Jonathan Mark Schattke
Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) publishes this position paper by one of our Presidential primary candidates, Jonathan Mark Schattke (Jon Schattke) in an informational capacity, to enable our readers to consider specific policy analyses germane to our member-adopted documents, such as the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 3.0, and the USTP Platform. The USTP has not yet endorsed any Presidential candidate, as such endorsement will occur as a consequence of the forthcoming Electronic Primary in late September 2019. However, in the meantime, the USTP strives to provide accurate information about our candidates’ viewpoints and any content that constitutes a thoughtful analysis of the USTP’s existing documents.
~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party, August 18, 2019
“Free your immortality” is not just a slogan, it is a guide to achieving what every transhumanist wants – the transcendence of current limits on mental ability and physical bodies.
I am a futurist and firm believer in technology’s power to advance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Consistency with this means that each being must have ownership of themself, and of their own efforts, and the fruits thereof. Nothing provided by someone else’s labor or capital can therefore be compelled of them to fulfill someone else’s “right.” All a “right” must guarantee is that government will not interfere with the pursuit of the good or service.
I agree with the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. I would like to clarify a couple points.
Sapience must be able to be measured. To qualify for protection, the candidate must ask for it. Nascent sapients, such as children, should be protected also, from the point that their growth to sapience is clearly started. Inactive sapients should be protected if there is a reasonable expectation of reactivation and they have not expressly desired not to be reactivated – “death” should not be treated as an end unless the person has specifically stated they wish to die. This does not mean that an inactive sapient’s property should be under some sort of third-party stewardship; their assets should be put in revocable trust and their heirs appointed trustees.
“Article VII. All sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of a system of universal health care. ” This must not be construed to include a system of third party payer health care; such systems decrease personal cost to zero, increase demand to infinity, and thus introduce rationing by the third party via either wait times or “need assessment.” This is a path to destruction and needless death. Compound this with the problem of calculation of costs in a full government program, and you have societal expense way out of line with societal benefit. “Universal” must merely mean than anyone has the ability to bargain for the service in a free market.
Article XVIII would literally bankrupt any group trying to implement it through government. I believe the Salvation Army model, perhaps with a bit more privacy, would be an effective means – if people need housing and food, have hostels funded by donation and endowments which provide it. This is both more efficient and more just than taxing and redistribution programs.
Regarding Article XIX I believe the “other resources” clause is one I can support. I fully support providing housing and food for those who choose to receive it. However, your well-being may be cared for; your dignity is your own problem. Do not expect dignity while living off the generosity of others.
Now, on to the Platform of the Transhumanist Party. By and large, I am wholeheartedly behind all sections which support individual self-ownership and the extension of this to all sapients.
A few notes on my governance philosophy are in order. I believe strongly that bureaucratic methods of providing goods or services must fail, because they do not have clear demand signals, they do not have any motivation for efficiency, and they do not have accountability. Furthermore, a government is based on force, and so must limit its actions to those things where the force is defensive; using taxes or even tariffs (forced payments) to fund things will morally corrupt even the most wholesome idea. I believe that many current government agencies could and should be spun off into voluntary funded charitable organizations.
I find Section XL particularly poignant considering the current state of affairs in social media. But, hearkening back to individual liberty, we must not solve big tech censorship by stealing their capital or using force to get them to provide services they do not want to. The solution lies in the market-driven alternatives. However, those companies with a government monopoly over any portion of technology should lose their protection immediately should they discriminate on political topics.
Section XXI can be achieved by privatizing the police force, and removing all strictures for victimless violations. If no one is harmed, then it makes no sense to introduce deadly force into the mix (an example is seat-belt laws – people have been killed because of seat belt stops – such actions are literally insane).
Section XXXIV is a must. I have previously advocated for third-party archiving of all government employees’ actions at all times they are on the clock. Any action they take which does not have this video record must be treated as private, and not protected from legal or criminal prosecution. Shoot a person with your camera off, and face murder charges like any other private citizen.
Section IV might be well-intentioned but short-sighted. It should be noted that no nuclear powers have ever engaged in direct war (the most intense conflict between Nuclear Powers to date being the Kashmir conflict), and the acquisition of nuclear weapons has deterred open war against states, most notably the cessation of Arab hostilities against Israel in the 1970s after they acquired nuclear technology and it became known. It might, therefore, be best for all stable states to become nuclear powers.
Section XII is great – until you commit to third-party paying from force. I believe enough people are behind higher education that a privatized Department of Education would be able to fund grants, loans or college-level donated class time for those who are needy and deserving.
Section XXVII, on abolishing the Electoral College, might be a mistake, but it is obvious that the system as provided is failing in some aspects. I, however, fear the tyranny of the ballot box and unbridled democracy.
Section XXXVI states that “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 can clearly bee seen as a fee for service, the service being having existence as a limited liability corporation.
Section LXXIII would seem to be an infringement of the Second Amendment as written. And the temptation of a government with an active armed rebellion to trace the weapon locations of suspected belligerents would be enormous, and we have seen that constitutional and statutory limits on powers mean nothing to governments, especially when at war.
Jon Schattke is one of the candidates for the office of President of the United States, competing for the USTP’s endorsement in the 2019 Electronic Primary.