wouldn’t be which means many of us would be less free to do the things we want while having less property. Never mind the “third world” (the vast majority of Earth’s population). Since most of us wouldn’t even be able to afford the higher degrees of transhumanism as it is, this wouldn’t harm them would it?