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Author: Michael Herschman

Skyships as Bridges Between Earth and Space – Article by Michael Herschman

Skyships as Bridges Between Earth and Space – Article by Michael Herschman

Michael Herschman


Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party publishes this article by Michael Herschman to illuminate his creative idea for the development of skyships that would act as permanent human habitats and transitional platforms between Earth and space, benefiting the infrastructures and development of both of these realms. The skyship concept echoes the floating structures observed above the Earth and other worlds in the paintings of Robert McCall, and it would be an impressive feat of human progress for them to be brought into concrete reality. 

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, April 17, 2021


Physics evolves, and we can soon expect our advances in engineering. They rarely come, but they never leave. Voices can evolve from turmoil or from excess: People do not often think about science in terms of moral progress… However, there is no holiness of the mind that does not seek happiness. If we choose to look into the sky rather than at the ground, we will find more area for expansion. To a degree, our economy has developed an association with buoyancy. Self-reflection will take you far, but aviation can take you further.

Individuals try to want what is right. Most people never consider human-governed celestial action. NASA, Blue Origin, and SpaceX are influences toward limitless human engineering capacity. To not engage is to hold on… We face gravity as a creative people: Skyscrapers are natural, airplanes are natural, space rockets are natural. Skyships are natural. We need to defy current electronic constraints. It is the natural imperative of every individual to understand according to their capacity the truth of climate change. We see our Earth becoming more and more deceased from carbon. And we use carbon-dioxide-emitting rockets as we leave Earth. By our current standards, the safety and integrity of life on Mars is absurd.

Rendering a sustainable life in the sky is a real and true objective. It is a necessary structure for our next aeronautic epoch. Having a structure between skyscrapers and a space station will bring both closer. Common flying vehicles will proceed from skyship systems and intellectual scaffolding. Its existence will temper its surroundings. And its inhabitants will contribute to society. Everyone on the ship will have the goal of improving life on terrestrial Earth. It is Earth that got them there. They will serve Earth.

Skyships will come about naturally. They are a platform for energy freedoms and personal flight vehicles: so we are guided toward their construction. During the ship’s existence it will help society. Nothing onboard will languish from lack of attention or ability. The ship will be composed of givers that learn and share and provide examples for human structure. The ship will be bound by holistic healthy associations. Craft inhabitants will cure diseases.

We already have airships. A skyship is an airship that can be lived on indefinitely. They will be buoyant and provide protection and can be lived on indefinitely. They will be assisted by fuels and electricity but have no carbon footprint. They are bound to give to society.

Michael Herschman is a writer and poet who wants to learn and relearn STEM, and invent. His Instapoetry and books are available from https://www.whaleshift.com/ and @mkherschman

U.S. Transhumanist Party Letter in Opposition to Nevada Senate Bill 292

U.S. Transhumanist Party Letter in Opposition to Nevada Senate Bill 292

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Note: Senate Bill 292, which would make it essentially impossible for minor political parties to compete at the ballot box or even attempt ballot access, is being rapidly advanced in Nevada. It was authored by a former Democratic Party Chair who would like to double the petition-signature requirement for ballot access, require the number of signatures to be impossibly “equally apportioned” by petitioning district, and institute straight-line party-ticket voting that shuts out other options and discourages individualized decision-making.

In an urgent, almost last-minute action, I drafted a letter to the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections in opposition to that bill. The letter, as submitted to the Committee, can be found here

I urge all Nevadans and Transhumanist Party members, as well as those who are sympathetic to other minor political parties, to submit their opinions in opposition to SB292 here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/81st2021/

The Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections will meet this Thursday, April 1, at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time to hold a public hearing on this bill. Meeting information will be updated on this page: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/81st2021/Bill/7895/Meetings. If you can dial in during the time period for public testimony and lend your voice in opposition, that would be greatly appreciated.

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, March 31, 2021


March 31, 2021

Re: Opposition to Senate Bill 292

Dear Chairman Ohrenschall and honorable members of the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections:

As Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party and Chief Executive of the Nevada Transhumanist Party, I strongly urge you to oppose Senate Bill 292, which would deprive all minor political parties in Nevada of the opportunity to fairly compete at the ballot box or to even viably attempt such competition.

The Transhumanist Party is an alliance of over 3300 members who advocate for transcending the flaws and limitations of the human condition through technology and for putting science, health, and technology at the forefront of American politics. We advocate initiatives and reforms that will improve the human condition for as many people as possible, with as much beneficial impact as possible – and without regard for scoring political points or defeating “the other side”. In the realm of electoral policy, we advocate for such measures as ranked-preference voting, electronic voting, proportional representation, all-inclusive debates, elimination of ballot-access requirements, and limitation of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons. We hold that all contemporary societal, political, and material problems can be solved if we look away from the political trench warfare of today and up toward a far brighter future.

The Transhumanist Party is resolutely opposed to Section 2 of SB292, which would double the number of required petition signatures from 1 percent to 2 percent of the voters who voted in Nevada in the last preceding general election. The 1-percent threshold would already be exorbitantly costly to parties with small or non-existent budgets, at a typical cost of $4 or more per petition signature. A 2-percent threshold would be essentially unattainable. Even more onerous is the requirement in Section 2 that the petition signatures “must be apportioned equally among the petition districts” – which is essentially impossible to fulfill. If a minor party gathers one more signature, or perhaps two fewer signatures, from one petition district than from another, does that make the apportionment of signatures unequal and thus disqualify the entire petition? Moreover, if a minor political party represents constituents who are predominantly located in one part of the State, is this party to be permanently barred from ballot access just because its constituents are not evenly spread throughout the petition districts? All residents of Nevada have legitimate political interests and a need for representation, no matter whether those interests are geographically localized or dispersed. Clearly, the requirement for equal apportionment is an artificial hurdle that is designed to be essentially impossible for minor parties to surmount. With such a requirement in place, it would become easy for a major political party to challenge and disqualify any number of petition signatures gathered by a minor political party after great expenditures of time, effort, and resources. Major parties could therefore suppress minor-party participation through tactics of attrition. To add to the burdens, Section 2 would reduce by about three weeks the time available to gather the doubly high, equally apportioned petition signatures. How impossible is it possible to make ballot access? And is that the question that good public policy should really be striving to answer? There is no compelling benefit to the people of the State of Nevada from being deprived of options to consider at the ballot box; indeed, limiting their choices only makes an illusion out of claims that our electoral system is democratic or representative.

The Nevada Transhumanist Party has been registered with the Secretary of State since August 31, 2015, and has maintained compliance with all requirements for a minor political party without ballot access. In early 2020 the Nevada Transhumanist Party was engaged in significant internal deliberations about attempting a petitioning effort to achieve ballot access; while the current threshold pursuant to NRS 293.1715 (1 percent of the total number of votes cast at the preceding general election for the offices of Representative in Congress) appeared to be quite daunting to a small, all-volunteer organization which refuses all special-interest funding on principle, we were nonetheless willing to give it an earnest attempt. Then COVID-19 arrived, and the resulting lockdown measures essentially prohibited petitioning for ballot access, even as the petitioning requirement itself was not lifted. This effectively prevented any minor political party from safely attempting to qualify for ballot access, and thus entrenched the ability of incumbent major political parties to operate without available alternatives. We thought the 1-percent signature requirement was onerous, but potentially attainable with immense effort. A 2-percent signature requirement, on the other hand, would be impossible for any political party except those with immense budgets funded by large donors. Whatever happened to limiting the influence of money in politics?

The Transhumanist Party also opposes the provisions of Sections 1 and 4 of SB292, which would establish straight-ticket party voting in Nevada. While the straight-ticket voting would technically apply to both major and minor political parties, the overwhelming benefit would accrue to major political parties, who are more likely to have candidates in the vast majority of races. Moreover, straight-ticket voting would discourage voters who are normally inclined toward one political party from even considering minor-party, independent, or nonpartisan candidates in individual races where those candidates might more strongly align with those voters’ views. Every voter is an individual and does not always adhere to the entire package of ideas in a major-party platform. This individuality and diversity of opinions should be respected, and each voter should accordingly be motivated and encouraged to research all of the individual candidates and issues and make an informed decision, rather than just delegating his or her nuanced preferences to a monolithic party line.

Straight-ticket voting is even disadvantageous for many candidates of major political parties, and I urge members of the Legislature to oppose it even if solely on the grounds of their personal self-interest. Consider this: if you are a Legislator from either major political party who nonetheless wishes to reach out to constituents from the other major political party – to build bridges and find common ground – straight-ticket voting will act to your detriment, because it will encourage voters who typically align with the other major political party to vote for that party’s candidate no matter what – even if you are a bridge-builder and the other candidate is an extremist who alienates much of his or her own constituency.

The Transhumanist Party also opposes Section 3 of SB292, because it would limit by more than three weeks the time available for a minor party to respond to a challenge of its qualification to place the names of candidates on the ballot. If, by some fantastical confluence of effort and luck, the minor party does manage to gather the newly required number of signatures, the amount of time available to defend them from the inevitable major-party challenge would be further narrowed to often render such a defense untenable.

