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Transhumanist politics

transhumanism politics and prose, transhumanism politics definition
Transhumanist politics constitute a group of political ideologies that generally express the belief in improving human individuals through science and technology1 Transhumanists claim that the transhumanist movement aims to improve humanity with technology and science for example through life extension, moral enhancement and the abolition of suffering American adjunct professor and author Jeanine Thweatt-Bates considers it impossible to define transhumanist politics as one set of beliefs, as the transhumanist movement includes opposite political perspectives on the central issue of regulating technology2 James Hughes, American sociologist and bioethicist, has noted the dynamic between left-leaning and right-leaning visions for transhumanism and the future of technology and human enhancement3


  • 1 History
  • 2 Core values
  • 3 Criticism
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The term "Transhumanism" with its present meaning was popularised by Julian Huxley's 1957 essay of that name4

Natasha Vita-More was elected as a Councilperson for the 28th Senatorial District of Los Angeles in 1992 She ran with the Green Party, but on a personal platform of "transhumanism" She quit after a year, saying her party was "too neurotically geared toward environmentalism"56

James Hughes identifies the "neoliberal" Extropy Institute, founded by philosopher Max More and developed in the 1990s, as the first organized advocates for transhumanism And he identifies the late-1990s formation of the World Transhumanist Association WTA, a European organization which later was renamed to Humanity+ H+, as partly a reaction to the free market perspective of the "Extropians"citation needed Per Hughes, "the WTA included both social democrats and neoliberals around a liberal democratic definition of transhumanism, codified in the Transhumanist Declaration"73 Hughes has also detailed the political currents in transhumanism, particularly the shift around 2009 from socialist transhumanism to libertarian and anarcho-capitalist transhumanism3 He claims that the Left was pushed out of the World Transhumanist Association Board of Directors, and that libertarians and Singularitarians have secured a hegemony in the transhumanism community with help from Peter Thiel, but Hughes remains optimistic about a techno-progressive future3

In 2012, the Longevity Party, a movement described as "100% transhumanist" by cofounder Maria Konovalenko,8 began to organize in Russia for building a balloted political party9 Another Russian programme, the 2045 Initiative was founded in 2012 by billionaire Dmitry Itskov with its own "Evolution 2045" political party advocating life extension and android avatars1011

Writing for H+ Magazine in July 2014, futurist Peter Rothman called Gabriel Rothblatt "very possibly the first openly transhumanist political candidate in the United States" when he ran as a candidate for the United States Congress12

In October 2014, Zoltan Istvan announced that he would be running in the 2016 United States presidential election under the banner of the "Transhumanist Party"13 Other groups using the name "Transhumanist Party" exist in the United Kingdom141516 and Germany17

Core valuesedit

According to a 2006 study by the European Parliament, transhumanism is the political expression of the ideology that technology should be used to enhance human abilities1

According to Amon Twyman of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies IEET, political philosophies which support transhumanism include social futurism, techno-progressivism, techno-libertarianism, and anarcho-transhumanism18 Twyman considers such philosophies to collectively constitute political transhumanism18

Democratic transhumanists, also known as technoprogressives,1920 support equal access to human enhancement technologies in order to promote social equality and prevent technologies from furthering the divide among socioeconomic classes21 However, libertarian transhumanist Ronald Bailey is critical of the democratic transhumanism described by James Hughes2223 Jeffrey Bishop wrote that the disagreements among transhumanists regarding individual and community rights is "precisely the tension that philosophical liberalism historically tried to negotiate," but that disagreeing entirely with a posthuman future is a disagreement with the right to choose what humanity will become24 Woody Evans has supported placing posthuman rights in a continuum with animal rights and human rights25

Riccardo Campa wrote that transhumanism can be coupled with many different political, philosophical, and religious views, and that this diversity can be an asset so long as transhumanists do not give priority to existing affiliations over membership with organized transhumanism26


Some transhumanists question the use of politicizing transhumanism,who and Truman Chen of the Stanford Political Journal considers many transhumanist ideals to be anti-political27

