Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this page is to compile answers to some questions that U.S. Transhumanist Party leadership has either received or anticipates as being likely areas of curiosity in the minds of some. This FAQ document is not static and will continue to be updated as new questions arise or as new developments occur.

Navigate among Questions

What is the mission of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• What are the three Core Ideals of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• When was the U.S. Transhumanist Party founded?

• Who founded the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• Is Zoltan Istvan still in charge of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• Who is the current Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• Who are the current Officers of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• How can I join the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• If I am not eligible to vote in the United States, may I still join the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• Is there a cost to becoming a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• What are the positions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• What are the near-term political objectives of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

 What social-media presence does the U.S. Transhumanist Party currently have?

• As a member, what can I do to advance the objectives of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• What accountability and principles of conduct exist for current U.S. Transhumanist Party leadership?

 Does Zoltan Istvan still hold the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

• Why does Zoltan Istvan still hold the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

• Does it matter that Zoltan Istvan still holds the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

• What is the financial situation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

• Is the U.S. Transhumanist Party registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)? If not, why not?

• If the U.S. Transhumanist Party is not registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), then how did Zoltan Istvan run for President in 2016?

• What is the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s current relationship to Zoltan Istvan’s Presidential run in 2014-2016?

• What is the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s current relationship to Zoltan Istvan’s run for Governor of California in 2018 as a Libertarian Party candidate?

• I disagree with Zoltan Istvan’s position on [insert subject]. Would the current U.S. Transhumanist Party leadership denounce him and distance itself from him for those views?

• Is the U.S. Transhumanist Party anti-religion?

• Are you (Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists, etc.)?

• I heard you want to turn people into cyborgs, or upload them into computers… What is up with that?

• You talk about accepting aliens as members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Did you watch too much Sci-Fi?

 

Questions and Answers


What is the mission of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

The mission of the U.S. Transhumanist Party is “Putting Science, Health, and Technology at the Forefront of American Politics”.

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What are the three Core Ideals of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

The three Core Ideals of the U.S. Transhumanist Party were framed to be as inclusive as possible of various definitions of and perspectives on transhumanism, while still essentially identifying what it means to be a transhumanist. These ideals are the following, as expressed in Article I, Section I, of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution:

Ideal 1. The Transhumanist Party supports significant life extension achieved through the progress of science and technology.

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

Ideal 3. The Transhumanist Party supports efforts to use science, technology, and rational discourse to reduce and eliminate various existential risks to the human species.

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When was the U.S. Transhumanist Party founded?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party was founded on October 7, 2014.

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Who founded the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

Zoltan Istvan, a renowned journalist, entrepreneur, and transhumanist, founded the U.S. Transhumanist Party. He ran for President of the United States in the 2016 elections to raise awareness for transhumanist political issues. His presidential campaign has been broadly covered in major media for its science and technology platform and has earned more than 100,000,000 views online.

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Is Zoltan Istvan still in charge of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

No. After the 2016 elections, Zoltan has relinquished control of the Transhumanist Party but remains a valued advisor to those who seek to create a lasting transhumanist movement by continuing the momentum that Zoltan’s campaign started. Zoltan is presently the Political and Media Advisor for the U.S. Transhumanist Party, a position that enables him to offer his insights to us but does not involve any decision-making role.

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Who is the current Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

Gennady Stolyarov II has been the Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party since November 17, 2016. Find out more about him here.

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Who are the current Officers of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

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How can I join the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

We welcome anyone who is capable of holding a political opinion and who agrees with our three Core Ideals to join by filling out a free, simple Membership Application Form.

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If I am not eligible to vote in the United States, may I still join the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

Yes, you may still join as an Allied Member, which would entitle you to participate in our internal deliberations and voting. Whether you are a foreign national, a child, a teenager, or an individual who has not registered to vote for any reason, we would welcome you as an Allied Member if you agree with our three Core Ideals.

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Is there a cost to becoming a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

No, there is absolutely no cost that you would need to pay. Membership is free and always will be. We do, however, appreciate it whenever our members volunteer their time and use their own resources to organize events and projects for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

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What are the positions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party has a detailed Platform in Article III of its Constitution, with many planks adopted in the course of multiple rounds of voting by our members. You can read our Platform to find out our official positions here. Our Platform is not a finished product, and we continue to welcome member input on future additions and other enhancements that may be voted on through future internal U.S. Transhumanist Party member ballots.

