Browsed by
Category: Exposure Periods

15-Day Exposure Period for Clarifying Amendments to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights

15-Day Exposure Period for Clarifying Amendments to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights

logo_bg


The U.S. Transhumanist Party will hold an electronic vote of the membership for a seven-day period ending on 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Sunday, December 2, 2018, regarding proposed amendments to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0. During the present 15-day exposure period, members are welcome to suggest additional amendments for consideration, with the caveat that the amendments in question should be considered to be incremental and clarifying modifications to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights and not radical revisions of the principles behind it – principles which have largely been democratically agreed upon among the U.S. Transhumanist Party membership and which have been further elaborated upon within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform.

The initial clarifying changes exposed here are proposed in response to some misleading media coverage of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.o – coverage that goes beyond positing critical opinions and misrepresents the very text of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, reading into it provisions that are not there. Accordingly, clarifying changes to the wording may prevent and/or dispel such factual misrepresentations.

For instance, the U.S. Transhumanist Party notes that following misconceptions are salient in a recent article by Jasper Hamill in The Metro. While Mr. Hammill does cite many of the remarks of U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, which generally characterize the purpose and context of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Mr. Hammill, in his analysis, also unfortunately borrows extensively from a factually flawed article by Michael Cook on the bioconservative website BioEdge.  It is always of concern to the U.S. Transhumanist Party when commentators do not clearly distinguish the facts of a given matter – such as what a document actually says – from the ideological lens through which they perceive that matter.

• For example, Mr. Hammill writes, “The bill aims to give all these entities the right to take total control of their own bodies, allowing them to use technology to boost their lifespan or seek euthanasia to end ‘involuntary suffering’.” The U.S. Transhumanist Party responds: The right to end involuntary suffering in Article IV does not refer to euthanasia. It refers to the idea that suffering itself should be abolished for still-living entities who desire this, as expressed in David Pearce’s philosophy of abolitionism. To equate this to euthanasia is short-sighted and fails to appreciate how technology can alleviate suffering without ending life; furthermore, such a portrayal reveals Mr. Hammill’s lack of research into a key philosophical strain within the transhumanist movement and the extent to which transhumanists recognize the possibilities of technology to be truly transformative in enhancing human well-being. The U.S. Transhumanist Party does have Article III, Section L, of its Platform, which supports a highly limited and regulated right to be prescribed a life-ending substance for self-administration by terminally ill patients – but that is nothing like “euthanasia” as commonly understood. Hence, it is important to clarify in Article IV of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights that this Article does not imply a right to euthanasia.

• Mr. Hammill further writes, “It also calls for reproductive freedom, open government, NHS-style healthcare and a universal income given to people whose jobs will ‘inevitably’ be replaced by technology.” The U.S. Transhumanist Party responds: Nowhere in the Transhumanist Bill of Rights is “NHS-style” anything advocated. The right to universal healthcare, as specified in Article VII, does not inherently presuppose any monopolistic, single-payer system and was left deliberately open-ended. Many of the planks in the Platform advocate for significant free-market elements in healthcare systems. Universal healthcare could mean, for instance, that all services become so inexpensive and automated that everyone would be able to readily afford them. However, different members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party would advocate different systems of healthcare delivery. The Transhumanist Bill of Rights focuses on outcomes, rather than prescribing the specific delivery system – and hence it is desirable to clarify Article VII to ensure that the pursuit of universal healthcare can remain open-ended and potentially be arrived at through a variety of means, including those not yet conceived of, while allowing discussion and debate to continue within the transhumanist community about whether private or governmental means, or a combination thereof, would be most effective in achieving radical life extension and universal access to healthcare in the most expeditious timeframe possible.

• The U.S. Transhumanist Party further responds: While U.S. Transhumanist Party members have held various perspectives about the impacts of automation and the future effects that automation would have on opportunities for paid employment, it is important for a bill of rights to endeavor to express universal principles regarding desirable treatment of sentient entities, independent of contingent events (such as whether or not automation will “inevitably” render paid employment obsolete). There are many good reasons to advocate a universal, unconditional basic income even in a world where most people continue to work for a living and earn the majority of their income through traditional jobs.  Accordingly, broadening the starting clause of Article XIX to accommodate a variety of outcomes with regard to the future of automation and employment would strengthen the advocacy of universal basic income in the Transhumanist Bill of Rights.

• Mr. Hammill states that the Transhumanist Bill of Rights “incorporates elements of socialism”, and while there is some common ground in the Transhumanist Bill of Rights with positions that some socialists would find sympathetic, Mr. Hammill’s article curiously does not mention common elements with other political ideologies. It is possible that socialism was singled out because Mr. Hammill wanted to put this document in some pre-existing conceptual pigeonhole, failing to recognize that it is intended to transcend all conventional ideologies, as Chairman Stolyarov recently discussed at length and was even quoted as stating in Mr. Hammill’s article.

• Additionally it has come to the attention of the U.S. Transhumanist Party that Article XXI, which states that “All sentient entities are entitled to join their psyches to a collective noosphere in an effort to preserve self-consciousness in perpetuity”, has often not been sufficiently understood by the general public, even though it expresses a prerogative that is accessible even using today’s technologies. Accordingly, it is desirable for the Transhumanist Bill of Rights to clarify what the noosphere is and that there exist a variety of options for participating in it.

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

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Sunday, December 2, 2018, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on Sunday December 9, 2018. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual proposed amendment to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. The original text of each Article will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar only – but not with regard to the substance, unless the person proposing the amendment requests or consents to a substantive edit.  Members will also be able to abstain from voting on any given article.

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

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

The Amendment titles below are informational only and will not be included in the adopted versions of the platform planks. Other proposed amendments and options for each amendment will be posted here during the exposure period as member suggestions are received.


Options for Proposed Amendments

Amendment TBR-IV. Clarification Regarding the Right to End Involuntary Suffering

Proposal TBR-IV-1: Amend Article IV to add the following statement at the end:

“The right of ending involuntary suffering does not refer to euthanasia but rather to the application of technology to eliminate involuntary suffering in still-living beings, while enabling their lives to continue with improved quality and length.”

Amendment TBR-VII. Clarification Regarding Universal Healthcare

Proposal TBR-VII-1: Amend Article VII to add the following statement at the end:

“A system of universal healthcare does not necessitate any particular means, policy framework, source, or method of payment for delivering healthcare. A system of universal healthcare may be provided privately, by governments, or by some combination thereof, as long as, in practice, healthcare is abundant, inexpensive, accessible, and effective in curing diseases, healing injuries, and lengthening lifespans.”

Amendment TBR-XIX. Expansion of the Context for Universal Basic Income

Proposal TBR-XIX-1: Replace the starting clause of the Article (“Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities,”) with an alternative clause: “Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities,” – such that the revised Article XIX would read as follows:

“Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities, all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.”

Amendment TBR-XXI. Additional Information Regarding the Noosphere

Proposal TBR-XXI-1: Amend Article XXI to add the following statement at the end:

“The noosphere is the sphere of human thought and includes, but is not limited to, intellectual systems in the realm of law, education, philosophy, technology, art, culture, and industry. All sentient entities have the right to participate in the noosphere using any level of technology that is conducive to constructive participation.”


U.S. Transhumanist Party Vote on the Question of Endorsing Gennady Stolyarov II for the Indian Hills General Improvement District Board of Trustees

U.S. Transhumanist Party Vote on the Question of Endorsing Gennady Stolyarov II for the Indian Hills General Improvement District Board of Trustees

logo_bg


The U.S. Transhumanist Party will hold an electronic vote of the membership for a seven-day period ending on 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Monday, September 10, 2018, on the question of whether to endorse Gennady Stolyarov II who is running and on the ballot as a candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Indian Hills General Improvement District (IHGID) in Nevada in the 2018  general election.

See Mr. Stolyarov’s campaign page here.

Registered U.S. Transhumanist Party members as of 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Monday, September 3, 2018, would be able to cast their ballots on this question and will be sent their ballots via e-mail.

Because Mr. Stolyarov is the Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, we shall strive to make every effort that the voting proceeds in as transparent and independently verifiable a manner as possible. Members are free to vote for or against the endorsement, or to abstain from voting, without any adverse repercussions for any decision made or in consequence of any outcome resulting from this vote. Every member is encouraged to make an independent, informed decision on this question. Any member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party who wishes to be an independent observer of the vote results may contact Mr. Stolyarov at gennadystolyarovii@gmail.com. All independent observers must promise not to disclose the names of those who voted to the broader public, although the independent observers may be privy to those names for purposes of verification of results only (and not for purposes of using this information to influence the outcome), and with the understanding that such non-disclosure must be adhered to.

