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21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #4

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #4

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Gennady Stolyarov II


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Section E4-A. Protection of Level 5 Sentient Entities.

Option E4-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili]

The United States Transhumanist Party stands for the rights of any sentient entities defined in the Preamble to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights as possessing Level 5 or more advanced information integration. Any such sentient entities, including new kinds of sentient entities that may be discovered or developed in the future, shall be considered to be autonomous beings with full rights, and shall not be made subservient to humans, unless they as individuals pose direct, empirically evident threats to the lives of others. The protections of full individual rights shall extend to Level 5 or higher-level artificial intelligences. However, Level 4 or lower-level entities – including domain-specific artificial intelligences that have not achieved sentience – may be utilized as part of the production systems of the future, in a similar manner to machines, algorithms, computer programs, and non-human animals today and based on similar ethical considerations.

Section E4-B. Sousveillance

Language on Technologies to Monitor Police [Based on Proposal by Bart Davis]

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the use of technologies which increase monitoring of police action and policing activities, with expressed goals of increasing policing accountability.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Language on Sousveillance Laws [Based on Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, Article XIV]

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that sousveillance laws should be enacted to ensure that all members of peaceful communities feel safe, to achieve governmental transparency, and to provide counter-balances to any surveillance state. For instance, law-enforcement officials, when interacting with the public, should be required to wear body cameras or similar devices continuously monitoring their activities.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E4-C. Reduction of National Debt

Option E4-C-1. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it imperative to achieve reductions of the United States national debt in order to avoid calamitous scenarios of extreme inflation, default, and burdensome future tax increases on individuals. The United States Transhumanist Party supports the following measures to reduce the national debt:

[The question will allow members to select any, all, or none of the measures below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plank.]

Option E4-C-1-a. Elimination of wasteful federal spending on programs, goods, and services where equivalent positive results could be obtained through lower expenditures.

Option E4-C-1-b. Cessation of foreign military occupations and the return of American troops to be stationed exclusively on American territory.

Option E4-C-1-c. Replacement of all federal taxes with a single percentage-of-sales tax applicable only to purchases from large businesses, intended to be revenue-neutral but automatic in its operation and thereby compatible with seamless compliance and the elimination of the current extensive tax-compliance apparatus.

Option E4-C-1-d. Removal of barriers to technological innovation and technologically driven economic growth, such that a surge in such growth could increase federal revenues so as to generate increasing surpluses, as long as federal spending does not materially rise from current levels.

Option E4-C-1-e. Sales and leases of federally owned land, other than specific unique and distinguished landmarks, for residential, commercial, and philanthropic uses.

Option E4-C-1-f. Elimination of the current cumbersome system of federal contracting, which favors politically connected incumbent firms whose advantage consists of navigating the system, rather than performing the best possible work. Instead, all federal agencies should be empowered to purchase supplies and equipment and to requisition projects from any entity capable of satisfying an immediate need at a reasonable cost. Exclusive and preferential contracts for particular entities should be prohibited, and all payments by federal agencies for work by non-employees should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Option E4-C-1-g. Digitization of as many federal services and functions as possible – to eliminate the waste and expense of paperwork, physical queues, and legacy information technology systems.

Section E4-D. Tax Reform and Simplification

Option E4-D-1. [Based on Section III of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]  The United States Transhumanist Party supports the elimination of graduated taxation and income taxation more generally. Instead, the United States Transhumanist Party advocates a flat percentage-of-sales tax applicable only to purchases from businesses whose combined nationwide revenues from all affiliates exceed a specified threshold. This tax should be built into the price of goods from such large businesses and should not impede transaction efficiency in any manner. Transactions pertaining to wages, salaries, gifts, donations, barter, employee benefits, and inheritances should remain completely untaxed, as should transactions involving solely individuals and/or small businesses, for whom the establishment of a tax-reporting infrastructure would be onerous. Furthermore, all taxes on land and property should be abolished.

Section E4-E. More Proportional Representation of Professions

Option E4-E-1. [Based on Section IX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform] The United States Transhumanist Party supports more proportional representation of professions and occupations among legislative and executive government officials, instead of a system in which the plurality of political offices are held by attorneys. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that a greater proportion of politicians should possess training in mathematics, engineering, and the physical and biological sciences.  

Section E4-F. Alternative Energy

Option E4-F-1. [Based on Section IX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform] The United States Transhumanist Party supports emerging alternative energy sources and their technological implementations. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes government subsidies for any energy source – including fossil fuels. Instead, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that superior, cleaner, and more efficient energy sources will also tend to become less costly and more broadly adopted under a system of unfettered market competition and innovation.