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What are the near-term political objectives of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

The near-term political objectives of the U.S. Transhumanist Party are the following:

  1. Grow in membership. We need to reach at least 10,000 members in order to have the widespread reach and internal, member-driven governance structures that we envision to be the most effective. You can help by joining for free and encouraging others to join by filling out our fast, simple Membership Application Form.
  2. Coordinate with State-level Transhumanist Parties. Various such State-level Parties exist, and some are already officially registered with their respective Secretaries of State. We have catalogued the State-level Transhumanist Parties known to us here. Work with them if you reside in a State where such a Party already exists. If such a Party does not exist, we encourage you to form one and contact us when you are contemplating doing so.   
  3. Hold events and publish materials to influence public opinion. Ultimately, we seek to change minds to encourage widespread public advocacy of emerging technologies and a major redirection of resources toward such technologies’ funding, development, and dissemination. We encourage U.S. Transhumanist Party members to also organize their own events and submit articles for publication on our website.
  4. Explore running candidates at the local level. Interested candidates will likely need to officially run as independents at this time, but if they agree with key aspects of our Platform, they may receive the endorsement of the U.S. Transhumanist Party.
  5. Gradually create the infrastructure to meet State ballot-access requirements. In almost every State, obtaining ballot access unfortunately requires at least thousands of petition signatures (hand-signed), obtained within a relatively short period of time. We need to build up a sufficient network of volunteers in every State in order for petition-gathering to be feasible. However, our emphasis on membership growth and coordination with State-level Transhumanist Parties is part of our effort to eventually get there and field candidates for State-level office.

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What social-media presence does the U.S. Transhumanist Party currently have?

We have a Facebook page (U.S. Transhumanist Party), a Facebook group (Transhumanist Party), and a Twitter account (@USTranshumanist). We encourage you to visit and interact with us on all of these venues.

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As a member, what can I do to advance the objectives of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

As a member-driven party, we encourage our members to generate content. We would be pleased to share member-created content on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. We are always welcoming of submissions of articles by members who wish to express thoughtful perspectives about the future of emerging technologies and their political and societal implications. (One can submit them here.) We encourage members to create videos, art, games, and other creative means of reaching broader segments of the general public. Furthermore, if you would ever wish to organize an event affiliated with the Transhumanist Party, please let Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II know via e-mail, and he would be happy to provide you a Delegation of Authority to do so.

We also encourage our members to begin or grow State-level Transhumanist Parties (see the current list here so that you know whether you have an existing State-level organization to collaborate with) and to register them with their respective Secretaries of State or equivalent officials. This is the first step in the multi-year process of pursuing ballot access in each State.

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What accountability and principles of conduct exist for current U.S. Transhumanist Party leadership?

We aim to be publicly accountable to our members and have thus outlined our Principles of Conduct as part of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman’s Six-Month Message of May 19, 2017. These principles are stated below.