Senate Bill 292 would achieve the opposite of establishing a fair, level playing field for political candidates and parties.  Unfortunately, Senate Bill 292, if enacted, will only serve to exacerbate today’s political trench warfare by solidifying the bifurcation of the contemporary American body politic into two blocs that have each become increasingly monolithic and radicalized internally, and increasingly hostile toward the other, with no room between them to pursue unconventional and innovative solutions that can bridge partisan divides. This anticipated effect of SB292 is likely not anyone’s intention; however, the two-party system in the United States has a built-in downward spiral of incivility, hostility, and division which has, over the past year, crossed the line from mere acrimony into deadly riots and insurrections from extreme exponents of both sides of the partisan gulf. Any Legislator interested in stable and sensible governance should seek to avert an intensification of this scenario, and there is a vital role for a vibrant minor-party ecosystem in helping to prevent it.

How does Senate Bill 292 exacerbate political polarization? It does so by making it effectively impossible for minor political parties to even attain ballot access – in the numerous ways described above. This bill would make it clear to voters that minor parties are not just long-shot participants but are effectively shut out of the process altogether. Thus, many people who would have otherwise given a minor party a chance would be shunted into one of the major political parties that is barely more aligned with their views than the other major political party. This would reinforce the bifurcation of America into two distinct blocs which are engaged in an ever-intensifying struggle with one another, to the detriment of any actual progress on policy and any actual solutions to the many pressing problems facing our State, country, and world. Bifurcation of the American body politic creates an “us-versus-them” dynamic, where anyone who is not part of one’s own bloc is automatically considered to be “the enemy” and whose ideas are automatically disregarded. The record increase in independent and nonpartisan voters already shows many Americans to be disillusioned by the toxicity and acrimony that characterize the electoral tactics of the major parties and their most vocal adherents. Without minor parties for them to seek alternatives in, these Americans will either be reluctantly dragged into the deleterious fray they have always wished to avoid, or try to refrain from political participation altogether – in which case the fray will still find them, as extremists from the major parties have increasingly been demonizing conscientiously apolitical Americans as well.

The antidote to polarization is hyper-pluralism, which is precisely what a vibrant minor-party scene would facilitate. In a hyper-pluralistic body politic, there is no clear “enemy” for any constituent, because different smaller parties will align with one another on different issues; one’s adversary on one issue could be an ally on another, and so it is worthwhile to remain on at least respectful terms with everyone. It is for this reason that parliamentary democracies, which allow for proportional representation and numerous political parties competing on each ballot, are generally far less roiled by partisan strife than America’s uniquely contentious two-party system. But Nevada does not even need to adopt a parliamentary system to achieve a similar outcome; it just needs to allow minor political parties to compete on the ballots. Note that we are not even asking for the minor parties to win (which would still be difficult enough on its own), but merely to be allowed to compete! Even the possibility of competition motivates both incumbent officeholders and major-party candidates to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents. Furthermore, minor parties can be fruitful repositories of ideas for major-party politicians to draw upon; the Transhumanist Party would be delighted to have any of its platform reflected in legislation advanced by major-party lawmakers. Ideas from minor parties tend to sufficiently depart from the prevailing major-party packages that they avoid triggering contentious and mutually intransigent debates about “wedge” issues and so may actually lead to solutions that most major-party policymakers are willing to entertain. Incumbents and major-party candidates can even derive much valuable campaign intelligence from election results involving minor political parties. A strong showing for a minor party indicates a set of issues that voters are interested in and that the incumbent or major-party candidate would do well to address while in office or on the campaign trail.

By shutting minor parties out of viable political participation, Senate Bill 292 would only accomplish the illusion of stability for leading figures of a major political party. In reality, one cannot have a stable or tranquil political experience in a general environment marred by ideological polarization and all of its attendant ills. Depriving people of legitimate alternatives will only alienate them further and feed into the undercurrents of frustration and perceived disenfranchisement that permeate American politics today. Minor political parties are a major safety valve of American politics and can act to effectively channel dissent and discontentment into constructive avenues of mutual improvement and enhanced justice.  In the Federalist No. 10, James Madison, at the onset of the American Republic, noted that the advantage of a large representative republic is precisely in “the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest”. The American Founders, who feared precisely the scenario of two dominant factions vying for power at the citizens’ and the Republic’s expense, saw the “greater variety of parties” as an important safeguard against such an outcome. The Transhumanist Party echoes the Founders’ wisdom and would urge the Legislature to consider reforms in the opposite direction from those proposed in SB292 – namely, the elimination of all ballot-access requirements and the ability of any candidate or political party to compete fairly for office on the same terms as any other. After all, if a minor-party candidate is unpersuasive to the voters and the major-party candidates remain more popular, what is there truly for a major party to fear from allowing participation for all? But in the absence of such truly progressive reforms, we urge that the Legislature at least refrain from taking steps that would further limit electoral competition. Please reject Senate Bill 292.

Sincerely,

Mr. Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF

Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

Chief Executive, Nevada Transhumanist Party

Micronationalism and Seasteading – Tools for a Better Future – Article by Jan-Olav Spiekermann

Micronationalism and Seasteading – Tools for a Better Future – Article by Jan-Olav Spiekermann

Jan-Olav “Joe” Spiekermann


The way any kind of government works, no matter if you live in a communist dictatorship, an absolute monarchy, or a so-called Western democracy, is through force.

Governments think that they do have the right to do with people whatever they want. Taking your money, your private property, your freedom, your dignity, or even your life – no problem, the government is allowed to do so.

Private persons are only allowed to violate the physical integrity, the private property, or even the lives of other persons in order to defend themselves against a current assault. And even then you have to pay attention to the proportionality of the defense measures.

If you look around the world like that, it looks like the current forms of political and social coexistence are not working well. Rather, it looks like our current forms of state coexistence are repeatedly leading to outbreaks of violence, crime, misery, and decline.

A key aspect of transhumanism is the wish to improve health and longevity. The goal is, in the end, to defeat death.

But the circumstances we live in are literally so sick and destructive, that they, on the contrary, create and spread suffer and death.

Nearly every second a person gets cancer, for example. So many people are unable to live without pills. Stress, pressure, political conflicts, and pollution definitely contribute to making many people ill and causing their premature deaths.

We have to look for better, more humane, and sustainable political and social forms of coexistence. Within the structures of the existing nations, this is pretty hard, as governments determine too many aspects of private life, and and too many people are trapped in their hamster wheels and neither willing nor able to question fundamental aspects of their lives.

Micronations are a way for pioneers to try out something new. Indeed, micronations connect people from many different cultures from all over the world.

Micronations can really change something in the minds and lives of those, who participate in them. But micronational projects nearly always have one fundamental weakness: Their scope of action is of course severely restricted by the government of the respective macro-nations on whose territory they are located. So little practical knowledge can be gathered about alternative forms of living together.

There are only three land parts of the earth that could be called “terra nullius”: Bir Tawil between Egypt and Sudan, Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica, and some pieces of land between Croatia and Serbia, that are unclaimed due to a border conflict, which is a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. These few territories are all claimed by micronations.

A solution to this lack of available land is to create micronations on seasteads within international waters.

Our planet Earth is also called the Blue Planet. Why? Because the majority of this planet is not land – it is water. And in international waters, especially outside of the exclusive economic zones, there is no macronational authority. If you create a seastead, e.g., a platform, an artificial island, or a floating house, you may do whatever you want. And if many people come together on seasteads, they can start new nations. These seastead-micronations would be de facto fully sovereign states.

The people of these ocean-based seasteads would be able to try out new concepts of good government. And there would a competition between the new governments as to who can provide the best form of society in order to attract new seasteaders. This competition would be greater than exists on land because, if a seastead-micronation consists of many separate, movable units that are owned by their residents, people could even move from one seastead-micronation to other seastead-micronations, if they do not agree with the way things work.

Another aspect of seasteading within international waters is that people could also find ways of self-governance without any kind of nation or government.

In any case, the practical experiences gained from the creation of seastead-micronations or other self-ruled forms of seasteading would help people all over the world to improve their way of running countries and to create a better, more humane, and sustainable future for all of us.

Opponents of the concept of small political entities often say that city-states simply do not work and are unable to survive. Well, just think about the city-states of ancient Greece. They influenced the world like very few other states did.

The scientific, cultural, political, artistic and philosophical achievements of ancient Greece are immortal. Even the great Roman Republic, which was at first a city-state, was largely influenced by ancient Greek culture. It is certainly possible that future seastead-micronations will have a similar impact.

