Laissez-Faire Institute - Freedom Without Compromise

Transhumanism: the next step of civilization

Transhumanism is the next step of civilization, and laissez-faire is its justification, its prerequisite and its limit:

  • One, it’s the only philosophy that provides an adequate justification for transhumanist freedom, and a solid response to those who oppose it;
  • Two, it’s the only philosophy that allows mankind to survive long enough and prosper enough to be able to afford transhumanist progress;
  • Three, it’s the only philosophy that expands into a rational and consistent framework for handling the new ethical questions that technological progress raises.

1. Transhumanism as a libertarian right

Freedom, Immortality and the Stars!

L. Neil Smith1

1.1. The right to live vs the duty to die

Laissez-faire encapsulates in one word the whole philosophy of liberty: let do. Or, more eloquently: let everyone do whatever they want with whatever is theirs. Libertarians consider both that everyone should be free to do whatever they want with whatever is theirs, and that everyone has the right to do whatever they want with whatever is theirs. It is both a descriptive and a normative position: how the world is (we have that right) and how it should be (that right should be more widely acknowledged). Laws can either recognize our rights or not: whether they do or do not doesn’t affect our rights, it affects our effective freedom2.

Besides a freedom and a right, laissez-faire also translates as an obligation: let us do, that is, do not commit aggressions against us. The non-aggression principle, the law of equal liberty, the identity of rights of all individuals3: I do not have the right to commit aggression against anyone, and no one has the right to commit aggression against me. Anyone who respects this obligation is a civilized being. Anyone who doesn’t is a criminal3bis. Laws, again, are irrelevant in this respect, they can either acknowledge this reality or deny it. Arresting an aggressor is legitimate defense. Arresting a non-aggressive person is an aggression in itself, and therefore a crime.

Thus, legitimate duties are merely the mirror of legitimate rights. Any sort of other, fake obligations, will in fact inevitably conflict with those real rights and obligations. Fake rights and fake obligations can be more accurately described as attempts by some individuals to use force to extort money or time from other individuals (by claiming a “right” to it or claiming that you would have an “obligation” to do something at their service). Those are anti-conceptual perversions of words, as absurd grammatically as they are ethically4.

Laws can call any sort of behavior “crime”, but calling “crime” any sort of behavior that is not an aggression by an actual person (or group of people) against another actual person (or group of people) is a grammatical absurdity. You cannot commit a crime against “yourself” or “society” anymore than you can “rain someone” or “suicide someone”.

The right to do what I want with what is mine, of course, starts with my body. It is the reason for the prohibition of rape, beating and maiming. It is the reason why it is my holy right to choose to work or not to work4bis, to have sex or not to have sex (for free or for money, alone or in a group, opposite sex or same sex, etc.), to take drugs or not to take drugs, to live alone, in a family or in a group, to get married or stay single.

But all of the above start from a more fundamental right: the right to my own life. The right to kill myself if I wish, and, more importantly, the prohibition for anyone else to kill me without my authorization. And of course, the right to defend myself against anyone who would trample that right.

Thus, we have no duty to die, and no one has the right to force us to. The options of seeking protection against sickness, aging, pain and death all derive from our right to our own life. We have the right to defend ourselves against all of these afflictions, through any means which don’t infringe on the same rights of others. And we have the duty to grant other individuals the respect of those same rights: to not infringue upon their live, to not infringe upon their physical integrity, to not prevent them from preserving their health and longevity.

1.2. Individualism vs collectivism

The major opposition to this right has come from the pretense by some people to claim rights over other people’s lives. Its major philosophical justification, under one form or another, has been collectivism. The opposition between individualism and collectivism, is indeed the basic issue in the world today5.

However, since only individuals can actually act and make decisions, any group decision is, in the end, the decision of some individuals6. Collectivism is not only morally wrong, it’s (again) gramatically wrong: only individuals can eat, love, think, decide7.

The real dichotomy, properly understood, is therefore not whether individuals decide or a mystical “collective” decides8. The issue is who decides over what. The possible answers are: each individual decides for himself, or, some decide for others.

That is why this dichotomy can also be restated as that between humanism and constructivism9: the first considers that all individuals have the same universal rights (qua human beings), whereas the latter amounts to claiming that some individuals have the right to impose their decisions on others (usually under the pretense of knowing better than them what is good for them, disrespecting their rationality), thus constructing society as central planners.

Which leads us to yet another way of stating the same opposition: the free market (the agora, ἀγορά, agorism) versus politics (πόλις)10. On the free market, each individual decides for himself; in politics, everyone decides for everyone else. Individualists want nothing to be political, collectivists want everything to be political11.