  1. At this time, the U.S. Transhumanist Party is a non-monetary organization. As an organization, we have no assets or liabilities. All of our activities are made possible by volunteers, who use their own property and retain ownership and control of that property as individuals. The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not accept donations or have any revenues or expenses as an organization. Therefore, there is no room for monetary influence by any politically connected special interest. We have effectively “taken money out of politics” – at least with respect to our own operations. Indeed, this manner of operation simulates (however imperfectly) the manner in which organizations would function in a future of technological radical abundance, which would be “post-scarcity” in the sense of basic human needs being always readily fulfillable, and which would therefore not pose the all-too-common conflicts between money and integrity that we observe in our era. The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not aim to take in money; rather, our purpose is to promote ideas that could enable us personally to reach that future of radical abundance – both by living long enough to witness it and by advocating the specific technologies that will greatly augment material production. Donations should instead be directed to the researchers working to expand lifespans and develop other technologies of the future.
  2. The U.S. Transhumanist Party resolutely opposes the downward spiral of incivility, hatred, and even occasional violence that have come to characterize politics in the United States and in some other Western countries over the past two years. We see politics as being about policy first, and are committed to focusing on constructive solutions of the pressing problems of our time – both through technology and through advocacy. We are also uniquely situated to take a longer-term view and advocate policies that could improve our lives decades and centuries from now, since we are not bound to the myopic focus which often comes with the desire to win proximate elections at all costs. The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not condone ad hominem attacks or smear campaigns, including against persons with whom we disagree from a policy perspective or whose actions we may find reprehensible (although we may certainly express criticism of such specific actions, where warranted). We always aim to engage in civil discourse and to seek common ground with others where possible. However, we also always aim to remain rational and driven by facts, evidence, and logic. We may, as we deem necessary, respond to any policy or political behavior with thoughtful communication, based on the information available, and acknowledge when gaps of information exist to as to prevent definitive statements. The U.S. Transhumanist Party is committed to reason in the political arena.
  3. The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s commitment to reason means that we value freedom of speech highly and insist on the importance of constructive criticism where warranted. We strive to avoid “flame” wars, tribal politics, or political witch hunts. We renounce political violence categorically, as it can derail our civilization and needlessly damage and destroy lives that could instead have taken a productive course and contributed to technological and societal progress. Per Article I, Section III, Operating Principle 2 of our Constitution, we will automatically disassociate ourselves from any individual engaging in such violence, threats of violence, or intentional prevention of peaceful gatherings. At the same time, we would seek for anyone – whether they agree with or dissent from our stances – to engage us in honest, good-faith, constructive dialogue about how political systems could be improved to make a future of universal radical abundance possible. Both collaboration and civil criticism – by us and of us – are welcome. We will positively acknowledge others, regardless of their political position, who engage in reasoned thought, action, and debate. We will not have internal censorship and will not attempt to project censorship outward. We seek to create not an intellectual “safe space” but rather a vehicle for discovery, problem-solving, and positive cultural transformation.
  4. The U.S. Transhumanist Party will not chain itself to pre-existing ideological “packages” and will not espouse a dogmatic approach with regard to any such “package”. We do articulate many principles and strongly held convictions – particularly regarding the feasibility and desirability of radical technological progress – but those convictions need not prevent us from seeking common ground with individuals who may have some similar goals but may use different vocabulary to articulate them. We recognize that any person who approaches the realm of ideas with sincere intentions for constructive outcomes, would be able to generate ideas of merit. Whatever religious, non-religious, political, or philosophical labels others may associate with themselves, we will not dismiss their ideas solely in reaction to such labels. Rather, we will consider these ideas based on the merits of the arguments made. We also recognize that we are not alone in striving for a better future and acknowledge that technological innovations and medical advancement are likely to happen at an accelerating rate regardless of any influence by the U.S. Transhumanist Party. This insight should give us hope and comfort, as our contributions will not be the only ones that improve the human condition. Others who hold different views from ours may, even inadvertently, contribute to human progress in ways that we would find clearly favorable. Too many past and present organizations have fallen into the unfortunate and highly limiting trap of ideological purism. We will endeavor not to let ideological constraints prevent us from being open to positive possibilities and opportunities arising from the work of others.

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Does Zoltan Istvan still hold the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

Yes, Zoltan Istvan still holds the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”, but this trademark does not entitle him to a decision-making role nor does it give him any manner of control over how the Transhumanist Party as an organization operates.

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Why does Zoltan Istvan still hold the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

The sole purpose of Zoltan Istvan holding the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party” is to ensure that it is utilized by individuals who will grow the transhumanist movement in a respectable, prudent, civil, and rational manner. The ability to use the trademark is wide open to anyone who wishes to work with us under the auspices of the U.S. Transhumanist Party organizational structure, which offers many possibilities for both collaboration and independent action. However, the trademark functions in a legal sense to ensure continuity in the leadership and structure of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and preventing impersonation or usurpation by small and non-representative factions at this early stage.

Some have wondered why the trademark could not be turned over to the U.S. Transhumanist Party as an organization. The simple answer is that the Transhumanist Party is a non-monetary organization and does not have a budget. However, to defend a trademark against any potential legal challenges requires the resources of a wealthy individual with the ability to retain attorneys and other appropriate professionals. Zoltan Istvan has graciously agreed to be that individual.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is, in some ways, analogous to a party where participants bring their own items. In this case, Zoltan Istvan brought his trademark as property that the U.S. Transhumanist Party could benefit from. Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II brought the official Transhumanist Party website, logo, and banner. Most members who participate in U.S. Transhumanist Party discussions bring their own computers with Internet access they pay for video cameras, microphones, and other equipment. For all physical events held on behalf of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, members supply their own transportation and use their own property. In this way, the U.S. Transhumanist Party does not need to solicit funds or have its own budget, since all property remains in the possession and ownership of its individual members.  

While certain major political parties in the United States do hold the trademarks to their identifies as organizations, the U.S. Transhumanist Party is in a clearly different situation from the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Green Parties, in that the latter parties already have membership and support in the hundreds of thousands at least, meaning that they can sustain institutional structures that can operate irrespective of whether particular individuals are involved. We would certainly wish for the U.S. Transhumanist Party to grow to that scale, but that would require at least 10,000 active, voting members and perhaps 50,000 total members. Anyone is welcome to help us get there by encouraging new members to sign up using our free, simple Membership Application Form. The faster we get to the tens of thousands of members, the more quickly we will be able to build an infrastructure that would be able to defend a trademark against any potential challenges. Right now we simply do not have enough members to do that, but Zoltan Istvan’s ownership of the trademark offers the requisite protections.