Jan-Olav “Joe” Spiekermann is the U.S. Transhumanist Party Advisor on Seasteads and Micronations. Find out about Mr. Spiekermann here

U.S. Transhumanist Party Secretary Pavel Ilin Protests in New York City Against Vladimir Putin’s Regime

U.S. Transhumanist Party Secretary Pavel Ilin Protests in New York City Against Vladimir Putin’s Regime

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Pavel Ilin


In late January 2021 I joined a protest against political persecution at the Russian Consulate in New York City and at Times Square.

The reason I wrote what I wrote on my sign is that Vladimir Putin’s regime is very dangerous not only for the people of Russia (spoiler alert: it is dangerous for everyone who is within reach of the current Russian state). It’s dangerous for humanity. This regime is a source of a whole bouquet of existential risks.

  • Russia possesses a massive arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. This fact should concern us not only because Putin can give orders to use these weapons. This situation is dangerous because of the degradation of all social institutions in Russia, a tendency which increases the probability of accidents. 2020 was full of messages about ecological disasters in Russia. Sooner or later something will go wrong with nuclear technologies that have such poor oversight.
  • Putin uses every opportunity to escalate conflicts around the world – starting from the Second Chechnya War, which allowed Putin to become president in first place, then direct invasion of Georgia and Ukraine, and frequent sending of Wagner private militaries (“they are not there”) to Syria, Libya, Mozambique, and other conflict zones.
  • This regime uses every opportunity to create conflicts remotely. A troll factory in St. Petersburg is working day and night to create and support fake news around the globe. They create divisions among people to spread chaos. And while the world struggles against othering and is moving towards encouraging belonging, these trolls support conservative-nationalistic groups.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI) are becoming more and more powerful. Even despite the regime’s practice of pushing talented people to move outside of its borders, Russia has a very strong pool of specialists who have technical ability to develop sophisticated AI systems. And Putin’s regime is going to use such abilities to create a “Digital Gulag” (“sovereign Internet”) and lethal autonomous systems.
  • Last but not least, the regime distracts human potential and resources from solving important problems like aging, climate change, income inequality, existential risks, othering, and numerous other major issues. Instead the operatives of the Putin regime create a system of oppression, more police, more prisons, more private militaries, and more luxury palaces for Putin and his friends. (The approximate expense of Putin’s palace in the south of Russia is $1,327,500,000.)

Humanity needs a free, prosperous, and responsible Russia! Humanity needs a Russia which will be able to help solve world problems, not to add to them. That’s why Putin and his kleptocratic administration has to leave right now!

Pavel Ilin is the Secretary of the United States Transhumanist Party. 

2021 New Year’s Message by Victor Bjoerk

2021 New Year’s Message by Victor Bjoerk

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Victor Bjoerk


2021 has arrived, and it’s time for my yearly New Year’s message!

Since we all know how the world has been affected this year, there’s no point in mentioning the virus, but quite a few things happened for me.

At the beginning of this year and spring I was living in San Francisco and working on aging at BioAge. However, BioAge had to temporarily shut down because of COVID, but this wasn’t a big deal for me since I was able to transfer to Ichor Therapeutics in Syracuse, New York, which remained operational. So I got to work at two awesome leading biotech companies in the Longevity field, where I gained a lot of specific know-how which I am very grateful for!

I returned to Europe a few weeks ago, and shortly I’ll have some more exciting things to announce that I will be working on!

So yes, a lot of lemons were handed out this year worldwide, but I felt I did a decent job at making lemonade out of them. I’m a very positive person with a grand vision of wiping out all age-related disease within the next few decades, so that everybody can live as long as they want in a 25-year old body.

Some do not have that approach, they think “Longevity” means some slight health improvement by diet/exercise. Others study some aspect of aging because they want a PhD and some academic credentials (using aging as an excuse to refer to for that); however, this causes a generalized lack of a big-picture perspective for what’s going to work.

That is not me. I robustly and consistently keep up the interest until the mission is fully accomplished. In my personal roadmap I’ve developed for impacting aging, I emphasize the transdisciplinary scientific fields that are going to produce good outcomes (that may be hidden as, e.g.,“proteomics” rather than explicitly stated as “anti-aging”).

I also put an equal weight on the “business aspect” here, since your impact won’t be that big without the correct biotech business know-how, especially as AI and robotics wipe out the lab workers. Drug development and clinical trials are complex fields with 15-20 years from initial discovery to approved product. In addition, raising capital and advocacy to the public are as important as knowing the basic biology itself.

A lot of things in history have also been grotesquely mismanaged and squandered because of predictable human error, not because of the intrinsic difficulty of the science itself. There are a lot of golden nuggets laying around the labs in the world right now, and lots of resources and techniques are at our fingertips, but how will they be combined and implemented into an individual in order to cure them from aging? And how will this cocktail of interventions that forms the ultimate cure of aging be implemented across the world just like the efforts currently underway with the COVID vaccine?

A lot of setbacks are reversible and temporary, such as a lack of money and success or whatever people feel this year has caused them; aging is profoundly more serious.

During the year I read, as usual, many hundreds of scientific papers to keep up with the aging field, and also I have several publications I’ve produced, coming out now during 2021 (unfortunately peer-review takes time). I participated in many aging conferences, including one in Curacao, which meant a week of swimming in the tropics (how enjoyable!).

So yes, I felt I did many things well despite the challenges. Of course, things could always have been done better in retrospect, but that’s what one always says.

My New Year’s celebration this year isn’t very special because of all restrictions, but I wish you all a happy new year!

I have some typical New Year’s resolutions like getting fitter (but not motivating with all gyms and pools being closed, so some coaching is required), and of course continuing with the aging mission. So I’ll leave the question now to the reader: What have you done this year, and what good do you feel you can do for next year?

Victor Bjoerk has worked for the Gerontology Research Group, the Longevity Reporter, the Fraunhofer-Institut für Zelltherapie und Immunologie, BioAge, and Ichor Therapeutics. He has promoted awareness throughout Europe of emerging biomedical research and the efforts to reverse biological aging. In his honor the U.S. Transhumanist Party organized the Victor Run 2020 Virtual Race on June 5-7, 2020. 

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for 2021

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for 2021

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The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party (USTP), which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the USTP website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting, and/or bring our attention to emerging legislative and societal developments that may affect the course and impact of emerging technologies.

The USTP will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per year. This comment thread pertains to the year of 2021.

Type in your comments below. Please note that, to protect against spambots, the first comment by any individual will be moderated. After passing moderation, a civil commenter should be able to post comments without future moderation – although we cannot guarantee that the technical aspect of this functionality will work as intended 100% of the time.

Results of U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

Results of U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party (USTP) conducted its sixteenth vote of the members and the second vote on the non-platform provisions of its Constitution between December 23 and December 30, 2020. Official ballot options can be found here.

Detailed results of the voting have been tabulated here.

As a result, the following new or amended sections of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution were adopted within Articles I, III, VII, and VIII.

Nearly all of the proposed new provisions received a majority of support from the voting members. The members also determined that the Chairman would have the discretion to call an election for the office of Chairman at any time with two months of advance notice, without any member threshold needing to be reached to trigger that decision. Furthermore, regarding the name for activities that would disqualify a potential candidate pursuant to Article VII, Section I, Subsection (v), after 10 rounds of instant runoffs, the term “highly unacceptable” emerged as the one most favored by the members. The majority members did not believe that a previous criminal history of vandalism should automatically disqualify a potential candidate. Accordingly, any future candidates with a history of vandalism will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of the other eligibility criteria adopted by the USTP members. The remainder of the proposed candidate eligibility criteria were adopted by majority votes of the USTP members.

Note that only the newly added or amended provisions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutions are listed below.


Article I, Section II. Statements of Historical Fact

Historical Fact 9.  [Added on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020] Johannon Ben Zion ceased to be affiliated with the United States Transhumanist Party as of June 8, 2020. After that date, Arin Vahanian became the Vice-Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party.

Article III. Officers

Section I [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]: As of January 1, 2021, the following individuals shall hold roles as Officers in the United States Transhumanist Party.

  1. Chairman: Gennady Stolyarov II
  2. Vice-Chairman: Arin Vahanian
  3. Secretary: Pavel Ilin
  4. Vice-Secretary: Caeus H. Antony
  5. Director of Foreign Relations: B.J. Murphy
  6. Director of Scholarship: Dan Elton
  7. Director of Community Resilience: Alexandria Black
  8. Director of Marketing: Charlie Kam
  9. Director of Longevity Outreach: Daniel Yeluashvili
  10. Director of Applied Innovation: David Shumaker
  11. Director of Publication: Brent Logan Reitze
  12. Director of Sentient Rights Advocacy: Tom Ross
  13. Legislative Director: Justin Waters
  14. Director of Visual Art: (Art Ramon) Garcia, Jr.
  15. Director of Energy Issues: John J. Kerecz

The list of Officers above and the effective date of this list is subject to automatic updates without further member votes in the event of a change in the individual holding any Officer position, provided that such a change occurs in accordance with the processes outlined in the provisions of this Article III.

