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The Discovery Doctrine in International Law, with Respect to the Islands of La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista – Article by Stan Vaughan

The Discovery Doctrine in International Law, with Respect to the Islands of La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista – Article by Stan Vaughan

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Stan Vaughan


Editor’s Note: In accord with Article III, Section XXII of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution, which states that “The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations”, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has published this guest article by Stan Vaughan, explaining the historical basis in international law for the claims by the Kingdom of Ourania on the uninhabited Pacific Islands of La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista. Find out more about the Kingdom of Ourania here and read here about the State Visit made by King Immanuel X of Ourania to the Republic of Molossia on June 17, 2017. The arguments made herein by Mr. Vaughan are his own analysis, and members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party are encouraged to study it, review the relevant history, and form their own views and perspectives on it. The United States Transhumanist Party does, however, wish Mr. Vaughan the best in forwarding the recognition and development of the Kingdom of Ourania, which may, if successful, lead to innovations in seasteading and construction of floating cities. We anticipate publishing future updates regarding the Kingdom of Ourania as they become available.

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, July 2, 2017

Flag of the Kingdom of Ourania

Public international law seems to recognize five ways to acquire insular areas. These are 1) cession, 2) occupation, 3) accretion, 4) subjugation, and 5) prescription. [Raphael Perl, The Falkland Islands Dispute in International Law and Politics: A Documentary Sourcebook (New York: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1983) (hereinafter cited as Perl) 12-13.]

This essay discusses how international law applies to the islands of La Encarnacion (a.k.a. Ducie) and San Juan Bautista (a.k.a. Henderson) in the South Pacific Ocean.

La Encarnacion

The island of La Encarnacion (a.k.a. Ducie) was discovered by a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese sailor Pedro Fernandes de Queirós on 26 January 1606, during an expedition that began in Callao, Peru. Supported by Pope Clement VIII and Philip III of Spain, Queirós was given the command of the San Pedro, San Pablo, and Zabra. The fleet was nicknamed Los Tres Reyes Magos (“The Three Wise Men”).  La Encarnacion (a.k.a. Ducie Island) was the first of eighteen discoveries on the trip. Queirós temporarily named it Luna Puesta, then finally settled on La Encarnacion.

The island was rediscovered by Edward Edwards, captain of HMS Pandora, who was sent in 1790 to capture the mutineers of HMS Bounty. He re-named the island Ducie in honour of Francis Reynolds-Moreton, 3rd Baron Ducie.

On March 10, 1867 it was claimed by US Captain John Daggett of Massachusetts for the United States under the Guano Islands Act (enacted August 18, 1856).

The State Department (William Seward, Secretary of State) considered later in 1867 that the claim would remain dormant or only in abeyance until such time as US citizenship of Captain Daggett was proved, which was done, reviving the dormant US claim.

San Juan Bautista

Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, leading the same Spanish expedition that discovered La Encarnacion, was also the first European to discover another uninhabited island on 29 January 1606. De Queirós named this island San Juan Bautista.

Captain Henderson of the British East India Company ship Hercules re-discovered the island on 17 January 1819 and re-named it Henderson Island.

Claim by the United Kingdom and the Implications of the Discovery Doctrine

In 1877, the islands were purportedly included under the protection of the United Kingdom by an Order in Council that claimed jurisdiction over all previously unclaimed Pacific Islands.

However, La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista were not unclaimed islands, both having been claimed by Spain in 1606. Such claims were recognized via the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Treaty of Paris (1763), Nootka Convention (1790), Treaty of Madrid (1814), and the First Hague Convention (1899).

The Discovery Doctrine is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall justified the way in which colonial powers laid claim to lands. Here we will not dispute the controversial aspects of the doctrine concerning inhabited lands, but focus on the uncontroversial aspects of terra nullis (discovery of uninhabited land).

Marshall found that ownership of land comes into existence by virtue of discovery of that land, a rule that had been observed by all European countries.

At the time of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, discovery of terra nullis gave the discovering sovereign absolute title to the newly discovered land. This was amended in 1790 by the United Kingdom / Spain Nootka Convention, which said that, thereafter, newly discovered lands must also be occupied as well. However this treaty did not in any way affect previous discoveries and claims.