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Does it matter that Zoltan Istvan still holds the trademark to the term “Transhumanist Party”?

Zoltan Istvan’s ownership of the “Transhumanist Party” trademark does not matter for the purposes of the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s everyday operations and autonomous decision-making.

Zoltan Istvan would not be able to use the trademark to enact any manner of organizational overhaul of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, as he would not have access to the list of current members, the official website, or other property used in the everyday operation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. He would thus lack the practical ability to revert the Party to his sole control. Furthermore, Zoltan Istvan does not have an incentive to do any of the above. Subsequent to his 2016 Presidential run, he has moved on to campaigning with more established organizations, such as the Libertarian Party, whose 2018 gubernatorial candidate he seeks to become in California. It is in his interest to be recognized as the founder of the Transhumanist Party an organization whose longevity will hopefully extend far beyond his Presidential run and personal brand. Irrespective of the trademark (which has never mattered for the Transhumanist Party’s governance in a practical sense), Zoltan Istvan has every reason not to want to control the Transhumanist Party, but rather for it to be an autonomously governed, inclusive organization that represents as much of the transhumanist movement as possible and thereby reflects favorably on Zoltan Istvan’s legacy as the founder of a respectable, impactful, and long-lasting political and societal endeavor.

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What is the financial situation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is a non-monetary organization and thus does not have a financial situation. We accept no donations and hold no property as an organization. The U.S. Transhumanist Party has no expenses as an organization, nor does it own any assets or have any liabilities. There is no property that necessarily changes hands in the course of the activities of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and any property used by volunteers in such activities is their personal property over which they maintain ownership and control (unless they give it to other natural persons, not the U.S. Transhumanist Party).

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is like a party to which participants bring their own items. The outcomes of our activities are the result of our members and their property coming together and acting in concert for specific purposes. However, we do not have bank accounts, budgets, or any need for them at this time.

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Is the U.S. Transhumanist Party registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)? If not, why not?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is not registered with the FEC at this time, although this is not for lack of trying. Zoltan Istvan attempted to register the U.S. Transhumanist Party with the FEC during his 2014-2016 Presidential campaign. However, he was informed that ballot access in several States, which requires at least several thousand petition signatures per State, is a prerequisite to FEC registration.

However, FEC registration is only necessary for political parties that solicit donations to coordinate electoral campaigns. At this time, the U.S. Transhumanist Party is neither accepting donations nor running candidates for office, and therefore FEC requirements would not apply. The FEC’s sole duties involve oversight of U.S. Federal campaign-finance laws, and at present, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has neither campaigns nor finances.

If, at any future time, the U.S. Transhumanist Party engages in fundraising or in campaigns for its own candidates for political office, it will do so in compliance with all laws applicable to such situations.

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If the U.S. Transhumanist Party is not registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), then how did Zoltan Istvan run for President in 2016?

Zoltan Istvan officially ran for President as an independent candidate in 2016, and he properly and lawfully registered with the FEC as such an independent candidate, under his full name, Zoltan Istvan Gyurko. He, however, used the term “Transhumanist Party”, which he trademarked, to refer to the effort surrounding his Presidential campaign and to justly depict it as an alternative to the major U.S. political parties – an alternative that deserved to be considered on an equal footing with such political parties. It was Zoltan Istvan’s intention from the beginning for that effort to grow, in time, into a much larger political party and to eventually encompass the full diversity of the broader transhumanist and life-extensionist movements. Subsequent to Zoltan Istvan’s decision to pass the leadership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party to its current Officers, the next stage in realizing this ambition of growth and representation is underway.

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What is the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s current relationship to Zoltan Istvan’s Presidential run in 2014-2016?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party respects its history and origins and commends Zoltan Istvan for the valuable work he did in spreading transhumanist ideas to the general public, as the primary purpose of his run was educational. This purpose was recognized by current Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, who at the time wrote “The Importance of Zoltan Istvan’s Transhumanist Presidential Campaign” (September 14, 2015). In a subsequent article, “Why Transhumanists Should Not Endorse the Two-Party System” (September 26, 2015), Mr. Stolyarov also advised Zoltan Istvan to remain as an independent candidate through the end of the 2016 campaign season – advice that Mr. Istvan followed to present an alternative to the major U.S. political parties.