Section II [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]New Officer positions may be created, and vacancies in Officer positions may be filled in the event of a departure of any Officer. Any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant.  Any appointment of an Officer to a new or vacant position shall be effective upon a two-thirds affirmative vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days, and with the subsequent approval of the Chairman.

Section III [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]While any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant, the United States Transhumanist Party shall only appoint an individual to an Officer position if that individual has demonstrated at least one of the following qualifications:

(i) A United States Transhumanist Party Officer position attained on or before January 1, 2021; or

(ii) At least four consecutive years of active presence within the broader transhumanist movement, with each year of such active presence capable of being verified by means of clear evidence of the individual’s writings, videos, audio recordings, projects, scientific research, artistic work, meeting or conference attendance, or other objectively demonstrable contributions to the advancement of transhumanism; or

(iii) At least six months of reliable service to the United States Transhumanist Party in an intermediate role which does not carry Officer status but may involve responsibility in organizing projects, events, or outreach. Such intermediate roles may be created at the discretion of the United States Transhumanist Party Officers and are not subject to the requirement in Subsection (ii) above.

Section IV [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]For any new applicant to an Officer position, existing Officers will assemble and interview the applicant. The interview may take place prior to or subsequent to the confirmation vote for the applicant, depending on whether any existing Officer would consider the interview to provide additional information needed for the purposes of making a decision regarding the applicant.

In the process of the interview, the applicant and the existing Officers will develop an agreement that will encompass the necessary duties and suggested roles of the position, how to perform the duties and roles of that position, and any information relevant to that position. The agreement may be documented either in writing or by means of a recorded discussion at the interview.

Section V [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]Beginning in February 2021, Officers shall establish a public page of goals for the United States Transhumanist Party to accomplish within reasonable timeframes specified for each goal. As each goal is achieved, or as the timeframe for that goal elapses or is in need of revision, the Officers shall update the public page of goals to reflect such developments.

Section VII [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]: The Chairman shall be the chief Officer of the United States Transhumanist Party and shall preside at all meetings of the organization, or else appoint a substitute for any meeting where the Chairman is absent. The Chairman shall have the chief executive authority within the United States Transhumanist Party and shall be responsible for the principal decision-making and organizational activities of the United States Transhumanist Party, including the maintenance of the United States Transhumanist Party Platform, the periodic organization of elections and votes on provisions of the Platform, and the development of discussion and outreach events involving the general public. The Chairman shall have the authority to decide any matter affecting the course, conduct, and official positions of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Chairman shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to proclaim and determine the structure of any meeting, convention, assembly, or other forum for conducting the business of the United States Transhumanist Party at any time at the Chairman’s discretion. The Chairman may delegate any aspect of the Chairman’s responsibility to another Officer or Member of the United States Transhumanist Party at the Chairman’s discretion via a written delegation of authority. Such a written delegation of authority may be revocable at any time.

The Chairman shall appoint committees that are deemed necessary for the organization. Vacancies that occur for Vice-Chairman, Secretary, or Directors may be filled by appointment of the Chairman, preferably following a two-thirds vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days.

Section VIII [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]: The Vice-Chairman shall temporarily assume the duties of the Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s absence and the absence of a contrary delegation of authority from the Chairman. In the event of the resignation of the Chairman, the Chairman may designate a successor. In the absence of a designation of a successor by a departing Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and each of the Directors who desires the role of Chairman shall each select a random number, and then a random-number generator shall be utilized to select the next Chairman among the willing Officers, such that the Officer whose number is chosen shall become the Chairman.

Section XI [Amended on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]: By majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may place on probation an Officer who fails to fulfill the duties of his or her office as specified in the documents developed by the United States Transhumanist Party to describe such duties. The probation period shall last as long as the Officers deem appropriate by majority vote, and shall include a written contract with deadlines and criteria for the fulfillment of duties. In the event that the terms of the probation period and/or contract are violated, the subject Officer may be removed from office by a majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman. An Officer may also be removed from office if a majority vote, with the approval of the Chairman, determines that the subject Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive and would therefore not be able to abide by the terms of any probation period. If an Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive for a period of three consecutive months, then that Officer shall be deemed to have vacated his or her position, unless the Officer affirmatively indicates a desire to remain in that position via a written communication to the Chairman.

The Chairman may take measures at the Chairman’s sole discretion to restrict, contain, sanction, or discipline any Officer considered to be acting in an intentionally hostile manner toward the United States Transhumanist Party. Any Officer discovered to be engaged in criminal activity, planning an internal coup, or spreading false allegations about other Officers to third parties or to the public, may, at the sole discretion of the Chairman, be immediately restricted from any or some portion of that Officer’s role within the United States Transhumanist Party upon discovery of such actions. A restriction is not an expulsion and is subject to subsequent evaluation by the remaining Officers. Upon subsequent evaluation, such restricted Officer may be removed from his or her Officer role and/or expelled from the United States Transhumanist Party by means of a majority vote of the other Officers, if those other Officers determine it proper to do so.

Section XII [Added on January 1, 2021, pursuant to a vote of the members on December 23-30, 2020]: The Chairman may, at the Chairman’s discretion, call for an election to the position of Chairman with at least two months of advance notice. To be eligible to run in such an election, any candidate for the position of Chairman requires the approval of two-thirds of existing United States Transhumanist Party Officers who occupy their positions at the time the election is first announced.

Article VII. Candidates

Section I [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 23-30, 2020]: In order to be eligible to become endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party as a candidate for any local, state, or federal political office, an individual must satisfy the following criteria.

(i) The individual satisfies the minimum qualifications pursuant to applicable law for holding the office for which the individual seeks to run.

(ii) The individual has never committed any violent crime. A violent crime includes physical injury or destruction inflicted upon any person. A violent crime also includes physical damage or destruction inflicted upon property. As used in this subsection, the term “violent crime” includes but is not necessarily limited to the following: murder, manslaughter, rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, robbery, assault, battery, looting, arson, and rioting.

(iii) The individual has never committed any financial crime which had any victim, including but not limited to fraud, embezzlement, theft, cybercrime, or financing of violent or criminal groups.

(iv) The individual has never engaged in documented acts of cyberbullying, cyber-harassment, or intentional spreading of false accusations against another individual online.

(v) The individual has never engaged in acts understood to be of a highly unacceptable nature within every contemporary agricultural, industrial, or post-industrial society. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall maintain an internal list identifying such highly unacceptable practices, engaging in which or advocating which would be considered an automatic disqualification for holding any office within or receiving any endorsement from the United States Transhumanist Party.

(vi) The individual has never engaged in acts which are understood by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party to have been undertaken by that individual primarily for the purposes of generating shock value or for transgression for the sake of transgression.

(vii) The individual must agree to participate in any process designated by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party for the determination of whether or not that individual may be endorsed as a candidate and to respect the outcome of that process, no matter whether or not that individual is ultimately endorsed as a candidate.

(viii) The individual must agree to work collaboratively with the United States Transhumanist Party during the campaign season and not to disparage the United States Transhumanist Party as well as not to work contrary to the interests and goals of the United States Transhumanist Party during that time.

(ix) The individual must never have disparaged the United States Transhumanist Party or any of its current Officers in good standing within any written publication or public video or audio recording. This criterion does not, however, preclude constructive criticism, and a reasonable-person test shall be used to differentiate constructive criticism from disparagement.

(x) The individual must commit to running for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual seeks to be a candidate.

(xi) The individual must have never reneged on a prior commitment to run for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual sought to be a candidate.

(xii) The individual must never have falsely alleged any electoral malfeasance on the part of the United States Transhumanist Party.

(xiii) The individual must never have undertaken or threatened to undertake any legal action or make any formal complaint to an external entity against the United States Transhumanist Party or any Officer thereof in good standing.

(xiv) The individual must express agreement with the Core Ideals of the United States Transhumanist Party as described in Article I, Section I, of this Constitution.

(xv) The policy positions of the individual should have significant areas of alignment with the United States Transhumanist Party Platform as described in Article VI of this Constitution.

(xvi) The individual must agree, in that individual’s public statements, to either (a) specifically and openly express support for transhumanism and/or life extension; or (b) specifically and openly reference the endorsement of that individual by the United States Transhumanist Party.

Section II [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 23-30, 2020]: Prior to convening a vote of the members regarding whether or not the United States Transhumanist Party should endorse a candidate for any office, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall interview the candidate in order to determine the candidate’s compliance and likelihood of continued compliance with the criteria in Section I of Article VII and the desirability of enabling that candidate to seek the approval of the members of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may utilize any additional criteria, including the Officers’ individual assessments of the candidate’s character, personality, and reliability, in order to determine whether or not to render the candidate eligible to appear on a ballot for consideration by the members.

Article VIII. Additional Initiatives

Section I [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 23-30, 2020]: The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may, at their discretion, form a non-political affiliate organization or organizations which would maintain the same leadership structure and Officers as the United States Transhumanist Party but which would not be a political party or parties and would not be involved in any campaigns for elected office. All members of the United States Transhumanist Party would become members of the non-political affiliate organization or organizations unless they individually opt out of such membership. However, additional members may in the future join the non-political affiliate organization or organizations without choosing to join the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party will otherwise have complete discretion to determine the name, activities, and focus of the non-political affiliate organization or organizations.