Mr. Stolyarov is officially running as a nonpartisan candidate for this nonpartisan office, and accordingly his name on the ballot cannot be accompanied by a political party designation. There are currently four candidates, including Mr. Stolyarov, running for three open positions.

Accordingly, the significance of any endorsement by the U.S. Transhumanist Party would be symbolic in nature and would serve to bring greater attention to transhumanist ideas and how they could be instantiated in everyday, nonpartisan governance and an approach that can also appeal to the broader public, as Mr. Stolyarov attempts to do in his campaign. Furthermore, now that our previously endorsed candidate James D. Schultz has ended his campaign, the prominence of the U.S. Transhumanist Party would be aided by having an endorsed candidate in the 2018 general election, especially a candidate with a realistic possibility of winning the office for which he is running.

Highlights from Mr. Stolyarov’s campaign website include the following:

  • Transcending political divisions: The IHGID Board of Trustees is nonpartisan, and I am running as a nonpartisan for this office. This means that I hope to represent everyone in this District, no matter what their political views or how they might differ from mine. Although we live in a politically divisive era, when it comes to a high quality of life in a neighborhood, we all have shared values that enable common ground to be found. We may not always agree on particular issues, or always reach an outcome that satisfies everyone, but I will strive to engage sincerely and transparently with each interested resident, and find creative solutions that meet as many goals of as many residents as possible.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and Platform: Tolerance and inclusivity of all individuals of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, national origins, and other characteristics. [Article III, Section II]
  • Putting facts first: Many of the decisions of the IHGID Board of Trustees are focused on specific knowledge about the water, sewer, and road systems within the District. I consider it crucial to gather as much factual information as possible about the workings of the affected systems, the available options, and the benefits and costs involved with each option, before making a decision. Every decision is a learning opportunity, and I promise to be open to the facts and to the input of those with knowledge and experience in the areas that the decisions affect.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and PlatformSupport of all values and efforts toward cultivation of science, technology, reason. [Article III, Section VII]
  • Ensuring that key infrastructure operates smoothly: We all want clean and safe water, well-maintained roads, and an effective sewer system. Additionally, the IHGID maintains parks that many residents enjoy and hosts events that improve quality of life for members of this community. These core functions are important and need to be performed well. Many people only notice them if there is a shortcoming, but the IHGID conducts valuable work in the background to prevent such shortcomings from arising. I will be attentive to this work, in large part so that residents can go about their daily lives smoothly. In my experience, there has been significant improvement in these areas during my time as a resident in the District, and I hope to encourage and work toward further improvement wherever possible.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and PlatformSupport for a smart infrastructure. [Article III, Section X]
  • Respecting homeowners’ property rights: I espouse the view that one’s home is one’s inviolable personal domain. This means that choices about esthetics – such as home décor, color, texture, landscaping, outdoor furniture, statuary, and other purely visual elements – should be entirely within the discretion of a home’s owner. I oppose any plan to establish a homeowners association within the IHGID, and I support keeping the IHGID’s roles as currently defined. The only justifiable restrictions on a homeowner’s prerogatives should be considerations of the health and safety of others, as well as the ability of others to make rightful use of the common elements of the neighborhood. I support and encourage compliance with all IHGID policies and applicable provisions of law, including Douglas County Ordinances, and I also support being a good neighbor – which includes maintaining clean and visually appealing properties. However, much that is good about the appearance of our neighborhood can be and has been achieved informally and voluntarily – by people respecting others and arranging improvements amongst themselves. Not everything that is good should be mandatory.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and Platform: Individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life [Article III, Section I]; morphological freedom [Article III, Section VI]. Note: The freedom to use technology extends to basic and long-established technologies, such as those involved in home decoration, functional features, and furnishings. If one’s home is viewed as an extension of one’s self-expression, then the freedom to make esthetic choices for one’s home is a key component of morphological freedom.
  • Pursuing technological solutions: I am a strong advocate of emerging technologies in a wide variety of realms. I will think carefully and thoroughly about which new advances can enable the IHGID to fulfill its purposes in a more effective and cost-effective manner, while only improving quality of service.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and PlatformSupport of all emerging technologies that improve the human condition. [Article III, Section IX]
  • Enabling resident initiatives: If you have an idea for an effort that will improve life in this neighborhood, and you are willing to implement it through your own hard work and that of people who agree with you, please feel free to reach out to me, and I will explore how this idea relates to the IHGID and how to enable your idea to be realized within the framework of the IHGID’s mission and goals.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and Platform“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.” [Article III, Section XIII]
  • Supporting development that helps everyone and preserving valuable amenities: I believe that it is possible to have more of everything that everyone considers good. Life is not a zero-sum game; it can be positive-sum with the appropriate focus on win-win solutions and sincere consideration of how to improve from everyone’s perspective. I am a runner and hiker, so I enjoy open space and an abundance of trails nearby. I also consider additional residential development in the vicinity to be beneficial, provided that it is supported by adequate infrastructure – such as well-maintained roads, multiple outlets, and water and wastewater systems that amply provide for all residents’ needs. The real-world approach to particular situations involving preservation and development is often highly situationally specific, and could, in certain circumstances, be outside the scope of the IHGID’s boundaries and mission altogether. However, I promise to thoughtfully consider how our neighborhood and the surrounding areas are changing and to reach informed opinions regarding how any problems could be viably addressed. Through science, technology, rational thinking, and the consequent progress of our civilization, we are all tremendously better off than our ancestors were generations ago. We can continue the improvement on every scale, from local to global.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Values and Platform: Support of all values and efforts toward cultivation of science, technology, reason. [Article III, Section VII]
    • Core Ideal 2: The Transhumanist Party supports a cultural, societal, and political atmosphere informed and animated by reason, science, and secular values.
  • Commitment to fair campaign practices: I have signed the Nevada Code of Fair Campaign Practices and will abide by it. There will be three vacancies for the IHGID Board of Trustees on January 1, 2019. If more than three candidates run, and there is a possibility that some candidates might not be elected, I promise that I will treat every candidate with civility and respect.  I reject negative campaigning and all personal attacks.
    • Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution, Article I, Section III, Operating Principle 2: “The Transhumanist Party commits to always pursuing its goals in a civil, law-abiding manner, respecting the legitimate rights of all persons.”
    • Parallel in the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, Article XXIV: “Transhumanists stand opposed to the post-truth culture of deception. All governments should be required to make decisions and communicate information rationally and in accordance with facts. Lying for political gain or intentionally fomenting irrational fears among the general public should entail heavy political penalties for the officials who engage in such behaviors.”
U.S. Transhumanist Party Vote on the Question of Endorsing Candidate James D. Schultz for the New York State Assembly District 2

U.S. Transhumanist Party Vote on the Question of Endorsing Candidate James D. Schultz for the New York State Assembly District 2

logo_bg


The U.S. Transhumanist Party will hold an electronic vote of the membership for a seven-day period ending on 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, on the question of whether to endorse James D. Schultz, who will be running for New York State Assembly District 2 in the 2018 general election. Registered U.S. Transhumanist Party members as of 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, would be able to cast their ballots on this question and will be sent their ballots via e-mail.

See the Facebook page for Mr. Schultz’s campaign: James Schultz for State Assembly 2018.

Mr. Schultz would officially be running as an independent candidate, but New York law allows independent candidates to use a “political party designation” next to their names. If endorsed by the U.S. Transhumanist Party membership (a majority of those casting their ballots, excluding abstentions), Mr. Schultz would be able to use “Transhumanist Party” as his political party designation.

James D. Schultz

Statement by James Schultz: 

The reason I want to run as a Transhumanist is to expand the party brand and knowledge of its existence. I one day want to run a local chapter of the party. I believe this is the best way to expand.

My current stage is fundraising, and I am waiting for the legal opportunity to get ballot signatures.

James Schultz’s 8-Point Platform and Parallels in the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform

1. Legalization of Marijuana

Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform [emphasis added]: 

Section XIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

2. Removal of Red-Light Cameras

Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform: 

[No specific mention of red-light cameras, but the U.S. Transhumanist Party does oppose mass surveillance, and there is the possibility of red-light cameras being overly sensitive in identifying “violations” which may have been immaterial or necessary for safety purposes.]

Section I [Adopted by a vote of the members during January 15-21, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each individual should remain completely sovereign in the choice to disclose or not disclose personal activities, preferences, and beliefs within the public sphere. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes all forms of mass surveillance and any intrusion by governmental or private institutions upon non-coercive activities that an individual has chosen to retain within his, her, or its private sphere. However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that no individuals should be protected from peaceful criticism of any matters that those individuals have chosen to disclose within the sphere of public knowledge and discourse.

