Board Meeting 01/25/02019 (TNC)
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- David Othus's Proxy Assigned to Chairperson
- Natasha Vita-more Proxy Assigned to Chairperson
- Mark Waser's Proxy Assigned to Chairperson
In attendance: David J Kelley, Mark Waser, Stuart Dambrot, Gennady Stolyarov II, BJ Murphy, Peter Morgan
Board Meeting:01/25/02019 AD 6:00 AM PST - 9:00 AM PST Convened by the TNC Chair.
Motion 1 (PASSED): We [TNC Board] move to ready the following statements to the TNC Board and General Membership:
A Prepared Statement to the TNC Board from the Foundation
To the TNC Board;
As directed by the Foundation this statement lays out the reasons for why the Foundation needs a lobby effort and to what end that course is required, the metrics with which success will be measured and the reasons the TNC, for the time being, is not suitable for further investment.
In many ways, the goals of the Foundation are to ‘build’ a Foundation for a better Future if not for everyone for at least some elements of sapient and sentient intelligence. While the more we reach the better, it is better to make progress for a few than no progress at all. To this end designing a future where larger plans can be implemented, and larger societal changes can be executed on at least in a microcosm, is crucial. It is important to be able to control or affect the political climate to which such plans are executed within. In that effort the push for a policy center and then to retool that effort to evolve within the TNC by encouraging key TNC members it was hoped would create an effective lobby for a distinctly transhumanist agenda. While flexibility in plans is key, it is currently not tenable to continue to push for such a lobby when key performance indicators (i.e. effected policies, elected offices etc.) simply do not indicate any likelihood of near-term success on the scale that would have a relevant impact. To that end, the Foundation officially withdraws what little support that was given to the TNC, withdraws the offer of funding, and lastly encourages the TNC to cease operations given lack of measurable success.
This is not to say that we will not push for something akin to this, although more likely as a policy center lobby, as the need and funds present themselves and we hope that TNC members, if the Board does acquiesce or cease operations, consider their own impact in the political climate around them.
A Prepared Statement to the TNC Board and Membership by the TNC Chair.
To TNC Membership At Large;
When I agreed originally to push the idea of the Transhuman National Committee (TNC) it had a lot to do with the organization called the Foundation that I’m apart of and the long term need to establish a funded lobby and what we thought was the eminent success of funds from the Foundation to fund such a project or effort. We started down the road of creating a policy center at the same time the dynamics around transhuman politics were at an all-time high and there was a lot of conflict in the community. It was the opinion of the Foundation that instead of pushing for a transhuman policy center, the effort was better spent using some of that social energy in an admittedly strongly disconnected demographic in the hopes of congealing a movement, reducing the community conflict and also functioning as the policy effort that is needed for these longer-term plans by the Foundation.
It is my opinion that there is not enough social energy nor has the community congealed enough to drive this effort forward. That is not to say that it won’t in the future but creating a 527 lobby that can evolve into a ‘real’ political party is not currently tenable. From a political standpoint, we are better off being in one of the two primary parties and pushing transhumanist ideas or even better actually running for office.
A policy based Transhuman lobby efforts w/o significant funding will go nowhere without a large community effort and to that end, I’ve been told that the Foundation will not fund the TNC as things sit given the lack of momentum. It is with regret that I’m pushing for a ceasing of TNC operations generally and encourage everyone to get involved for real in local politics in the parties and offices in your local communities.
David J Kelley, TNC Chair.
Motion 2 (PASSED): We [TNC Board] move to open the floor for any additional statements or discussion.
A statement by Gennady to the effect of:
Thank you for sharing these statements for tomorrow’s agenda. My main disagreement is with the statements in Motion 1 and Motion 5 encouraging support for candidates in the two main parties. I will express the disagreement at the time these motions are brought up. Perhaps amendments that surgically excise the mention of the two main parties might be possible, and if so, the amended statements would meet with my support.