The Curative Education and Research Initiative (CERI) – Proposal by R. Nicholas Starr

The Curative Education and Research Initiative (CERI) – Proposal by R. Nicholas Starr

R. Nicholas Starr


Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party (USTP) has published this view by our member R. Nicholas Starr in order to invite discussion on the issues he raises, although the USTP Platform does not endorse his proposal to tax religious institutions at this time. Indeed, the USTP Platform, in Section XXXVI, states that “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.” An income tax on religious institutions, which primarily derive their income from donations, would be a tax on donations that the USTP Platform does not support. Moreover, it would create the need for a new tax-reporting infrastructure, and the USTP Platform tends toward the opposite approach of leveraging the reporting capabilities that already exist to create a seamless tax system that is barely noticed by ordinary people as they go about their daily lives. Furthermore, in Sections XX and XXV of its Platform, the USTP indicates support for religious tolerance and openness to religious individuals who may be receptive to technological progress and therefore may be valued allies and participants in the transhumanist movement. While we agree with Mr. Starr that additional science education and improved scientific literacy among the population would be highly beneficial, we would invite discussion of other ways in which it might be achieved. Also, we would invite any religious transhumanists to respond to Mr. Starr’s article with their own perspectives. 

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, December 27, 2020


The Curative Education and Research Initiative (CERI)

Religion is the father of all existential risk. To reverse its damage, I propose a 2.5% federal income tax on religious institutions to fund public school education and scientific research. Support for this can be found throughout the USTP Platform, but specifically Sections II, VII, XII, and XXXII.

America needs more science! Not just “traditional” sciences like biology or chemistry, but social sciences and their companion the arts as well. And while the USTP has identified many areas that are lacking scientific attention or funding, we should also address scientific illiteracy, and even resentment, in the United States. New research means very little if the average American does not understand the research, results, or how it benefits them and the rest of humanity.

The US also needs to improve research and public education of social sciences. Anthropology and sociology are relegated to fringe college courses when it should help form the core of American education system. Cultural ignorance and hatred restrict the free exchange of ideas and thus future research needs. And when elementary schools glorify figures like Christopher Columbus and marginalize the indigenous people he and those who came after him oppressed, how can we expect society to move forward?

All Americans need to come together to plan for and fight against any number of issues and existential threats that science is currently researching or that may arise in the future. Racism and societal intolerance not only affect the free exchange of ideas, but also stifle research of problems in specific communities that many Americans deem “undesirable” and not worthy of study (drugs, sex work).

The biggest existential threat to humanity isn’t climate change, racism, or nuclear war. The greatest threat is the mindset that begat them. When “God” gave dominion over the planet to man, the church set climate change in motion. When holy texts tell their faction they are superior to the others, this creates habits of oppression and subjugation. In short, humanity is still paying for the fiction turned perceived fact created millennia ago. The time for it to end is now.

Science is the silver bullet to ignorance and superstition. A well-educated public gets us there.

To fund this initiative I propose a 2.5% tax on religious institutions to fund public-school education and scientific research. Payment of this tax does not grant any new access from churches into schools (school prayer, previously excluded religious clubs, proselytizing, recruitment, etc.), input or direction of scientific research being funded by these taxes, or any previously prohibited religious involvement in government. The purpose of this tax is to fund programs that benefit all people living in the United States, as decided by the scientific data, and advance social and scientific understanding in the classroom and in every day life.

Why tax religious institutions?

  • Religion in America is a 1.2-trillion-dollar untaxed industry. A 2.5% tax would add $30 billion annually in federal tax revenue. Note: enforcing property taxes on all religious institutions would provide approximately $500 billion.
  • Tax breaks for religious institutions is a form of government subsidy. This forces all tax-paying Americans to support the church regardless of their religious beliefs.
  • Religious organizations have a long history of prohibiting or stifling scientific research, something that continues to this day (e.g., with stem cells).
  • Religious organizations claim to financially support charity work, but there is no mandate to do so or requirement for how much is spent on charitable efforts. Additionally, what each organization considers charity may be detrimental to marginalized communities (LGBTQ conversion camps) and humanity internationally (missionary work overseas, historical support of slavery).
  • Religious institutions have been, and continue to be, safe havens for misogyny, racism, intolerance, and violence. They owe a debt to society for the harm caused.

What should be funded with this money

  • Public education (current federal education budget is $64 billion)
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Arts
  • Federal entities for science and the arts
    • National Science Foundation (NSF – current budget of $8.3 billion)
    • National Institutions of Health (NIH – current budget of $39 billion)
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA – current budget of $22.6 billion)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – current budget of $5.35 billion)
    • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA – current budget of $162 million)

As the primary objective of this proposal is to improve public education, it should be required that the largest sum of money should be put into public schools. However due to ever-changing financial needs, how this money is split shall be redetermined every two years by the legislative body. These numbers are based on the federal budget, but should this proposal be modified and adopted for state use, funding shall be sent to public education and scientific organizations that provide similar services as those noted above to the state.

This is controversial proposal. But it is also a modest tithe that can do a lot of good to change the country, and the world, for the better. Our country has gone above and beyond when it comes to supporting religious institutions and their members while asking for nothing but promises in return. It is time for these organizations to support the whole public.

Ryan Starr (R. Nicholas Starr) is a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and the founder of the Transhumanist Party of Colorado

Official Ballot Options for U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

Official Ballot Options for U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the second set of proposed reforms to the Constitution of the U.S. Transhumanist Party will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 23, 2020, to 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 30, 2020. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party (USTP) who have applied before 12:01 a.m. on December 23, 2020, will be eligible to vote, as long as they have expressed agreement with the three Core Ideals of the USTP 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 sections 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 late December 2020 / early January 2021, with the intent to announce the results approximately 2-3 days after all votes have been submitted.

NOTE: The numbering of the potential Sections in the ultimately adopted provisions within the Constitution of the U.S. Transhumanist Party may change depending on which proposals are or are not adopted.

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. 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. Article I, Section II. Statements of Historical Fact – Proposed Addition
Question II. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section I
Question III. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section II
Question IV. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section III
Question V. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section IV
Question VI. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section V
Question VII. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section VII
Question VIII. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section VIII
Question IX. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section XI
Question X. Addition of New Section XII to Article III (Officers)
Question XI. Numerical Threshold of Members for the Chairman to be Able to Call an Election for the Position of Chairman
Question XII. New Article VII (Candidates), Section I – Criteria for Office
Question XIII. New Article VII (Candidates), Section I – Name for Unacceptable Behaviors Prohibited in Subsection (v)
Question XIV. New Article VII (Candidates), Section II – Candidate Interview Process
Question XV. New Article VIII (Additional Initiatives), Section I

 

Proposed Sections of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution

Question I. Article I, Section II. Statements of Historical Fact – Proposed Addition

Shall the following item be added to the immutable portion of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution in Article I, Section II?

Historical Fact 9. Johannon Ben Zion ceased to be affiliated with the United States Transhumanist Party as of June 8, 2020. After that date, Arin Vahanian became the Vice-Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party.

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question II. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section I

Shall Article III, Section I, be amended to read as follows?

Section I: As of January 1, 2021, the following individuals shall hold roles as Officers in the United States Transhumanist Party.

  1. Chairman: Gennady Stolyarov II
  2. Vice-Chairman: Arin Vahanian
  3. Secretary: Pavel Ilin
  4. Vice-Secretary: Caeus H. Antony
  5. Director of Foreign Relations: B.J. Murphy
  6. Director of Scholarship: Dan Elton
  7. Director of Community Resilience: Alexandria Black
  8. Director of Marketing: Charlie Kam
  9. Director of Longevity Outreach: Daniel Yeluashvili
  10. Director of Applied Innovation: David Shumaker
  11. Director of Publication: Brent Logan Reitze
  12. Director of Sentient Rights Advocacy: Tom Ross
  13. Legislative Director: Justin Waters
  14. Director of Visual Art: (Art Ramon) Garcia, Jr.

The list of Officers above and the effective date of this list is subject to automatic updates without further member votes in the event of a change in the individual holding any Officer position, provided that such a change occurs in accordance with the processes outlined in the provisions of this Article III.

Rank-order the Question II Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc.

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

 Yes. (Proposed wording updates the list of Officers to eliminate obsolete information, establishes an effective date of January 1, 2021, removes triennial Officer elections, and allows for future automatic updates without further member votes in the event of a change in the individual holding any Officer position, provided that such a change occurs in accordance with the processes outlined in the provisions of this Article III.)

☐ No – keep the current wording, except update the list of Officers to the current list above and update the date from February 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021.

 No to all changes. (Current wording includes an effective date of February 1, 2020, triennial Officer elections, and an obsolete list of Officers prior to the reorganization of June 11, 2020.)