The individualist thinks in terms of individuals, not collectives, people, not groups. Individuals are not expendable: unlike a constructivist, a humanist doesn’t treat people as pieces in a puzzle or peons of a game. Individualists don’t care about the survival of nations, races, species. Only the survival of each individual being has any relevance. Individuals are not cells of a larger organism, for which only the survival of the organism would matter whereas the aging, dying and replacement of the cells would be irrelevant. Individuals are the only relevant organism level, the living and thinking unit, the acting agent12.

Human rights are individual, private property rights. There can be crimes only against individuals, there cannot be “crimes against society”, “crimes against God”, “crimes against the State”, “crimes against the country”, “victimless crimes”, or “crimes against the human species”13.

1.3. Universal rights vs subjective values

And that’s when I knew, that’s when I knew that the conversation with society has changed profoundly in this last decade. It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency. It’s a conversation about augmentation. It’s a conversation about potential.

Aimee Mullins13bis

The corollary of the constructivists’ disrespect for other people’s rationality is a lack of understanding of the subjectivity of values.

The value of something is a value of something for somebody. There is no “absolute value” and there is no “intrinsic value”14. Yet again, it’s grammar: value needs the for preposition.

Thus, there is no relevant distinction between human needs and human desires14bis. In economics terms, we all strive to increase our utility. There is no relevant definition of “needs” that everyone should have a “right” to, and “desires” that would be a superfluous luxury. Unless rights infringements are concerned, there is not some value of one person that would give that person the right to disregard another person’s priorities and coerce that person under the pretense of their own preferences. Preferences are not morality, and morality is not rights. Interfering with another person’s utility maximizing schemes is not a matter of a “superior good” or “utility comparisons”, it’s a matter of rights15. Rights are universal and can be enforced, whereas values and preferences are subjective and personal.

The anti-transhumanists define some arbitrary, unjustified limit regarding what level of science, progress, technology, research, life improvement (and free market, for that matter), thus ultimately health and life, is to be “permitted”, or even funded16. Libertarians see no such limit. No anti-transhumanist Luddite actually practices the logical conclusion of his philosophy of death: living as an animal and dying either in childbirth, as an infant or through any common infection.

For there is no moral difference between using a disinfectant on your wound and taking a pill to reverse aging. Both are a manifestation of our desire and right to live, and to use whatever peaceful means we wish to achieve it. There is no moral difference between using a wheelchair if you can’t walk, getting new legs, or genetically preventing such handicaps in the first place16bis. There is no moral difference either between preventing, indemnifying, alleviating the effects of, or reversing altogether the effects of accidents, and using the same options when these handicaps are by birth17.

1.4. Freedom of association vs religious power

Most of the opposition to the alleviation of pain, aging and death has come from religions, either directly or through religion-inspired pseudo-moralities enshrined into law.

Laissez-faire, of course, defends absolute freedom of religion. But it doesn’t defend it per se. It defends it as part of a much wider philosophy. It defends freedom of religion as a consequence of the freedom of expression and the freedom of association. And it defends both of these as mere consequences of property rights, the principle of non-aggression. There can be conflict between freedom of religion and other freedoms, but not among correctly defined property rights, which all include their own limit: my right to do whatever I want with what is mine never includes a right to do it with what is not mine. Freedom of religion, thus, is a consequence of property rights - not an excuse for trampling them.

As libertarians, we have nothing to say about God, or about religion in general. And we would have nothing to say, qua libertarians, about religious organizations, if they limited themselves to expressing opinions about which behaviors lead to heaven and which lead to hell, about the meaning of life or about the origin of the world. We would have nothing to say against any religion, if they stayed out of politics – that is, didn’t use - or attempt to use - the State to commit violence against us in order, not only to convince us of their religious views through peaceful means, but instead to force us to finance them, and force them upon us by enacting laws justified on religious grounds that have no relevance whatsoever for all the non-believers to whom they’ll nevertheless apply as well.

Philosophically, most religions embrace pain, suffering and death, as sacrifice, as martyrdom, as tests of one’s worth, as measures of value, as necessities, as God’s will, as opportunities to make moral choices, as challenges to ensure a better post in the afterlife, etc18. They oppose man’s improvement and quest for immortality, considering as blasphemy our getting closer to God-like achievements. They consider the afterlife, not immortality, as the priority to consider18bis.

