21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #6

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #6

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Gennady Stolyarov II


For its upcoming sixth Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has receive a large volume of suggestions from members during the past four months. This exposure period is intended to encompass as many of these suggestions as possible. A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 21 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

During the exposure period, please post your comments on this thread. If you post comments intended to be considered in voting and/or amending any of these planks in any other electronic medium, please note that you thereby give your consent to have your comments reproduced with attribution or linked within this discussion thread, in order to direct members’ attention and consideration to them.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail at that time. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method if more than a single option is presented for the wording of a particular plank or segment of a plank. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual Platform Section. The original text of each Section will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar only – but not with regard to the substance, unless the person proposing the amendment requests or consents to a substantive edit. “No Section of this sort” will also be a choice, and any Section where a majority of votes favors this option will be not be adopted. Members will also be able to abstain from voting on any given Section.

The ranked-preference method has the advantage of eliminating a “winner-take-all” or “first-past-the-post” mentality and preventing people from being channeled into voting for sub-optimal choices (in their view) just because they fear an even less palatable alternative prevailing. Within the ranked-preference methodology, if no option obtains a clear majority as voters’ first choice, the option having the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated from consideration, and all those who voted for that option will have their votes assigned to their second-choice options. This process of elimination continues until one particular option has a clear majority of votes.

The Transhumanist Party encourages all members to participate in this process and for other transhumanists to sign up for membership during the exposure period. 

The Section titles below are provisional and will be replaced with official numbers for each plank that is adopted. The Section titles are informational only and will not be included in the adopted versions of the platform planks.


Section E6-A. Minimum Timeframe for Voting on a Bill

Option E6-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to create a reasonable minimum timeframe between the proposal of a bill and the voting procedure. To ensure a reasonable timeframe is proportional to the number of pages of a proposed bill, a time period per each specified amount of pages could be adopted. For example, and without committing to specific numerical magnitudes, a 24-hour period within a working week per every 20 pages could be adopted to ensure all member of Congress involved have sufficient time to read through and study a proposed bill’s implications. Such measures would prevent a bill from being introduced shortly before the voting process. They would also have the added side effect that proposals might become more concise, as the length of a bill would influence the consideration time.

[The question will allow members to select one or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plank. The ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision Option E6-A-i. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]  In addition to this, after the proposal has been submitted, no change may be made to the proposal to prevent changing the substance of a proposal.

Ancillary Provision Option E6-A-ii. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II] In addition to this, after the proposal has been submitted, any amendments must be explicitly discussed in a public forum with the same degree of thorough consideration and same rules pertaining to the timeframe of consideration as allowed for the original proposal.

 

Section E6-B. Fully Informed Juries

Option E6-B-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ensure a jury is fully informed on its rights and responsibilities, including jury nullification. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports efforts to prevent false claims being made regarding the rights and responsibilities of the jury.

 

Section E6-C. Elimination of Stationary Nuclear Stockpile

Option E6-C-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

As an intermediate step toward the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and a potential pragmatic compromise in any future negotiations for disarmament, the United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the United States nuclear stockpile, and to replace or transfer a small part (between 1 percent and 10 percent) of this stockpile, to mobile nuclear platforms such as submarines. An enemy may currently target the stationary nuclear bombs directly. Having a largely hidden mobile fleet of nuclear bombs would render it much more difficult for any enemy to target the nuclear arsenal, while still maintaining the nuclear deterrent option in sufficient capacity. This would further have the effect of lowering the budget required to maintain the nuclear stockpile, as it could be drastically downsized.

 

Section E6-D. Legalization of Prostitution

Option E6-D-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right for individuals to have autonomy over, and utilize their bodies to earn money, including through activities such as prostitution, as long as such activities arise from a person’s own free will (e.g., not under duress), and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others.

Legalization would give those who wish to engage in prostitution the safety and protection of the law – for example, so that they may report abuse and would be prone to being exploited. It would also open the possibility for such individuals to unionize if they wish to do so. Furthermore, legalization would decrease government spending on what is ultimately a ‘moral crusade’.

Option E6-D-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Added Wording by Ajay Davis]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right for individuals to have autonomy over, and utilize their bodies to earn money, including through activities such as prostitution, as long as such activities arise from a person’s own free will (e.g., not under duress), and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others, including but not limited to the communication of sexually transmissible diseases.