3. Government Funding of Student Laptops and Class Smart Boards

Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform: 

Section XII [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

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

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

4. Term Limits

[No specific mention in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform.]

5. Environmental Protection

Parallels in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform: 

[No generalized mention of environmental protection in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform, but there is mention of supporting alternative energy sources and protecting particular species of animals from killing and cruelty, as well as support of the environmentally friendly development of biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.]

Section XXIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

Section XXXVIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]The United States Transhumanist Party supports emerging alternative energy sources and their technological implementations. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes government subsidies for any energy source – including fossil fuels. Instead, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that superior, cleaner, and more efficient energy sources will also tend to become less costly and more broadly adopted under a system of unfettered market competition and innovation.

6. State Net Neutrality

Parallels in Positions Expressed by the U.S. Transhumanist Party:

Article XV of the U.S. Transhumanist Bill of Rights states,

“All sentient entities, with the exception only of those in legal detention, have the right to private internet access without such access being prohibited or circumvented by either private corporations or governmental bureaucracy.”

Read the statement by Martin van der Kroon, “The U.S. Transhumanist Party Supports Net Neutrality. Do You?

7. Mandatory Police Body Cameras

Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform: 

Section XXXIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]:  The United States Transhumanist Party holds that sousveillance laws should be enacted to ensure that all members of peaceful communities feel safe, to achieve governmental transparency, and to provide counter-balances to any surveillance state. For instance, law-enforcement officials, when interacting with the public, should be required to wear body cameras or similar devices continuously monitoring their activities.

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

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for a requirement that data pertaining to recordings of police action be transmitted and recorded beyond police control, so as to be protected from falsification, deletion, and selective curation by police.

8. Reduced Ballot-Access Requirements

Parallel in U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform: 

Section XIX [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #6

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #6

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


For its upcoming sixth Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has receive a large volume of suggestions from members during the past four months. This exposure period is intended to encompass as many of these suggestions as possible. A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 21 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Section E6-A. Minimum Timeframe for Voting on a Bill

Option E6-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to create a reasonable minimum timeframe between the proposal of a bill and the voting procedure. To ensure a reasonable timeframe is proportional to the number of pages of a proposed bill, a time period per each specified amount of pages could be adopted. For example, and without committing to specific numerical magnitudes, a 24-hour period within a working week per every 20 pages could be adopted to ensure all member of Congress involved have sufficient time to read through and study a proposed bill’s implications. Such measures would prevent a bill from being introduced shortly before the voting process. They would also have the added side effect that proposals might become more concise, as the length of a bill would influence the consideration time.

[The question will allow members to select one or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plank. The ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision Option E6-A-i. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]  In addition to this, after the proposal has been submitted, no change may be made to the proposal to prevent changing the substance of a proposal.

Ancillary Provision Option E6-A-ii. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II] In addition to this, after the proposal has been submitted, any amendments must be explicitly discussed in a public forum with the same degree of thorough consideration and same rules pertaining to the timeframe of consideration as allowed for the original proposal.

 

Section E6-B. Fully Informed Juries

Option E6-B-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ensure a jury is fully informed on its rights and responsibilities, including jury nullification. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports efforts to prevent false claims being made regarding the rights and responsibilities of the jury.

 

Section E6-C. Elimination of Stationary Nuclear Stockpile

Option E6-C-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

As an intermediate step toward the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and a potential pragmatic compromise in any future negotiations for disarmament, the United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the United States nuclear stockpile, and to replace or transfer a small part (between 1 percent and 10 percent) of this stockpile, to mobile nuclear platforms such as submarines. An enemy may currently target the stationary nuclear bombs directly. Having a largely hidden mobile fleet of nuclear bombs would render it much more difficult for any enemy to target the nuclear arsenal, while still maintaining the nuclear deterrent option in sufficient capacity. This would further have the effect of lowering the budget required to maintain the nuclear stockpile, as it could be drastically downsized.

 

Section E6-D. Legalization of Prostitution

Option E6-D-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right for individuals to have autonomy over, and utilize their bodies to earn money, including through activities such as prostitution, as long as such activities arise from a person’s own free will (e.g., not under duress), and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others.

Legalization would give those who wish to engage in prostitution the safety and protection of the law – for example, so that they may report abuse and would be prone to being exploited. It would also open the possibility for such individuals to unionize if they wish to do so. Furthermore, legalization would decrease government spending on what is ultimately a ‘moral crusade’.

Option E6-D-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Added Wording by Ajay Davis]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right for individuals to have autonomy over, and utilize their bodies to earn money, including through activities such as prostitution, as long as such activities arise from a person’s own free will (e.g., not under duress), and the person is not endangering the health or well-being of others, including but not limited to the communication of sexually transmissible diseases.

Legalization would give those who wish to engage in prostitution the safety and protection of the law – for example, so that they may report abuse and would be prone to being exploited. It would also open the possibility for such individuals to unionize if they wish to do so. Furthermore, legalization would decrease government spending on what is ultimately a ‘moral crusade’.

[The question will allow members to select one or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plankThe ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision E6-D-i. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

However, the United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns any manner of human trafficking, child exploitation, and other abuse that involves a violation of the autonomy and consent of any individual. The legalization of prostitution should be combined with stronger efforts to combat these dangerous and exploitative practices.

Ancillary Provision E6-D-ii. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The legalization of prostitution could furthermore enable more effective action against human trafficking and involuntary exploitation, as, when prostitution is legalized, employees in this industry would become subject to the protections of the law. Legalization would help focus resources on combating the trafficking of humans rather than catching workers who chose this profession voluntarily.

 

Section E6-E. Public Records of Official Statements

Option E6-E-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Clarifications Suggested by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that any statement made by an elected official and/or public servant to members of the public in a public forum, and available to be heard, read, or otherwise understood in a public setting, physical or digital, should be considered a part of the public record and treated as an official statement of their office and position.

Option E6-E-2. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Further Clarifications Regarding the Capacity in Which the Official Acts]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that any statement made by an elected official and/or public servant to members of the public in a public forum as part of that official’s or public servant’s job duties, and available to be heard, read, or otherwise understood in a public setting, physical or digital, should be considered a part of the public record and treated as an official statement of their office and position. This requirement does not extend to statements made by an elected official and/or public servant in the capacity of a private citizen or in the expression of a personal opinion or other position unrelated to the exercise of the official’s or public servant’s job duties.

 

Section E6-F. Artificial Intelligence System to Analyze Risk of Proposed Legislation

Option E6-F-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that state and federal governments should establish an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis system for measuring risk of proposed legislation. Such a system could provide an impartial look at what legislation could cause harm or unintended consequences. Submitted policies would receive a score from 0 to 100, and the AI system would state what possible negative impacts may result. This system should be publicly accessible for submissions and for security audit. This is not intended to create or enact laws, but simply to serve as a tool to measure risk versus reward.

Option E6-F-2. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr, with Added Wording by Daniel Yeluashvili on Blocking Certain Laws]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that state and federal governments should establish an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis system for measuring risk of proposed legislation. Such a system could provide an impartial look at what legislation could cause harm or unintended consequences. Submitted policies would receive a score from 0 to 100, and the AI system would state what possible negative impacts may result. This system should be publicly accessible for submissions and for security audit. This is not intended to create or enact laws, but simply to serve as a tool to measure risk versus reward. However, such an AI system should be used to block laws that have a 50% or greater probability of negatively affecting the majority of the population.

 

Section E6-G. Opposition to Partisan Determination of Voting Districts

Option E6-G-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes the possibility for any political party to determine the boundaries and borders of any voting district. The United States Transhumanist Party supports measures that require any efforts to have the districts potentially redrawn, when necessary due to migration for example, to be left to an automated system such as an artificial intelligence (AI) designed for this task.

 

Section E6-H. Limitation of Presidential Authority over International Agreements

Option E6-H-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to remove the possibility for a President to sign an international agreement among two or more nations by executive order. This would prevent a President from engaging in international affairs without support from the Congress, and likewise would make it more difficult to exit an international agreement, as support from Congress would need to exist in order for such an exit to occur. This would furthermore ensure that the United States becomes a more trustworthy nation in the eyes of the international community.

 

Section E6-I. International or World Passport

Option E6-I-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to create a framework for an international or world passport. This framework could, for example, be administered through the United Nations, and the passport could be valid only for those countries who have proven to meet the standards, set by participating countries, required to ensure safety. Given that the European Union has an ID valid within its borders, and the United States has a similar agreement with Canada, imagining these forms of identification being combined shows that a world passport is not a farfetched or alien idea.