Religions usually oppose various aspects or degrees of progress, especially medical, be it vaccination, blood transfusion (Jehovah’s witnesses19), organ sale (Catholic Church20), medically assisted procreation, pre-implantation diagnosis19bis, etc.

Which of course, goes completely against the aim of transhumanism. As far as laissez-faire is concerned, it only upholds the right of every individual to choose for himself. If religions impose their views on no one, and merely defend pain, suffering and death as a personal choice, they can be tolerated as any sort of masochistic practice or cult whose members are only free willing consenting adults. If not, if they try to use their philosophical justification of pain, suffering and death to impose them unto others through legislation, then alas they go clearly against the laissez-faire non-aggression stance as well21.

1.5. Presumption of freedom vs precautionary principle

Libertarians have always defended the presumption of innocence, and its political version, the presumption of freedom22. Applied to new technologies, it means that if someone wants to ban something, the burden of proof rests on him, to demonstrate that it constitutes an aggression and should be banned.

The attack against this principle, most harmful to transhumanism, has come from its opposite, the “precautionary principle”23, which has been criticized by libertarians.

The banning of new technologies should require, to the very least, strong proof of their harm... and not just some “precautionary” decisions decided by “ethical committees” who offer no rational argument for their infringements on our rights.

1.6. Power over nature vs power over people

Violence is the tool of the state. Knowledge and the mind are the tools of free people.

Lew Rockwell24

And lastly, the opposition between laissez-faire and the state, between the economic means and the political means, has also been the conflict between growth and stagnation, technology versus bureaucracy, entrepreneurs versus the status quo. In the end, it’s a very old conflict, and it boils down to civilization versus barbarism25.

Transhumanists and libertarians care about achieving technological progress, controlling nature, expanding the power of individuals over nature. Statists (in both senses: defending both the static, non-dynamic view of the world and the state) care about redistributing power in a static world view, achieving power over other men. Relative power status is more important to them then the absolute wealth growth of mankind and the individuals that compose it25bis.

To us, on the other hand, technological progress, individual freedom, personal development, and transhumanism, are all part of a dynamic progression of individuals towards more absolute wealth, power over nature, control of their environments, and happiness.

2. Laissez-faire as a necessary precondition for transhumanism

 

2.1. Economic growth vs starvation

If the State had been abolished a century ago, we’d all have robots and summer homes in the Asteroid belt.

Samuel Edward Konkin III26

Anarchy is all around us. Without it, our world would fall apart. All progress is due to it. All order extends from it. All blessed things that rise above the state of nature are owed to it. The human race thrives only because of the lack of control, not because of it. I’m saying that we need ever more absence of control to make the world a more beautiful place. It is a paradox that we must forever explain.

Jeffrey Tucker

States don’t create wealth: individuals create wealth, and whenever they do it they’re acting in a laissez-faire manner. The only reason we’re even having the transhumanism debate is that there has been enough laissez-faire to allow us to afford it.

North Korea, struggling against famine, does likely not have those concerns. You don’t think about living forever when you can barely find enough food to survive the day. The reason we got out of the bare survival stage is through entrepreneurship, innovation, technological progress and accumulation of capital.

All of these are free market principles. Their effect, although magnificent, has been sabotaged and impeded by governments. Through favoring vested, static26bis, particular interests. Trying to “save jobs”, that is, jobs in old, inefficient technologies. Taxing work and capital. Destroying money as a means of exchange26ter. If you think the effect of state interventions on the level of wealth, and thus technology, is mild, do the math again27.

The free market is the power to create. The State is the power to destroy. The economic means is the means of production. The political means is the means of destruction. On the market, people create wealth. The State merely redistributes it, destroying most of it in the process. Taxes do not produce anything.

The reason we can even consider transhumanism is that we live in mixed economies, half-capitalist, half-communist. The reason we haven’t achieved transhumanism a century ago is exactly the same one.

2.2. Immortality vs the State’s interests

A situação é muito grave, a mais grave de quantas o país teve de viver até hoje.

[It’s an extremely grave situation, the gravest situation the country has ever had to live through.]

The government, after learning about the end of death27bis.

She had thought that industrial production was a value not to be questioned by anyone; she had thought that these men’s urge to expropriate the factories of others was their acknowledgment of the factories value. [...] She saw what they wanted and to what goal their “instincts,” which they called unaccountable, were leading them. She saw that Eugene Lawson, the humanitarian, took pleasure at the prospect of human starvation—and Dr. Ferris, the scientist, was dreaming of the day when men would return to the hand-plow.

