Gennady Stolyarov II
For its upcoming seventh Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) has received a large volume of suggestions from members. This exposure period is intended to encompass the most salient of these suggestions. The forthcoming Platform vote is intended to “catch up” on the processing of suggestions that could not be immediately addressed due to limited resources in the course of the 2019 Presidential Primary season. It is likely that additional Platform votes will follow in early 2020 to address remaining items of interest to the USTP membership.
A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 24 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.
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 / Transhuman 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 U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar. “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 U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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 E7-A. Opposition to Autonomous Weapons
Option E7-A-1. [Based on Suggestion by Mike DiVerde and Dan Elton] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party opposes any development or deployment of weapons systems that are capable of killing or injuring human beings in the absence of an explicit command by a human being to take action in every specific instance. Autonomous drones, vehicles, or other combat systems may not be permitted to make life-or-death decisions on the basis of a program, algorithm, predictive model, or any other means other than a specific decision by a human being who is closely familiar with the circumstances surrounding any given military situation. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and other initiatives to abolish all autonomous weapons and preclude the development of such weapons.
Section E7-B. Ectogenesis
Option E7-B-1. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports research into the process of ectogenesis, the ability of organisms to be incubated and to grow to the point of independent survival, within an artificial environment that provides such organisms with all the necessities of biological survival and development. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the widespread deployment and use of the technology of ectogenesis once such technology becomes safe and practical. Ectogenesis has the potential to benefit humans and other species alike, restoring extinct species and bolstering the numbers of endangered species, as well as alleviating the burdens of human pregnancy and rendering the divisive debate over abortion obsolete by reconciling the right to life of a fetus with the freedom of a woman to choose not to carry that fetus.
Section E7-C. Elimination of Caps on Scientific Expenditures
Option E7-C-1. [Based on Suggestion by John Marlowe] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on peaceful scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to peaceful scientific and technological projects.
Section E7-D. Improved Reporting of Law-Enforcement Misconduct
Option E7-D-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to give citizens more accessible and safer ways to report misconduct, corruption, constitutional rights violations, international human rights violations, and other similar infractions by police, including local police departments, as well as by federal law-enforcement agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to an investigative organization, whether civilian in nature or a special investigative department within the judicial system.
Such efforts could, for example, involve having a mandate that every police department and federal law-enforcement agency website have a ‘banner’ on its website that allows citizens to report misbehavior by said police department or federal law-enforcement agency. Reporting of misbehavior would not inhibit any constitutional rights, such as filing a lawsuit.
If a valid complaint is found after investigation, this could result in a fine, a reduction of funding, or a reduction of salary for the responsible officials as a means of punishment. Said money would be allocated back to the relevant level of government to increase the well-being of citizens.
A periodical report of all reported missteps by law-enforcement agencies should be made publicly available, including breakdowns of valid and invalid claims, as well as reports per region, among other useful breakdowns.
Section E7-E. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Reduce Administrative Costs
Option E7-E-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must greatly reduce its expenditures on internal bureaucracy and administration, in part by eliminating the requirement for students to complete any hard-copy paperwork and by enabling ubiquitous free, electronic completion and submission of all required forms.
Section E7-F. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Publish Research Free of Charge to the General Public
Option E7-F-1. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must openly publish all even partially federally funded research produced by that institution in readily downloadable electronic format without any cost to the general public, including any paywalls or access fees from academic journals that feature such research. This requirement would not apply to research projects solely supported by private funds or which do not require funding altogether; in those circumstances, the direct authors of such research would retain copyright to it and the ability to publish it in the manner they see fit.
Section E7-G. Prohibition of Police from Carrying Military-Grade Hardware
Option E7-G-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a prohibition against police being equipped with military-grade hardware, including assault weapons, military armored vehicles, or any other offensive equipment primarily designed for battlefield use.
Section E7-H. Requirement for Police to Use Rubber Bullets as Standard Ammunition
Option E7-H-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement for police to be equipped with rubber bullets as standard ammunition and only to use regular, lethal bullets in situations where there is an immediate and previously known threat to the safety of members of the general public. More generally, police should be trained to use every possible technique for non-lethal incapacitation of offenders, prior to any recourse to lethal force.
Section E7-I. Encouragement for Police to Use Electric Vehicles
Option E7-I-1. [Based on Suggestion by R. Nicholas Starr]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to encourage police departments to use electric vehicles. This would have the advantages of reducing emissions of pollutants into the air, as well as moving police forces away from militarized vehicles, which are less likely to be electrically powered.
Section E7-J. Tracking of Police Violations of Traffic Laws
Option E7-J-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the installment of monitoring systems in police vehicles to track whether the police are violating traffic laws, with the exception of situations where speeding or other technical infractions may be necessary to apprehend other known or suspected violators or criminal offenders. The ability of police to violate traffic laws with impunity is damaging to public perception, as law enforcement should first and foremost set an example for society to follow. By holding law enforcement accountable for minor infractions such as traffic violations, it will be possible to develop a police force that serves as an example to the public.
Section E7-K. Path to Legalization of Current Immigrants
Option E7-K-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to provide a path to legalization for all current undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, length of residency, or any other criteria, other than history of violent criminal activity.
Section E7-L. Elimination of Detention of Immigrants for Non-Violent Infractions
Option E7-L-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to end detention of all migrants for immigration violations not related to violent crimes. All current people serving jail terms for immigration issues with no additional crimes involved with the arrest must be released, and the path to citizenship started immediately. Those for whom an additional charge was involved would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with serious infractions – such as any violent offenses – potentially justifying additional detainment.
Section E7-M. Streamlining of Immigration Process
Option E7-M-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports measures to modernize and streamline the immigration process and eliminate the backlogs for those already in the queue. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party advocates simplifying the documentation process, eliminating all requirements for filling out hard-copy paperwork, and utilizing technology to cut wait times and bureaucratic delays.
Section E7-N. Abolition of Private Prisons and Detention Facilities
Option E7-N-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse, with Expansions]
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the immediate abolition of all private prison facilities and the termination of arrangements with private contractors for detention or immigration and border enforcement. Punishment for crimes, expect for situations of self-defense from the immediate commission of a crime, should be a function reserved for government alone and should never involve a profit motive, which creates incentives to artificially inflate the appearance of criminal behavior and the punishment of lesser infractions. In order to preserve the capacity for inmates and detainees to be housed in humane conditions, the United States Federal Government, as well as State and local governments, should have the prerogative to appropriate the facilities previously used by private prisons and private detention contractors, after providing appropriate one-time compensation for the property involved.
Section E7-O. Federal Land Dividend
The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.
Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks
Members will be given the option to either retain existing language of a plank or to adopt any of the listed proposed amendments. Ranked-preference voting will be conducted for any Section for which more than one amendment has been proposed. Members will also be able to abstain from each vote.
1. Amendments to Section XVI on Universal Basic Income to Align with Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights
Current Version of 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.
Amendment XVI-1. [Revision to Align with Article XIX Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights]
Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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.