Sovereignty could effect cession in a treaty between ceding and acquiring sovereigns, and at no time in history has Spain ever ceded its sovereignty over La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista to the United Kingdom, which specifically acknowledged Spanish sovereignty to these two islands in both 1744 and 1787, as will be discussed herein later.

Thus, prior to either the purported Edwards 1791 “rediscovery” or the 1819 Henderson “rediscovery”, both islands had been shown on the 1787 King of England Samuel Dunn/Thomas Kitchen map (shown below) as the Spanish possessions La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista, both previously recognized by the discovery doctrine in international law as belonging to Spain. Thus the 1877 British Order of Council extending British purported sovereignty over all unclaimed islands has no basis in international law, which also says that the purported 1902 “annexations” of these islands are illegal under de jure international laws.

Spain, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States all are parties to the 1899 First Hague Convention, which prohibits and considers such annexations as unlawful.

Further, all three recognize the aforementioned discovery doctrine, George II having recognized in 1744 the islands as having been discovered by Spain, and George III in 1787 having recognized such discoveries by Spain under the names La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista.

Thomas Kitchin (or Thomas Kitchen (1718–1784)) was an English engraver and cartographer, who became hydrographer to the king. The 1787 Samuel Dunn “A General Map of the World” shows La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista, as does the 1744 map by Emmanuel Bowen (cartographer to UK King George II and father-in-law to Thomas Kitchin, his apprentice) at correct latitudes south of Tropic of Capricorn and correct longitudes.

Above, the 1744 King George II map of the world with the islands of La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista at correct latitude south of Tropic of Capricorn and at correct longitude as well, and among those marked as “islands discovered by de Quiros of Spain”.

Above the 1787 King George III map of the world lists La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista by their actual Spanish names, an acknowledgement of their absolute title by Spain 4 years before the so-called re-discovery of La Encarnacion as Ducie 1791 or the 1819 re-discovery as Henderson instead of San Juan Bautista.

In correspondence from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office dated 29 March 2017 and postmarked 13 April 2017, the United Kingdom does not dispute the above facts.

Thus, there is no such island as “Ducie” island – only the previously claimed by Spain La Encarnacion Island. There is no such island as “Henderson” island, only the previously claimed by Spain San Juan Bautista Island.

Before the 18th century, discovery alone was sufficient to acquire absolute title to a terra nullis (A. Keller, O. Lissitzyn, & F. Mann, Creation of Rights of Sovereignty 1400-1801 (1938)).

See also William E. Hall, “Discovery gave not merely inchoate title but an absolute title” (International Law 126-127, 214-215, 8th edition, 1924).

International Law Regarding So-Called Annexations

Direct Annexation, by the end of the Napoleonic period, ceased to be recognized in international law as an accepted means of territorial acquisition. Thus, as in the case of La Encarnacion and San Juan Bautista Islands in the South Pacific, the purported annexations (and renaming of the islands), which the United Kingdom proclaimed in 1902, not only violated this principle, but was further illegal by the First Hague Convention of 1899, which had been signed 29 July1900 already by the UK, USA, and Spain. The UK had not acquired these islands by any treaty or cession from Spain, and as earlier pointed out, had already under King George II and King George III by their names and locations recognized their discovery by Spain and thus absolute title from 1606.

In 1948, Emilio Pastor Santos, a researcher of the Spanish National Research Council, claimed there was a historical basis that many islands in the Pacific, formerly parts of either the Viceroyalty of New Spain, or the Viceroyalty of Peru, actually still belonged to Spain and “continue legally under Spanish sovereignty.” These include “a number of small islands in Micronesia (Kapingamarangi or CoroaMapia or GüedesOcea or Matador, and  Rongerik or Pescadores). […]This is because the text of the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899 which transferred sovereignty of certain Spanish possessions in the Pacific to Germany, namely the Northern Mariana Islands (except Guam) and the Caroline Islands (including Palau), failed to include these smaller islands.”  (Wikipedia, “Mapia Atoll”)

On 12 January 1949, after presentation of the research to the Council of Ministers of Spain, the Spanish Foreign Minster declared this as de jure, and the Cabinet of Diplomatic Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared as follows: “The Ministry recognizes that it is a certain fact and historic truth that Spain reserves a series of rights certain groups of islands as not having been ceded by Spain.”