Legalization would give those who wish to engage in prostitution the safety and protection of the law – for example, so that they may report abuse and would be prone to being exploited. It would also open the possibility for such individuals to unionize if they wish to do so. Furthermore, legalization would decrease government spending on what is ultimately a ‘moral crusade’.

[The question will allow members to select one or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plankThe ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision E6-D-i. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

However, the United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns any manner of human trafficking, child exploitation, and other abuse that involves a violation of the autonomy and consent of any individual. The legalization of prostitution should be combined with stronger efforts to combat these dangerous and exploitative practices.

Ancillary Provision E6-D-ii. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The legalization of prostitution could furthermore enable more effective action against human trafficking and involuntary exploitation, as, when prostitution is legalized, employees in this industry would become subject to the protections of the law. Legalization would help focus resources on combating the trafficking of humans rather than catching workers who chose this profession voluntarily.

 

Section E6-E. Public Records of Official Statements

Option E6-E-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Clarifications Suggested by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that any statement made by an elected official and/or public servant to members of the public in a public forum, and available to be heard, read, or otherwise understood in a public setting, physical or digital, should be considered a part of the public record and treated as an official statement of their office and position.

Option E6-E-2. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Further Clarifications Regarding the Capacity in Which the Official Acts]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that any statement made by an elected official and/or public servant to members of the public in a public forum as part of that official’s or public servant’s job duties, and available to be heard, read, or otherwise understood in a public setting, physical or digital, should be considered a part of the public record and treated as an official statement of their office and position. This requirement does not extend to statements made by an elected official and/or public servant in the capacity of a private citizen or in the expression of a personal opinion or other position unrelated to the exercise of the official’s or public servant’s job duties.

 

Section E6-F. Artificial Intelligence System to Analyze Risk of Proposed Legislation

Option E6-F-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that state and federal governments should establish an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis system for measuring risk of proposed legislation. Such a system could provide an impartial look at what legislation could cause harm or unintended consequences. Submitted policies would receive a score from 0 to 100, and the AI system would state what possible negative impacts may result. This system should be publicly accessible for submissions and for security audit. This is not intended to create or enact laws, but simply to serve as a tool to measure risk versus reward.

Option E6-F-2. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Added Wording by Daniel Yeluashvili on Blocking Certain Laws]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that state and federal governments should establish an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis system for measuring risk of proposed legislation. Such a system could provide an impartial look at what legislation could cause harm or unintended consequences. Submitted policies would receive a score from 0 to 100, and the AI system would state what possible negative impacts may result. This system should be publicly accessible for submissions and for security audit. This is not intended to create or enact laws, but simply to serve as a tool to measure risk versus reward. However, such an AI system should be used to block laws that have a 50% or greater probability of negatively affecting the majority of the population.

 

Section E6-G. Opposition to Partisan Determination of Voting Districts

Option E6-G-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes the possibility for any political party to determine the boundaries and borders of any voting district. The United States Transhumanist Party supports measures that require any efforts to have the districts potentially redrawn, when necessary due to migration for example, to be left to an automated system such as an artificial intelligence (AI) designed for this task.

 

Section E6-H. Limitation of Presidential Authority over International Agreements

Option E6-H-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to remove the possibility for a President to sign an international agreement among two or more nations by executive order. This would prevent a President from engaging in international affairs without support from the Congress, and likewise would make it more difficult to exit an international agreement, as support from Congress would need to exist in order for such an exit to occur. This would furthermore ensure that the United States becomes a more trustworthy nation in the eyes of the international community.

 

Section E6-I. International or World Passport

Option E6-I-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to create a framework for an international or world passport. This framework could, for example, be administered through the United Nations, and the passport could be valid only for those countries who have proven to meet the standards, set by participating countries, required to ensure safety. Given that the European Union has an ID valid within its borders, and the United States has a similar agreement with Canada, imagining these forms of identification being combined shows that a world passport is not a farfetched or alien idea.

 

Section E6-J. Registration Chip for New Firearms

Option E6-J-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to mandate that new firearms will be produced with an embedded registration chip, as well as the registration number engraved on the firearm. The chip would have a registration number, a ‘trace online’ code, and a ‘lost or stolen’ code. The firearm would be accompanied by a physical and digital certificate of ownership with a registration number, the ‘trace online’ number, and the ‘lost or stolen’ number. The embedded chip would render it much harder to make the firearm untraceable. The number and codes involved would have to be unique identifiers.