See alsoedit

  • Bioethics
  • Cognitive liberty


  1. ^ a b European Parliament 2006 "Technology Assessment on Converging Technologies" PDF ii Retrieved 12 January 2015 On the one side are the true believers in the potential of technology to make individuals ever more perfect Transhumanism is a political expression of that 
  2. ^ Thweatt-Bates, Jeanine 28 June 2013 Cyborg Selves: A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman Ashgate Publishing ISBN 1409481832 This diversity within the movement, allowing a scope of political perspectives that includes opposite views on the central issue of technology regulation, makes it impossible to label any single set of political beliefs as 'transhumanist politics' 
  3. ^ a b c d Hughes, James 1 May 2013 "The Politics of Transhumanism and the Techno-Millennial Imagination, 1626-2030" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 13 January 2015 
  4. ^ Huxley, Julian 1957 "Transhumanism" Retrieved February 24, 2006 
  5. ^ Rothman, Peter 8 October 2014 "Transhumanism Gets Political" hplusmagazinecom Retrieved 7 July 2015 
  6. ^ Hughes, James "The Politics of Transhumanism" changesurfercom Retrieved 18 August 2016 Ironically, Natasha Vita-More was actually elected to Los Angeles public office on the Green Party ticket in 1992 However her platform was “transhumanism” and she quit after one year of her two year term because the Greens were “too far left and too neurotically geared toward environmentalism” 
  7. ^ Hughes, James 10 April 2009 "Transhumanist politics, 1700 to the near future" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 13 January 2015 
  8. ^ Konovalenko, Maria 26 July 2012 "Russians organize the "Longevity Party"" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 14 January 2015 On July 19, we made the first step towards the creation of the Longevity Party Longevity Party is 100% transhumanist party 
  9. ^ Pellissier, Hank 20 August 2012 "Who are the "Longevity Party" Co-Leaders, and What do They Want Part 1" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 14 January 2015 The recently-formed Longevity Party was co-founded by Ilia Stambler of Israel and Maria Konovalenko of Russia 
  10. ^ Dolak, Kevin 27 August 2012 "Technology Human Immortality in 33 Years Claims Dmitry Itskov's 2045 Initiative" Retrieved 22 August 2015 
  11. ^ Eördögh, Fruzsina 7 May 2013 "Russian Billionaire Dmitry Itskov Plans on Becoming Immortal by 2045" Retrieved 22 August 2015 
  12. ^ Rothman, Peter 1 July 2014 "Interview: Gabriel Rothblatt Congressional Candidate in Florida's 8th District" Humanity+ Retrieved 13 January 2015 I recently got together with Congressional candidate Gabriel Rothblatt who is very possibly the first openly transhumanist political candidate in the United States 
  13. ^ Bartlett, Jamie 23 December 2014 "Meet the Transhumanist Party: 'Want to live forever Vote for me'" The Telegraph Zoltan decided to form the Transhumanist Party, and run for president in the 2016 US presidential election 
  14. ^ Volpicelli, Gian 14 January 2015 "Transhumanists Are Writing Their Own Manifesto for the UK General Election" Motherboard Vice As the UK’s 2015 general election approaches, you’ve probably already made up your mind on who knows best about the economy, who you agree with on foreign policy, and who cuts a more leader-like figure But did you ever wonder who will deliver immortality sooner If so, there’s good news for you, since that’s exactly what the UK Transhumanist Party was created for 
  15. ^ Volpicelli, Gian 27 March 2015 "A Transhumanist Plans to Run for Office in the UK" Motherboard Vice Twyman intends to stand as an independent MP for the constituency of Kingston, on the radically pro-technology platform of the Transhumanist Party UK TPUK, of which he’s cofounder and leader 
  16. ^ Solon, Olivia 10 April 2015 "Cyborg supporting Transhumanist Party appoints first political candidate in UK" Mirror The newly-launched Transhumanist Party, which supports people who want to become cyborgs, has appointed its first political candidate in the UK 
  17. ^ Benedikter, Roland 4 April 2015 "The Age of Transhumanist Politics – Part II" The Leftist Review The Transhumanist Party is gaining traction also in other parts of the Western world – mainly in Europe so far Among them are the Tranhumanist Party of the UK, the Transhumanist Party of Germany Transhumanistische Partei Deutschland and others, all currently in the process of foundation 