 

Section E6-J. Registration Chip for New Firearms

Option E6-J-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to mandate that new firearms will be produced with an embedded registration chip, as well as the registration number engraved on the firearm. The chip would have a registration number, a ‘trace online’ code, and a ‘lost or stolen’ code. The firearm would be accompanied by a physical and digital certificate of ownership with a registration number, the ‘trace online’ number, and the ‘lost or stolen’ number. The embedded chip would render it much harder to make the firearm untraceable. The number and codes involved would have to be unique identifiers.

When a firearm would be lost or stolen, the owner of the firearm and holder of the certificate would report the firearm to the authorities as lost or stolen using the ‘lost or stolen’ number. The intent of having a separate reporting number is to ensure that, in the event that a firearm is stolen or taken without consent, the offender cannot report the firearm as stolen, or as found again. When a firearm owner suspects the firearm is simply mislocated – for example, in the car or in the house, or perhaps taken by a family member, the owner could trace the firearm online via GPS on an online map, using the ‘trace online’ code. The ‘trace online’ code would never be revealed to law enforcement.

Law enforcement would have a device that can confirm the registration number of a firearm in close proximity, similar to contactless payments. On the other hand the detection range would be greater when a firearm has been reported lost or stolen by the owner of the firearm in question with the ‘lost and stolen’ number. A firearm that would not have been reported lost or stolen to law enforcement by the owner of the firearm with the ‘lost or stolen’ number would not be traceable from a greater distance by law enforcement.

This would ensure the privacy, safety, and peace of mind of firearm owners who might otherwise feel law enforcement would trace firearms without legal justification. At the same time, this measure would decrease the probability of stolen firearms never being found, and possibly ending in the hands of people with ill intent.

 

Section E6-K. Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor

Option E6-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the creation of an office of a Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor. Our current justice system is flawed. Only people with substantial wealth can afford lawyers to take legal action against those who attack a person’s rights. While there are organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which offer help for some cases, their ability to do so is severely limited and typically non-existent in the lower courts. A Public Civil-Rights Prosecutor’s office will help guarantee that, no matter who a person is or the position of the offending party, a person’s rights cannot be assailed without consequence.

 

Section E6-L. Lowering Military Spending

Option E6-L-1. [Based on Proposal by John M.]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports lowering spending by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Military, which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars per year and includes unchecked wastefulness. Reducing military spending would free up money for more important goals, such as curing disease, which collectively kills many more people than military conflict or war by an exponential degree.

 

Section E6-M. Accountability for Use of Federal Grants

Option E6-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to hold institutions, corporations, and states accountable for usage of federal money with a specific intended purpose. When an entity has been granted any form of funding with a specifically intended purpose, such as disaster relief or specific educational funds, and these funds are misappropriated or used for other purposes well outside of the scope of what they were intended for, the entity in question ought to restitute the funding that was made available.

 

Section E6-N. Increased Funding for the National Institutes of Health

Option E6-N-1. [Based on Proposal by John Marlowe]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports increases in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Numerous biotech CEOs have recently made the case to increase the NIH budget, because the NIH conducts research that their companies would not be able to invest in, as investments not leading directly to a product would affect the bottom line. 33% of all the publications from NIH research are cited in corporate patents, so it stimulates new product development. A major driver for economic progress and reducing the suffering of those in pain, the NIH is essentially a public charity that brings us into the future. Whether one supports limited or expansive government, the NIH does not seek to regulate anything nor impose laws on anyone. It exclusively conducts medical research to help the sick.

Option E6-N-2. [Based on Proposal by John Marlowe, with Modification to Require Offsetting Decreases in Military Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports increases in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided that such increases are offset by equivalent or greater decreases in military spending. Numerous biotech CEOs have recently made the case to increase the NIH budget, because the NIH conducts research that their companies would not be able to invest in, as investments not leading directly to a product would affect the bottom line. 33% of all the publications from NIH research are cited in corporate patents, so it stimulates new product development. A major driver for economic progress and reducing the suffering of those in pain, the NIH is essentially a public charity that brings us into the future. Whether one supports limited or expansive government, the NIH does not seek to regulate anything nor impose laws on anyone. It exclusively conducts medical research to help the sick.

 

Section E6-O. Reinstatement of Voting Rights to Felons Who Have Served Their Punishment

Option E6-O-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reinstate the rights to vote for convicted felons who have received and served their punishment, in order to present them the opportunity to participate in society as otherwise normal citizens.

 

Section E6-P. Repeal of FDA Approval Requirements for Drug Tests on Willing Patients

Option E6-P-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports repealing the current requirement in the United States that drugs or treatments may not be used, even on willing patients, unless approval for such drugs or treatments is received from the Food and Drug Administration. Such requirements are a profound violation of patient sovereignty; a person who is terminally ill is unable to choose to take a risk on an unapproved drug or treatment unless this person is fortunate enough to participate in a clinical trial. Even then, once the clinical trial ends, the treatment must be discontinued, even if it was actually successful at prolonging the person’s life. This is not only profoundly tragic, but morally unconscionable as well. The most critical reform needed is to allow unapproved drugs and treatments to be marketed and consumed. If the FDA wishes to strongly differentiate between approved and unapproved treatments, then a strongly worded warning label could be required for unapproved treatments, and patients could even be required to sign a consent form stating that they have been informed of the risks of an unapproved treatment. This reform to directly extend many lives and to redress a moral travesty should be the top political priority of advocates of indefinite life extension. Over the coming decades, its effect will be to allow cutting-edge treatments to reach a market sooner and thus to enable data about those treatments’ effects to be gathered more quickly and reliably. Because many treatments take 10-15 years to receive FDA approval, this reform could by itself speed up the real-world advent of indefinite life extension by over a decade.

 

Section E6-Q. Abolition of Medical Licensing Protectionism

Option E6-Q-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase opportunities for entry into the medical profession. The current system for licensing doctors is highly monopolistic and protectionist – the result of efforts by the American Medical Association in the early 20th century to limit entry into the profession in order to artificially boost incomes for its members. The medical system suffers today from too few doctors and thus vastly inflated patient costs and unacceptable waiting times for appointments. Instead of prohibiting the practice of medicine by all except a select few who have completed an extremely rigorous and cost-prohibitive formal medical schooling, governments in the Western world should allow the market to determine different tiers of medical care for which competing private certifications would emerge. For the most specialized and intricate tasks, high standards of certification would continue to exist, and a practitioner’s credentials and reputation would remain absolutely essential to convincing consumers to put their lives in that practitioner’s hands. But, with regard to routine medical care (e.g., annual check-ups, vaccinations, basic wound treatment), it is not necessary to receive attention from a person with a full-fledged medical degree. Furthermore, competition among certification providers would increase quality of training and lower its price, as well as accelerate the time needed to complete the training. Such a system would allow many more young medical professionals to practice without undertaking enormous debt or serving for years (if not decades) in roles that offer very little remuneration while entailing a great deal of subservience to the hierarchy of an established institution. Ultimately, without sufficient doctors to affordably deliver life-extending treatments when they become available, it would not be feasible to extend these treatments to the majority of people.

 

Section E6-R. Abolition of Ability to Re-Patent Generic Medicines and Devices

Option E6-R-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports reforms to the patent system that prevent the re-patenting of drugs and medical devices, or the acquisition of any exclusive or monopoly rights over those drugs and devices, once they have become generic or entered the public domain. Appallingly, many pharmaceutical companies today attempt to re-patent drugs that have already entered the public domain, simply because the drugs have been discovered to have effects on a disease different from the one for which they were originally patented. The result of this is that the price of the re-patented drug often spikes by orders of magnitude compared to the price level during the period the drug was subject to competition. Only a vibrant and competitive market, where numerous medical providers can experiment with how to improve particular treatments or create new ones, can allow for the rate of progress needed for the people alive today to benefit from radical life extension.

 

Section E6-S. Reduction of Medical Patent Timeframes

Option E6-S-1. [Based on Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports reforms to reduce the lengths of times over which medical patents could be effective. Medical patents – in essence, legal grants of monopoly for limited periods of time – greatly inflate the cost of drugs and other treatments. Especially in today’s world of rapidly advancing biotechnology, a patent term of 20 years essentially means that no party other than the patent holder (or someone paying royalties to the patent holder) may innovate upon the patented medicine for a generation, all while the technological potential for such innovation becomes glaringly obvious. As much innovation consists of incremental improvements on what already exists, the lack of an ability to create derivative drugs and treatments that tweak current approaches implies that the entire medical field is, for some time, stuck at the first stages of a treatment’s evolution – with all of the expense and unreliability this entails. Even with shortened patent terms, the original developer of an innovation will still always benefit from a first-mover advantage, as it takes time for competitors to catch on. If the original developer can maintain high-quality service and demonstrate the ability to sell a safe product, then the brand-name advantage alone can secure a consistent revenue stream without the need for a patent monopoly.

