Announcement from the Chairman: Where We Are and Where We’re Going

Hello, US Open Source Party supporters!

First of all, thank you all for supporting the party.

And no, we haven’t disappeared, but we are kind of chilling during this holiday season – gathering strength for the coming year, which will be a busy one.

Goals for the upcoming year include:

  1. Formalizing our existence as a political party/organization
  2. Clarifying our principles and goals
  3. Defining and adopting platforms
  4. Endorsing legislation, candidates and political activist positions that align with the principles of US OSP
  5. Incubating some of our own candidates and campaigns by the 2016 election cycle
  6. Gaining mass membership that will make our advocacy, endorsements and so forth potent.
  7. Raising the funds necessary to run a dynamic political organization.
  8. Forming a research and educational arm that can help us elucidate our advocacy.

Our elected leadership for the coming year

Chairman: Ken Goffman (aka R.U. Sirius) @rusirius
Vice Chairman: Jon Lebkowsky @jonl
Secretary: Krist Novoselic @kristnov
Member: Ryan Asburt @ryan
Member: Kelly Bell @yarnspotting

If you have not participated in our party, here is a brief account of how we are currently operating. We use Slack as a way for a forum of communication. We can propose and vote on platform planks, resolutions, bylaws and other policy positions on Loomio. Our by-laws, that have passed, are on GitHub. Please consider joining our endeavor and engaging these resources.

We look forward to the coming year.

Ken Goffman

OSP Update #2, Krist Novoselic Advocating 4 FairVote, OSP Members are Voting

OSP cofounder Krist Novoselic spoke in Minneapolis Minnesota on behalf of FairVote. Here is an interview with him in the local Minneapolis/St. Paul paper, The Daily Planet

Krist will also be on on “Kennedy” Wednesday night at 8pET/5PT on Fox Business Network. He will be discussing FairVote’s Ranked Choice Voting plan for the United States House of Representatives. Lawrence Lessig, who is running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has adopted this as part of his reform proposal.

OSP cofounder Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius will be speaking at “The Future of Politics” conference on October 18, at Humanist Hall, in Oakland. The event will take place on a Sunday from 10:30am- 6:00 pm. His topic will be “Hybrid Politics: Left, Libertarian, Futurist & Open Source.” There are lots of speakers so the talk will be brief.  Learn more here.

Meanwhile, with new membership, OSP has opened up for debate and voting on platforms, policies and endorsements. While it may seem a bit premature, it could be helpful to add some flesh to the bare bones of the OSP principles. And it’s proved to be an excellent way of getting people engaged.

We have already had votes on proposals.We need to have a vote itself on what the rules are for passing a proposal. Some of the votes end without at least 50% of our members voting. We need to decide what a quorum is for passing a vote.

If you support our principles, join us to learn more and become engaged.

US Open Source Party Update/Voluntary Collaborationism

by Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius

US Open Source Party has started welcoming new members since posting an article titled Introducing the United States Open Source Party on Medium.  You can sign on here

Hank Pellessier has quit the Transhumanist Party (TP) and joined OSP. Hank was Secretary for TP.  Their presidential candidate, Zoltan Istvan, is riding across America in an “immortality bus” made to look like a coffin. Hank discusses his decision here.

My update of a 2011 article titled Voluntary Collaborationism (VC) also appeared on the same website. In the piece, I discuss OSP as an example of VC.

Here are a few excerpts

I think Open Source politics, with its implicit promise to make transparent most aspects of currency/capital flow, may lead us towards solutions that are robust, agile and fair to all. A platform position that might be a raw start leading towards this might be something along the lines of “Democratize the Fed.”

…cultural forms will have their moments of iridescence and, eventually, people will start to dislike them just for being around too long.  This is a manifestation of a deep dissatisfaction — an itch that can’t be scratched by cultural expressions and groovy new identities. People are (mostly unconsciously) pissed off when the new cultural thing can’t deliver real social/political/economic change and a fairer distribution of power.

Read the entire thing here


The Origins of United States Open Source Party

First Concept

In November of 2007, I wrote a proposal for the foundation of an Open Source Party.  Political noise was being generated about the 2008 presidential election and it looked to be a dreary affair.  Most of the essential policy changes that the US desperately needed then (more desperate now) would be ignored. More importantly, systemic questions about how much power US citizens actually have to effect and carry out the policies they would prefer would not be asked.

I saw open source — with its emphasis on the transparency of “the program” — as the best popular (at least among the technologically versed) metaphor for challenging top-down politics.  We were (and are) clearly in a system in which representation is, at least, vaguely democratic (we want it more democratic), but policy and legislation is the exclusive domain of the political class and their revolving door of “expert” operatives who drift back and forth between big finance, corporate law and political “service.” These bureaucrats and consultants would continue to serve the moneyed interests and their lobbyists and the vast interlocking state/private complexes (military-industrial, big oil, prison-industrial ad infinitum). These various power centers (there are probably about a dozen of them) have so much power that the US political process was (is) in a state of abject paralysis (I refer here not to the paralysis in which the bought-and-sold politicians from the big parties fail to pass legislation, but the paralysis of the entire body politic crippled by ingrained, legacy, interlocking power centers.).

With a bit of educational assistance from Jon Lebkowsky (coeditor of the 2005 book Extreme Democracy), I also saw that open source politics need not be a mere metaphor but could be an implementable solution, with a plethora of usable tools already available and more being hacked together all the time. Continue reading The Origins of United States Open Source Party