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Statement on the Catalonia Independence Referendum Vote and Spanish Government’s Response

Statement on the Catalonia Independence Referendum Vote and Spanish Government’s Response

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B.J. Murphy


On October 1, the autonomous community of Catalonia came together to vote for the future of its independence from that of the Kingdom of Spain. While the referendum was initially peaceful, chaos began to ensue once the Constitutional Court of Spain gave the order for police to raid Catalan government buildings and spots known where the referendum would be held, after having determined that the referendum is illegal.

In response, the Catalan people began protesting the police raids, demanding for recognition of their votes and for Catalan independence. Even the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, took to Twitter to condemn the raids, stating, “A cowardly president has filled our city with police. Barcelona, city of peace, is not afraid.”

Despite heavy crackdown and reported police brutality of the protesters, 42% of the autonomous community was able to successfully cast their vote, including Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont. The results: 90% voted in favor of independence.

And while King Felipe VI has since made a rare televised statement on the matter, accusing Catalan leaders of “unacceptable disloyalty,” Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has officially determined that his government would unilaterally declare independence by “the end of this week or the beginning of next,” according to BBC.

While United States Transhumanist Party has no official declaration of support for other foreign general regions to secede from their respective countries, according to Article III, Section XXXI of our Constitution, it states:

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.”

As such, we firmly believe that a similar moral principle should be extended to the people of Catalonia who peacefully voted for independence from the Kingdom of Spain. We condemn the actions of King Felipe and the Spanish government for attempting to violently suppress the Catalan people’s right to democracy and to peacefully protest when the former is withheld.

Given our own country’s history of fighting for independence from the United Kingdom, we know all too well the lengths of which the powerful will try to demean, belittle, and oppress those who stand up to them. The events which led up to the American Revolution, too, were deemed illegal in accordance with then-British law. This gave our Founding Fathers a lot to think about as they began building this country – in particular, it was Thomas Jefferson who once declared, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

And so, unlike the Kingdom of Spain, we, the United States Transhumanist Party, recognize and stand in solidarity with the Catalan peoples’ quest for freedom by breaking away from the country and to become an independent nation themselves.

Ed. Note: Originally, the article had erroneously specified that King Felipe VI had given the orders for the police raids of Catalan government buildings. After further inspection, we’ve realized that, while King Felipe did appoint the magistrates of the Constitutional Court of Spain, all decisions – including that of the police raids – were given independently by the Court itself. Our statement has been refined to accommodate this change of information.

B.J. Murphy is the Director of Social Media for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Commitment to Inclusivity and Cosmopolitanism – Official Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Commitment to Inclusivity and Cosmopolitanism – Official Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The United States Transhumanist Party takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to inclusivity and its support of the ideas and aspirations of a diverse, cosmopolitan membership and a transhumanist and life-extensionist community that we hope will someday encompass the entire world.

Per Article III, Section II, of our Constitution, “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.” We hold that any of the above circumstantial attributes are not germane to a sentient entity’s ability to contribute value to worthwhile endeavors to advance a brighter future, and therefore decisions in politics and organizational membership alike should be made without regard to those attributes. If a sentient entity (which includes humans today, but could potentially also include non-human intelligences in future eras) has skills, ideas, and initiatives that could improve the outcomes of an organization or society, then placing obstacles in the way of that sentient entity on the basis of irrelevant circumstantial attributes is deeply counterproductive and self-undermining.

To reinforce our welcoming and inclusive stance, the U.S. Transhumanist Party recently published the eloquent statement by Director of Recruitment Martin van der Kroon, “We Would Like to Welcome Everyone” – which should leave no doubt as to where we stand.

Recently, a fledgling group, calling itself the Transhuman Party or “TP 3.0” and describing itself as an organization that is “three days old, with fresh ideas”, took issue with the composition of the leadership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and asked, “Do you want to be governed by the all-white-men leadership of the current Transhumanist Party (TP 2.0)?” There are many flaws with the above question and the manner in which it is posed. Setting aside the inescapable irony that the question itself was posed by a person who would be identified as a “white man” (Hank Pellissier), it is an error to presume that the Officers of the U.S. Transhumanist Party seek to “govern” rather than merely administer the infrastructure for a party that will become increasingly self-governing as it accumulates a critical mass of members who can initiate their own projects and discussions. (This is already happening if one knows where to look!)

While we are not sure exactly what it means to have “all-white-men leadership” (since race is itself an artificial construct with no basis in biology), we do know for certain that the 650 members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of this writing are among the most diverse populations possible – given that the Transhumanist Party accepts Allied Members from throughout the world, as well as people of ages that would not meet the threshold for qualification to vote in most jurisdictions. As long as people can think and form political opinions, they are welcome to take part in our deliberations and initiate projects under the Transhumanist Party’s auspices. Furthermore, the U.S. Transhumanist Party recently initiated its Foreign Ambassador Program, which was intentionally created to enable us to benefit from the diverse perspectives of transhumanists from all over the world.

Any centralization in our current structure is transitional in nature and arises out of necessity, given that the Transhumanist Party is not yet large enough for a steady stream of grassroots action to drive its activities. In my ideal hoped-for circumstances, every member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party would be empowered with at least the tools for constructive change that I currently have at my disposal as Chairman. Our Officers are accountable to our diverse membership, and we take into consideration the reasonable viewpoints and interests of everyone among that membership. We greatly respect and value transhumanists of all genders, morphological features, and geographical and demographic backgrounds – and we look up to many eminent transhumanists who happen to exhibit any combination of these circumstantial features.