Ayn Rand 28

If you think that despite that, the State might somehow channel its resources towards transhumanist goals, think again.

First of all, the State could invest 100 percent of its current budget in transhumanism, it would still be nothing compared to the wealth we would have spent on it by now if it had stopped impoverishing us a few hundred years ago29. Anything we think we have “thanks to the State”, is an accounting fallacy30.

But even more fundamentally, life extension goes completely against the interests of States and their world view. States are all about a static (duh) view of the world, of resources to “allocate”, of territories to control. Of life cycles, birth certificates, residency permissions, etc. The State is not made for the Globalization Age31, nor for the Space Age, and certainly not for the Immortality Age. Their Madoff-based social security systems were not designed for it. Their collectivist ideologies don’t care about it.

3. Libertarian ethics as the moral and legal framework of the new era

En tout état de cause, on peut bien tempêter contre l’individualisation du pouvoir sur la vie, mais il faut se rappeler que le monopole de ce pouvoir par l’État s’est traduit par des avortements forcés, des stérilisations, des empêchements au mariage ou à la procréation, et que l’histoire de l’eugénisme d’Etat n’est pas la plus honorable qui soit. On peut bien sûr préférer à la liberté procréative ou au bien-être des individus à naître les valeurs qu’ils ont remplacées, mais il ne faut pas oublier que ces valeurs n’étaient autres que le “sang allemand”, la “nation française” ou le “peuple américain”. Autrement dit, le propre du pouvoir sur la vie contemporain est de rompre une bonne fois avec le fantasme d’entités biologiques collectives, en faisant de l’ensemble de la vie, des processus biologiques, de la matière vitale, un moyen au service de la vie biologique et morale des individus.

[Sure, one can rant against the individualization of the power over life, but we must remember that the monopolization of this power by the State has resulted in forced abortions, sterilizations, impediments to marriage and procreation; indeed the history of state eugenics is not a very honorable one. One can of course prefer to the reproductive freedom and well-being of unborn individuals the values which ​​they replaced, but let’s not forget that these values ​​were none other than the “German blood”, the “French nation ”or the “ American people”. In other words, what defines the contemporary view of power over life is to break once and for all with the fantasy of collective biological entities, making the whole of life, biological processes and vital matter into means at the service of the biological and moral lives of individuals.]

Marcela Iacub32

3.1. Individual vs collective power over genetics

As Marcela Iacub summarized, someone must be making reproductive decisions. If it’s not the individuals concerned, then it’s the State, and the latter is far more dangerous.

And, as we have seen, it’s not a question of the collective welfare of “the species” or “the nation” versus that of selfish, egotistical individuals33.

It’s the choice of some individuals versus the choice of other individuals. The only relevant question, thus, is who has the right to decide over what? And what means can be used to enforce that decision?

The best frame to answer those questions is private property rights, individualism, and the non-aggression principle.

3.2. Individual rights vs genetical differences

Remember, rights are individual rights. And individual rights do not depend on genetic code, on “race” or “gender”. Therefore, the rights of clones, or any other genetically engineered individuals, would be no different than the rights of anyone else, for the same reason that we don’t have different rights for men and women, blacks and whites, twins, etc. And those rights would include the right to sue the persons responsible, if the genetical changes were damaging ones34.

Le droit, grâce à la catégorie de “personne”, ne les [les clones] traiterait pas moins comme des réalités uniques ayant chacune d’entre elles une inscription dans l’état civil, un nom, un patrimoine, des droits et des obligations. Chacun des milliers de clones serait une personne à part entière et aucun amoindrissement de leur statut ne résulterait du fait qu’ils possèdent le même patrimoine génétique que des milliers d’autres individus. En d’autres termes, le droit ne connaît pas les clones mais des personnes ayant le même statut les unes que les autres.

[The Law, thanks to the “person” category, would nevertheless consider clones as unique realities, having each a birth registration of their own, a name, property, rights and obligations. Each one of the thousands of clones would be a full-fledged person and no diminishment of their status would result from the fact of their having the same genetic patrimony as thousands of other individuals. In other words, the Law doesn’t consider clones, but only persons, all having the same status as each other.]

Marcela Iacub35

Genetical differences are not relevant for rights, and thus, their descriptions have no place in Law.

The function of the Law is to determine when it is legitimate to use violence:

Il n’y a pas de classifications juridiques, de distinctions juridiques qui ne soient fondées sur des normes de contrainte ; toute distinction juridique entre les personnes implique que l’on distribue d’une manière différentielle des droits et des obligations, c’est-à-dire des pouvoirs sociaux à certains individus au détriment d’autres, à certains individus et pas aux autres.