 

Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks

Members will be given the option to either retain existing language of a plank or to adopt any of the listed proposed amendments. Ranked-preference voting will be conducted for any Section for which more than one amendment has been proposed. Members will also be able to abstain from each vote.

 1. Amendments to Section II on Anti-Bigotry to Encompass “Alt-Left” Groups

Current Version of Section II. The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

Amendment II-1. [Addition of New Paragraph on “Alt-Left” Movements, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens]

The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

While opposing movements based on hostile discrimination on circumstantial attributes, the United States Transhumanist Party also condemns movements on the “alt-left” which attempt to stifle free speech, use violence to prevent the expression of “alt-right” or even non-left-wing sentiments, or promote retributive circumstantial discrimination, which should be rejected along with the original acts of circumstantial discrimination against which the “alt-left” is reacting. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves “Antifa”, “By Any Means Necessary”, or “Black Lives Matter” – even as the United States Transhumanist Party remains strongly opposed to fascism and strongly supports efforts to protect black Americans and all other Americans from police brutality and all other forms of violence. It is imperative that only peaceful, rights-respecting tactics and reforms be used in the efforts to thwart fascism and prevent police brutality.

Amendment II-2. [Addition of New Paragraph on “Alt-Left” Movements, Reflecting Suggestions by B.J. Murphy to Include Individual Supporters and Emphasize the Right of Self-Defense]

The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries – and individual supporters of those movements.

While opposing movements based on hostile discrimination on circumstantial attributes, the United States Transhumanist Party also condemns movements on the “alt-left” which attempt to stifle free speech, use violence to prevent the expression of “alt-right” or even non-left-wing sentiments, or promote retributive circumstantial discrimination, which should be rejected along with the original acts of circumstantial discrimination against which the “alt-left” is reacting. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally opposes the use of violence against lives and property and the disruption of the peaceful conduct of daily life by movements calling themselves “Antifa”, “By Any Means Necessary”, or “Black Lives Matter” and by individual supporters of those movements – even as the United States Transhumanist Party remains strongly opposed to fascism and strongly supports efforts to protect black Americans and all other Americans from police brutality and all other forms of violence. It is imperative that only peaceful, rights-respecting tactics and reforms be used in the efforts to thwart fascism and prevent police brutality.

However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes the difference between committing violence for the sake of violence and committing violence as a means of self-defense – especially against fascism – and therefore does not condemn purely defensive violence.

Amendment II-3. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Martin van der Kroon

The United States Transhumanist Party opposes any movement or group, and individual members of such movements or groups, that utilize and justify the use of violence, bullying, doxxing, intimidation, and other coercive or privacy-infringing tactics in a quest to force their goals or display dominance, regardless of political orientation, leaning, or ideology.

Amendment II-4. [Simplification, Reflecting Recommendation by Daniel Yeluashvili

The United States Transhumanist Party supports all acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of individuals and groups of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, and ideologies. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to enforce said restrictions regardless of cause or motivation thereof. Additionally, any institution that uses violence, suppression of free speech, or other unconstitutional or otherwise illegal methods will be disavowed and condemned by the United States Transhumanist Party, with an efficient, non-violent alternative to said institution being offered to achieve its goals if they align with the Party’s interests.

 

2. Amendments to Section XVII on Abolition of the Electoral College

Current Version of Section XXVII. The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

Amendment XXVII-1. [Removal of Last Sentence, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens] The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention.

Amendment XXVII-2. [Removal of Last Two Sentences, Reflecting Recommendation by Scott Jurgens] The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President.

 

 3. Amendments to Section LIX on External Investigations of Law-Enforcement Misconduct

Current Version of Section LIX. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Amendment LIX-1. [Replacement of Second-to-Last Sentence to Require a Civilian Investigating Organization, Based on Recommendation by Ryan Starr] The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding misconduct, negligence, abuse, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors allegedly committed by police, district attorneys, and judges, should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be conducted by a civilian organization outside the justice system. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5

24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


For its upcoming fifth Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has continued to receive many suggestions from members. This exposure period is intended to encompass as many of these suggestions as possible. A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 24 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Section E5-A. Germaneness / Single-Subject Rule for Bills

Option E5-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have bills proposed without sub-sections or provisions unrelated to the main subject of the bill. A single-subject or germaneness rule for bills would:

  1. Simplify bills, rendering them more accessible and less convoluted;
  2. Enable a focused vote for or against a bill without the possibility of having to accept or reject an embedded unrelated provision; and
  3. Prevent an unrelated provision from being buried within a bill as a possible tactic to have it passed.

Section E5-B. Opposition to Protectionism and Subsidies

Option E5-B-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit protectionism and subsidization of an industry or group of companies. The exception to this would be that of extenuating circumstances, such as natural disasters or catastrophes, in which case a limited window of support could be approved. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

Option E5-B-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Complete Rejection of Economic Protectionism and Subsidization without Subsidies for Extenuating Circumstances] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to abolish economic protectionism and refrain from subsidizing any industry or group of companies. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

Section E5-C. Bodily Autonomy

Option E5-C-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase autonomy of individuals to decide over their own bodies and holds that individuals should have the legal right to undertake procedures including gender reassignment, hysterectomies, vasectomies, technological augmentation, cosmetic alterations, genetic enhancements, and physical supplementation at or after the age of 18 years, as long as this does not create health hazards or threats to other individuals.

Section E5-D. Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life

Option E5-D-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life.

Option E5-D-2. [Expanded Version with Clarification Regarding Suicide] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life, including the right to choose or not to choose life-extending medical treatments. The United States Transhumanist Party does not consider it practicable or desirable for suicide to be illegal but discourages suicide from a moral standpoint, and furthermore considers that the legal right of suicide should only pertain to the individual and should not extend to any euthanasia or direct administration of a life-ending substance or procedure by any other person. The United States Transhumanist Party has grave concerns with anybody but the individual acting to hasten the end of that individual’s life.

[Questions on Section E5-D will allow members to select any, all, or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plank. The ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision E5-D-i. Cultural Promotion of Life. Although each individual should be free to decide upon the duration of his, her, or its own life, the United States Transhumanist Party supports cultural changes and discussions that would encourage all individuals to undertake life-prolonging choices and activities. Advances in medical technology would facilitate more open-ended lifespans and would enable individuals to choose either finite or indefinite lengths of their lives. However, if individuals are recognized as having this autonomy, the United States Transhumanist Party is interested in persuading as many people as possible to decide to preserve their irreplaceable lives instead of hastening their end.

Ancillary Provision E5-D-ii. Protection of Uncoerced Patient Choice. With regard to any legalization of assisted suicide or measures to provide patients with life-ending prescriptions, the United States Transhumanist Party supports stringent legal safeguards to ensure that each individual patient’s choice with regard to such matters is entirely free and uncoerced, and that there is no steering of any particular individual toward a life-ending choice by family members, medical practitioners, health insurers, activists, or any other individual or organization standing to benefit financially from the end of a patient’s life. However, efforts to persuade an individual to prolong his, her, or its life should not be restricted.

Ancillary Provision E5-D-iii. Opposition to Financially Motivated Lobbies and Steering Toward Life-Ending Decisions. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes the emergence of any financially motivated lobby or industry whose primary business model would be assisted suicide or euthanasia, as the existence of such a lobby could create incentives and policies to steer people toward life-ending choices, including through legislation that might favor such “choices” in not-quite-voluntary situations. Instead, any prescription for a life-ending substance should only be provided as an incidental service by a patient’s primary-care physician, with the express written consent of at least one other unaffiliated physician, and the substance in question should only be allowed to be self-administered by the patient directly after a pre-defined time period since the obtaining of the prescription. Once the substance is prescribed, no medical practitioner should be permitted to benefit financially based on any specific choice of the patient to self-administer the substance to end the patient’s life. This position should not be construed to restrict any non-financially motivated political advocacy on the subject of assisted suicide, which involves individuals expressing their views on this subject in a public forum, when those individuals do not stand to gain financially from others choosing to obtain a life-ending substance.