Question III. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section II

Shall Article III, Section II, be amended to read as follows?

Section II: New Officer positions may be created, and vacancies in Officer positions may be filled in the event of a departure of any Officer. Any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant.  Any appointment of an Officer to a new or vacant position shall be effective upon a two-thirds affirmative vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days, and with the subsequent approval of the Chairman.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section II: During the interim period between triennial Officer elections, new Officer positions may be created, and vacancies in Officer positions may be filled in the event of an interim departure of any Officer. Any appointment of an Officer to a new or vacant position during the aforementioned interim period shall be effective upon a majority vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days, and with the subsequent approval of the Chairman.

 Abstain.

Question IV. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section III

Shall Article III, Section III, be amended to read as follows?

Section III: While any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant, the United States Transhumanist Party shall only appoint an individual to an Officer position if that individual has demonstrated at least one of the following qualifications:

(i) A United States Transhumanist Party Officer position attained on or before January 1, 2021; or

(ii) At least four consecutive years of active presence within the broader transhumanist movement, with each year of such active presence capable of being verified by means of clear evidence of the individual’s writings, videos, audio recordings, projects, scientific research, artistic work, meeting or conference attendance, or other objectively demonstrable contributions to the advancement of transhumanism; or

(iii) At least six months of reliable service to the United States Transhumanist Party in an intermediate role which does not carry Officer status but may involve responsibility in organizing projects, events, or outreach. Such intermediate roles may be created at the discretion of the United States Transhumanist Party Officers and are not subject to the requirement in Subsection (ii) above.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section III: Any current member of the United States Transhumanist Party is eligible either to run for office during a triennial Officer election – with the first such election to pertain to the set of Officers which shall begin their service on February 1, 2023 – or to apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant during the interim period between triennial Officer elections.

 Abstain.

Question V. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section IV

Shall Article III, Section IV, be amended to read as follows?

Section IV: For any new applicant to an Officer position, existing Officers will assemble and interview the applicant. The interview may take place prior to or subsequent to the confirmation vote for the applicant, depending on whether any existing Officer would consider the interview to provide additional information needed for the purposes of making a decision regarding the applicant.

In the process of the interview, the applicant and the existing Officers will develop an agreement that will encompass the necessary duties and suggested roles of the position, how to perform the duties and roles of that position, and any information relevant to that position. The agreement may be documented either in writing or by means of a recorded discussion at the interview.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section IV: For each Officer position, Officers will assemble and develop an agreement that will encompass the duties of the position, how to perform the duties of that position, and any information relevant to that position.

 Abstain.

Question VI. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section V

Shall Article III, Section V, be amended to read as follows?

Section V: Beginning in February 2021, Officers shall establish a public page of goals for the United States Transhumanist Party to accomplish within reasonable timeframes specified for each goal. As each goal is achieved, or as the timeframe for that goal elapses or is in need of revision, the Officers shall update the public page of goals to reflect such developments.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section V: In February of each year, Officers shall set goals for implementation during the remainder of that year. In January of the subsequent year, Officers shall create an annual report that discusses the accomplishment of the objectives and goals established during the preceding year.

 Abstain.

Question VII. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section VII

Shall Article III, Section VII, be amended to read as follows?

Section VII: The Chairman shall be the chief Officer of the United States Transhumanist Party and shall preside at all meetings of the organization, or else appoint a substitute for any meeting where the Chairman is absent. The Chairman shall have the chief executive authority within the United States Transhumanist Party and shall be responsible for the principal decision-making and organizational activities of the United States Transhumanist Party, including the maintenance of the United States Transhumanist Party Platform, the periodic organization of elections and votes on provisions of the Platform, and the development of discussion and outreach events involving the general public. The Chairman shall have the authority to decide any matter affecting the course, conduct, and official positions of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Chairman shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to proclaim and determine the structure of any meeting, convention, assembly, or other forum for conducting the business of the United States Transhumanist Party at any time at the Chairman’s discretion. The Chairman may delegate any aspect of the Chairman’s responsibility to another Officer or Member of the United States Transhumanist Party at the Chairman’s discretion via a written delegation of authority. Such a written delegation of authority may be revocable at any time.

The Chairman shall appoint committees that are deemed necessary for the organization. Vacancies that occur for Vice-Chairman, Secretary, or Directors may be filled by appointment of the Chairman, preferably following a two-thirds vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days.

Select one option below.

 Yes. (Most of the text would remain the same as previously; the major impact is to increase the threshold for approving a new Officer appointment to two-thirds of the currently active Officers from the current majority.)

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section VII: The Chairman shall be the chief Officer of the United States Transhumanist Party and shall preside at all meetings of the organization, or else appoint a substitute for any meeting where the Chairman is absent. The Chairman shall have the chief executive authority within the United States Transhumanist Party and shall be responsible for the principal decision-making and organizational activities of the United States Transhumanist Party, including the maintenance of the United States Transhumanist Party Platform, the periodic organization of elections and votes on provisions of the Platform, and the development of discussion and outreach events involving the general public. The Chairman shall have the authority to decide any matter affecting the course, conduct, and official positions of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Chairman shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to proclaim and determine the structure of any meeting, convention, assembly, or other forum for conducting the business of the United States Transhumanist Party at any time at the Chairman’s discretion. The Chairman may delegate any aspect of the Chairman’s responsibility to another Officer or Member of the United States Transhumanist Party at the Chairman’s discretion via a written delegation of authority. Such a written delegation of authority may be revocable at any time.

The Chairman shall appoint committees that are deemed necessary for the organization. Vacancies that occur for Vice-Chairman, Secretary, or Directors may be filled by appointment of the Chairman, preferably following a majority vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days.

 Abstain.

Question VIII. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section VIII

Shall Article III, Section VII, be amended to read as follows?

Section VIII: The Vice-Chairman shall temporarily assume the duties of the Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s absence and the absence of a contrary delegation of authority from the Chairman. In the event of the resignation of the Chairman, the Chairman may designate a successor. In the absence of a designation of a successor by a departing Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and each of the Directors who desires the role of Chairman shall each select a random number, and then a random-number generator shall be utilized to select the next Chairman among the willing Officers, such that the Officer whose number is chosen shall become the Chairman.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section VIII: The Vice-Chairman shall temporarily assume the duties of the Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s absence and the absence of a contrary delegation of authority from the Chairman. In the event of the resignation of the Chairman during the interim between triennial Officer elections, the Vice-Chairman shall assume the title of Chairman.

 Abstain.

Question IX. Amendment of Article III (Officers), Section XI

Shall Article III, Section XI, be amended to read as follows?

Section XI: By majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may place on probation an Officer who fails to fulfill the duties of his or her office as specified in the documents developed by the United States Transhumanist Party to describe such duties. The probation period shall last as long as the Officers deem appropriate by majority vote, and shall include a written contract with deadlines and criteria for the fulfillment of duties. In the event that the terms of the probation period and/or contract are violated, the subject Officer may be removed from office by a majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman. An Officer may also be removed from office if a majority vote, with the approval of the Chairman, determines that the subject Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive and would therefore not be able to abide by the terms of any probation period. If an Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive for a period of three consecutive months, then that Officer shall be deemed to have vacated his or her position, unless the Officer affirmatively indicates a desire to remain in that position via a written communication to the Chairman.

The Chairman may take measures at the Chairman’s sole discretion to restrict, contain, sanction, or discipline any Officer considered to be acting in an intentionally hostile manner toward the United States Transhumanist Party. Any Officer discovered to be engaged in criminal activity, planning an internal coup, or spreading false allegations about other Officers to third parties or to the public, may, at the sole discretion of the Chairman, be immediately restricted from any or some portion of that Officer’s role within the United States Transhumanist Party upon discovery of such actions. A restriction is not an expulsion and is subject to subsequent evaluation by the remaining Officers. Upon subsequent evaluation, such restricted Officer may be removed from his or her Officer role and/or expelled from the United States Transhumanist Party by means of a majority vote of the other Officers, if those other Officers determine it proper to do so.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No – keep the current wording.

Current Wording of Section XI: By majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may place on probation an Officer who fails to fulfill the duties of his or her office as specified in the documents developed by the United States Transhumanist Party to describe such duties. The probation period shall last as long as the Officers deem appropriate by majority vote, and shall include a written contract with deadlines and criteria for the fulfillment of duties. In the event that the terms of the probation period and/or contract are violated, the subject Officer may be removed from office by a majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman. An Officer may also be removed from office if a majority vote, with the approval of the Chairman, determines that the subject Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive and would therefore not be able to abide by the terms of any probation period.

 Abstain.

Question X. Addition of New Section XII to Article III (Officers)

Shall a new Section XII be added to Article III to read as follows?