[There are no legal classifications or legal distinctions that would not be based on coercive norms; any legal distinction between people means that rights and obligations are differentially distributed, that is, social powers are given to some individuals at the expense of others, to some individuals and not to others.]

Marcela Iacub36

Nothing else concerns, or should concern, the Law. Not to construct a symbolic order of a society, not to “construct” what society should look like beyond preservation of peace, not to preserve any “anthropological values”:

De ce fait, l’idée selon laquelle, à travers la mise en place des distinctions anthropologiques, le droit dessine un ordre symbolique n’est adéquate ni pour décrire le fonctionnement du droit, ni pour retrouver des limites à ses transformations, voire pour établir des prédictions d’aucune sorte.

[Therefore, the idea that, through the implementation of anthropological distinctions, the law draws a symbolic order, is adequate neither to describe the functioning of law, nor to find limits to its transformations, and not even to establish predictions of any kind.]

Marcela Iacub37

The Law should not be concerned about genetical differences among individuals for the simple reason that they have no relevance for regulating aggression. There are substantial differences between men and women, blacks and whites, heterosexuals and homosexuals. But these differences have no relevance for Law, and none of these words should therefore appear in any text of legislation38. Exactly like the words “bald” and “hairy” do not appear in texts of law, because baldness or hairiness, although sources of differences relevant to the lives of those individuals, are not sources of different rights39. Likewise, biological capabilities are not sources of rights, and capabilities should not be confused with rights40.

Thus, any further genetical differences between humans would have no relevance for a libertarian legal order either. For a consistent, rational, libertarian legal system, which limits itself to prohibiting aggressions such as murder, rape and theft, any other social and genetic evolutions are not a concern. Universal rules will remain universal40bis.

3.3. Identical rights vs equality

Identical rights do not yield “equality”. Nor should they. “Equality” has never been properly defined: equality of income? Of wealth? Of success? Of happiness?

The egalitarians usually focus on some one measure, in a static world view, then proceed to use coercion to “fix” it.

In the real, dynamic world, different competences and different choices lead to different results. On a free market, you are as wealthy as other people are willing to make you by purchasing your products and services. If you think that outcome is “unfair”, then you consider “unfair” the voluntary choices of thousands of individuals interacting on the market. That is, you intend to use coercion to impose your personal choices against theirs.

“Equality” is thus a meaningless, irrelevant concept for a libertarian41. Far more important than relative “distribution” of wealth is the huge increase in the standard of living over the centuries, made possible only through economic freedom.

But it is worth pointing out that transhumanism is not likely to make particularly happy those who are already complaining about the wealth differences due to accumulations of capital, inheritances, and income differences. Transhumanism means that some people will be able to accumulate capital over even longer periods of time. Smart people will become even smarter through brain-enhancing drugs, and their kids will be even smarter through genetic improvement.

However, in the end, everyone profits from progress, whether it is accumulation of capital over the years or technological and medical progress. Even poor people have seen their lives vastly improved through the rise in absolute incomes. Technologies that at first only the rich can afford are now available to the wide masses. Transhumanist progress, likewise, will at first be available to the few, but the many will profit from the technology as well.

But for that to happen, a positive sum game, dynamic worldview is required, not the zero sum game, static worldview (which inevitably becomes a negative sum game). People’s concerns must go from envy of their neighbors towards their own possibilities42.

The laissez-faire approach towards the irrelevance of inequality, and a correct understanding of economics and the accumulation of capital and its morality, is thus essential for understanding and accepting the changes brought by transhumanism.

3.4. Rights and liberties vs forbidden-or-mandatory

But we are agorists: propertarian anarchists. Our prosperity to date has come by following agoric principles and we envision even further prosperity when agoric principles are generally adopted. Why would we abandon market principles we have found efficacious in favor of hegemonic ones that have led society after society into ruin?

J. Neil Schulman42bis

The collectivist paradigm is that everything must be either forbidden or mandatory. The individualist paradigm is that the only thing that is forbidden is aggression, and the only thing that is mandatory is not committing aggressions. Everything else is rights and freedoms, for each individual to make his own choices.

Thus, there ought not to be a grand collective debate “for or against” transhumanism, a collective, political decision to be taken. Everyone is free to do what he wants to do as long as he doesn’t infringe on other people’s property rights. No one has the right to force anything upon anyone. There is no conflict between legitimate rights and values, only between real rights and fake rights.

