Neither Left nor Right -- just Up
I needed a pick-me-up after a kinda funky weekend. So to realign my attitude, I dipped into a few books by my old friend, the futurist F.M. Esfandiary (aka FM-2030).
I first became acquainted with FM through a book review by Jerome Tuccille in Libertarian Forum in 1971. I read everything I could find by FM over the next few years. His stuff was exhilarating. I finally met him in 1989, when I took one of his UCLA extension courses. Soon after, I interviewed FM for the corporate magazine I was editing at the time and we became friends. FM used to hold monthly “salons” for idea-sharing at his apartment in Westwood; after four or five late-night hours of discussion, I usually couldn’t sleep for days.
FM died from pancreatic cancer in 2000 at the age of 70. He now lies in cryogenic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in
Here’s something from Up-Wingers, his futurist manifesto, first published in 1973:
“[T]he Up-Winger proceeds from the premise that we are now flowing to a higher evolution and that therefore it is no longer enough to resolve age-old social economic political problems. We must urgently overcome the more basic tyrannies of nature — the arbitrariness of evolution — the limitations of the human body — the confinements of Time and Space.
“It is the human situation that is basically tragic. Right/Left revolutions cannot alter this basic dilemma. For instance the most revolutionary Left-wing group has no program to overcome death. The entire Right/Left establishment is still death-oriented.
“Space programs and biological advances in capitalist and socialist countries are outgrowths of modern science and technology — not of Right/Left ideologies. We are extending ourselves in Space and in Time not because of capitalism or socialism but in spite of them.
“The Right/Left Capitalist/Socialist establishments have used their Space programs chiefly to advance their nationalistic militaristic hang-ups. They still do not comprehend the evolutionary impact of the Space dimension.
“The Right/Left establishment is psychologically and ideologically unprepared for our emerging situation in Time and Space. It is not surprising that much of the Right/Left is vehemently opposed to this new cosmic dimension.
“The Right/Left establishment wants to maintain an evolutionary status quo. It is resigned to humanity's basic predicament. It simply strives to make life better within this predicament.
“Up-Wingers are resigned to nothing. We accept no human predicament as permanent no tragedy as irreversible no goals as unattainable.
“To be Up you must sever all ideological ties with the Right/Left establishment. You must make a break with the traditional concept of linear historical progress. That is now too slow and limited.
"You must be prepared to quantum-leap forward. This means starting with a new set of premises new visionary aims.”