When a firearm would be lost or stolen, the owner of the firearm and holder of the certificate would report the firearm to the authorities as lost or stolen using the ‘lost or stolen’ number. The intent of having a separate reporting number is to ensure that, in the event that a firearm is stolen or taken without consent, the offender cannot report the firearm as stolen, or as found again. When a firearm owner suspects the firearm is simply mislocated – for example, in the car or in the house, or perhaps taken by a family member, the owner could trace the firearm online via GPS on an online map, using the ‘trace online’ code. The ‘trace online’ code would never be revealed to law enforcement.

Law enforcement would have a device that can confirm the registration number of a firearm in close proximity, similar to contactless payments. On the other hand the detection range would be greater when a firearm has been reported lost or stolen by the owner of the firearm in question with the ‘lost and stolen’ number. A firearm that would not have been reported lost or stolen to law enforcement by the owner of the firearm with the ‘lost or stolen’ number would not be traceable from a greater distance by law enforcement.

This would ensure the privacy, safety, and peace of mind of firearm owners who might otherwise feel law enforcement would trace firearms without legal justification. At the same time, this measure would decrease the probability of stolen firearms never being found, and possibly ending in the hands of people with ill intent.

 

Section E6-K. Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor

Option E6-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the creation of an office of a Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor. Our current justice system is flawed. Only people with substantial wealth can afford lawyers to take legal action against those who attack a person’s rights. While there are organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which offer help for some cases, their ability to do so is severely limited and typically non-existent in the lower courts. A Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor’s office will help guarantee that, no matter who a person is or the position of the offending party, a person’s rights cannot be assailed without consequence.

 

Section E6-L. Lowering Military Spending

Option E6-L-1. [Based on Proposal by John M.]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports lowering spending by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Military, which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars per year and includes unchecked wastefulness. Reducing military spending would free up money for more important goals, such as curing disease, which collectively kills many more people than military conflict or war by an exponential degree.

 

Section E6-M. Accountability for Use of Federal Grants

Option E6-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to hold institutions, corporations, and states accountable for usage of federal money with a specific intended purpose. When an entity has been granted any form of funding with a specifically intended purpose, such as disaster relief or specific educational funds, and these funds are misappropriated or used for other purposes well outside of the scope of what they were intended for, the entity in question ought to restitute the funding that was made available.

 

Section E6-N. Increased Funding for the National Institutes of Health

Option E6-N-1. [Based on Proposal by John Marlowe]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports increases in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Numerous biotech CEOs have recently made the case to increase the NIH budget, because the NIH conducts research that their companies would not be able to invest in, as investments not leading directly to a product would affect the bottom line. 33% of all the publications from NIH research are cited in corporate patents, so it stimulates new product development. A major driver for economic progress and reducing the suffering of those in pain, the NIH is essentially a public charity that brings us into the future. Whether one supports limited or expansive government, the NIH does not seek to regulate anything nor impose laws on anyone. It exclusively conducts medical research to help the sick.

Option E6-N-2. [Based on Proposal by John Marlowe, with Modification to Require Offsetting Decreases in Military Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports increases in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided that such increases are offset by equivalent or greater decreases in military spending. Numerous biotech CEOs have recently made the case to increase the NIH budget, because the NIH conducts research that their companies would not be able to invest in, as investments not leading directly to a product would affect the bottom line. 33% of all the publications from NIH research are cited in corporate patents, so it stimulates new product development. A major driver for economic progress and reducing the suffering of those in pain, the NIH is essentially a public charity that brings us into the future. Whether one supports limited or expansive government, the NIH does not seek to regulate anything nor impose laws on anyone. It exclusively conducts medical research to help the sick.

 

Section E6-O. Reinstatement of Voting Rights to Felons Who Have Served Their Punishment

Option E6-O-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reinstate the rights to vote for convicted felons who have received and served their punishment, in order to present them the opportunity to participate in society as otherwise normal citizens.