Section E5-E. International Organ-Donation System

Option E5-E-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to establish a cross-border or international organ-donation system so that organ donors who wish to do so may donate their organs in a foreign country. This could pertain to Americans working or traveling in foreign countries, but also foreigners or travelers who pass away within U.S. borders. This system would be particularly useful for saving lives with organs that have a very short preservation duration, and would take too long to be sent to the country of the donor’s nationality.

Section E5-F. Sousveillance of Government Officials in a Lawmaking Capacity

Option E5-F-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase the ability for public sousveillance on the functioning of government officials, in particular those who may propose laws, during negotiations and deliberations on proposing bills and national and international trade agreements. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to make the current hosting of live-streams from United States Congress more user-friendly and accessible to the public, accompanied by links to proposed bills where applicable.

Section E5-G. Affidavit of Public Interest for Lawmakers

Option E5-G-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have a mandatory standard clause or affidavit, affirming that a Representative, Senator, or other Legislative Branch lawmaker proposing a piece of legislation, such as a bill in Congress, has no conflict of interest between serving the public and serving other parties, such as special-interest groups. The clause would have to be signed and dated by the representative before the legislation is allowed to be proposed.

Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress

Option E5-H-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports increasing broad accountability of Federal Government departments, agencies, and entities, especially those tasked with national security and / or criminal investigations, to the United States Congress. Currently some agencies may receive government funding without any accountability as to what the funding is used for, often based on arguments that this information is ‘classified’ or ‘may not be revealed in the interest of national security’. This is irresponsible use of taxpayer money.

Qualifying Language on Budgetary Review Committee [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

If Option E5-H-1 is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party does acknowledge that such entities or agencies may have security concerns regarding the publication of details of their budget plans. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party supports setting up a special non-partisan security budgetary review committee where more details of budget plans would have to be provided before considering to provide funds to an agency or entity.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E5-I. Reduction of Redundancies among Security and Law-Enforcement Agencies

Option E5-I-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to consolidate and reduce redundancies among agencies and entities tasked with national security and law enforcement, as well as to reduce the number of such agencies and entities currently in operation.

Section E5-J. Protection Against Obstruction of Congresspersons’ Ability to Vote

Option E5-J-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ensure that no United States Representative or Senator may be obstructed in their ability to vote on any piece of legislation, or be kept from the Senate or House of Representatives for intra- or extra-curricular political-party activities which interfere with their primary task as a representative of the people within government. For example, protections should exist to prevent situations where Representatives or Senators are forced by their political parties to do fundraising calls during a vote on a bill.

Section E5-K. Opposition to Civil Asset Forfeiture, Asset Seizure, and Excessive Detainment

Option E5-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest longer than 48 hours.

Option E5-K-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Modification Regarding Detainment or Arrest] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest in situations where no criminal charges have been filed, except as part of an active interrogation of a person suspected of a crime or unless the person detained or arrested poses a clear and probable danger of inflicting physical harm upon others or their property.

Section E5-L. Investigation of Questionable Law-Enforcement Activities

Option E5-L-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to investigate questionable, but currently legal, actions by law-enforcement agencies that have over time garnered critical attention by the public. The safety of the public could benefit from such actions being revisited or revised to limit abuse and to close legal loopholes.

Section E5-M. Position on Internal Police Investigations of Misconduct

Option E5-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent law-enforcement agencies from internally investigating missteps within their own departments or precincts, and concluding their internal investigations without further accountability. Instead, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a District Attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of prejudice and bias toward a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore faith in the public mind that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Option E5-M-2. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Section E5-N. Limitations on Favor-Trading Among Police, District Attorneys, and Judges

Option E5-N-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit the possibility for police, district attorneys, and judges to favor one another through mutual “back-scratching” accommodations which may cause a particular criminal matter to be resolved in a manner inconsistent with the true facts of the situation or the requirements of applicable law.

Section E5-O. Opposition to Special Benefits for Members of Congress

Option E5-O-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens.

Option E5-O-2. The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens. However, this limitation would not prevent members of Congress from obtaining working conditions and job-related benefits of the sort which are broadly available, without regard to rank or degree of influence, to other Americans working within the private or public sectors.

Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Option E5-P-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to uphold the Rights of the Child as prescribed therein. This would include abolishing the death penalty for minors federally.

Section E5-P. Qualifying Language on Homeschooling  

If Option E5-P-1 is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party, however, opposes restrictions on the rights of parents to choose to homeschool their children in any manner that respects the children’s basic freedom of conscience. Any ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should not be construed to restrict any peaceful, rights-respecting practice of homeschooling.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E5-Q. Opposition to Rights-Violating Cultural, Religious, and Social Practices

Option E5-Q-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate United States law, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

Option E5-Q-2. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate individual rights and bodily autonomy. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #4

21-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #4

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Option E4-A-2. [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili, with Caveat Regarding Intentional Creation of Level 5 AIs]

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

Section E4-B. Sousveillance

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

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

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

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Language on Data Transmission Beyond Police Control [Based on Proposal by Steve Mann]

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for a requirement that data pertaining to recordings of police action be transmitted and recorded beyond police control, so as to be protected from falsification, deletion, and selective curation by police.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

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

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

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

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E4-C. Reduction of National Debt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Language on Mutually Appropriate Defense Treaties [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

If Option E4-C-1-b is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“However, if a mutually appropriate defense treaty with another country requires the United States to station troops in that country, those troops would be allowed to remain there until the treaty obligations are fulfilled or reduced by mutual agreement with the affected country.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Language on Reciprocity in the Stationing of Troops [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]

If Option E4-C-1-b is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“If the United States continues to station troops in any country due to mutually appropriate defense treaties, the United States Transhumanist Party supports greater reciprocity in allowing military personnel from that country to be stationed in the United States for purposes of training and information exchange.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E4-D. Tax Reform and Simplification

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

Section E4-E. More Proportional Representation of Professions

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

Section E4-F. Alternative Energy

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

Section E4-G. Transhumanist Olympics

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

Option E4-G-2. [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the expansion of the Special Olympics to allow augmentations and modifications of the human body which would not disqualify persons from competing.

Section E4-H. Opposition to Secular Censorship

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

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

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

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

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

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Language on Reducing Executive Power

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

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

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E4-J. Conflicts of Interest for Government Officials

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

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

Section E4-K. Uses of Government Funds

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

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

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

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

Section E4-M. Appointments of Supreme Court Justices

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

Section E4-N. Simplification of Law

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

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Section E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

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

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

 

Section E3-B. Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

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

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

 

Section E3-D. End to Drug War

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

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

 

Section E3-E. Prison Reform

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

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

 

Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section E3-G. Space Colonization

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

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

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

 

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

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

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

Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

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

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports the freedom of peaceful speech; religious, non-religious, and anti-religious philosophical espousal; assembly; protest; petition; and expression of grievances. The United States Transhumanist Party therefore strongly opposes all censorship, including censorship that arises out of identity politics and the desire to avoid perceived offensive behavior.

 

Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

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

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

 

Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

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

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

 

Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

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

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

Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

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

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

 

Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

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

The United States Transhumanist Party welcomes both religious and non-religious individuals who support life extension and emerging technologies. The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that some religious individuals and interpretations may be receptive to technological progress and, if so, are valuable allies to the transhumanist movement. On the other hand, the United States Transhumanist Party is also opposed to any interpretation of a religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose religious belief by force and/or by legal compulsion.

 

Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

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

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

 

Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

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

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

 

Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

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

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

 

Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

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

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.

 

Section E3-V. Existential Risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #2 and Practice of Rolling Exposure Periods Going Forward

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #2 and Practice of Rolling Exposure Periods Going Forward

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


Informal polling of U.S. Transhumanist Party members has indicated that the majority of respondents prefer ballots to be relatively concise, with five issues addressed per ballot. The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to respect this preference where it is reasonable to do so.

In order to enable members’ suggestions regarding platform planks to still be considered on a relatively expeditious timeframe, the U.S. Transhumanist Party will henceforth institute the practice of rolling exposure periods, where any potential plank (and the set of options that has been generated in connection with it) may be placed on the ballot if it has been publicly exposed for at least 15 days. This will still allow members at least 15 days to comment on any proposal and suggest alternative variants. Furthermore, some proposals may be exposed for longer than 15 days as a result of this, allowing for more discussion. Once any five potential planks have been exposed for at least 15 days each, the U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to circulate ballots to enable members to vote on them, which will potentially enable multiple votes to be held in closer succession while still keeping each ballot concise.

The United States Transhumanist Party also hereby opens its exposure period for its second vote on platform planks, which will last at least until 12:01 a.m. on February 16, 2017. Comments from members, and at times specific wording suggestions, have motivated the presentation of the five potential planks below. In some instances, multiple options have already been generated based on available sources and suggestions, however additional options may still be proposed for consideration.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Section E2-A. Morphological Freedom.