Is there an issue in the transhumanist movement generally that individuals of certain demographic characteristics tend not to join in as significant numbers as might be hoped for? Unfortunately, yes – and it is difficult to explain adequately. However, this issue has existed with regard to many technologically oriented and futurist movements for a long time and is the result of a complex combination of factors that cannot be easily unraveled – although continued discussion regarding it is certainly worthwhile. Still, there should be no doubt as to the direction in which the U.S. Transhumanist Party would like this situation to evolve. Growth in support from any demographic, whether or not such growth is proportional to the general population, is desirable and should be strived for.  Hypothetically, and only as an example, if all the women of the world became supporters of transhumanism and life extension tomorrow, this would be an occasion for great celebration, as it would mean that our efforts will have succeeded in persuading slightly more than half of the world’s population. Personally, I would have no concern whatsoever if such a major growth meant that my demographic attributes placed me into a minority among transhumanists and life-extensionists – and I would certainly welcome more people who happen not to have my particular attributes rising into positions of leadership and impact. Given the many prominent female leaders of our broader movement – including Elizabeth Parrish, Miss Metaverse (both Advisors to the U.S. Transhumanist Party), Laura Deming, Natasha Vita-More, Elena Milova, and Maria Konovalenko, to name just a few – there is opportunity here for anyone who wishes to join us an advocate and collaborator to rise as high as their interests and merits take them.

Additionally, our current team of Officers is not at its limit, and judging its composition by a snapshot in time does not present the full picture. We are always happy to consider new additions to our team and to create positions for individuals who have particular beneficial talents to contribute. Completely irrespective of your circumstantial attributes, we are interested in what you can do to help advance humankind into the next great era of our civilization. If you can bring value in terms of your knowledge, efforts, and character – we are interested in considering you for an Officer position. We hope that, with further growth and activity, we will continue to build bridges within the diverse transhumanist community and discover individuals who can assist us in implementing our ambitious and far-reaching vision. If you are interested in becoming an Officer of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, please do not hesitate to e-mail me here with a description of your interest in the Transhumanist Party, your skill set, and what roles you would like to perform – and we can discuss further.

 

Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF

Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

September 29, 2017

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party humbly prides itself on our stance regarding inclusion of people from all manner of different backgrounds, religions, and movements.

We outline this in detail in Section XXV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party welcomes both religious and non-religious individuals who support life extension and emerging technologies. The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that some religious individuals and interpretations may be receptive to technological progress and, if so, are valuable allies to the transhumanist movement. On the other hand, the United States Transhumanist Party is also opposed to any interpretation of a religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose religious belief by force and/or by legal compulsion.”

Furthermore, we adopted Section XX [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports the freedom of peaceful speech; religious, non-religious, and anti-religious philosophical espousal; assembly; protest; petition; and expression of grievances. The United States Transhumanist Party therefore strongly opposes all censorship, including censorship that arises out of identity politics and the desire to avoid perceived offensive behavior.”

There is good reason that these planks were adopted. Not only is the U.S. Transhumanist Party striving for inclusion where others fail, we also labor to be a party where anyone may feel welcomed. This is not entirely altruistic though. We think that people of different backgrounds, people of faith, those with perspectives different from our own, can bring valuable ideas to the table, and are uniquely qualified to criticize our own perspectives, helping us all to avoid becoming trapped within an echo-chamber.

People who believe in a higher power, despite no evidence based on our current scientific standards being available, are not automatically opposed to science, reason, and evidence. That people believe in a god does not mean they reject the laws of physics, and they may well believe that god was so awesome that he/she/it created all these amazing physics equations for us to discover. To each his or her own.

I, Martin van der Kroon, Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party, being non-religious, would nonetheless be ecstatic if, for example, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, or Rabbi Wolpe would speak positive, or even support the U.S. Transhumanist Party, or engage in a debate with us. They may be people of faith, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of intellect or meaningful ideas and opinions.

What it comes down to is that as members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and hopefully the transhumanist movement at large, we should not perceive the Core Ideals as outlined in our Constitution as being at odds with religious beliefs. Sometimes religions are referred to as ‘deathist’ beliefs, hinting at the perception of inferiority, or perhaps perceived from the opposite side, creating the impression of elitism on part of the non-religious.

In addition to the acceptance of anyone regardless of their religions (etc.), the U.S. Transhumanist Party furthermore has adopted two plank proposals to outline practices we do not support, with the intent to further reason, acceptance, and debate, and shun intolerance and practices in direct violation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s goals. We adopted Section XL [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]:

“In addition to its opposition to intolerant interpretations of religious doctrines, the United States Transhumanist Party is furthermore opposed to any interpretation of a secular, non-religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose certain beliefs by force and/or by legal compulsion. Examples of such doctrines opposed by the United States Transhumanist Party include Stalinism, Maoism, Neo-Malthusianism or eco-primitivism, the death-acceptance movement, and the doctrine of censorship, now prevalent on many college campuses in the United States, in the name of “social justice”, combating “triggers” or “microaggressions”, or avoiding subjectively perceived offense.”

We also adopted Section LXIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during June 18-24, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate individual rights and bodily autonomy. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.”

Let us all respect that we all hold notions about our existence, about religion or lack thereof, and appreciate that we, thankfully, do differ in perspectives on such matters. Let us all engage fervently in debates, share our ideas, be critical and skeptical, but allow each other space and dignity to be ourselves.

For those who are interested in our approach of open, inclusive engagement with the ideas, technologies, and policies that can help shape a better future, we invite all of you to become members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free by filling out our Membership Application Form here.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 – New International Version)

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.