Essentially, my view is that the two main parties have thoroughly discredited themselves and are essentially committing suicide via their tactics of partisan toxicity that set people against one another and prevent constructive policy discussions and solutions. The ongoing fiasco of the U.S. federal government shutdown is just the most recent example of this toxicity getting in the way of even routine operations.
The transhumanist movement is indeed small at this stage, although we are growing and are much larger than we were several years ago. That being said, if transhumanists attempt to work within the two major parties, they will just contribute infinitesimally to these gargantuan political machines that have wrongfully subsumed American political discourse. This is exactly what happened to the Futurist Party, which rendered itself irrelevant when it endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2015; it essentially then became just one of the numerous feeder organizations into the Democratic Party, which ultimately benefited the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The value of the Transhumanist Party (or any other standalone transhumanist organization, for that matter) is that it can stand above that toxic fray and look toward long-term policy solutions and shifting the climate of ideas. It does not matter if we can elect candidates to the office in the near term (although James Schultz and I put forth valiant efforts in 2018, and we will continue to endorse other independent or nonpartisan candidates in the future). The key is for the Transhumanist Party to exist and to remain active with whatever resources and volunteer efforts are available at its disposal. This dynamic of activity and gradual growth is one that I believe can be sustained indefinitely until a power vacuum arises when the two main parties implode. (This will happen eventually, but it is impossible to predict when.) If the Transhumanist Party is ready to step into the vacuum and establishes a reputation for respectable, thoughtful discourse, advocacy, and activism, then it is possible to become a major player on the political scene virtually overnight once that power vacuum forms. In the meantime, we should continue gradually, patiently building up the infrastructure that would enable us to take advantage of that inflection point.
I fully understand the reasons for why the TNC is being disbanded. However, I hope that we can salvage some of the objectives of the TNC by enabling the people who were involved in it to continue their political activism under the auspices of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Within the Transhumanist Party, former TNC Officers and Board Members can be as active as they wish to be; I am willing to grant anyone who wishes a role as an Officer, Advisor, or Ambassador, depending on their individual circumstances, skill sets, and preferences.
Gennady Stolyarov II;
Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party
Discussion around statement positions including a request to the Chair to modify his statement or add an additional clarification that it is opinion only.
Motion 3 (PASSED): We [TNC Board] move to adopt the minutes of the last board meeting Board_Meeting_06/12/2017.
Motion 4 (PASSED): We [TNC Board] move to use H+pedia as the current archive for all documentation from the TNC organization and herein officially authorize the move. This refers to the current wiki,TranshumanPolitics.com, most of which has already been documented on hpluspedia.org.
Motion 5 (PASSED - See Motion 5.1): We [TNC Board] move to endorse the following statement as a board:
Dear TNC Community;
It is with heavy hearts that we are disbanding the TNC due to lack of activity and funding.
That said, we implore you to get politically involved with the two main parties (candidates and officeholders, community organizations and the like) and push a transhuman agenda. While a ‘Transhumanist’ party member is likely not going to get elected, a Democrat or Republican that happens to be transhumanist could be. This, and getting our politicians (especially locally) to adopt a pro-science stance, is plausible and our efforts are best spent here.
Please get involved in your communities, stand up for what is logical and right, and help all of humanity move forward as we try to engineer a better future.
TNC Board of Directors
Motion 5.1: (REJECTED - 3 For, 2 Obs, 4 Against [For Motion 5] including Proxies) Motion to pass with removed the sentence from the previous motion: "That said, we implore you to get politically involved with the two main parties (candidates and officeholders, community organizations and the like) and push a transhuman agenda. While a ‘Transhumanist’ party member is likely not going to get elected, a Democrat or Republican that happens to be transhumanist could be. "
Motion 6 (REJECTED - 3 For, 1 Obs, 5 Against including Proxies): We [TNC Board] move to encourage all TNC members to continue their involvement in transhumanist politics by taking active roles in the vibrant and growing U.S. Transhumanist Party.
Motion 7 (PASSED): We [TNC Board] move to close TNC operations, archive any public sites, and put on hold pending formation and all activities in any official capacity.