Option E2-A-1.

[Based on Section VI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for morphological freedom – the right of an individual to alter the appearance, composition, and prospects of his, her, or its organism, as long as such changes do not harm others.

 

Option E2-A-2.

[Platform Adaptation of Article X of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party upholds morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.

The United States Transhumanist Party considers morphological freedom to include the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death. For instance, a cryonics patient should be entitled to determine in advance that the patient’s body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.

The United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that morphological freedom entails the duty to treat all sapients as individuals instead of categorizing them into arbitrary subgroups or demographics, including as yet undefined subcategorizations that may arise as sapience evolves.

However, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that the proper exercise of morphological freedom must also ensure that any improvement of the self should not result in involuntary harms inflicted upon others. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes any sentient entity to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative political repercussions, which include but are not limited to legal and/or socio-economic repercussions.

Potential Add-On Language [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Freedom of Self Policy Plank]

Clause E2-A-Add-1.  The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on the rights of all sapient individuals to do as they see fit with themselves and their own reproductive choices.

Clause E2-A-Add-2. The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the ethical obligations of sapient beings to be the purview of those individual beings, and holds that no other group, individual, or government has the right to limit those choices – including genetic manipulation or other biological manipulation or any other modifications up to and including biological manipulation, mechanical manipulation, life extension, reproductive choice, reproductive manipulation, cryonics, or other possible modifications, enhancements, or morphological freedoms. It is only when such choices directly infringe upon the rights of other sapient beings that the United States Transhumanist Party will work to develop policies to avoid potential infringements.

Question E2-A-Add-3. If any option of the Morphological Freedom plank is adopted, shall any mention of not harming others be preceded by the word “directly”? For example, if members vote in the affirmative, then in Option E2-A-1, “as long as such changes do not harm others” would be revised to “as long as such changes do not directly harm others”. In Option E2-A-2, “so long as it does not harm others” would be revised to “so long as it does not directly harm others”.

☐ Yes, add the word “directly”.

☐ No, do not add the word “directly”.

Section E2-B. Pro-Intelligence / Pro-Science Position

Option E2-B-1.

[Based on Section II of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the spread of a pro-science culture by emphasizing reason and secular values.

Option E2-B-2.

[Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili, Base Text]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports and emphasizes all values and organized efforts related to the cultivation of science, reason, intelligence, and rational thinking.

Potential Add-On Language [Based on Proposals by Daniel Yeluashvili, with Additional Options Generated]

Note: It is intended for members to have the options to accept or reject any of the following add-on clauses and to select candidate language within each clause when multiple variants may be feasible.

Clause E2-B-Add-1: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any and all sources of information that cannot stand up to [Possible Options: academic, rational, factually grounded, objective] scrutiny.

Clause E2-B-Add-2: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any [Candidate entities for inclusion in the list: individual, organization, belief system] that intentionally distorts [Possible Options: academically, empirically, factually, objectively] verifiable evidence to serve its own agenda, including but not limited to [Candidate adjectives for inclusion in the list: scientific, historical, political, journalistic] evidence.

Clause E2-B-Add-3: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any position or belief system that contains arguments built upon logical fallacies (with exemption granted to arguments containing both fallacious and logically defensible premises).

Section E2-C. Liberty to Innovate

Option E2-C-1.

[Based on Section III of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports maximum individual liberty to engage in scientific and technological innovation for the improvement of the self and the human species. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports all rationally, scientifically grounded research efforts for curing diseases, lengthening lifespans, achieving functional, healthy augmentations of the body and brain, and increasing the durability and youthfulness of the human organism. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all such research efforts should be rendered fully lawful and their products should be made fully available to the public, as long as no individual is physically harmed without that individual’s consent or defrauded by misrepresentation of the effects of a possible treatment or substance.

Section E2-D. Support for Emerging Technologies

Option E2-D-1.

[Based on Section XVII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports all emerging technologies that have the potential to improve the human condition – including but not limited to autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, economical solar power, safe nuclear power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power, applications for the sharing of durable goods, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, rapid transit, 3D printing, vertical farming, electronic devices to detect and respond to trauma, and beneficial genetic modification of plants, animals, and human beings.

Section E2-E. Smart Infrastructure

Option E2-E-1.

[Based on Proposal by Jennifer Warren]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates the construction of a self-repairing, self-maintaining smart infrastructure which incorporates the distribution of energy, communications, and clean potable water to every building.

Draft Sample Ballot 1 for Platform Planks

Draft Sample Ballot 1 for Platform Planks

logo_bg
Gennady Stolyarov II


 

The following is the draft sample ballot generated thus far as a compilation of the suggestions provided during the 15-day exposure period for the first set of U.S. Transhumanist Party platform planks. The exposure period will continue until 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on January 15, 2017, and comments will continue to be solicited until that time, with any further reasonable suggestions incorporated into the draft sample ballot until the end of the exposure period.

The draft sample ballot is a work in progress and will be revised on this page as further input is received. The purpose of releasing the sample ballot at this time is to provide insight into the structure of the voting and the options that have already been generated, so as to enable any interested members of the Transhumanist Party to read and understand the available options and propose further refinements and alternatives.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on January 15, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on January 22, 2017. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter.

Electronic voting will be 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.

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

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


 

Draft Sample Ballot

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section A. Privacy Rights

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

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

 Option A-1 [Based on Section XIX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]. The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each individual should remain completely sovereign in the choice to disclose or not disclose personal activities, preferences, and beliefs within the public sphere. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes all forms of mass surveillance and any intrusion by governmental or private institutions upon non-coercive activities that an individual has chosen to retain within his, her, or its private sphere. However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that no individuals should be protected from peaceful criticism of any matters that those individuals have chosen to disclose within the sphere of public knowledge and discourse.

 Option A-2. The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each individual should remain completely sovereign in the choice to disclose or not disclose personal activities, preferences, and beliefs within the public sphere. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes all forms of mass surveillance and any intrusion by governmental or private institutions upon non-coercive activities that individuals have chosen to retain within their private spheres. However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that no individuals should be protected from peaceful criticism of any matters that those individuals have chosen to disclose within the sphere of public knowledge and discourse.

 Option A-3. The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports the liberty over how to apply technology to oneself and the privacy rights of any sentient entities to personal data, genetic material, digital, biographic, physical, and intellectual enhancements, and consciousness.

 Option A-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question II. Section B. Anti-Bigotry

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

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

 Option B-1 [Based on Section XXX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]. The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

 Option B-2. In addition to supporting the freedoms within the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, the United States Transhumanist Party emphatically supports the freedom of enhanced or augmented sentient entities to live free from ridicule, discrimination, abuse, or enslavement by any person, group, entity, or government. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party also strongly supports legal immigration without bias. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party ardently supports inclusiveness of all sentient entities.

 Option B-3. The United States Transhumanist Party is an egalitarian institution and believes in individual freedom of association sans coercion or violence. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that governments should not make rules either opposed to or in favor of groups or individuals based on circumstances of their birth. No government decisions should be made based on race, sex, or other circumstances of birth beyond individual control.

 Option B-4. The United States Transhumanist Party is an egalitarian institution and believes in individual freedom of association sans coercion or violence. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that governments should not make rules either opposed to or in favor of groups or individuals based on circumstances of their birth. No government decisions should be made based on race, sex, or other circumstances of birth beyond individual control. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party is opposed to policies such as affirmative action or legally mandated restroom gendering, as such policies also represent legislation that puts people into categories and divides them based on circumstances beyond their choosing. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports freedom of association and holds that individual actions should not be censured so long as they are not violent or coercive to other individuals, even when they may contravene the ideals articulated herein.

 Option B-5. The United States Transhumanist Party supports acceptance, tolerance, and inclusivity of individuals and groups of all races, genders, classes, and peaceful religions, creeds, and ideologies. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to enforce said restrictions regardless of cause or motivation thereof.

 Option B-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question III. Section C. Benefits and Risks of Technologies

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

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

 Option C-1 [Based on Section XXVIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that the vast majority of technologies are beneficial to human well-being and should be enthusiastically advocated for and developed further. However, a minority of technologies could be detrimental to human well-being and, as such, their application, when it results in detrimental consequences, should be opposed. Examples of such detrimental technologies include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, mass-surveillance systems such as those deployed by the National Security Agency in the United States, and backscatter X-ray full-body scanners such as those used until 2013 by the Transportation Security Administration in the United States. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party is opposed to the deliberate engineering of new active pathogens or the resurrection of once-existing pathogens, whose spread might not be able to be contained within laboratory settings. While it is impossible to un-learn the knowledge utilized in the creation of such technologies, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all such knowledge should only be devoted toward peaceful, life-affirming, rights-respecting purposes, going forward.