 

Section E6-P. Repeal of FDA Approval Requirements for Drug Tests on Willing Patients

Option E6-P-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports repealing the current requirement in the United States that drugs or treatments may not be used, even on willing patients, unless approval for such drugs or treatments is received from the Food and Drug Administration. Such requirements are a profound violation of patient sovereignty; a person who is terminally ill is unable to choose to take a risk on an unapproved drug or treatment unless this person is fortunate enough to participate in a clinical trial. Even then, once the clinical trial ends, the treatment must be discontinued, even if it was actually successful at prolonging the person’s life. This is not only profoundly tragic, but morally unconscionable as well. The most critical reform needed is to allow unapproved drugs and treatments to be marketed and consumed. If the FDA wishes to strongly differentiate between approved and unapproved treatments, then a strongly worded warning label could be required for unapproved treatments, and patients could even be required to sign a consent form stating that they have been informed of the risks of an unapproved treatment. This reform to directly extend many lives and to redress a moral travesty should be the top political priority of advocates of indefinite life extension. Over the coming decades, its effect will be to allow cutting-edge treatments to reach a market sooner and thus to enable data about those treatments’ effects to be gathered more quickly and reliably. Because many treatments take 10-15 years to receive FDA approval, this reform could by itself speed up the real-world advent of indefinite life extension by over a decade.

 

Section E6-Q. Abolition of Medical Licensing Protectionism

Option E6-Q-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase opportunities for entry into the medical profession. The current system for licensing doctors is highly monopolistic and protectionist – the result of efforts by the American Medical Association in the early 20th century to limit entry into the profession in order to artificially boost incomes for its members. The medical system suffers today from too few doctors and thus vastly inflated patient costs and unacceptable waiting times for appointments. Instead of prohibiting the practice of medicine by all except a select few who have completed an extremely rigorous and cost-prohibitive formal medical schooling, governments in the Western world should allow the market to determine different tiers of medical care for which competing private certifications would emerge. For the most specialized and intricate tasks, high standards of certification would continue to exist, and a practitioner’s credentials and reputation would remain absolutely essential to convincing consumers to put their lives in that practitioner’s hands. But, with regard to routine medical care (e.g., annual check-ups, vaccinations, basic wound treatment), it is not necessary to receive attention from a person with a full-fledged medical degree. Furthermore, competition among certification providers would increase quality of training and lower its price, as well as accelerate the time needed to complete the training. Such a system would allow many more young medical professionals to practice without undertaking enormous debt or serving for years (if not decades) in roles that offer very little remuneration while entailing a great deal of subservience to the hierarchy of an established institution. Ultimately, without sufficient doctors to affordably deliver life-extending treatments when they become available, it would not be feasible to extend these treatments to the majority of people.

 

Section E6-R. Abolition of Ability to Re-Patent Generic Medicines and Devices

Option E6-R-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports reforms to the patent system that prevent the re-patenting of drugs and medical devices, or the acquisition of any exclusive or monopoly rights over those drugs and devices, once they have become generic or entered the public domain. Appallingly, many pharmaceutical companies today attempt to re-patent drugs that have already entered the public domain, simply because the drugs have been discovered to have effects on a disease different from the one for which they were originally patented. The result of this is that the price of the re-patented drug often spikes by orders of magnitude compared to the price level during the period the drug was subject to competition. Only a vibrant and competitive market, where numerous medical providers can experiment with how to improve particular treatments or create new ones, can allow for the rate of progress needed for the people alive today to benefit from radical life extension.

 

Section E6-S. Reduction of Medical Patent Timeframes

Option E6-S-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports reforms to reduce the lengths of times over which medical patents could be effective. Medical patents – in essence, legal grants of monopoly for limited periods of time – greatly inflate the cost of drugs and other treatments. Especially in today’s world of rapidly advancing biotechnology, a patent term of 20 years essentially means that no party other than the patent holder (or someone paying royalties to the patent holder) may innovate upon the patented medicine for a generation, all while the technological potential for such innovation becomes glaringly obvious. As much innovation consists of incremental improvements on what already exists, the lack of an ability to create derivative drugs and treatments that tweak current approaches implies that the entire medical field is, for some time, stuck at the first stages of a treatment’s evolution – with all of the expense and unreliability this entails. Even with shortened patent terms, the original developer of an innovation will still always benefit from a first-mover advantage, as it takes time for competitors to catch on. If the original developer can maintain high-quality service and demonstrate the ability to sell a safe product, then the brand-name advantage alone can secure a consistent revenue stream without the need for a patent monopoly.

