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The Need for Unity and Stability in Transhumanism – Article by Arin Vahanian

The Need for Unity and Stability in Transhumanism – Article by Arin Vahanian

 

Arin Vahanian


Although Transhumanism is heavily inspired by (and also inspires) advancements in science and technology, I believe the movement could also benefit from implementing cultural aspects; in particular, those from China.

This became very clear to me not just after living in China, but also after reading the works of Dr. Martin Jacques, British professor and journalist, who is, in my mind, one of the most knowledgeable Westerners when it comes to Chinese culture and history.

Specifically, in his writings and public appearances, Dr. Jacques has elucidated various aspects of Chinese culture, two of which I think are important for Transhumanism to consider: unity and stability. I shall cover each one briefly here, and explain how our movement would benefit.

Although the Transhumanist movement is rather decentralized, and I believe in keeping it this way, we most definitely need unity, especially in regard to our values and objectives. To this end, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has published its values on its Web site, which include but are not limited to: eradicating disease; the cultivation of science, technology, and reason; support of all emerging technologies that improve the human condition; life extension; reversing aging; tolerance and inclusivity of all individuals, and so forth. I believe every Transhumanist would support these values, all of which are noble, and all of which would most certainly contribute to having a better, more prosperous, and safer world.

Any organization, family, company, group, team, or political party, for that matter, needs unity in order to stay together and fulfill its goals and aspirations. Conversely, lack of unity may lead to chaos, discordance, and dysfunction. According to Dr. Jacques, the primary political goal for the Chinese is unity. Indeed, there would have been no way for Mandarin to become the national language, nor any way for the dizzying progress (whether it is technological, societal, or economic) we have seen in the country to have occurred, without unity. Please note that I am not advocating for a change in the political process anywhere else, nor am I suggesting that other countries adopt the same political or economic system as China. I am simply stating that being unified in our goals and values is incredibly important if we wish to fulfill these goals and proliferate our values.

Just as the Chinese look at themselves as Chinese, so we must look at ourselves as Transhumanists. However, there is one major difference; while not everyone can be Chinese, anyone can be Transhumanist. Our movement is inclusive to all individuals, regardless of race, gender, class, religion, and sexual preference. Therefore, I believe that we can be unified while also being open, tolerant, and accepting of all humans.

This leads me to my next point, which is stability. There is no question that in China, as well as other Asian countries, stability is paramount. After all, an unstable society cannot work together to fulfill its objectives and protect its values. Fortunately, we have stability in the Transhumanist movement in the areas of political leadership (Zoltan Istvan, Gennady Stolyarov II), life extension (Max More, Keith Comito), aging (Aubrey de Grey), and more. What’s fascinating is that the movement is so diverse and broad, and the areas for improvement on Earth so plentiful, that we have had individuals naturally dedicate themselves to causes they deemed worthy. This has contributed to stability in the sense that people are working on what they are passionate about, and these same people have, as a result, provided stable leadership in these areas. We must ensure that this stability continues, and that we help advance the causes we believe in by promoting them on social media and mass media. We must also support those who are bravely and selflessly dedicating their lives to helping humanity move forward. All of these actions will contribute to further stabilizing the movement and what it stands for.

Additionally, we must maintain stability in our relationships with each other, as well as the messages that we communicate to others. No matter how small or large a role we each take on, our mandate as Transhumanists is to push for reforms that will improve the human condition for as many people as possible, with as much beneficial impact as possible. In doing so, we must communicate our message that science, technology, and rational discourse should be used for efforts such as curing disease, increasing human longevity, alleviating poverty, and battling climate change.

While we are completely opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we are completely open to tolerance and inclusivity of individuals, and offer assistance to those who may have been shunned by the system, either due to disability or the desire to challenge society so that we may be better humans. We are an organization that values and promotes pacifism, and by doing so, we are creating a more stable society, and world.

So my call to action today is this. Rather than argue whether a certain economic system is better than another for Transhumanism, we should focus on our values and goals, thereby fulfilling our mission, and be supportive of whichever economic system best helps get that done, whichever country we happen to live in. Different economic systems work in different countries, and we should not be dogmatic, but rather, flexible and solution-oriented.

