Zoltan Istvan to Run for President as Candidate of the Transhumanist Party

Writer & philosopher Zoltan Istvan has announced that he is running for President in 2016 as the candidate of the new Transhumanist Party, which he founded this year. Istvan made the announcement in a Huffington Post article entitled Should a Transhumanist Run for US President? From the announcement:

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.

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.

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.

According to Wikipedia, “From a political perspective, the purpose of the Transhumanist Party is to spread transhumanism as broadly as possible into American life, so that US citizens may live longer, healthier, and happier lives using the benefits of science and technology. The Transhumanist Party also aims to create a national platform that transhumanists can use to effectively run for various political offices in America.

“Critics, including some transhumanists, have questioned whether the Transhumanist Party adds value to the overall goals of transhumanism.”

For more information on Zoltan Istvan, follow him on Twitter @zoltan_istvan.

12 thoughts on “Zoltan Istvan to Run for President as Candidate of the Transhumanist Party

  1. Andy Craig

    Amusing, but interesting. Quirky “philosophy”-based third parties do have a history, the Natural Law Party comes to mind, as well as the Objectivist Party. and a few others In fact, looking at his “three laws” platform it appears to have a strong Rand-ian influence, with “A transhumanist must safeguard one’s own existence above all else.” as the “first law”.

    Any takers on if the Objectivist Party might co-nominate him, or would that be too heretical? “We Can All Be Randroids 2016” ?

  2. A_Libertarian_Transhumanist_AKA_Extropian

    Transhumanism Doesn’t Need Coercion:

    Transhumanists are all libertarians, unless they are too stupid (Kurzweil’s definition: “unwittingly self-destructive”) to see that government-limiting political systems are a form of technology, as are the enlightenment-era philosophies that spawned such systems. Istvan, however, has no comprehension of any such consistent philosophy. He favors being the “omnipotender” and deciding where force is appropriate. And where is that? Anywhere anyone disagrees with him about anything.

    (Sounds kind of like “dictatorship!”)

    When transhumanists fail to comprehend that the sole obstacle toward optimal innovation is government, they are usually (to some degree) socialists or “central planners.” We can quibble over how totalitarianism is labeled, but state prescriptions for a coercive “central planner” all anti-liberty.

    Socialism (as Hayek would label it) impedes progress toward transhumanity, by interfering with innovation. If the “innovation” is coercive, it fails (as Hayek noted in “The Road to Serfdom”) to make use of local knowledge. So,yes, the government can force us all to finance genetic research, and the government can force us all to finance chip manufacturing, but then only the favored, “government-supported” manufacturers will benefit from that largesse, and those must be discovered in some way. The larger and more legitimate they appear to mainstream conformists who are risk averse, the more they will appear to be “legitimate.” However, risk often drives innovation, as does exploiting non-obvious weaknesses in the status quo.

    Those too responsible or moral (or too aware such money comes with “strings attached”) will not receive (or even bid for) government largesse. Therefore, the best innovators will suddenly have “government competition” that eats up a large amount of the capital possible for such projects. Such money will be redirected from the most promising efforts, to the least-promising. Worse still, it will not contain the self-responsible effort of those who obtain it. Worse still, it will take money from those who have better plans. Worse still, it will bring transhumanist projects to the attention of the currently bloated, sociopathic, insipid, and backwards federal government. (And this is if everything goes WELL for the transhumanist party. More realistically, it will just waste a bunch of money futilely trying to obtain ballot access, while smearing the name “transhumanism” and conflating it with socialism among the uninformed public.)

    …And the ultimate gains will still be had in the black market, so long as the FDA is idiotic, coercive, and antiquated (a blanket ban on everything “unapproved”). Moreover, if Istvan wants to abolish the FDA, then that’s a libertarian goal, and all of his financing of transhumanism is in conflict with that goal (you can’t defund the FDA if you’re trying to tax everyone to death to finance everything else you want the government to do –on what principle will you accomplish that magic trick? He’s already given up the high-ground of wanting “limited constitutional government.” Of course, he then goes on to contradict himself by stating that he stands for “American values.” LOL!!!).

    For those who are not libertarians, but fancy themselves transhumanists, you might want to check out Stephen Badylak’s 2011 Singularity Summit speech, where he points out that even pre-transhuman-level cutting-edge technology is stifled for years by the FDA. Worse still, this interference spans all industries, all the time, worldwide. (And it will likely be years before Istvan’s intelligence is amplified by a neural implant supercomputer.)

    Istvan (and his precursor, James Hughes) don’t want to remove obstacles to development, he wants to coerce us all into supporting the types of development he favors most. (This is why his Huffington Post article doesn’t mention the possibility of running as a libertarian: he’d be laughed out of the nominating convention.)

    I just read Istvan’s book, and the same “Transhumanist Totalitarianism” and moral inconsistency riddles the entire book. The main character speaks his philosophy in the form of edicts, and reads like a parody of Howard Roark or John Galt; a parody that enthusiastically embraces the use of force to achieve political goals.

    And how will this force be decided? By a technocracy of “the annointed,” of course.

    Istvan’s article should be titled “Should A(nother) Totalitarian Run For President?” The answer is “No, …we already have enough of that commonplace, bland, anti-innovation, Luddite option.”

    Thanks for nothing, Istvan.

  3. Starchild

    “Libertarian Transhumanist” pretty much nailed it. If the Transhumanist Party sticks around, hopefully it will shed it’s founder’s political ludditist tendencies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *