> Frequently Asked Questions
about the Promethean movement
about a Promethean society
about this web site
and general questions
the Promethean movement
What is the Promethean
We are an independent,
unofficial group of people, an organized but
non-hierarchical cohesion of individual members around
a shared vision, the value of life. Our guiding philosophy is called Prometheanism,
and above all we seek the advancement of life. Our core members
What is a Promethean?
What is the difference between members of the Promethean movement,
and Prometheans? Why do you make these distinctions?
The term "Promethean"
indicates a core member taking a leadership role
in the Promethean movement. Prometheans comprise a subset of members,
so members include
a small number
The obvious distinction is one of commitment level. A Promethean
takes personal responsibility for the success of the movement,
and for its guidance by voluntary
methods according to individualist principles. Candidates
from among other members
can become recognized as new Prometheans according
agreement of all active Prometheans. That distinction
of a "Promethean"
is made both descriptively, concerning a person's Promethean
character and life-interested motivations, and functionally,
in order to organize the movement
effectively. For other information on the qualities desired
among Prometheans and their roles, see The
Promethean Trilogy and other material hosted at Promethea.
How is the Promethean
Promethean movement is designed not by top-down hierarchy but by
the cooperation of interconnected individuals, Prometheans and
other members. We Prometheans conceive of
the movement as something new, not as a centralized, collective
group but as a group formed
by a coalescence of connected individuals around the value and
standard of life. Each person acts independently within an organic
complexity formed of individual differences. The whole 'movement'
means nothing in itself; the action of individuals makes the movement.
Prometheans guide it by providing ideals and ideas, directions
and projects others may follow as they wish. Thus the Promethean
one example of the natural organization we think the aspects of
the world which work well already follow — whether friendships,
business relations, families, cultural trends, etc. — and
which we would like every interaction between people to observe.
How does Promethean
leadership work? If Prometheans lead by ideas individualistically,
represents all of the Prometheans? Do different Prometheans have
to think the
same thing? What happens when they disagree?
is an experiment in voluntary and individualistic persuasion as
a means of social cooperation, instead of hierarchy and compulsion.
This is one of the most special things about the movement. Prometheans lead by persuasion, directly by making a request of someone, and
indirectly through communicating ideas which have an influence,
making use of the effect referred to as "the rule of ideas."
of Prometheans could inelegantly be described as a virtual think
tank, at present, for the most important work Prometheans do currently
gets accomplished on a mostly distinct, solitary basis. In the
future however, we expect this association to become much more
as our numbers and resources grow. This will especially apply to
the long run, as we get closer to the ability to found the first
content of this web site
includes what Prometheans can agree upon, for example in the Information section.
In these and other matters, however, Prometheans always speak
for themselves independently, in keeping with
the individualism underpinning Prometheanism. They agree as they
wish, support each others' efforts as they wish, hashing
out mutual agreements whenever necessary (as in the case of this
web site), based on their requisite shared devotion to the advancement
of life. They
inevitably of course differ on some more minor issues, as they
should in order to remain individualistic leaders who do not
orthodoxy. Prometheans personally organize initiatives and projects
to their varying interests and beliefs, projects which members
can decide to support or ignore as they wish, as can anyone
make an effort to differentiate individual work and individual
opinions for the most part, distinguishing them by Promethean
names. More independent, specifically personal, and
possibly internally controversial opinions can be
found in each Promethean's subsection in the Membership section
on this site.
See also: the
current list of Projects organized by Prometheans.
does membership require? What does it mean to be a "member" of
the Promethean movement as opposed to just an informal supporter
have been helping members of the movement in a variety of supplementary
ways. But the basic distinction of a member with active
standing is one of continual support:
to publicly acknowledge membership and consciously contribute
mission of life-advancement at a personal level, and a mutual
making contributions according to opportunity and ability.
as part of a reorganization
in 2008, a member should
plan on choosing an appropriate project or projects to pursue
in the interests of the movement. In order to keep their membership
current, they should be prepared to discuss
the progress of their
project(s) at least once per month, on a members-only section
of the Promethean
movement forum. Such a project might have primarily
individual significance, or it might consist of individual collaboration.
A wide variety of projects are possible. In some cases members
adopting projects will end up describing what
doing (for example,
which develops abilities which may become useful to the movement).
Doing so consciously, however, will help to clarify their current
roles and their progress to themselves, and to others within
the movement. In other cases, members will adopt new projects
which excite or interest them. Letting other members know of
their progress will help members to receive any insights
or advice others may have to give.
members are encouraged to participate on the forum with at least
one additional post per month (if not more). This
can include initiating a thread or participating in exchanges,
or simply posting an article. Members should stay informed
of movement news, and opportunities to help with ongoing projects.
may help a great deal more, and may even seek to become recognized
as Prometheans if they desire to
make a calling out of their involvement.
What sort of members
do you accept?
include the young and old, from any genetic or cultural background,
in any place. Anyone who is sincere in their desire to join and
participate based on their common ground with the movement
is welcome. Members must continue to participate in order to keep
their membership current, however (see above).
As of now I am
not able to join the movement publicly. Can I still participate and
help the movement if I don't wish to be known and counted as a member?
Yes, you can
help initiatives of the movement anonymously as an informal supporter
without any particular commitments (although we certainly prefer
people to become members). Prometheans and
other members may choose to accept help from others on projects
as they see fit; there may be opportunities to help with ongoing projects,
even if this simply consists of spreading the word.
have been taken with the movement to ensure that it will not resemble
the collective organizations objected to in several Promethean
such as The
Promethean Manifesto: Part
See answers above.
Why is the Promethean
movement not an official non-profit organization/corporation?
consciously maintain an unofficial and non-hierarchical organization.
Members may find it necessary to establish non-profit organizations
to support their efforts financially (e.g. The
but the Promethean movement will never become
an official organization or become limited only to the role of
a charity or restrained by the legal definition
of a corporation. The
movement will remain independent and unofficial, with unique characteristics.
Is the Promethean
movement some sort of cult?
No. A few critics
of our different ideas or our enthusiasm have fallen back on that
smear in the past and others probably will again in the future,
For one thing, a cult in the modern sense is generally considered
to be a controlled organization devoted to an orthodoxy of thought
and behavior among its members. The Promethean movement, conversely,
welcomes any support or constructive criticism and fully encourages
critical and discerning approach on the part of everyone involved.
Members can think whatever they want, and
choose their own contributions to mutual goals.
For another thing, a cult typically exploits the work of those
Promethean movement the greatest demands of work are placed upon
the Prometheans leading it, and in fact
their higher level of commitment is one of the things defining
a Promethean. The goals and methodology
behind the Promethean movement vehemently oppose cultish organizations
behavior. In fact, many more
conventional organizations probably have much more in common with
cults than we do.
the Promethean movement a terrorist organization? Do you advocate
violence to achieve goals?
We do not advocate trying to violently overthrow governments, much
less trying to draw attention to our cause by killing people. Judged
according to the value of life held as the highest value in Prometheanism,
premature death is clearly always a sort of loss, thus we would
seek to avoid the death of any person whenever at all possible
obvious necessitated exception being immediate self-defense). And
regardless of being justified or not, this kind of violent resistance
is usually self-defeating.
If at all possible, it is far better to prove a point peacefully
stoop to the same violence monopolized by the government.
is the philosophy that inspired the foundation of the Promethean
movement. It is especially concerned with inspiring and guiding
the actions of those within the movement, especially Prometheans,
of the movement, who have the task of exploring, developing,
and clarifying Prometheanism for themselves and others. Prometheanism
as a philosophy certainly has something to contribute to the lives
of everyone, however, not only those who are involved with the
can be expanded to infinite specific detail, unending subtleties,
and unbounded complexity, but it can also be identified in very
practical or very simple terms. The shortest way to describe what
Prometheanism is may be this definition: whatever
advances life belongs to Prometheanism, whatever does
not belongs to something else.
What are the basics
Foundation of Prometheanism and Important
Principles of Prometheanism
Where did Prometheanism
does Prometheanism differ from (statist, capital "L") Libertarianism,
is very different from Libertarianism, meaning the political philosophy
endorsing strictly limited government for the State, promoted by
Libertarian political organizations such as the Libertarian Party
in the United
is not merely a political (or rather antipolitical) philosophy.
is about much
than opposing government. It encompasses not only some antipolitical
ideas, but post-political or apolitical ones too, by most definitions
of government completely, including 'Libertarian' minimal or
constitutional government, because of its basis in a monopoly of
is on an artificial structure inhibiting self-expression), and
power to exceed all bounds designed to reign it in.
Prometheanism rejects political means of achieving goals
here and now (including democracy)
based on implicit compulsion, and because participation in
government encourages and validates its importance — which would
hypocritical for those who oppose
usually relies on moralism, labeling the compulsion of government
"immoral," often according to
of "natural rights." Prometheanism however is a
conscientiously amoral philosophy requiring no insistence
on an objective moral
structure to justify itself,
just contextual assessment measured by the standard of life
as we individually interpret it according to the
assertions of the foundation
ideas and principles of
Prometheanism. Such assessments taken generally do indicate
firm and consistent opposition of the institutions of government
and the governing principle itself, but understanding for
the current circumstance and people's parts in it,
9. The Minimal State and Fascism for an economic angle, and
other materials at Promethea for
background, especially The Promethean
does Prometheanism differ from (non-statist, lower-case "l") libertarianism?
In the inclusive
sense libertarianism is simply theory against the use of force
in a political sense (endorsing force only in self-defense, or
even not at all for
pacifist libertarians). While libertarianism is defined by reaction
against force, reducing social relations to terms of force is merely
one of the overall models of analysis employed by Prometheanism.
While libertarianism has been defined by a doctrine (no matter
Prometheanism is defined by a purpose
and process, to which doctrines
are subordinated. See also
the answers on Libertarianism above and
individualist anarchism below.
does Prometheanism differ from individualist anarchism or "anarcho-capitalism"?
In terms of just Promethean
antipolitics and emphasis on seeing society from the individual
outward, Prometheanism resembles the
somewhat disparate philosophical school of individualist anarchism
first articulated in the 19th century by Benjamin Tucker, Lysander
continuing in the 20th and 21st in the work of Murray Rothbard,
et al., and we can fortuitously draw upon these contributions.
used interchangeably with the phrase "individualist anarchism" but
more often used economically, "anarcho-capitalism," also
market anarchism" or "market anarchism," is generally
an extension of certain Libertarian political
theories, in which for example the principle that aggression is
immoral gets extended to the theoretical conclusion
of the elimination of the state, or an extension of free market economic
theories in which the idea of a free market of individuals gets
extended to a stateless,
or "anarchic," theoretical conclusion. (For
background on anarchism in general, see this off-site Anarchist
Theory FAQ.) However we do not favor any of these politicized
terms involving the reactionary idea of anarchism, which
relates to establishment concepts of archism (rule);
especially "anarcho-capitalism" implies
coexist with government
See also the answer on Promethean capitalism below.
And see the answer below on the rule of
ideas in a Promethean society distinguished
from simple anarchism.
is not merely about opposing political rule and therefore
advocating a stateless society, whether on a economic or
theoretical basis. Nor is Prometheanism defined by its politics
(or rather, antipolitics). Unlike anarchism, Prometheanism is not
mainly driven by what
opposes; it is not only antipolitical but post-political
or apolitical in thought by most definitions of politics, already
involving the creation of positive ideas for the future,
which for their sake necessitate
opposing politics. Nonetheless, a Promethean
have a stateless, truly free market of individuals,
and can thus be partially described as anarchistic in the
individualist sense or "anarcho-capitalistic" in that respect,
although again we do not favor these politicized terms.
does Prometheanism relate to Objectivism?
Most of what
appears to be shared by both Prometheanism and Ayn Rand's Objectivism
actually originates from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche in
the 19th century,
and Promethean acknowledgement of Nietzsche has been readily made,
whereas Ayn Rand
turned against him and diverged from Nietzschean thought.