 

Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks

Members will be given the option to either retain existing language of a plank or to adopt any of the listed proposed amendments. Ranked-preference voting will be conducted for any Section for which more than one amendment has been proposed. Members will also be able to abstain from each vote.

 1. Amendments to Section II on Anti-Bigotry to Encompass “Alt-Left” Groups

Current Version of Section II. The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

Amendment II-1. [Addition of New Paragraph on “Alt-Left” Movements, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens]

The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

While opposing movements based on hostile discrimination on circumstantial attributes, the United States Transhumanist Party also condemns movements on the “alt-left” which attempt to stifle free speech, use violence to prevent the expression of “alt-right” or even non-left-wing sentiments, or promote retributive circumstantial discrimination, which should be rejected along with the original acts of circumstantial discrimination against which the “alt-left” is reacting. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves “Antifa”, “By Any Means Necessary”, or “Black Lives Matter” – even as the United States Transhumanist Party remains strongly opposed to fascism and strongly supports efforts to protect black Americans and all other Americans from police brutality and all other forms of violence. It is imperative that only peaceful, rights-respecting tactics and reforms be used in the efforts to thwart fascism and prevent police brutality.

Amendment II-2. [Addition of New Paragraph on “Alt-Left” Movements, Reflecting Suggestions by B.J. Murphy to Include Individual Supporters and Emphasize the Right of Self-Defense]

The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries – and individual supporters of those movements.

While opposing movements based on hostile discrimination on circumstantial attributes, the United States Transhumanist Party also condemns movements on the “alt-left” which attempt to stifle free speech, use violence to prevent the expression of “alt-right” or even non-left-wing sentiments, or promote retributive circumstantial discrimination, which should be rejected along with the original acts of circumstantial discrimination against which the “alt-left” is reacting. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves “Antifa”, “By Any Means Necessary”, or “Black Lives Matter” and by individual supporters of those movements – even as the United States Transhumanist Party remains strongly opposed to fascism and strongly supports efforts to protect black Americans and all other Americans from police brutality and all other forms of violence. It is imperative that only peaceful, rights-respecting tactics and reforms be used in the efforts to thwart fascism and prevent police brutality.

However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes the difference between committing violence for the sake of violence and committing violence as a means of self-defense – especially against fascism – and therefore does not condemn purely defensive violence.

Amendment II-3. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Martin van der Kroon

The United States Transhumanist Party opposes any movement or group, and individual members of such movements or groups, that utilize and justify the use of violence, bullying, doxxing, intimidation, and other coercive or privacy-infringing tactics in a quest to force their goals or display dominance, regardless of political orientation, leaning, or ideology.

Amendment II-4. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Daniel Yeluashvili

The United States Transhumanist Party supports all acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of individuals and groups of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, and ideologies. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to enforce said restrictions regardless of cause or motivation thereof. Additionally, any institution that uses violence, suppression of free speech, or other unconstitutional or otherwise illegal methods will be disavowed and condemned by the United States Transhumanist Party, with an efficient, non-violent alternative to said institution being offered to achieve its goals if they align with the Party’s interests.

 

2. Amendments to Section XVII on Abolition of the Electoral College

Current Version of Section XXVII. The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

Amendment XXVII-1. [Removal of Last Sentence, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens] The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention.

Amendment XXVII-2. [Removal of Last Two Sentences, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens] The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President.

 

 3. Amendments to Section LIX on External Investigations of Law-Enforcement Misconduct

Current Version of Section LIX. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Amendment LIX-1. [Replacement of Second-to-Last Sentence to Require a Civilian Investigating Organization, Based on Recommendation by Ryan Starr] The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding misconduct, negligence, abuse, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors allegedly committed by police, district attorneys, and judges, should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be conducted by a civilian organization outside the justice system. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

20 thoughts on “21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #6

  1. On the first proposed amendment, while I do support an extension upon addressing left-wing radicalism as well, I believe it needs a tune-up before being put up to vote.

    First of all, where it states:

    “The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves…”

    I believe we should include “by movements calling themselves, and individual supporters of…,” so as to ensure that we note the complexities of political ideology and that individual supporters of certain movements don’t always reflect the movements or organizations of which they’re claiming to support in their actions.