Additionally, rather than debate one another, we must instead discuss and cooperate, again, with the intent of pushing forward our goals. Debating takes valuable time and resources away from achieving our goals, and the time that is spent on needless arguments could be spent on finding solutions to challenges that threaten humanity. While it is perfectly acceptable and in fact, desirable, to have differences of opinion, we should use these differences to collaborate and help develop solutions to the problems we humans face. We are finally getting more traction in social media, mass media, and in various communities and countries all over the world, and so we should take advantage of these trends to further spread our messages of peace, increased health and longevity, and technological innovation that will benefit humanity.

One of the challenges the Transhumanism movement currently faces is an inaccurate and unfair perception that it is a niche movement, unable to appeal to most people, and the product of wealthy technophiles in Silicon Valley. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Among our ranks are people of all nationalities, social statuses, races, genders, and religions, and we are the only movement that supports morphological freedom. Further, we are dedicated to goals such as alleviating poverty, curing disease, eliminating nuclear weapons, spreading peace, and using science and technology to make life better for all humans, not just a privileged few. Surely these are values that most, if not all humans, could stand behind. Based on this, it is quite clear that Transhumanism is most certainly not a niche movement, and that it is one of the most progressive and inclusive movements the world has ever seen.

Therefore, the best way we can promote our messages and fulfill our objectives is by being unified in our purpose, mission, and values, and be stable in our leadership, approach, and relationships. Let’s not do our detractors’ work for them by being splintered and divided, nor become detractors ourselves. Let us coalesce for the betterment of humanity, and turn our detractors into friends, supporters, and partners. Indeed, the future of the world, and that of humanity, depends on it.

Arin Vahanian is Director of Marketing for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

Thoughts on North Korean Diplomacy – Article by R. Nicholas Starr

Thoughts on North Korean Diplomacy – Article by R. Nicholas Starr

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R. Nicholas Starr


Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party features this perspective from R. Nicholas Starr in accord with our strong opposition to weapons of mass destruction and to the threat of nuclear war – as, for instance, expressed in Section IV of our Platform. The U.S. Transhumanist Party thus welcomes the progress of negotiations that could considerably reduce the probability of a nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea. 

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, June 13, 2018

I don’t like, trust, or support Trump. But his approach with North Korea might just work.

From 2004 to 2011 I was an intelligence analyst for the USAF. As such I spent a lot of time reading and briefing about North Korea, especially during my time stationed at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. While most of my knowledge was focused on specific aspects and activities, if you spend enough time reading about a regime, you begin to get a sense of their point of view.

The US military spends a lot of time and money on preparing for a North Korean threat. Constant simulations on how to destroy the North are a provocation. How would you feel if someone was practicing the best way to destroy you, every year, for decades? Not only does it present a clear military threat, we must remember that there are innocent lives at risk – innocent people that live completely in the dark and don’t really know why these exercises happen, Just extremely limited information, often paired with editorial fear mongering, that is distributed through Rodong Sinmun. Any objective observer would notice that the years of sabre-rattling have not created peace, but exacerbated the issue. A promise to limit or completely end these exercises seems like a rational decision.

Treating Kim Jong-un as an equal also seems like the right thing to do. After all, he is the leader of his country, a country tired of fighting to justify its mere existence, regardless of how he stepped into the role. He isn’t his father or grandfather, even though there is significant pressure to be so. He is only playing the hand he was born into. So coming into a summit with a positive attitude towards Kim just might do the trick into diffusing international tension.

From Kim’s point of view, he likely feels weakened now that seismic activity, caused by his underground testing, has made his nuclear program unsustainable, and so he is looking to come out of the situation in the best way possible. He may also see that the work of his predecessors has not had the desired effect. Kim, much like Trump, might believe that a new course of action is necessary. So if Trump needs to lose some military and political leverage to make it happen, then fine.

HOWEVER, if Trump steps out of the strict lines of total peace toward North Korea, we risk a swift decline into war. And let’s face it, Trump has a history of saying one thing and doing the opposite. He also tells people exactly what they want to hear and does what he wants anyways. So the risk of breaking whatever agreement was made is high and very real. If ever there was a time for Trump to be honest, it is now, because Kim Jong-un will hold him to it. The fate of peace stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. I can’t imagine a better time for Tolkien’s wisdom than right now. This is the closest we have come to resolving the issue, and previous methods have proven ineffective. So maybe it’s worth a try.

Ryan Starr (R. Nicholas Starr) is the is the leader of the Transhumanist Party of Colorado and founder of the Transhumanists of the Sierras