Martin van der Kroon
The Transhumanist Party does not stand against other parties, but rather stands for positive change for humanity, science, healthcare, and ultimately for helping improve planet Earth and all life that inhabits it. Transhumanism often conjures up a mental picture of TV series like Altered Carbon, Black Mirror, the movies Johnny Mnemonic, Alita, and Blade Runner, or video games like Deus Ex, or Cyberpunk 2077. The Transhumanist Party is not against this, but rather for progress to improve health, and extend life through medical and scientific breakthroughs, and this could come in the form of cybernetic enhancements, but if different and equally viable and successful methods were to be discovered, we’d be equally thrilled about it.
This is a common misconception, and often an obstacle for people to support the Transhumanist Party, or even take it seriously. Despite that Transhumanism as a whole is conflated with cybernetics and robotics, those are merely possible tools to achieve the goals of extending life, but more importantly improving the lives and well-being of people. Ultimately, it would be great if people can have the option to live healthy for a much longer period, or indefinitely if they wish to, rather than being confined to a small window of time between two eternities.
Another image people might have when thinking of Transhumanism or the Transhumanist Party is that of people’s minds, brains, and memories being uploaded to ‘the cloud’. This is something a lot of Transhumanists would definitely be excited about, but let’s take a small step back. Even if you’re not excited about uploading your brain, or even those of loved ones to ‘the cloud’, there is still a lot to be excited about. When we could achieve this, that fundamentally requires us to have a much more sophisticated and complete understanding of the complexities of the brain, and with that likely also much more knowledge on how to treat various diseases and ailments that affect humans today. Another way “uploading to the cloud” could be useful is as a temporary storage during an operation, much like a heart-lung machine can already do now.
The Transhumanist Party is very different from what you are used to seeing in politics, or even in worldviews, in a sense it is radical much like the industrial revolution, the home computer, or the smartphone. The Transhumanist Party is not the solution to every problem we face as a species, but instead wants to be a constructive force to enable people to seek solutions, rather than push back against positive and transformative progress. That is the radical part about The Transhumanist Party, to enable progress through thoughtful regulation and thinking ahead and long-term, rather than stifle progress with knee jerk reactions based on short-term thinking.
Martin van der Kroon is a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and previously served as its Director of Recruitment in 2017.