    Secondly, while I certainly support the notion that we should try to refrain from using violence against those we disagree or policies we disagree, we should also make it clear that we’re not “die-hard pacifists;” rather, if someone’s life is being threatened or violence is being perpetrated onto them, then a violent response would serve as an exception to this proposed amendment.

    I say this because, as we’ve seen in multiple examples, those who’ve openly supported fascism have shown no qualms in being extremely violent. It would be in our best interests to make it clear that we do, indeed, see the difference in committing violence for the sake of violence and committing violence as a means of self-defense – especially against fascism.

    1. I think we ought to simplify the text by making it along the lines: “The United States Transhumanist Party opposes any movement, and individual members of those groups, that utilizes, and justifies the use of violence, bullying, doxxing, intimidation, and others in a quest to force their goals, or display dominance, regardless of political orientation, leaning, or ideology.”

      I fear if we start adding specifics group names, not only do we legitimize the existence of such groups, but it will also lead to additions to additions, and so on. Does that make sense?

      I do agree that people ought to be able to defend themselves against violence. One concern I have seen many a times now is that people will use their own definition of violence, or them being/feeling ‘unsafe’ to justify action.
      This is not meant as a jab towards left-leaning students alone, as we are starting to see (which was only a matter of time) the same tactics on the right.
      So, I think we should make the statement that we support people defending themselves against what is legally classified as violence. What do you think?

      1. I would agree. I’d also agree with not naming names, per se, also to ensure that we don’t alienate ourselves from communities who look to these groups and organizations for personal guidance.

        The BLM, for example, is an extremely popular organization throughout the black community – and rightfully so in many respects. Rather than targeting them, it would be in our best interests to simplify our aims in the hopes of creating peaceful relations with these communities and organizations in both the present day and near future.

    2. This discussion has resulted in the following additional options being generated.

      Amendment II-2. [Addition of New Paragraph on “Alt-Left” Movements, Reflecting Suggestions by B.J. Murphy to Include Individual Supporters and Emphasize the Right of Self-Defense]

      The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries – and individual supporters of those movements.

      While opposing movements based on hostile discrimination on circumstantial attributes, the United States Transhumanist Party also condemns movements on the “alt-left” which attempt to stifle free speech, use violence to prevent the expression of “alt-right” or even non-left-wing sentiments, or promote retributive circumstantial discrimination, which should be rejected along with the original acts of circumstantial discrimination against which the “alt-left” is reacting. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves “Antifa”, “By Any Means Necessary”, or “Black Lives Matter” and by individual supporters of those movements – even as the United States Transhumanist Party remains strongly opposed to fascism and strongly supports efforts to protect black Americans and all other Americans from police brutality and all other forms of violence. It is imperative that only peaceful, rights-respecting tactics and reforms be used in the efforts to thwart fascism and prevent police brutality.

      However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes the difference between committing violence for the sake of violence and committing violence as a means of self-defense – especially against fascism – and therefore does not condemn purely defensive violence.

      Amendment II-3. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Martin van der Kroon

      The United States Transhumanist Party opposes any movement or group, and individual members of such movements or groups, that utilize and justify the use of violence, bullying, doxxing, intimidation, and other coercive or privacy-infringing tactics in a quest to force their goals or display dominance, regardless of political orientation, leaning, or ideology.

  2. Section E6-D
    I feel like we need stronger language condemning human trafficking, child exploitation, and other abuse along side this. I’m all for free will, but we need to address these very real dangers before legalization would even be effective. For as long as someone holds something over prostitutes, whether it be money or otherwise, the risk of abuse and exploitation exists reguardless of legality.

    1. You are right that there is the possibility of continued abuse in case of a sex-worker having a boss. When this profession would be legalized, they would, however, also fall under the protection of the law of the Department of Labor, and sex-workers would also be allowed to unionize.
      I do feel your concerns that still the chances of exploitation are greater, and we ought to strive to find better ways to ensure individual’s safety, but perhaps we should also concede that this profession would come with its own risks, much like risks for those working in construction for which we’ve added safety measures over time.
      Human Trafficking, is indeed very much related in some cases. With sex-work legalized it would however help focus resources of the trafficking of humans rather than catching all manner of sex-workers who chose this profession voluntarily. Furthermore it would also protect sex-workers from being exploited by civil servants (PD’s, ICE, etc etc.), which unfortunately happens too often.
      As far as child exploitation, that doesn’t change. It’s illegal now, not only from the sex-worker side, but also child protection laws.
      I agree that we ought to look at the issues you bring up since they are currently a problem, and will continue to be a problem. I don’t think however that the legalization of prostitution would change the severity of the problem in itself.