This situation resulted in the Kingdom of Ourania contacting Spain and acquiring a number of islands formerly either part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain or the Viceroyalty of Peru, but with the proviso they can never be re-assigned to the United Kingdom at any time in the future, unless the UK first returns Gibraltar and restores the territorial integrity of Spain concerning Gibraltar.

Stan Vaughan is a chess champion who resides in Southern Nevada. He ran for State Assembly District 15 as a Republican in 2016. He now represents the Kingdom of Ourania in its efforts to attain international recognition and form a floating city in the vicinity of the claimed islands of San Juan Bautista and La Encarnacion.  

Results of Platform Vote #3 and Adopted Sections

Results of Platform Vote #3 and Adopted Sections

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party conducted its fourth vote of the members and the third vote on its platform planks on March 26 through April 1, 2017. This was the most extensive platform ballot in the history of the U.S. Transhumanist Party thus far. Official ballot options can be found here.

Detailed results of the voting have been tabulated here. Where no majority was reached in the first round of voting, options were selected based on the ranked-preference method with instant runoffs.

As a result, the following sections of Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution were adopted.

Section XI: In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.

Section XII: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.

The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.

Section XIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.

Section XIV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

Section XV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.

Section XVI: Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

Section XVII: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Section XVIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.

Section XIX: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

Section XX: 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.

Section XXI: The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.

Section XXII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.

Section XXIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.

Section XXIV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

Section XXV: 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.

Section XXVI: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.

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.

Section XXVIII: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.

Section XXIX: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.

Section XXX: The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.

Section XXXI: 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.

Section XXXII: The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #3

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #3

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the third set of proposed platform planks of the U.S. Transhumanist Party (22 potential planks in total) will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on March 26, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on April 2, 2017. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party who have applied before 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2017, will be eligible to vote, as long as they have expressed agreement with the three Core Ideals of the Transhumanist Party or have otherwise been rendered eligible to vote at the discretion of the Chairman.

All members who are eligible to vote will be sent a link to an electronic submission form whereby they will be able to cast their ballot.

When you are voting, it is strongly recommended that you keep this page of official ballot options and the submission form open simultaneously in different windows so that you can reference the relevant options as you vote on them. Due to space limitations, the submission form does not list the entire text of all the options.

It is also recommended that you set aside at least thirty minutes to consider and vote on all of the options and read their text closely, as some of the options contain minor variations upon other options. 

For some questions, electronic voting is  conducted by a ranked-preference method on individual articles where more options are possible than would be accommodated by a simple “Yes” or “No” vote. Members should keep in mind that the ranked-preference method eliminates the incentives for strategic voting – so members are encouraged to vote for the options that reflect their individual preferences as closely as possible, without regard for how other members might vote.

Results of the voting will be tabulated during early April 2017, with the intent to announce the results approximately 7 days after all votes have been submitted.

NOTE: The titles of the questions and potential Sections are descriptive and informational only and will not appear in the final adopted platform planks (which will be incorporated into Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution). They are intended as concise guides to the subject matter of the questions and potential Sections. Likewise, the letters assigned to Sections within this ballot will not reflect the numbering of the final adopted provisions, which will depend on which Sections are selected by the membership.

NOTE II: The inclusion of any proposals on this ballot does not indicate any manner of endorsement for those proposals by the U.S. Transhumanist Party at this time – except to place those proposals before the members to determine the will of the members with regard to whether or not the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform should incorporate any given proposal.

 


 

Voter Identification

E-mail address

Provide the same e-mail address you used to register for U.S. Transhumanist Party membership. Your ballot will be cross-referenced to our membership rolls, and only ballots with matching e-mail addresses will be counted.

What is your name?

At minimum, first and last name are required, unless you are publicly known by a single-name pseudonym which is not itself a common name. Your identity will not be publicly disclosed by the Transhumanist Party, unless you choose and/or authorize its disclosure. Only other members of the Transhumanist Party will be able to see *that* you voted, but not *how* you voted. The nature of the selections made by the members may be disclosed, but, if they are, each individual vote will not be associated with the identity of the voter but rather will be presented in an anonymized manner.

Navigate the Options

Question I. Section E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle
Question II. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Technological Improvements
Question III. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Free College
Question IV. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Desirable Educational Systems
Question V. Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process
Question VI. Section E3-D. End to Drug War
Question VII. Section E3-E. Prison Reform
Question VIII. Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income
Question IX. Section E3-G. Space Colonization
Question X. Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities
Question XI. Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System
Question XII. Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech
Question XIII. Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality
Question XIV. Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations
Question XV. Section E3-M. Children’s Rights
Question XVI. Section E3-N. Animal Welfare
Question XVII. Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines
Question XVIII. Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank
Question XIX. Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College
Question XX. Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns
Question XXI. Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries
Question XXII. Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System
Question XXIII. Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions
Question XXIV. Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question II. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Technological Improvements

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question III. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Free College

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IV. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Desirable Educational Systems

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VSection E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VI. Section E3-D. End to Drug War

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VII. Section E3-E. Prison Reform

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VIII. Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

Rank-order the Section E3-F Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for “No Section of this sort” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose “Abstain”, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

☐ Option E3-F-1. [Based on Section XII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of all existing social welfare programs with a Universal Basic Income that is unconditionally distributed to all citizens, irrespective of wealth or income. The Universal Basic Income should be sufficiently large to enable survival and the basic necessities of contemporary civilized life, but the manner of spending of this income should remain entirely the responsibility of the recipient. Individuals who seek to earn above the Universal Basic Income will need to engage in a remunerative occupation or secure other private sources of income. Individuals who squander their Universal Basic Incomes on non-life-affirming activities will not be further subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.

☐ Option E3-F-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XIX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

☐ Option E3-F-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Currently, the United States spends more than 1 trillion US Dollars on welfare-related expenses. That sum would be reduced significantly if it was used to replace the current welfare system with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-4. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank, Removing Reference to Current US Welfare Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question IXSection E3-G. Space Colonization

Rank-order the Section E3-G Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for “No Section of this sort” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose “Abstain”, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

☐ Option E3-G-1. [Based on Section XIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a significant acceleration of efforts at space exploration and colonization, particularly through private initiatives. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports redirecting offensive military budgets toward civilian space programs, such that every increase in a civilian space program’s budget would need to be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

☐ Option E3-G-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

☐ Option E3-G-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, with “all nations and their governments” replaced by “present and future societies”]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

☐ Option E3-G-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question X. Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XI. Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XII. Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIII. Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIV. Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XV. Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVI. Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVII. Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVIII. Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIX. Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XX. Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXI. Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXII. Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXIII. Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXIV.  Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Rank-order the Section E3-V Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for “No Section of this sort” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose “Abstain”, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

☐ Option E3-V-1. The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

☐ Option E3-V-2. [Platform Adaption of Article XXII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

☐ Option E3-V-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Resilience and Risk Policy Plank]

In support of the United States’ and our civilization’s resilience, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the inclusion of resilience-building activities and risk-management thinking as part of the ethical advancement of technology insofar as it does not impede such advancement.

The United States Transhumanist Party believes that existential risk should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the type of threat. The United States Transhumanist Party supports programs that promote a long-term approach to understanding how what we do as a society affects others and our long-term sustainability and resiliency as a civilization. The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on ensuring that societies are cognizant of the risks of such collective actions. Programs that include education and promote a wider long-term view or approach to problems will help society the most, and these are programs the United States Transhumanist Party seeks to support. The United States Transhumanist Party would like to see long-term thinking become a more common part of our culture and so holds that programs which align with this outlook should be funded by responsible citizens.

An example of the kinds of programs the United States Transhumanist Party may support is the Long Now Foundation, whose vision states that the Long Now has the goal of being the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. The Long Now Foundation hopes to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years, including through the pursuit of long-term projects like the Clock of the Long Now and the Library of Civilization.

☐ Option E3-V-NO. No Section of this sort.