However, the 2016 campaign season has now ended, and the U.S. Transhumanist Party is under new leadership with a member-developed Platform and a focus on inclusivity and growth. Accordingly, our identity and reach extend beyond the history and actions of one individual. The U.S. Transhumanist Party is thus not equal to Zoltan Istvan, his personal views, or any initiatives of his subsequent to November 17, 2016. While Zoltan Istvan founded the U.S. Transhumanist Party and served as its first Chairman and candidate for office, he is no longer in either role. Rather, he has wisely recognized that the longevity of the effort he started will depend on its growth through collaboration, input, and participation among members of the transhumanist and life-extensionist community and their allies within the general public.

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What is the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s current relationship to Zoltan Istvan’s run for Governor of California in 2018 as a Libertarian Party candidate?

Because the U.S. Transhumanist Party is not the Libertarian Party and has no relationship or affiliation with the Libertarian Party in any manner, Zoltan Istvan’s run for Governor of California is his personal project. We wish him the best in this, as in his other endeavors; however, this campaign is not affiliated with the U.S. Transhumanist Party in any respect.

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I disagree with Zoltan Istvan’s position on [insert subject]. Would the current U.S. Transhumanist Party leadership denounce him and distance itself from him for those views?

No. We do not believe in erasing, whitewashing, or rewriting the history of our organization. As individual members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and as individual thinkers more generally, we each have the prerogative to agree or disagree with the viewpoints articulated by another transhumanist or non-transhumanist. This does not entitle us to impose our personal perspectives upon the past, in some impossible attempt to alter it.

What we can do, and have been doing, is develop a member-driven Platform whose planks are subject to public exposure periods and voting periods that endeavor to enable all eligible members to cast electronic ballots using the ranked-preference method. Accordingly, many positions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, as adopted by its members, have differed in key ways from certain statements that Zoltan Istvan made during his campaign. This is the proper and respectful evolution of a growing political party that seeks to be representative of its members’ viewpoints and aspirations. At every stage, however, we honor the salutary portions of our history and recognize the path by which we got to our present place, from which we consider the best choice of path to take to move forward.

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Is the U.S. Transhumanist Party anti-religion?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is a secular Party, meaning that our principles, values, and policies are not influenced by religious belief systems. We are, however, not anti-religion, and respect each individual’s choice to, peacefully, exercise their right to be religious or non-religious. Furthermore, we are an open Party, and thus welcome anyone, regardless of religion or lack thereof, who agrees with our three Core Ideals as outlined in Article I, Section I, of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution.

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Are you (Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists, etc.)?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not really fit into any particular ideological political category. We do consider individual freedom to be a high priority, and we also value market-driven innovation. We are also aware that there is sometimes a need to set guiding parameters to avoid, for example, exploitation of markets, and ultimately of citizens.

As for individual members, they may hold a variety of political viewpoints, and we greatly support such diversity within the U.S. Transhumanist Party to increase potential ideas, as well as criticism of ideas.

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I heard you want to turn people into cyborgs, or upload them into computers… What is up with that?

The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not advocate to turn people into cyborgs, or any augmentation whatsoever. We do, however, anticipate that this will become more commonplace in the future. At the moment we are already seeing complex prosthetics, the first bionic eyes, and even some “simple” brain implants. With this in mind, we wish to ensure that people who are augmented or cyborgs will be able to live fulfilled lives, free from stigma, harassment, or discrimination, just as everyone else should be.

Likewise, we do not pursue to upload people into the cloud. There are some transhumanists who have put forward such an idea, and you might have heard this from them but it is not an official position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. We also have many members who would prefer to remain largely biological but live far longer in their present bodies than humans currently do.

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You talk about accepting aliens as members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Did you watch too much Sci-Fi?

We understand how this may come across as having watched too much Sci-Fi, or perhaps even as being detached from reality. The U.S. Transhumanist Party is committed to not only look at today’s issues, but also future issues which may include the possibility of coming into contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. At this point in time this does indeed still seem fictional, as we haven’t encountered extraterrestrials to the best of our knowledge. The notion that something is unrealistic, or seems fictional because we cannot imagine it, has happened numerous times before, though, just not with alien lifeforms.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

~ Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

Google’s AI AlphaGo beat the world champion Lee Sedol at the ancient Chinese board game Go 10 years ahead of predictions.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party merely wants to think proactively, rather than reactively, and this includes the possibility of intelligent alien lifeforms. It is not a point that is on our daily agenda, though, if that is what you might be concerned about.

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