Posted: Thu, October 09, 2014 | By: Transhumanism
At the Huffington Post, Zoltan Istvan announces important news.
“I’m in the very early stages of preparing a campaign to try to run in the 2016 election for US President. I’ll be doing it as a transhumanist for the Transhumanist Party, a political organization I recently founded that seeks to use science and technology to radically improve the human being and the society we live in.
In addition to upholding American values, prosperity, and security, the three primary goals of my political agenda are as follows:
1) Attempt to do everything possible to make it so this country’s amazing scientists and technologists have resources to overcome human death and aging within 15-20 years—a goal an increasing number of leading scientists think is reachable.”
I agree. I think that everybody who is able should do everything possible to help add to this massive human undertaking to live, and I think that the reality that science can already do this kind of stuff and thinks its reachable too, is among the most compelling reasoning for it.
“2) Create a cultural mindset in America that embracing and producing radical technology and science is in the best interest of our nation and species.”
This is why I and growing numbers of us activists wake up and work on this from dawn until dusk. I have stripped as much from my life as is reasonable in order to pursue this with as much time as I can and I encourage life loving people of the general public to consider doing the same.
It is the responsibility of each new generation to take on the defining causes of their times if they can find it within themselves. One of the reasons that I am here is to help people develop that mindset. The staple way we do that, but not the only, is through raising awareness of a.) why people should want indefinite life extension, b.) why they should think biological frailty and aging ending research is feasible and c.) what anybody can do to contribute to making it happen.
“3.)Create national and global safeguards and programs that protect people against abusive technology and other possible planetary perils we might face as we transition into the transhumanist era.”
I fully support the concepts of line three.
I agree with Zoltan that the time could be right and that we should all consider helping to make this push. Not to mention he has a great view of many large crowds.
Other factors seem to lend support to this timing too. For example as I write elsewhere,
“The creative class numbers currently stand at around 1/3 of the United States workforce, about 50 million people, and they produce as much wealth as the agrarians and the industrialists combined. What does this mean? It means that having reached the 1/3 mark, the creative class is teetering and on the verge of tipping over into becoming the majority interest group.”
“We need collaboration through a wide movement, a quickening of pace working on the overlapping goal of sustaining health in order to have the best shot at making this happen as soon as it can possibly be made to happen. People are dying. There is no time to waste. This is imperative. Strong and wide collaboration and cooperation is a must.”
“‘Most of the discussion focused on two types of possible overarching goals: (healthy) life expectancy and universal health coverage (UHC).’
That is an important statement, 38 member states of the United Nations were present and couldn’t decide whether or not their Post-2015 concerns should focus on disease research or Universal Health Care more.”
Zoltan writes that,
“The transhumanism movement goes back decades, to a time when philosophers, futurists, and scientists began understanding how fast technology could solve all the world’s problems. The movement has continued to grow and is now spreading amongst the youth like wildfire.”
I’m one of a few dozen people that have been glued to this issue for over 15 years, and I confirm this is true. What used to be a small stagnant pool of people that barely had enough collective time and resources to execute a few small projects, has slowly increased into its current state of having active pockets of activism and engagement in various places around the world at any given time. This is success. I was there and have intimately worked with many statistics on it over the years. These are hard fought, well deserved and important collective community gains that set the stage for political projects like this.
I agree with Zoltan’s general messaging and strategy. I might say a few things differently and include or exclude some things but I find that is often times inconsequential when it comes to long term health activism among serious participants. Those kinds of things evolve as we go, through constructive influence and deliberation.
A theme throughout countless, if not all to most struggles, is in putting internal differences aside, at least long enough to get the common jobs done. I wish I could think of a better mainstream and topical example right now, of which there are many, but the one that keeps coming to my mind is how the warring Germanic tribes of 9 AD united to forever halt northern Roman Empire expansion. I remember also reading about a great fighting force that showed up for battle, argued internally, divided, and were subsequently slaughtered by the smaller invading force.
If we are going to make significant gains, if we are going to conduct more successful campaigns against our common enemy of biological frailty and aging death, then I believe that we have no choice but to unite our networks. The forward flow in cooperation and comradery goes a long way for humanity in expediting critical large-scale reform.
“Transhumanism is not a political end, but a life-affirming commitment to becoming one’s best self using the help of reason, science, and technology. It doesn’t belong to any formerly established political system or party. It’s only concerned with reaching its goals and being true to its ideals. My own politics are similar; I’m interested in making the most headway we can into our future.”
I work with similar strategy and have advocated for it in many cases. It is important to interject these kinds of key ideas into vital demographics and attitudes. New ideals most often take time to absorb into people’s heads. I don’t know many people who hear about any new concept and are then solid supporters of it the next week or even month. Getting through to people about new issues requires that we give them time to think it through and a variety of credible sources to hear it from.
I have some reservations about the timing of a political party. It is really hard to get people to work together and complete projects. I used to think that getting people to work together on projects was going to be hard but manageable. Years of close involvement with attendance of meetings, conferences, countless teams that I was either on or ran, projects and so forth have shown me that a basic base of thorough, active support is not there yet. It’s close, it often looks like it could be getting there, but I look really deeply, want to see it, work to see it, and haven’t seen it yet. This is one of the main reasons that I have regrouped to focus a large portion of my attention on the many mechanisms involved in driving up the number of people who are aware of key indefinite life extension projects and organizations.
That being said, I can understand the reasoning for Zoltans strategy quite clearly: he sees that we have just enough supporters now - the clock is ticking - he is seizing this fleeting opportunity in his short sprint through time here to plant the seeds of these vital topics in more people’s minds on significant relevant stages.
There have been recent growths in life extension communities. We have forecasted that growth of support would start to accelerate, and that seems to be happening. In areas where there used to be 100s of interactions a few years ago there are now 1000s and growing. This is a tremendous improvement over the 10s of actions that used to be the norm 7 and 10 years ago. Zoltan and many of us have a lot more access to vast markets of thinkers now too. I didn’t think I was quite ready to work on a project like this, I want to push more numbers first, but I’m also not going to argue about it. I’m on board. I think we should all seriously consider throwing our hats in the ring to help push this political platform. My nuanced vision is not the only vision. Progress requires collaboration.
If we work hard to generate discussion with politicians about it for the Nov. 4th election, then it should set some good precedent for making it that much easier to advance these arguments further in 2016. We could be standing at the foot of the bell curve of large-scale awareness. This could go all the way in fixing this cause into mainstream thinking processes. I urge people to do what they can to support this.
“The future is coming so fast, that unless we change the paradigm and how we lead our great nation forward, we will find ourselves at the mercy of such powerful technology. It’s time to introduce the future to our political leaders who will lead this country forward. The Transhumanist Party will not win this election. But it can change the questions the real elected leaders will ask. That is something significant, indeed.”
Please consider preparing for this political surge. There are many complimentary angles and projects that are developing or underway. With enough effort this can produce major life-saving gains.
By Eric Schulke