Section E4-G. Transhumanist Olympics

Option E4-G-1. [Based on Section XVIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the creation of a “Transhumanist Olympics” where augmentations and modifications of the human body would not disqualify persons from competing.

Section E4-H. Opposition to Secular Censorship

Option E4-H-1. [Based on Section XXVII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform] In addition to its opposition to intolerant interpretations of religious doctrines, the United States Transhumanist Party is furthermore opposed to any interpretation of a secular, non-religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose certain beliefs by force and/or by legal compulsion. Examples of such doctrines opposed by the United States Transhumanist Party include Stalinism, Maoism, Neo-Malthusianism or eco-primitivism, the death-acceptance movement, and the doctrine of censorship, now prevalent on many college campuses in the United States, in the name of “social justice”, combatting “triggers” or “microaggressions”, or avoiding subjectively perceived offense.

Section E4-I. Role of the U.S. President

Language on the Responsibility of the President [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party understands that the role of President comes with great power and responsibility towards all citizens equally, regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, gender, religious conviction or lack thereof, political position, or societal class. It is the United States Transhumanist Party’s view that the President, as an authority figure and head of state, should lead by example. The function of the President is to oversee and support the improvement of well-being for all United States citizens, and the welfare of the nation as a whole.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Language on Reducing Executive Power

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that the power of the Executive Branch of the federal government has expanded far beyond the originally conceived Constitutional framework, so as to predominate over the Legislative and Judicial Branches, as well as over the institutions of civil society and individuals. The United States Transhumanist Party supports greatly curtailing and restricting the role of the U.S. President so as to confine that role within parameters originally conceived by the framers of the U.S. Constitution – particularly with regard to eliminating the unacceptable current prerogatives to unilaterally launch nuclear strikes and conduct military attacks, and to imprison, spy on, and assassinate Americans and others without due process.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E4-J. Conflicts of Interest for Government Officials

Option E4-J-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to minimize conflicts of interest for government officials created by private businesses, religious institutions, not-for-profit organizations, special interest groups, and certain individuals. Some of the aforementioned entities currently exert improper influence by means of directly or indirectly providing incentives considered to have monetary value, or by granting special status or privileges to government officials for the purpose of exerting such improper influence.

Option E4-J-2. The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to minimize conflicts of interest for government officials created by private businesses, religious institutions, not-for-profit organizations, special interest groups, and certain individuals. However, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that the best way to minimize such conflicts of interest is not to micromanage the conduct of government officials – which can prevent petty improprieties but is inherently unable to avert the most damaging conflicts of interest among the highest echelons of power. Rather, the most promising solution is to reduce the scope of special economic privileges and protections that any government official would be capable of granting, thereby greatly diminishing the incentives of various special interests to even attempt to influence government officials.

Section E4-K. Uses of Government Funds

Option E4-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]  The United States Transhumanist Party understands that a necessary function of government is to responsibly allocate publicly generated funds obtained via taxes to increase the welfare of the nation and well-being of its citizens. The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports efforts to allocate funds towards publicly accessible utilities, services, and research that result in an increase of well-being for its citizens in the short, medium, and long terms, with the understanding that government exists to serve the people, and should allocate funds wisely with the intent of maximizing value per dollar for the purpose of citizens’ well-being and the nation’s welfare.

Option E4-K-2. Irrespective of the means by which a government obtains its funds – be it from taxation or from other sources – the United States Transhumanist Party understands that a necessary function of government is to responsibly allocate such funds to protect the rights and increase the well-being of its citizens and other individuals within its jurisdiction. If a government requires the public to contribute to its funding, then the services, utilities, and research produced by that government should be easily and freely accessible to members of the public who have contributed such funds. Any government expenditure should be premised on the goal of increasing the well-being of citizens and other individuals within the government’s jurisdiction in the short, medium, and long terms, with the understanding that government exists to serve the people, and should allocate funds wisely with the intent of maximizing value per dollar for the purpose of protecting individuals’ rights and promoting their well-being.

Section E4-L. Use of Scientific Research to Support Laws

Option E4-L-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]  The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have proposed laws accompanied by projections of expected results, including short-term, medium-term, and long-term effects. Such analysis should be based on scientific research and evidence and supported by the scientific and/or academic community with relevant subject-matter expertise. The intent is to have laws proposed to be created for the present day, and for such laws to function or improve in the future.

Section E4-M. Appointments of Supreme Court Justices

Option E4-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to depoliticize the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, and to further incentivize their impartiality toward political viewpoints.

Section E4-N. Simplification of Law

Option E4-N-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to revisit, condense, and simplify the law, with a focus on resolving issues among conflicting laws and closing illogical loopholes within the law.