      Could we possibly work together to attempt to craft better protections against exploitation?

      1. Sure, we can work on something. But I kind of want this addition to wait for the next voting session.

        Unless we can stop human trafficking first, legalizing prostitution will only bring more women and children into that world unwillingly. It will make life easier for traffickers because they don’t have to hide the women anymore. It will also make the pitch for the scam artists on the other end easier (hey come with us and you’ll have money AND health care). But the horrific end result for the women is the same regardless of legality. They are afraid for their lives and the lives of their families overseas where American laws simply don’t apply. They won’t speak out and they will never feel safe. Making prostitution legal doesn’t change that.

          1. I think we first ought to distinguish between human- and sex-trafficking, which are definitely not the same.
            Where human trafficking is basically smuggling people across borders. This happens for example a lot from North Africa to Europe at the moment. These people often pay a lot of money in order to be smuggled/ trafficked.
            Sex trafficking would obviously involve shipping people with intent to have them employed within the sex-industry.

            Still your children argument doesn’t hold up though, since that would not become legal if prostitution were to be legalized. As such I think we can scrap ‘children’ as argument from the equation when talking about legalizing prostitution.

            Furthermore, making the claim that legalizing the profession of prostitution would make life easier for those employers because it is legal is indeed true, but not necessarily to hide illegal prostitutes since they will have to pay taxes, fall under labor laws, including labor / work place inspections, as well as a myriad of other employee protection laws.
            Furthermore, there are also plenty of prostitutes who actually choose this profession, and might actually wish to set up as self-employed, or perhaps as a cooperation of self-employed people.

            Will this guarantee that no women will end up forcefully in prostitution? No, it won’t, but it will be a lot easier to pick out those that are forced if the profession overall if legal, as opposed to now where ‘everyone’ could be deemed as victim of sex-trafficking (the now popular law enforcement term to use to make it sound even more severe) although most might be plain and simple prostitutes.
            Also, there are many women (and men) that work in the cinematic sex-industry, which is legal, and although undoubtedly imperfect, seems to work ok… but improvement would of course be great 🙂

            It would also become much easier to get accurate statistics on the number of prostitutes, and the numbers of those using such services, much like the usage of marijuana will quickly become much more clear.

            In various countries in Europe, they have also made a clear distinction, that pimping and brothels are not legal, but prostitution itself is. “In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to pay for sex with a prostitute who has been “subjected to force” and this is a strict liability offence (clients can be prosecuted even if they did not know the prostitute was forced), but prostitution itself is legal.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Europe)

            We could of course also look towards Nevada, and look at what has, and especially what hasn’t worked well. Hereby, we should also investigate what measures are in place to combat illegal prostitution, but especially forced prostitution.
            I have read that a lot of prostitution in Nevada is still illegal because it is illegal in Las Vegas where the opportunities for clientele are highest I suppose.

            Lastly, I think we could easily put the current plank to a vote. I would be really awesome, but I doubt we’ll have enough influence to push for any such legislation any time soon.

          2. As a result of this discussion, the following ancillary wording options will be added to the ballot, which are, either alone or in combination, compatible with the original proposed plank.

            Ancillary Provision E6-D-i. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

            However, the United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns any manner of human trafficking, child exploitation, and other abuse that involves a violation of the autonomy and consent of any individual. The legalization of prostitution should be combined with stronger efforts to combat these dangerous and exploitative practices.

            Ancillary Provision E6-D-ii. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

            The legalization of prostitution could furthermore enable more effective action against human trafficking and involuntary exploitation, as, when prostitution is legalized, employees in this industry would become subject to the protections of the law. Legalization would help focus resources on combating the trafficking of humans rather than catching workers who chose this profession voluntarily.

  3. I may sound redundant and monofocal but I would love our platform to strongly reinforce the concept of a secular state, and to disestablishment, the changing of an existing, formal relationship between the church and the state. I don’t think any of us should hear politicians speak to what “god” would want in terms of running our country.