Section XII: During the first full calendar year in which the United States Transhumanist Party attains [Number to be decided upon in the next question] members, the Chairman may, at the Chairman’s discretion, call for an election to the position of Chairman with at least two months of advance notice. To be eligible to run in such an election, any candidate for the position of Chairman requires the approval of two-thirds of existing United States Transhumanist Party Officers who occupy their positions at the time the election is first announced.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XI. Numerical Threshold of Members for the Chairman to be Able to Call an Election for the Position of Chairman

If Article III, Section XII, is adopted in Question X above, what is the number of members that the United States Transhumanist Party should be required to attain before the Chairman may call an election for the position of Chairman, at the Chairman’s discretion?

Rank-order the 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 member threshold” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so.

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

☐ Option XI-1. 10,000 members

☐ Option XI-2. 50,000 members

☐ Option XI-3. 100,000 members

☐ Option XI-4. 500,000 members

☐ Option XI-5. 1,000,000 members

Option XI-NO. No member threshold; allow the Chairman to call an election at any time with two months of advance notice; accordingly, begin Section XII with “The Chairman may [remainder of wording as proposed]”.

Question XII. New Article VII (Candidates), Section I – Criteria for Office

The U.S. Transhumanist Party is considering requiring candidates which it endorses for political office to satisfy certain stated criteria. If any of the criteria listed below are adopted, then a new Article VII, Section I, would be added to the Constitution of the United States Transhumanist Party, containing the following preface

Section I: In order to be eligible to become endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party as a candidate for any local, state, or federal political office, an individual must satisfy the following criteria.

After the preface, a list of the criteria adopted by the members would follow.

Select all the options you support. (You can select multiple options for this question.)  Any option receiving the majority of votes cast will be included in the ultimately adopted wording. If you do not favor any of the options below, then you may leave this question blank.

☐ Requirement (i) The individual satisfies the minimum qualifications pursuant to applicable law for holding the office for which the individual seeks to run.

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 1: The individual has never committed any violent crime.

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 2 – Clarification of Prohibited Violent Crime: A violent crime includes physical injury or destruction inflicted upon any person.

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 3 – Clarification of Prohibited Violent Crime: A violent crime includes physical damage or destruction inflicted upon property.

As used in this subsection, the term “violent crime” includes but is not necessarily limited to the following:

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 4 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Murder

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 5 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Manslaughter

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 6 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Rape

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 7 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Human trafficking

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 8 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Domestic violence

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 9 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Robbery

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 10 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Assault

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 11 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Battery

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 12 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Looting

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 13 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Arson

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 14 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Rioting

☐ Prohibition (ii) – Part 15 – Type of Prohibited Violent Crime: Vandalism

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 1: The individual has never committed any financial crime which had any victim.

As used in this subsection, the term “financial crime” includes but is not necessarily limited to the following:

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 2: Type of Prohibited Financial Crime: Fraud

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 3: Type of Prohibited Financial Crime: Embezzlement

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 4: Type of Prohibited Financial Crime: Theft

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 5: Type of Prohibited Financial Crime: Cybercrime

☐ Prohibition (iii) – Part 6: Type of Prohibited Financial Crime: Financing of violent or criminal groups

☐ Prohibition (iv) The individual has never engaged in documented acts of cyberbullying, cyber-harassment, or intentional spreading of false accusations against another individual online.

☐ Prohibition (v) The individual has never engaged in acts understood to be [wording to be decided upon in Question XIII below] within every contemporary agricultural, industrial, or post-industrial society. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall maintain an internal list identifying such [wording to be decided upon in Question XIII below] practices, engaging in which or advocating which would be considered an automatic disqualification for holding any office within or receiving any endorsement from the United States Transhumanist Party.

☐ Prohibition (vi) The individual has never engaged in acts which are understood by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party to have been undertaken by that individual primarily for the purposes of generating shock value or for transgression for the sake of transgression.

☐ Requirement (vii) The individual must agree to participate in any process designated by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party for the determination of whether or not that individual may be endorsed as a candidate and to respect the outcome of that process, no matter whether or not that individual is ultimately endorsed as a candidate.

☐ Requirement (viii) The individual must agree to work collaboratively with the United States Transhumanist Party during the campaign season and not to disparage the United States Transhumanist Party as well as not to work contrary to the interests and goals of the United States Transhumanist Party during that time.

☐ Prohibition (ix) The individual must never have disparaged the United States Transhumanist Party or any of its current Officers in good standing within any written publication or public video or audio recording. This criterion does not, however, preclude constructive criticism, and a reasonable-person test shall be used to differentiate constructive criticism from disparagement.

☐ Requirement (x) The individual must commit to running for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual seeks to be a candidate.

☐ Prohibition (xi) The individual must have never reneged on a prior commitment to run for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual sought to be a candidate.

☐ Prohibition (xii) The individual must never have falsely alleged any electoral malfeasance on the part of the United States Transhumanist Party.

☐ Prohibition (xiii) The individual must never have undertaken or threatened to undertake any legal action nor made or threatened to make any formal complaint to a governmental entity against the United States Transhumanist Party or any Officer thereof in good standing.

☐ Requirement (xiv) The individual must express agreement with the Core Ideals of the United States Transhumanist Party as described in Article I, Section I, of this Constitution.

☐ Requirement (xv) The policy positions of the individual should have significant areas of alignment with the United States Transhumanist Party Platform as described in Article VI of this Constitution.

☐ Requirement (xvi) The individual must agree, in that individual’s public statements, to either (a) specifically and openly express support for transhumanism and/or life extension; or (b) specifically and openly reference the endorsement of that individual by the United States Transhumanist Party.

Question XIII. New Article VII (Candidates), Section I – Name for Unacceptable Behaviors Prohibited in Subsection (v)

If subsection (v) of Article VII, Section I, identifying certain activities prohibited for a person seeking to be endorsed as a candidate by the United States Transhumanist Party, is enacted, what shall be the term used to refer to such prohibited activities?

Rank-order the Question XIII 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 “None of the above” 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 the “None of the Above” option wins and Subsection (v) passes in Question XII above, the U.S. Transhumanist Party Officers will select a different term after further consultation with the members.

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

☐ Option XIII-1. In extremely poor taste

☐ Option XIII-2. Taboo

☐ Option XIII-3. Repugnant

☐ Option XIII-4. Repulsive

☐ Option XIII-5. Immoral

☐ Option XIII-6. Abhorrent

☐ Option XIII-7. Anti-Human

☐ Option XIII-8. Deeply reprehensible

☐ Option XIII-9. Of special undesirable status

☐ Option XIII-10. Highly unacceptable

☐ Option XIII-NO. None of the above

Question XIV. New Article VII (Candidates), Section II – Candidate Interview Process

Shall a new Section II be added to Article VII, to read as follows?

Section II: Prior to convening a vote of the members regarding whether or not the United States Transhumanist Party should endorse a candidate for any office, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall interview the candidate in order to determine the candidate’s compliance and likelihood of continued compliance with the criteria in Section I of Article VII and the desirability of enabling that candidate to seek the approval of the members of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may utilize any additional criteria, including the Officers’ individual assessments of the candidate’s character, personality, and reliability, in order to determine whether or not to render the candidate eligible to appear on a ballot for consideration by the members.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XV. New Article VIII (Additional Initiatives), Section I

Shall a new Article VIII, Section I, be created to read as follows?

Section I: The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may, at their discretion, form a non-political affiliate organization or organizations which would maintain the same leadership structure and Officers as the United States Transhumanist Party but which would not be a political party or parties and would not be involved in any campaigns for elected office. All members of the United States Transhumanist Party would become members of the non-political affiliate organization or organizations unless they individually opt out of such membership. However, additional members may in the future join the non-political affiliate organization or organizations without choosing to join the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party will otherwise have complete discretion to determine the name, activities, and focus of the non-political affiliate organization or organizations.

Select one option below.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Reject the Deadly Precautionary Principle: Approve All COVID-19 Vaccines Immediately! – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

Reject the Deadly Precautionary Principle: Approve All COVID-19 Vaccines Immediately! – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

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Gennady Stolyarov II


It should be a mild relief that vaccination efforts against COVID-19 are finally beginning in the United States, but they are beginning eleven months too late, while the pandemic surrounds us and most of us must wait months longer to receive vaccinations. Over 300,000 Americans have already died needlessly and preventably from COVID-19; hundreds of thousands more are likely to die in the coming months, even though the exact same vaccine from Moderna that is even today still undergoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review already existed in its current form by January 13, 2020. As David Wallace-Wells writes in New York Magzine, in an article entitled “We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time” (dated December 7, 2020):

You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate on November 16, had been designed by January 13. This was just two days after the genetic sequence had been made public in an act of scientific and humanitarian generosity that resulted in China’s Yong-Zhen Zhang’s being temporarily forced out of his lab. In Massachusetts, the Moderna vaccine design took all of one weekend. It was completed before China had even acknowledged that the disease could be transmitted from human to human, more than a week before the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. By the time the first American death was announced a month later, the vaccine had already been manufactured and shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the beginning of its Phase I clinical trial. This is — as the country and the world are rightly celebrating — the fastest timeline of development in the history of vaccines. It also means that for the entire span of the pandemic in this country, which has already killed more than 250,000 Americans, we had the tools we needed to prevent it.