Transhumanists have a right to enhance their bodies. The Amish have the right to live without technology. Neither has the right to force its views upon the others. Power cannot be used for good, not even to make transhumanism mandatory, or criticism of transhumanism forbidden. Trying to harness the power of the state for the “good” cause of transhumanism is an illusion, as we have seen in 2.2. anyway. More fundamentally, individual rights are absolute, no “good cause” can be used to trample them43.

3.5. The tough question: who has rights?

Libertarianism investigated the nature of man to explain his rights deriving from non-coercion. It immediately followed that man (woman, child, Martian, etc.) had an absolute right to his life and other property - and no other.

Samuel Edward Konkin III44

An expanding definition of “human being” will challenge our view of what defines “human” rights. It’s the frontier of the human rights theory. But that’s not an issue for transhumanism and laissez-faire, on the contrary.

This question was already being raised by debates such as abortion (where does life begin?), rights of handicapped people who lack certain capabilities, animal rights, handling interaction with exospecies, etc. In all those cases, the question is the same: who is, and what isn’t, an individual sentient being with rights44bis?

No philosophy that I know of has provided any consistent answer in this regard. Laissez-faires’s property rights theory, though, is the best place to start, the best framework to consider the issue. Although not providing an answer to everything, it provides, firstly, a consistent framework to handle all the subsequent issues of rights among rights-holders; and secondly, even this tough question has been handled better by libertarians than anyone else45.

Transhumanism, by challenging our conceptions in this regard, and expanding science to further explore the very definitions of “life”, “sentience”, “conscience”, and person, is the only way to give ourselves the means to pursue this quest: not to contradict it, but to clarify it even further, make it stronger and even more universal. And thus, laissez-faire and transhumanism, together, can achieve an even stronger case for individual private property rights than we ever had for human rights.

Conclusion

Transhumanism is thus an essential part of the magnificent future that awaits our civilization. Laissez-faire is its ethical justification, laissez-faire is its material precondition, and laissez-faire is its legal framework. Indeed, laissez-faire has always been all of the above for any kind of civilization properly understood, but the more civilization evolves and becomes more advanced, the more utterly synonymous with it it becomes:

If government controls could achieve nothing but paralysis, starvation, and collapse in a pre-industrial age, what happens when one imposes controls on a highly industrialized economy? Which is easier for bureaucrats to regulate: the operation of hand looms and hand forges—or the operation of steel mills, aircraft plants, and electronics concerns? Who is more likely to work under coercion: a horde of brutalized men doing unskilled manual labor—or the incalculable number of individual men of creative genius required to build and to maintain an industrial civilization? And if government controls fail even with the first, what depth of evasion permits modern statists to hope that they can succeed with the second?

Ayn Rand46

Any other approach is a delusion. Expecting so-called committees on “bioethics” or religious or government commissions on “ethics” to reach the correct conclusions about right and wrong is a sick joke at best. Their members are usually composed either of people whose only qualification is to be members of religious organizations with no real competence on the relevant issues, or of scientists who reach conclusions strangely inspired by religious pseudo-ethics, not rational philosophy. Expecting governments, whose main achievement is impoverishment of mankind, to finance transhumanism, a grave contradiction. Expecting those who try to bring us down even for achieving wealth to let us achieve the far greater ambition of immortality - a dangerous mistake.

Transhumanists should not expect anything from government. Transhumanists should not ask government for funding. Transhumanists, above all, should not strive for government power in order to impose transhumanism through the same means which are being used to fight it. The high-level freedom to achieve immortality, the freedom from death, will not be accomplished by trespassing on more basics freedom - the freedom from aggression, whatever its justification. The question is not how to rule over men, nor whether to rule over men, but how can anyone pretend to have the right to rule over men. The question is not which religion government should impose, nor whether it should impose one at all, but why would anyone have the right to impose any religion at all. The goal is not power over men, the goal is power over nature. Laissez-faire fights the former, transhumanism is the ultimate frontier of the latter.

Transhumanism is part of the magnificent future that awaits our civilization, but only through laissez-faire will it be possible, affordable and moral. Transhumanism is one of the reasons why laissez-faire is essential for mankind, and laissez-faire is one of the reasons why transhumanism is mankind’s birthright. Both are essential components of our civilization that support each other: a transhumanist yearning highlights the dire necessity of laissez-faire, and a laissez-faire philosophy enables to go past the usual prejudice and see the grandeur of transhumanism.

It’s time we built the future: laissez-nous faire.