 Option C-2. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally supports the advancement of technologies that benefit sentient beings’ wellness and extension and expansion of life. We enthusiastically advocate continued research and development that is devoted toward peaceful, life-affirming, and rights-respecting purposes. However, we stand against technologies that are detrimental to sentient entities. We stand opposed to the use of chemical, biological, and nuclear warfare tactics and devices that only bring death and destruction.

 Option C-3. The United States Transhumanist Party advocates caution in the development of technologies that may pose a threat to human life but does not seek to ban their development, as all technologies and science can have value, and often the specific uses are not known before a given technology and its derivatives are developed.

 Option C-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question IV. Section D. Nuclear Disarmament

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

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

 Option D-1. In recognition of the dire existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to sapient life on Earth – including as a result of such weapons’ accidental deployment due to system failures or human misunderstanding – the United States Transhumanist Party advocates the complete dismantlement and abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere, as rapidly as possible. If necessary for geopolitical stability, synchronized multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties should be pursued, strengthened, and accelerated in the most expeditious manner. If, however, multilateral agreements among nations are not reached, then the United States Transhumanist Party advocates that all nuclear powers, especially the United States and Russia, should undertake unilateral nuclear disarmament at the earliest opportunity in order to preserve civilization from accidental annihilation.

 Option D-2. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes nuclear proliferation and endorses mutual nuclear-disarmament treaties.

 Option D-3. In recognition of the dire existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to sapient life on Earth, the United States Transhumanist Party advocates the eradication, disarmament, dismantlement, and abolition of all nuclear weapons worldwide.

 Option D-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question V. Section E. Replacement of the Military-Industrial Complex

 Option E-1. [Based on Section XVI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of the military-industrial complex with concerted research efforts to cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses that kill far more Americans than any terrorist or foreign government. Any increase in government funding to disease-research efforts should be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

 Option E-2. The United States Transhumanist Party supports the reduction of military expenditures on unnecessary items and the excessive costs that the United States military often incurs for items that could be procured less expensively. Reductions in unnecessary military spending would enable an increase in funding for concerted research efforts to cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses that kill far more Americans than any terrorist or foreign government.

 Option E-3. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes military expansion in the United States and seeks a reduction in size and funding to the military. Funding released by such reduction may be utilized to expand valuable scientific and technological research. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, advocate for the abolition of the military in its entirety.

 Option E-4. The United States Transhumanist Party supports concerted research in effort to eradicate disease and illness that wreaks havoc upon and causes death of sapient beings. We strongly advocate the increase and redirection of research funds to conduct research and experiments and to explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to improve all sentient entities.

 Option E-NO. No Section of this sort.

 

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Planks on Privacy Rights, Anti-Bigotry, Benefits and Risks of Technologies, Nuclear Disarmament, and Replacement of the Military-Industrial Complex

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Planks on Privacy Rights, Anti-Bigotry, Benefits and Risks of Technologies, Nuclear Disarmament, and Replacement of the Military-Industrial Complex

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


The membership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party continues to grow. Having reached over 254 members and having successfully implemented a voting infrastructure (which is currently being utilized in our vote on the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, ongoing until 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2017), the Transhumanist Party can now begin to develop its platform with input from and voting by the members. The voting on the Transhumanist Bill of Rights has been an important learning experience for us, in that we have received ample member feedback and have sought to incorporate all of it in our ballot. This led to the ballot being extensive (with 38 substantive questions and numerous options for some of the questions), and has led us to consider how we can continue to ensure that all reasonable member input is reflected, while keeping each individual vote concise to enable even members with limited time to consider all the options and offer their input.

Our provisional solution with regard to future votes on the Transhumanist Party Platform is to consider five issue-specific planks per ballot. There will be multiple votes, each pertaining to a set of five planks, so members should not be discouraged if some issues are not mentioned on any given ballot. The intent is to continue the process of exposure and voting until the Transhumanist Party Platform is reasonably comprehensive and responsive to member suggestions in a large number of relevant areas. Even after the initial platform becomes reasonably comprehensive, the Transhumanist Party will accept member input regarding platform planks on an ongoing basis and will set up periodic votes on platform issues as soon as a sufficient mass of suggestions has accumulated to justify the compilation of a new ballot.

During the next 15 days, until 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on January 15, 2017, members of the Transhumanist Party will be able to offer input regarding the five proposed planks below.

The first five planks being proposed pertain to timely issues which have motivated extensive discussion among members and comments made in outreach to the leadership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. It is my personal view that, given ongoing world events, it is essential for the Transhumanist Party to take positions on issues such as privacy rights, opposition to bigotry, the imperative to use technology to improve and not damage human well-being, the imperative to prevent nuclear war (including accidental nuclear war), and the need to transition the focus of our productive infrastructure away from tools of warfare and destruction and toward research into and deployment of cures for diseases, including senescence, which are our real enemies.

What the specific positions on these issues will be, however, is ultimately subject to the determination of the members. The proposed planks being exposed are open to member suggestions, and every reasonable suggestion will generate an alternative option for members to vote on. Please offer your honest feedback regarding what you like about the original proposed version of each plank, what you dislike, and any revisions or additions you would favor. Please feel free to advocate your individual viewpoint – as all reasonable (serious, non-egregious, benevolently motivated) and topical suggestions will be considered in the voting process. If you make a suggestion that is best addressed in a plank on a different issue, then your suggestion will be considered during the development of a subsequent ballot and may influence the sequence by which planks get exposed.

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

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on January 15, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on January 22, 2017. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

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

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

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


The text of the proposed platform planks below, other than Section D (which is newly written), is based on sections of the current Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform. The Section letters are provisional and will be replaced with official numbers for each plank that is adopted. The Section titles are informational only and will not be included in the adopted versions of the platform planks.

Section A. Privacy Rights

[Based on Section XIX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each individual should remain completely sovereign in the choice to disclose or not disclose personal activities, preferences, and beliefs within the public sphere. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes all forms of mass surveillance and any intrusion by governmental or private institutions upon non-coercive activities that an individual has chosen to retain within his, her, or its private sphere. However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that no individuals should be protected from peaceful criticism of any matters that those individuals have chosen to disclose within the sphere of public knowledge and discourse.

Section B. Anti-Bigotry

[Based on Section XXX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party abhors all racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes any efforts to close national borders, restrict immigration of peaceful individuals, or deny opportunities to individuals on the basis of ethnicity, race, or national origin. The United States Transhumanist Party unequivocally condemns all demagogues who seek to segregate individuals on the basis of national origin, race, or ethnicity. In particular, The United States Transhumanist Party opposes movements describing themselves as “white nationalism”, “America First”, “race realism”, and the “alt-right” – as well as the counterparts of those movements in other countries.

Section C. Benefits and Risks of Technologies

[Based on Section XXVIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that the vast majority of technologies are beneficial to human well-being and should be enthusiastically advocated for and developed further. However, a minority of technologies could be detrimental to human well-being and, as such, their application, when it results in detrimental consequences, should be opposed. Examples of such detrimental technologies include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, mass-surveillance systems such as those deployed by the National Security Agency in the United States, and backscatter X-ray full-body scanners such as those used by the Transportation Security Administration in the United States. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party is opposed to the deliberate engineering of new active pathogens or the resurrection of once-existing pathogens, whose spread might not be able to be contained within laboratory settings. While it is impossible to un-learn the knowledge utilized in the creation of such technologies, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all such knowledge should only be devoted toward peaceful, life-affirming, rights-respecting purposes, going forward.

Section D. Nuclear Disarmament

In recognition of the dire existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to sapient life on Earth – including as a result of such weapons’ accidental deployment due to system failures or human misunderstanding – the United States Transhumanist Party advocates the complete dismantlement and abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere, as rapidly as possible. If necessary for geopolitical stability, synchronized multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties should be pursued, strengthened, and accelerated in the most expeditious manner. If, however, multilateral agreements among nations are not reached, then the United States Transhumanist Party advocates that all nuclear powers, especially the United States and Russia, should undertake unilateral nuclear disarmament at the earliest opportunity in order to preserve civilization from accidental annihilation.

Section E. Replacement of the Military-Industrial Complex

[Based on Section XVI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of the military-industrial complex with concerted research efforts to cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses that kill far more Americans than any terrorist or foreign government. Any increase in government funding to disease-research efforts should be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.


We welcome your feedback in the comments below.