As has been demonstrated time and again during this pandemic, scientists and doctors have been the true heroes in their rapid and immensely creative responses, whereas institutions and their processes have failed massively, and our egregiously broken society and culture have precipitated abysmal mass-scale reactions and behaviors as well. But the major reason why now almost 300,000 Americans died who did not need to die at all, is the Precautionary Principle – a cornerstone of contemporary “bioethics” which is, in fact, deeply unethical. The Precautionary Principle is the fundamental reason why new medical treatments, including vaccines, are required in the United States to undergo extensive safety and efficacy testing before they are allowed to be provided to patients, even willing patients who may knowingly accept the risks of experimental medicines. Essentially, unless safety and efficacy can be rigorously demonstrated first, along with a sufficient lack of adverse consequences, adherents of the Precautionary Principle believe that no action should be taken to implement an innovation. Those who espouse the Precautionary Principle completely ignore, of course, the costs and risks of inaction – which, in the case of a global pandemic, can be measured in more than 1.62 million lives worldwide, but which have also resulted in far greater numbers of deaths from more “routine” otherwise terminal illnesses, whose victims might have been saved by new treatments whose approval the FDA delayed, sometimes for a decade or more while billions of dollars were spent on hyper-expensive efficacy testing.

While laudable efforts were made in the United States to greatly accelerate the review timeframe for COVID-19 vaccines – hence the now well-known “Operation Warp Speed” – those efforts did not come in time for the hundreds of thousands who died and the hundreds of millions who now live in fear of death every day as the pandemic’s spread has become all-encompassing. Cutting the approval timeline from the typical unconscionable 4-5 years to 9 months is an improvement, but not nearly enough. Much more should have been done right away. Approval for the vaccines should have been granted as soon as they were developed, and instead of putting review roadblocks in the way, governments should have actively aided in vaccine production and distribution of all serious candidate vaccines from day one.

While New York Magazine’s David Wallace-Wells made the seemingly obligatory (during this tragically precautionary era) disclaimer that “To be clear, I don’t want to suggest that Moderna should have been allowed to roll out its vaccine in February or even in May, when interim results from its Phase I trial demonstrated its basic safety” (and Wallace-Wells still faced considerable vitriol for the quite modest observations he sought to make) – I do want to suggest exactly that. Indeed, I would go further and insist that it was a moral imperative to approve and facilitate the mass production and distribution of vaccines such as Moderna’s mRNA-1273 to willing members of the general population as soon as those vaccines were available.

Transhumanists reject the Precautionary Principle and instead follow the Proactionary Principle, which, per the description of Max More (Extropy Institute, 2004), “urges all parties to actively take into account all the consequences of an activity – good as well as bad – while apportioning precautionary measures to the real threats we face, in the context of an appreciation of the crucial role played by technological innovation and humanity’s evolving ability to adapt to and remedy any undesirable side-effects.” The Proactionary Principle does not ignore the potential for adverse consequences of an activity, but recognizes that there are situations when the benefits can greatly outweigh any potential adverse effects.

Imagine how, in an alternate history, a Transhumanist administration would have dealt with the COVID-19 crisis. Suppose, for instance, that Zoltan Istvan had been elected President in 2016 and thus was the President who faced the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Or suppose that Charlie Kam, the U.S. Transhumanist Party (USTP) Presidential nominee in 2020, had held the country’s highest executive office. The U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform contains 21 sections specifically addressing COVID-19 responses – proposals that were adopted by USTP members in late March 2020, and would have saved most of the lives of the COVID-19 victims had they been expeditiously implemented by governments. These proposals, indeed, are applications of the Proactionary Principle to the COVID-19 pandemic. Section CIII of the USTP Platform specifically states that “The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rapid research into effective cures and vaccines for COVID-19 and the harnessing of synergies from this research to also develop a cure for the common cold and more effective vaccination against influenza. Such research should proceed with no barriers, subject to the researchers’ expression of ethical intentions, and any regulations or processes that would delay the progress of such research should be immediately waived or repealed. In the effort to accelerate progress in this field, the United States Transhumanist Party advocates for an immediate $100 billion funding package for the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine, with all volunteers being accepted into human trials as soon as practicable.”

This is exactly what would have been done by a Transhumanist administration with the Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and any other vaccines, including do-it-yourself experiments such as that undertaken by Josiah Zayner. The Transhumanist administration would have asked the vaccine developer one question: “Do you intend to apply this candidate vaccine in an ethical manner when offering it to the general public?” After giving an affirmative answer to that question, the vaccine developer would have the full legal right to test, give away, or sell its product to any volunteers capable of giving informed consent – provided that the recipients understood that the vaccine was experimental and had not passed the typical safety and/or efficacy tests. Receiving any vaccine would always remain entirely voluntary. Individuals who were uncertain or concerned about side effects – or even motivated by pseudoscientific, anti-scientific, or religious objections – would maintain the right not to get vaccinated. However, those who chose to get vaccinated would be shown clearly and quickly to have far lower incidence of COVID-19, and the statistical disparity in infection rates between the vaccinated and the un-vaccinated would grow too large in just a few months for reasonable people to ignore. Those who become vaccinated would be free to lead their everyday lives and participate in economic activities as usual, and massive disruptions to the economy and to people’s livelihoods would have been completely avoidable. The multifaceted advantages of vaccination under this approach would become abundantly clear in a relatively short time.

Testing would not be eliminated by the Transhumanist administration. Indeed, it would be accelerated and fully funded via the $100 billion emergency package (and likely via other resources as well), so that vaccine developers would need to pay absolutely nothing out of pocket for any compliance with testing protocols. However, testing would occur in parallel with mass distribution of the vaccines, and as much data as possible would be collected from vaccine recipients in the general population, to greatly augment the samples of tested patients. If any specific side effects manifested themselves in a statistically significant portion of the population, protocols for administering the vaccine would be adjusted in real time. For example, if a specific group of people were found to be particularly vulnerable to certain side effects, members of that group would quickly receive additional disclosures and warnings and would be able to make informed decisions in light of this information.

Could there conceivably be adverse side effects or even deaths of certain patients under this approach of mass distribution in parallel with testing? Of course, that is a possibility. However, the scale of such side effects and deaths would surely be orders of magnitude less than the all-encompassing devastation that the current sequential review-and-approval process has allowed to happen. So far nobody has died specifically from any COVID-19 vaccine. At least 1.62 million people in the world have died from COVID-19. Numerous others have died because of the fallout of the restrictive measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. Even if the vaccines had been far more dangerous than they actually are, it is absolutely impossible for them to have caused anywhere near the death toll inflicted by the disease itself and the societal havoc that it and responses to it have wreaked. This basic insight, whose evidence is all around us, is precisely what the Precautionary Principle misses. By placing all of the burden of proof on the innovation, the Precautionary Principle gives a free pass to the wantonly murderous status quo. Inaction is not safety. Inaction is quite frequently the greatest danger – and at no time is that truer than during a global pandemic. If we do nothing, any of a vast array of perils will befall us rather quickly.

The United States has already lost more people to COVID-19 than it had to all but one of its historical wars. The novel coronavirus is the enemy here to be sure, but the Precautionary Principle is an even more pernicious and insidious foe. The Precautionary Principle is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of American dead just as much as the novel coronavirus itself, since it prevented an implementation of an existing off-the-shelf solution that could have saved the vast majority of their lives. Every war in history has resulted in unacceptable death tolls because of fundamentally flawed premises – ideas and practices that brought about the war because people accepted them as commonplace and justified. Slavery, religious intolerance, jingoistic nationalism, and totalitarianism have all stemmed from deep moral errors that caused colossal loss of life – and fortunately most of humanity has recognized the great evil that these notions entail and has resoundingly rejected them. The Precautionary Principle, when implemented in institutions that have the power to make life-or-death decisions, is in that same league of moral errors; it will be remembered decades and centuries hence as the greatest destroyer of lives in our epoch.

How much senseless loss of life needs to occur before we recognize that our institutions, based on the Precautionary Principle, are wantonly negligent in allowing our fellow humans to die and are still withholding life-saving solutions from them? It is time to reject the Precautionary Principle once and for all and to institute the truly humane policy of allowing all rationally capable individuals to assess the risks and benefits of emerging medical treatments for themselves. This would not only save colossal numbers of lives in the immediate term, but also greatly accelerate medical discovery and technological progress – since innovators would be able to obtain data rapidly and iterate upon their approaches. The arrival of cures for cancer, dementia, diabetes, and biological aging itself will depend on how free medical innovators are to offer their treatments and how free patients are to accept them. Extensive and expensive pre-distribution review processes kill many more people than they save. End them now!

Gennady Stolyarov II is the Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party.