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Due to scheduling issues, the next U.S. Transhumanist Party vote will only be able to take place in late March 2017. However, it is also important to continue making steady progress on developing our platform. Therefore, the U.S. Transhumanist Party hereby announces the intention to hold a member vote on a larger number of platform planks than typical. To accommodate members’ ability to study and comment on the issues relating to these potential platform planks, the U.S. Transhumanist Party declares a longer exposure period of 25 days – until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Comments from members have motivated the presentation of many of the potential planks below. Many of the planks concern areas of policy on which the U.S. Transhumanist Party has not yet taken an official position, as well as areas of electoral reform which will be vital in order to facilitate the success of minor political parties, including the Transhumanist Party.

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 there is more than one affirmative option proposed for a given 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 E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

Option E3-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Andrew Popper]

In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.

 

Section E3-B. Education

Option E3-B-1. [Based on Section IV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.

Option E3-B-2. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Education in the United States Policy Plank]

The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.

Option E3-B-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

 

Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

Option E3-C-1. [Based on Section VII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.

 

Section E3-D. End to Drug War

Option E3-D-1. [Based on Section VIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

 

Section E3-E. Prison Reform

Option E3-E-1. [Based on Section X of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.

 

Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

Option E3-F-1. [Based on Section XII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of all existing social welfare programs with a Universal Basic Income that is unconditionally distributed to all citizens, irrespective of wealth or income. The Universal Basic Income should be sufficiently large to enable survival and the basic necessities of contemporary civilized life, but the manner of spending of this income should remain entirely the responsibility of the recipient. Individuals who seek to earn above the Universal Basic Income will need to engage in a remunerative occupation or secure other private sources of income. Individuals who squander their Universal Basic Incomes on non-life-affirming activities will not be further subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.

Option E3-F-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XIX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

Option E3-F-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Currently, the United States spends more than 1 trillion US Dollars on welfare-related expenses. That sum would be reduced significantly if it was used to replace the current welfare system with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-4. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank, Removing Reference to Current US Welfare Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Section E3-G. Space Colonization

Option E3-G-1. [Based on Section XIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a significant acceleration of efforts at space exploration and colonization, particularly through private initiatives. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports redirecting offensive military budgets toward civilian space programs, such that every increase in a civilian space program’s budget would need to be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

Option E3-G-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Option E3-G-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, with “all nations and their governments” replaced by “present and future societies”]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

 

Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

Option E3-H-1. [Based on Section XIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.

 

Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System

Option E3-I-1. [Based on Section XV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

Option E3-J-1. [Based on Section XX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

Option E3-K-1. [Based on Section XXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.

 

Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

Option E3-L-1. [Based on Section XXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.

 

Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

Option E3-M-1. [Based on Section XXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.

Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

Option E3-N-1. [Based on Section XXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

 

Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

Option E3-O-1. [Based on Section XXVI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

Option E3-P-1. [Based on Section XXIX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.

 

Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

Option E3-Q-1. [Based on Section XXXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

Option E3-R-1. [Based on Section XXXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.

 

Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

Option E3-S-1. [Based on Section XXXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.

 

Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System

Option E3-T-1. [Based on Section XXXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.

 

Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

Option E3-U-1. [Based on Section XXXV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Option E3-V-1. The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

Option E3-V-2. [Platform Adaption of Article XXII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

Option E3-V-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Resilience and Risk Policy Plank]

In support of the United States’ and our civilization’s resilience, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the inclusion of resilience-building activities and risk-management thinking as part of the ethical advancement of technology insofar as it does not impede such advancement.

The United States Transhumanist Party believes that existential risk should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the type of threat. The United States Transhumanist Party supports programs that promote a long-term approach to understanding how what we do as a society affects others and our long-term sustainability and resiliency as a civilization. The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on ensuring that societies are cognizant of the risks of such collective actions. Programs that include education and promote a wider long-term view or approach to problems will help society the most, and these are programs the United States Transhumanist Party seeks to support. The United States Transhumanist Party would like to see long-term thinking become a more common part of our culture and so holds that programs which align with this outlook should be funded by responsible citizens.

An example of the kinds of programs the United States Transhumanist Party may support is the Long Now Foundation, whose vision states that the Long Now has the goal of being the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. The Long Now Foundation hopes to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years, including through the pursuit of long-term projects like the Clock of the Long Now and the Library of Civilization.