    1. In response to this suggestion, I would note that Core Ideal 2 of the U.S. Transhumanist Party largely articulates this aim and reads as follows:

      Ideal 2. The Transhumanist Party supports a cultural, societal, and political atmosphere informed and animated by reason, science, and secular values.

      If you would like to propose more formal wording for the Platform, please feel free to do so, and we will certainly consider that wording for our next exposure period and Platform vote.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  4. E6-D Could perhaps use a few more specifics in regard to “and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others.” Adding a sentence about encouraging tests for sexually transmissible diseases might work to lessen the rejection of this position.

    1. I think that is a good idea to add. Perhaps something like this?
      “and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others, including but not limited to sexually transmittable diseases.”
      What do you think?

        1. Based on this discussion, Option E6-D-2 will be added to the ballot, with the following wording:

          Option E6-D-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Added Wording by Ajay Davis]

          The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right for individuals to have autonomy over, and utilize their bodies to earn money, including through activities such as prostitution, as long as such activities arise from a person’s own free will (e.g., not under duress), and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others, including but not limited to the communication of sexually transmissible diseases.

          Legalization would give those who wish to engage in prostitution the safety and protection of the law – for example, so that they may report abuse and would be prone to being exploited. It would also open the possibility for such individuals to unionize if they wish to do so. Furthermore, legalization would decrease government spending on what is ultimately a ‘moral crusade’.

  5. Section E6-F: Said AI should be used to block laws that have a 50% or higher chance of negatively affecting the majority of the population.

    Amendment II-1: Regardless of partisan arguments against the militant left or right, it is objectively the case that no “alt-left” equivalent exists to organizations like the National Policy Institute, an alt-right think tank funded in part by far-right donor William H. Regnery, or Breitbart, a far-right news source approved by the president’s former chief advisor. Antifa is leaderless and informal, the politically similar yet nonviolent Refuse Fascism is a formally organized grassroots movement, and By Any Means Necessary has political recognition thanks to the mayor of Berkeley while lacking fame or significant power in America at large.

    Below, in quotes, is a revised amendment that may better reflect the Transhumanist Party’s values.

    “The United States Transhumanist Party supports all acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of individuals and groups of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, and ideologies. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to enforce said restrictions regardless of cause or motivation thereof. Additionally, any institution that uses violence, suppression of free speech, or other unconstitutional or otherwise illegal methods will be disavowed and condemned by the United States Transhumanist Party, with an efficient, non-violent alternative to said institution being offered to achieve its goals if they align with the Party’s interests.”

    Note the use of the word “institution” above: this covers organizations of all kinds, from leaderless groups like Antifa to think tanks like the National Policy Institute. Such language is meant to better prepare the Transhumanist Party to respond to movements of all sorts in the future. We can’t feasibly predict, after all, how political movements in the future will be organized, so it’s in our best interests to remain as verbally flexible as possible in order to adapt to the ever-changing political climate in America.

    1. Based on the first suggestion by Daniel Yeluashvili, the following option will be added to the ballot:

      Option E6-F-2. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Added Wording by Daniel Yeluashvili on Blocking Certain Laws]

      The United States Transhumanist Party holds that state and federal governments should establish an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis system for measuring risk of proposed legislation. Such a system could provide an impartial look at what legislation could cause harm or unintended consequences. Submitted policies would receive a score from 0 to 100, and the AI system would state what possible negative impacts may result. This system should be publicly accessible for submissions and for security audit. This is not intended to create or enact laws, but simply to serve as a tool to measure risk versus reward. However, such an AI system should be used to block laws that have a 50% or greater probability of negatively affecting the majority of the population.

    2. Regarding the second suggestion by Daniel Yeluashvili, the following option will be added to the ballot:

      Amendment II-4. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Daniel Yeluashvili

      The United States Transhumanist Party supports all acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of individuals and groups of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, and ideologies. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to enforce said restrictions regardless of cause or motivation thereof. Additionally, any institution that uses violence, suppression of free speech, or other unconstitutional or otherwise illegal methods will be disavowed and condemned by the United States Transhumanist Party, with an efficient, non-violent alternative to said institution being offered to achieve its goals if they align with the Party’s interests.

  6. Regarding E6-D, the legalization of prostitution.
    I feel this is tangential to our primary purposes, and it will provide small-minded and big-mouthed people as the example they will seize upon to criticize our entire movement. Although I agree with the idea, this is not politically wise.

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