Besides that mutual source material and early inspiration for
both, there are perhaps even more differences than similarities,
and Prometheanism is becoming a much deeper and diverse body of
than Ayn Rand's admixture of "American Capitalism," orthodoxical
Aristotelianism, and moralized whim. See A
Personal and Promethean Response to Objectivism (at Promethea),
an article dealing with some distinctions
between the two philosophies.
advocate eugenics, or is the Promethean movement associated with eugenics
does not advocate eugenic practices with a racial, or other collectivist
basis. Prometheanism does however support preserving the option
voluntary genetic modification on an individual basis, although this
is not the same as advocating the practice. Prometheanism focuses
primarily on the importance of philosophy (ideas) over the simplistic
strategy of breeding as a means for improving human beings. Also,
most eugenics ideologies today are based on attempting to increase
IQ, which must be rejected as any significant measure of either
diversity of intelligence, or of some basic, generalized criterion
of human advancement. The Promethean movement is not involved with
projects or affiliated with eugenics movements.
the same as "Prometheism"? Is the Promethean movement associated
with the "secular religion" of Prometheism?
and the Promethean movement are not associated with the so-called
"secular religion of Prometheism." See also the answer regarding eugenics above.
collectivism can be so dangerous according to Prometheanism, what
about the movement
- how is it different from collectivist entities?
see answer above
a Promethean society
What is a Promethean
The name for
the heretofore unrealized, evolved kind of society of individuals
the Promethean movement seeks to found as a critical objective
advancing life by removing obstacles to self-expression. The eventual
is for all human social interactions to come to employ the presuppositions
defining a Promethean society, making the whole world a
Promethean society. This begins with the intermediate step of foundation
the first Promethean society in the first place where such a change
would become wise — where conducive conditions exist, including
enough people who desire to progress beyond the problems of "societies" as
the world has understood the concept, so far. In simplistic terms,
the chief differences between modern and Promethean society
involve uncompromising liberation and individualism,
both tending toward a more natural circumstance which can enable
the realized progress of human life, not its distortion according
to false ideals or images of humanity, nor its artificial limitation.
For deeper information
on the idea of a Promethean society see especially The
Promethean Trilogy, particularly Anticonstitution
for a Promethean Society.
essence of a Promethean society can be represented by two linked
if we open each as a great door, seeing before us an expanse
of implication and an intricate diversity of meaning. These words
are Free and Individual. They represent the way we should live
and the future we must create. Free: the freedom
of will and action, personal autonomy, allodial person and
property, deliverance from
restraints, the absence of
dominating political power, association and interconnection
among people without binds or boundaries... Individual:
defining the world from our selves outward, an environment of natural
individualism, an end to collective illusions,
the importance of diversity, insistence on our own value
the knowledge that life constitutes an individual experience
and can be an individual creation whatever we gain from one another..."
for a Promethean Society 2003 Edition, 2.
The Nature of a Promethean Society
Is a Promethean
society a utopia?
is from a Greek phrase "ou topia" meaning "no place",
and that is exactly where a utopia, in the sense of an ideal society,
exist. A Promethean
society is not meant to be a perfect society, nor could it be ideal
from everyone's perspective. (Rather, "A Promethean society
is created [especially] for those whose purpose is the greatest
personal self-expression, those
who want to live to
the fullest." – Anticonstitution
for a Promethean Society 2003 Edition.) Real people will always
experience difficulties, and those living in a Promethean society will
not be exempt. However, those living in a Promethean society will encounter
fewer and less severe problems, considering that most problems humans
suffer through are of their own making or follow the inherited influence
of other people, especially those who have left behind relic ideas
affect people profoundly. In time, future people may build upon the
upcoming achievements of the
to create a world we would consider a nearly unimaginable paradise.
applications of Prometheanism to the current situation imply we already live
with dystopian ramifications of various unrealistic,
idealist ideas — it's those mythic assumptions
behind present-day societies which are really "utopian"!
does the theory and practice of Promethean
capitalism in a Promethean society compare to terms like "free
market capitalism," "laissez-faire
capitalism," modern so-called "Capitalism" aka
"state capitalism," etc.?
of Promethean capitalism is to start with freshened terminology
to contrast from considerable compounded distortion and confusion,
but specify a "true" capitalism in the sense of the circumstance
advantageous fundamentals implicit in the "free market" or "capitalistic"
traditions, although often unrealized as much as advertised. Importantly,
"capital" in Promethean terms is subjectively asserted
according to each individual's own perception of value, and need
to financial, or any abstractly measurable wealth. Freely seeking
one's own desires for capital in this sense
the name Promethean. See
Capitalism (at Promethea)
for more comparing the intentions behind the theoretical
meanings of all the terms noted above, and the implications
of their actual referents when applied in real-life. See
also the answer above regarding "anarcho-capitalism."
What is "the rule
of ideas" and how does it relate to a Promethean society?
In the general
sense the rule of ideas refers to both the traceable and
the unpredictably complex influences and ramifications of ideas
(by all meanings
including conceptions, significations, models, memes and meme complexes,
assumptions, etc.), which "rule" in a sense "governs" all
adaptive social interaction to a considerable extent,
human culture. (It includes any changes which Prometheanism may
inspire in you, for example, or
even the ramifications of these very words for you as your read
them.) Political rulers, bureaucrats, demagogues and others often
attempt to manipulate
today by controlling
with disinformation, and propagating
the rule of ideas in a Promethean society refers
an alternative to these mostly unwitting, and sneaky manipulative
approaches to ideological influence in modern societies: supplementing
in a Promethean society with a concerted, open and acknowledged
attempt by future Prometheans to
provide trusted leadership, advice,
guidance, education and inspiration to all those who
it (which Prometheans already
do on a modest scale for the Promethean movement). Importantly,
this influence is only "rule" in
a metaphoric sense, not political rule. It is voluntary and persuasive,
not mandatory or monolithic. The rule of ideas is a natural part
of organic social interaction already, we merely wish to adapt
this evolution more consciously. Note
that the principle of the rule of ideas indicates some differentiation
between a Promethean society
and an "anarchic"
society "without rule."
How would ___ be
accomplished in a Promethean society?
for a Promethean Society at Promethea for
a general overview. A general answer is that services now under the
auspices of the state would be de-monopolized and replaced by independent
efforts under freedom.
Without government interference in any particular industry, including
security and the settlement of disputes, people would learn to develop
and become more responsible for
this web site
How do I use this
Where is ____?
Try Help for
general guidance, or this site search:
Who made this web
site? Who maintains it?
Some pages on
this site, particularly
those with continually updated material, have credits at the bottom
of the page such as "page
edited by ..." which you
can use to associate the
responsible for its contents or for updates to its contents.
credits for the site are available on this
Where can I find
See the main
page of the Information section on this
site for a guide. Those seeking further information should also
a creative and intellectual center for Prometheanism on the internet.
you explain the significance of adopting terms such as "Promethean"
and "Prometheanism" derived from "Prometheus"?
Inspiration of Prometheus (at Promethea)
What does the term
The coinage "life-interest"
has been employed in some Promethean discourse to describe the
life-advancing, or 'Promethean' unity of pursuing self-interest
and an interest
in life. See The
Promethean Manifesto: Part
3. Vital Self-Interest and Individualism
What is a Promethean
anonym of significance adopted by each Promethean on the occasion
of their becoming
recognized in the role of Promethean, signifying the self-directed
as well as the Promethean aspect of that individual. A Promethean
name is not employed for anonymity (each Promethean stands publicly
as a member of the movement) but rather for symbolism — not only
that of each different name but of remaking oneself in general.
The goals of Prometheanism
and the Promethean movement seem unrealistic. Why do you think
possible to change the world by convincing people to change their
minds, found a new kind of society, end many modern problems as we
goals, yes. But aside from effort and hardship, progress or discouragement
— name something else you think would be a better way for you to
focus and expend your energies during your comparatively ephemeral
this planet. If you can, perhaps you should do it instead? If you
cannot, you should really consider helping us.
Do you have other
questions you would like answered here? Ask them by mailing pmfaqsATprometheanmovement.org and
we may add them.
FAQs answered by Phoenix and Darios
February 20, 2008 2:59