  18. ^ a b Twyman, Amon 7 October 2014 "Transhumanism and Politics" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies I would suggest that the way forward is to view transhumanism as a kind of political vector, axis, or hub rather than a single party or philosophy In other words, the different political philosophies supportive of transhumanism eg Social Futurism, Techno-Progressivism, Anarcho-Transhumanism, Techno-Libertarianism etc should be considered to collectively constitute Political Transhumanism 
  19. ^ Dvorsky, George 31 March 2012 "J Hughes on democratic transhumanism, personhood, and AI" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 13 January 2015 The term 'democratic transhumanism' distinguishes a biopolitical stance that combines socially liberal or libertarian views advocating internationalist, secular, free speech, and individual freedom values, with economically egalitarian views pro-regulation, pro-redistribution, pro-social welfare values, with an openness to the transhuman benefits that science and technology can provide, such as longer lives and expanded abilities In the last six or seven years the phrase has been supplanted by the descriptor 'technoprogressive' which is used to describe the same basic set of Enlightenment values and policy proposals: Human enhancement technologies, especially anti-aging therapies, should be a priority of publicly financed basic research, be well regulated for safety, and be included in programs of universal health care 
  20. ^ Hughes, James; Roux, Marc 24 June 2009 "On Democratic Transhumanism" Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Retrieved 13 January 2015 When I wrote Citizen Cyborg in 2004 we had just begun defining the ideological position that embraced both traditional social democratic values as well as future transhuman possibilities, and we called it 'democratic transhumanism' Since then, the people in that space have adopted the much more elegant term 'technoprogressive' 
  21. ^ Ferrando, Francesca 2013 "Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Antihumanism, Metahumanism, and New Materialisms Differences and Relations" Existenz 8 2, Fall 2013 ISSN 1932-1066 Retrieved 13 January 2015 Democratic transhumanism calls for an equal access to technological enhancements, which could otherwise be limited to certain socio-political classes and related to economic power, consequently encoding racial and sexual politics 
  22. ^ Bailey, Ronald 2005 "Trans-Human Expressway: Why libertarians will win the future" Retrieved 5 February 2006 
  23. ^ Bailey, Ronald 2009 "Transhumanism and the Limits of Democracy" Retrieved 1 May 2009 
  24. ^ Bishop, Jeffrey 2010 "Transhumanism, Metaphysics, and the Posthuman God" PDF Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 700-720: 713 and 717 doi:101093/jmp/jhq047 Retrieved September 22, 2015 The tension between the individual and the political that we see within trans- humanist philosophies is precisely the tension that philosophical liberalism historically tried to negotiate" and "To question the posthuman future is to question our liberty to become what we will 
  25. ^ Evans, Woody 2015 "Posthuman Rights: Dimensions of Transhuman Worlds" Teknokultura Universidad Complutense Madrid 12 2 doi:105209/rev_TK2015v12n249072 Retrieved August 16, 2016 Consider the state of posthumanism as a domain PR The careful definition of this domain will be vital in articulating the nature of the relationship between humanity and posthumanity It will be an asymmetrical relationship, at first heavily favoring humans It will become, if the posthuman population and/or their power or influence grows, a domain in which posthumans may favor themselves at the expense of humans, as humans favor themselves at the expense of animals and machinery within their own domains and networks 
  26. ^ Campa, Riccardo, "Toward a transhumanist politics", Re-public, Archived from the original on June 14, 2012, The central transhumanist idea of self-directed evolution can be coupled with different political, philosophical and religious opinions Accordingly, we have observed individuals and groups joining the movement from very different persuasions On one hand such diversity may be an asset in terms of ideas and stimuli, but on the other hand it may involve a practical paralysis, especially when members give priority to their existing affiliations over their belonging to organized transhumanism CS1 maint: Unfit url link
  27. ^ Chen, Truman 15 December 2014 "The Political Vacuity of Transhumanism" Stanford Political Journal Even some transhumanists have criticized the emergence of the Transhumanist Party, questioning the utility of politicizing transhumanist goals In reality, the ideals the Transhumanist Party embodies are anti-political 

External linksedit

  • An introduction to tomorrow’s politics

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